Items You May Own That Are Now Worth A Fortune
Lots of real world treasures exist in the world that you may have in your own house. Here are some things that might make you rich.Money
We often assume getting rich from valuable objects requires digging up buried treasure, ancient relics or precious gems. But it may surprise you to learn that the most valuable items of all could lie among the things you have tucked away in your home.
From vintage video games to Furbys and even dusty old dishes, you wouldn’t believe how valuable some of the seemingly-worthless trinkets we tend to leave gathering dust can be. Open the hatch to the attic, grab a duster, and let’s explore the overlooked valuables that could well make you a fortune!
10. Nintendo Gameboy
When the Nintendo Gameboy launched in 1989, it brought countless hours of joy to kids all over the world. But there’s more than just nostalgia value in these old, handheld consoles, which often sell for a fortune today.
While used versions of the handheld console in its many forms sell for anywhere between $30 and $150, the value increases dramatically if the console is in an original sealed box.
Pricecharting.com estimates that an original, sealed Gameboy usually goes for as much as $549.95. Even more recent models, like the Spongebob Gameboy Advance SP, can fetch almost $500 if sealed.
On Amazon and eBay, unopened, original and limited-edition original models can fetch thousands of dollars. Adding unopened games to the equation can help you hit the absolute jackpot. You can get up to $2,364 for Amazing Tater, $2,500 for Mega Man 5 and $3,500 for Spud’s Adventure!
Even unsealed, some of these can easily fetch prices approaching the $1,000 mark. If your parents ever told you video games are a waste of time, think of this article while you savor telling them how wrong they were.
9. Golf Balls
While winning PGA tours is undoubtedly the best way to make money from golf, it’s pretty difficult. Luckily, you can still make big bucks from the sport without actually playing; you can make thousands of dollars by recovering golf balls.
Your average golfer loses about 2 balls a game, and in the US, 100 million missing golf balls are recovered every year. You can just walk around the rough areas of golf courses and find tons of missing balls, with little more effort required than walking around. You’ll feel the distinctive bump of a gold ball under the ground with your foot.
Choose to walk around the rough areas to the right or left of the teeing ground. Websites like eBay auction used golf balls, or you can sell them directly to golfers at a lowered price. Most retrieved golf balls sell for around 50 cents each, so recovering 1,000 balls could net you $500 for a day’s work. Premium brands in good condition can even sell for more than $2 each.
But self-proclaimed golf ball divers know the big bucks lay at the bottom of the ponds and lakes on golf courses, where the highest concentrations of lost balls are found. The best divers have been known to retrieve as many as 10,000 balls a day, and often enjoy annual incomes ranging between $50,000 and $100,000.
This method obviously comes with its fair share of occupational hazards and requires Scuba certification. And watch out for gators and crocs, depending on where you are; they bite a lot harder than a stray golf ball.
You could save yourself the effort, though, if you’re lucky enough to stumble across an animal with a taste for dimpled spheres. Case in point: a set of golf balls, removed from a python in Australia after it swallowed them, were sold on eBay for $1,253. It’s true what they say: to get rich, you’ve gotta have the balls.
8. Meat Stones
These may look like tasty bits of bacon but, while valuable, these treasures are not edible. That’s because they’re actually rocks; part of an oddly-popular, notably-peculiar phenomenon in China and Japan.
A museum in Lushan, China, has an entire, hugely-popular section dedicated to a collection of rocks that look like meat, like marbled pork or beef. At the Kyushu Museum in Fukuoka, Japan, Taiwan’s prized meat-shaped stone attracted almost 6,000 visitors per day during its time on display there.
The appreciation of meat stones is centuries-old; the one at Kyushu museum was carved during the Qing dynasty. But the meat of the matter is that nowadays, the prices for these peculiar stones, most of which are naturally formed or carved from jasper and dyed, have skyrocketed.
Nowadays, the most realistic-looking meat stones sell for thousands of dollars. So, if you have any meaty-looking stones in your yard, ship ‘em straight to China! You might just make a fortune. And while China and Japan are going crazy for rocks that look like meat, the people of Chile and Peru are much more interested in meat that looks like rocks.
The Pyura Chilensis, also known as a living rock or sea squirt is a gross-looking, filter-feeding sea creature. It’s a popular delicacy in South America and Asia but could easily be mistaken for a rock before it’s cracked open. It would be an expensive rock to overlook on a trip to the beach, however, as they can fetch as much as $170 per kilo.
7. Pokémon Cards
High school can be a tough time for Pokémon card collectors. But, as is often the case, the nerds win the long game, because Pokémon cards are often worth a fortune today. More than 20 years after the creation of the ‘Pocket Monsters’ franchise, collectors are exchanging ultra-rare cards like wily stockbrokers.
The rarer the card, the more valuable, and the shinier the better! Specific versions of these holographic Charizard cards fetch between $12,000 and a whopping $70,000, and other limited-edition cards fetch similarly colossal prices.
But among the highest earners is the Pikachu Illustrator card, issued to winners of the CoroCoro Comic Illustration Contest in January 1998. It was sold at auction for an unbelievable $55,000, and other copies have been listed on eBay for as high as $100,000! Now you’ve really gotta catch ‘em all!
Whether these toys were cute or creepy is a debate that’s yet to be settled, but there’s no debate as to their value among collectors in current times. If you have a pristine condition Furby, or better yet, factory-sealed, it could garner some serious pocket money for you.
The original, sealed 1998 edition regularly goes for upwards of $1,000 on eBay. Rarer versions fetch even more. One Millennium Edition Furby was sold in early 2019 for more than $4,500! But even open-box models can easily fetch $100.
So, if you’ve got a Furby lying around, now’s the time to either reminisce about your childhood or cash them in for your mortgage payments!
5. Winter Flower
If you’ve ever thought roses were overpriced, you obviously haven’t heard of the giant snowdrop. The Galanthus Woronowii, or the Elizabeth Harrison giant snowdrop, is a springtime flower found in the UK and is lauded because of its distinct, gold markings and rarity.
They often fetch £65 per bulb, and in one instance in 2012, a single bulb was sold for £725. Galanthus Woronowii occasionally appears randomly in gardens around the United Kingdom and, seeing as collectors are willing to pay top-dollar, it’s a good excuse to finally go outside.
They may hurt more than childbirth to step on, but did you know some Lego bricks have a higher rate of return than gold? Lego puts out new sets every year and retires older sets every two years. This has resulted in a substantial second-hand market where the prices for retired sets increase significantly.
Full collector sets can also rake up thousands, like the Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon, instances of which have sold for as high as $15,000 at auction.
Huge, assorted Lego collections regularly reach $10,000 and above on eBay too, so your tubs of random bricks and figures could also be worth a pretty penny. But collectors are usually on the hunt for specific missing pieces and are willing to pay unbelievable prices to complete their sets.
For instance, Boba Fett’s legs alone sell for over $200, while the red Darth Vader helmet below sells for over $400. Misprinted pieces and prototypes also list for thousands, so even your faulty Legos can make you a fortune. Definitely worth checking the underside of your foot for!
3. First-Edition Books
After you finish hunting for Gameboys, Furbys and Legos, you should check out your bookshelf. Certain first-edition books are worth a fortune in good condition. For example, the first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is usually worth between $40,000 and $55,000.
It’s the only version that states Joanna Rowling as the author on the copyright page, before she started using her J.K. pen name. Only 500 copies were printed in its first edition, and one copy sold in 2019 for almost $100,000!
Similarly, only 1,500 copies of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit were printed in 1937 and they quickly sold out. A first-edition copy is now worth around $65,000, and one copy - signed by Tolkien to one of his former students - fetched nearly $210,000 at auction in 2015.
And covering American authors, the first editions of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald are worth upwards of $150,000. A first edition copy of this 1925 novel can be identified by a typo on the back of the dust jacket spelling “jay Gatsby” with a lowercase “j”.
First editions of most popular books will fetch a pretty penny, but how can you tell what is and isn’t a first edition? Firstly, check the number line on the first page; the lowest number represents the printing of the book. If a ‘1’ is present in the sequence, that usually indicates you’ve got the first edition.
Often, publishers print “First Edition” or “First Printing” on the copyright page, though this can be unclear at times. It’s worth visiting an expert if you’re uncertain, before boldly declaring yourself a proud owner of a Gatsby Numero Uno.
2. Pyrex Dishes
Pyrex makes super-handy, oven-proof varieties of dishes, jugs and other glassware. Almost everyone has a Pyrex jug or two, but their value extends surprisingly far beyond their usefulness.
Vintage Pyrex dish sets sell for up to $1,800 online, and single, limited-edition prototypes have been listed for as high as $10,000! Collectors, who’ve dubbed themselves Pyrex junkies, seek out dishes made between the 1910s and 1970s. The most valuable of these are the opaque dishes that have floral or geometric designs.
The more common transparent versions aren’t quite as valuable but still fetch a reasonable price as full sets. Still, these dishes could easily be sold for chump change at garage sales by owners unaware of their true value, so it really does pay to be in the know! So, go visit your grandparents and older relatives today, but try to be subtle while you’re rummaging through their kitchen cabinets.
If you can’t find any of the items I’ve mentioned lying around your house, you probably have some old board games. In 2017, a thrifty lady named Laura Niebauer Palmer had the genius idea to turn old board games into her side hustle, and she’s been pretty successful with it.
She begins by researching the demand for replacement game pieces and then purchases those games at thrift stores, rarely for more than a couple of bucks. She then sells the pieces on eBay based on the prices people have bought them for in the past.
Through this super-easy, laidback scheme, she made $250 in six months. Sure, it’s not a fortune, but for tiny, plastic game pieces, that’s a substantial gain! She clearly knows how to play the game, and I bet she’s a master at Monopoly.
1. Super Mario Bros
Since the original game was released in 1985, Super Mario Bros has grown into a household name. And, indeed, many households today contain a copy of at least one Mario game. But owners of the original game for the Nintendo Entertainment System could be sitting on an absolute goomba-goldmine.
A standard, used copy with the original box can fetch between $40 and $600, but a sealed copy is a whole other ballpark. Pristine copies regularly fetch anywhere from $1,000 to $13,000 and occasionally even $25,000, depending on the condition.
But in early 2019, one particular copy sold for an incredible $100,150 at auction, making it the most expensive videogame ever sold.
It was the only existing pre-release copy still sealed with a sticker, as all subsequent copies were sealed using shrink wrap. So of course, it was totally worth the price. If that doesn’t make you want to dig out the old NES, I don’t know what will!
I hope you were amazed at these items you may own that are now worth a fortune. Thanks for reading!