Who doesn't dream of finding that priceless painting hidden in the back of their attic? The good news is, you might not need to score an Antiques Roadshow-quality find in order to put some extra cash in your pocket; just keep an eye out for these things that might be taking up space when they could be making you money.
1. USED INK CARTRIDGES
“Believe it or not, people on a shoestring budget will buy them,” says Kyle Taylor, a self-described “eBay nut” and founder of the personal finance site The Penny Hoarder. “A used inkjet cartridge will usually sell for $2 or $3, while the larger copy toners can go for $20 or more.”
2. VHS TAPES
A VHS of the 1980s horror movie Tales from the Quadead Zone sold for nearly $700 in an eBay auction, so you might want to turn a discerning eye on that box of old tapes collecting dust in the basement. Only about half of the movies available on VHS ever made it to the DVD format, which means film buffs have embraced this old medium. In its analysis, JustCollecting lists VHS tapes as one of the top collectibles for 2016.
3. WINE BOTTLES AND CORKS
One wine-lover’s trash is a Etsy seller’s treasure. “Crafty people use wine corks to create stamps, wall art, or cork mats,” says Taylor. Each bottle typically sells for 50 cents or more, while the corks go for around 10 cents each. “But certain wine bottles, like those that are vintage or cobalt blue, are considered more valuable,” he says.
4. PYREX KITCHENWARE
Last year marked Pyrex’s 100th anniversary, kicking off a fresh wave of interest in this line of kitchenware. And because Pyrex is so durable, it’s possible to have a vintage piece that’s older—and more valuable—than you might imagine. Pieces from the 1950s and 1960s can fetch $400 or more on eBay.
5. BOARD GAMES
“Next time you’re at a yard sale, make a beeline to the board game section,” suggests Taylor. Vintage games routinely sell for anywhere from $30 to $200 on eBay, but if you have a truly rare one hiding in your attic it can sell for even more. “For instance, only two waves of The War of the Ring: Collector’s Edition were produced, at only 1000 units each, so people will pay up to $2500 to get their hands on it,” he says.
6. BOX TOPS
Sure, clipping the tops off your Cheerios boxes isn’t going to score you hundreds. But you can sell them for about a dime a piece on eBay. “Determined parents buy those Box Tops for Education cutouts on General Mills brands to get cash for their schools," says Taylor.
You might roll your eyes at the Beanie Babies your cousin is still hoarding, but reselling those once-hot items could score her hundreds of dollars each. They’re not the only old toy that’s worth something, though. Vintage LEGO sets sell for $500 to $2500. “Even Furbies, those furry, owl-like creatures from the '90s are still selling,” says Taylor. Expect to sell them for $10 to $100 a pop.