8 Pieces of Old Junk in Your Garage That Could Be Worth Thousands
These everyday items lying around your house could make you money.
Have you ever looked at your overflowing garage and wondered if it's secretly a gold mine? If you've been hoping an ancient relic in your home is stealthily worth thousands, that could be the case. Secondhand items are more popular than ever these days. Experts are calling consignment shopping the answer to rising inflation rates, as buyer's get more bang for their buck by buying used items instead of new ones. Many consumers are also looking to help the environment by living more sustainably and purchasing used goods. Forbes called resale "the star of retail" in 2022, crediting its popularity as a response to supply chain issues and tightening household budgets.
Finding a deal has never been more necessary, but on the other side of the coin, plenty of average people make money reselling items previously piled up in the garage. Things you've had packed away for years could be incredibly valuable, as long as you know what to look for. Read on to discover what household items experts say could be sold for a lot of money.
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That old wooden chair that's been taking up space could actually make you money. You can learn how to identify furniture that's been picked up at thrift shops or passed down for generations, especially if it's part of a trendy aesthetic, by scouring Reddit for tips. There are entire threads devoted to specific items to look for and what these pieces will earn. Then, consult furniture store websites to build your knowledge base.
Marketing Director of Green Building Elements Sarah Jameson says Mid-Century furniture is particularly popular at the moment, after "making a comeback in the world of interior designing" a few years ago. Many consider Mid-Century Modern a timeless trend, so it's likely you already own items that fit the aesthetic. Streamlined platform beds, basic wood nightstands, and sleek glass top tables are particularly popular, says Vermont Wood Studios. Jameson tells us these items "could range up to thousands depending on the condition." There are furniture forums devoted to pricing items, urging potential sellers to look at the make, designer, rarity, and condition.
Did your child or significant other attempt to take up the guitar only to give up entirely? Well, not all is lost: Their old instruments could be worth money now. Jameson tells people to keep an eye out for Fender and Gibson, because they're "brands that could fetch tens of thousands of dollars." According to Jameson, "It could even be more expensive if it's in mint condition. These brands have remained popular over the years up until today so early creations are very valuable for collectors."
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Some headlines can produce cash. Search for newspaper clippings and old magazines from important moments in history. "Iconic magazines with famous people on the cover, special editions, and newspaper clippings about significant historic events could be worth hundreds," says Jameson. Many people frame these covers or give them as gifts if they're from a meaningful date.
On eBay there's a huge market for old newspaper clippings. These collectible newspapers are sorted by date, with pre-1900 newspapers selling for the most money. Headlines from important elections, Royal Family moments, and major sports game wins fetch the most money. Antique maps can also be valuable, with entire websites devoted to the collector's who love them.
Even though Beanie Babies never became investment items like people hoped, certain childhood toys bring in the big bucks. These nostalgic items can sell for hundreds of dollars, with Redditors hunting for specific models, from brands including Legos and Funkos. These toys don't have to be ancient. Even toys from the '90s and early 2000s, like Polly Pockets and discontinued Spice Girls games, are available online for hundreds now. Some people feel wistful for items they gave up once they outgrew them and will spend an arm and a leg to get them back.
It's time to appraise that old oil painting handed down by your grandparents. Some Redditors make thousands of dollars monthly by buying and selling art as a side hustle. One art dealer on Reddit recommends looking for prints in good condition, "which could be lithographs, etchings, engravings, woodcuts or woodblocks." While prints are made in larger quantities, some are still exclusive. You can charge more for posters, canvas prints, and framed artwork.
Then, look for one-of-a-kind, original art , which could be even more valuable if the artist is successful today. One example is Margaret Keane's "Big Eyes" collection, which became popular after a movie based on her story. The prints sell for up to $1,000 today.
Start reselling clothing previously piled up in the garage by using resale sites like Poshmark. Poshmark seller Brittany Carver advises keeping an eye out for seasonal items like sundresses, which are "trending because it's only getting warmer."
Carver mentions bohemian, easy-to-wear sundresses with bright colors from trendy brands including Farm Rio, Free People, Zara, Madewell, and American Eagle as selling especially well. "I feel these brands are doing so well because of their beautiful prints, bold colors, quality of fabric, how amazing they look on, and how easily they can be styled," Carver says.
Carver tells people to start selling by looking through items you already have and then taking take photos of the items. "Find a plain spot on a wall or a clean area on the floor and take pictures where you have great lighting," she advises.
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Everything old is new again, including jean trends from '70s high-rise styles to '90s distressed denim. Vintage jeans are so hot right now that teens and millennials are willing to spend big bucks on finding the perfect pair. Carver suggests searching for "light wash denim jeans," and particularly "vintage, distressed, wide leg and high rise jeans," from classic company's like Levi's, which can potentially sell for more than a brand new pair. In the May 2022 Poshmark Monthly Trend Report, Poshmark's Merchandising and Curation Expert Chloe Baffert attributes the denim craze to "leaving the Zoom frame" and the "death of the skinny jean."
Now that people are heading back to brunch in the real world, they're swapping their athleisure for jeans. And with TikTok users proclaiming skinny jeans "over" and "cancelled," folks are trying to upgrade their wardrobes with more flattering styles.
It's easy to leave old tech gear in a bin in the garage, but it's time to bust it out again. Headphones are replacing earbuds as the latest "techcessory," so expect the gear to sell fast. "Headphones have come full circle," Baffert explains. While small, almost invisible headphones have been popular for the last few years, oversized versions are making a comeback since they're more comfortable. Look for over-ear statement pieces, which people are using to express themselves.