If You Have Any of These, You Could Be In for Some Cash
These are the three terms you’ll need to know if you love purchasing historical objects: retro, vintage, and antique. And nope, they don’t mean the same thing. If you want to make sure the product you’re buying is authentic, here’s what you need to keep in mind: If an object is sold as retro, it means it should be at least 20 years old. Vintage objects tend to be around 40 years old, while things that have passed their 100th anniversary are antique.
Before heading over to a thrift shop, look through the stuff in your grandma’s attic, you might still find objects that work and may be worth a lot of money, depending on their age and condition. Like old Polaroid cameras, for example. A lot of collectors are willing to pay a good buck to have their picture developed before their eyes. One fancy Polaroid camera with a gold and leather-bound case can be worth as much as 500$, so be on the lookout for those.
The same goes for old records. That vinyl you have stored in your garage is back in style, so check out your collection, there may be some hidden treasures there. Old Elvis original albums, for instance, can be snatched up for at least 100 bucks.
You may be able to repurpose some objects in your own house. Like, an antique boiler door for example can spice up your fireplace, especially if you’re looking for that not-so-modern look. Vintage advertising signs are used today in a lot of interior design projects because of their colorful designs and awesome fonts. Anything goes, from movie posters to beverage adverts, and depending on the quality of the paper, may be quite valuable.
If you got nostalgic and kept your great-grandpa’s pedal car hidden in your garage, it may be worth more than you know. Don’t even worry if it has a little rust on it. A Lincoln pedal from the ’30s can be sold for around 1000$. Car parts are just as valuable for interested collectors, so don’t be so fast to throw away those oil cans, emblems, auto posters, or anything related to the car universe.
Amongst the most popular vintage items sold these days are toys, and Legos are always in style. Figurines of famous movie characters are really valuable, as well as replicas of castles or well-known buildings. But the most-searched-for Legos are missing parts from valued sets. It can be anything from a window, a steering wheel, or a brick in a rare color.
Old arcade games can be worth a lot of money too, even if they don’t work properly anymore. A non-working arcade game can still be worth a couple of hundred dollars, while those that are still playable can go as high up as 2,500$!
Art deco jewelry is really fashionable these days. You’ll recognize an art deco piece because of its geometric patterns, featuring abstract designs. The gems used should be in contrasting colors too. As for watches, it’s similar to fancy cars. You’ll have to rely on big names to get your money’s worth. The most coveted objects collectors are looking for these days are gold or platinum details, jewels, or stopwatches.
That wardrobe declutter you’ve been postponing can add some bucks to your wallet, too. Especially if you’re the proud owner of some vintage T-shirts. If you have some advertising, concert, or band shirts, they’re all the rage now. One Prince T-shirt was recently sold for almost 400$. Another T-shirt featuring a depiction of the Mario Brothers Nintendo 64 Game was snatched up for over 100$ too.
Ok, now let’s talk about handbags. The older and rarer they are, the more money they’re worth. And the amount you can get for them actually increases as time goes by! A vintage or antique handbag that’s in proper condition can be worth thousands of dollars. Ask grandma if you can browse her closet, you’ll surely find some hidden gems.
Calling all writers and book lovers! Antique mechanical keyboards are now being reproduced into our modern laptops, so it’s easy to assume that the old typewriter you have in your living room is pretty valuable, especially if it’s still functioning properly. Also, they are pretty easy to maintain and restore, if you find a proper specialist.
As for books, fans are willing to pay a lot of money for things like first edition copies of certain novels. One such book, a copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses, is estimated today at about $8,000. Since there are only 1,000 copies of those first editions out there, they only pop up once in a while. Vintage desks can also be reused in your own office if you like the look of them. Even if the wood is not in tip-top shape, you can always have it reconditioned and make it look brand new in no time. Most of the old desks have a lot of storage space too.
Speaking of stationary, a great antique item that can easily work these days is an old-fashioned pencil sharpener. You’ll find these items in a lot of shapes and sizes, and are a lot of fun to play around with. Some of them look like cars, others like domesticated animals, and they’re a nice decorative object to have, with the added hidden purpose!
Ever heard of a gossip bench? They were pretty popular after the telephone was invented. This unique piece of furniture features a chair that has a side table attached. Some of them even have some sort of storage unit attached, like magazine racks or drawers. After a quick online search, you’ll see there are a lot of them to choose from, and depending on the region they were made in, they can look more on the minimalistic side, or more beautifully ornate.
Just because something is antique, it doesn’t mean it can’t be creatively repurposed. The owners of a building decided to reuse an old antique streetlamp as a ceiling light. They just flipped it upside down and attached it to the ceiling! Let’s say you’ve stumbled upon a great-looking antique piece at your local thrift shop.
If you’re not sure of its value, here are some tips that can help you have a reasonable estimation, without having to consult a specialist: Have a look online to see how rare that piece is. If there were few objects manufactured in the first place, or there are only a couple of them still available online, their value should be greatly increased. Be on the lookout for unusual color, shape, or design for that particular object. The quirkier it is, the more people will be likely to want it.
Another good example of objects that increase their value with time is the famous Tiffany lamps. When they were first launched, some people considered them to be a bit too flashy and weren’t really expensive to buy. These days they can be worth as much as 1 million dollars! An important part of searching for antiques is separating authentic objects from fake ones.
But some clues can help you figure out if that Oriental rug is as old as they say, or if a bunch of people just trampled on it to make it look old. Check for any signs that relate to its specific time. It can be a certain signature or texture, depending on the object. Don’t be tricked by a certain material either. Bronze, for example, can be easily confused with spelter, a combination of metals that looks just like bronze. However, you might need a specialist to properly tell the difference for this one.
Lastly, just because certain objects have had some modern repairs doesn’t mean they are necessarily fake. But if it’s been altered, the object’s value does decrease, depending on how much of the original material is still there. Taking care of your antique is just as important to maintain its value.
For art or furniture, it’s best to keep them out of sunlight since it may alter their materials. Avoid using harsh chemicals when you clean them! For jewelry, avoid engravings or additions of other stones. Try to keep them in their original boxes and always have them professionally cleaned.