From Trash to Cash: Surprising Household Items You Didn’t Know Were Valuable

Anyone who has ever confronted the challenge of clearing out the attic or finally going through a parent or grandparent’s home understands the temptation to simply bring everything to a donation center and be done with it. However, a treasure trove might be hidden inside shrink wrap or right out on grandpa’s coffee table. For many appraisers and collectors, certain vintage items left collecting a little dust are worth big money. When we’re opening up old boxes or making an inventory of a family home, there are a few notable trinkets to watch out for.

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Classic Comics

While heroes like Captain America, Black Panther and Wonder Woman have blazed on the big screen within the past several years, the comics that first introduced them to fans have been around for decades. Classic comics can have a generally higher demand that only goes up when those characters are featured in new films or TV series. In fact, copies of the 1970s-era run of Black Panther written and illustrated by co-creator Jack Kirby, have fetched upwards of $50 per issue. If you have old comics in great condition featuring classic characters, you might be set to make a mint.

Milk Glass Easter Eggs

In the Victorian era, these gorgeous, generally hand-painted blown glass eggs were a common gift for ladies of great taste and available aplenty in many a general store. If one of these beauties ended up handed down from great-grandmother to great-granddaughter, all the way down to you, you might be able to hatch some quick cash. Milk glass easter eggs in good shape can go for hundreds of dollars.  

Pyrex Dishware

These bold, funky-colored casserole dishes, mixing bowls, and chip n’ dip sets were staples of grandma’s kitchen — and now, her old hotdish containers can be a hot commodity among collectors. Vintage Pyrex is more popular, and lucrative, when it comes in rare patterns, such as 1956’s Pink Daisy, 1957’s Butterprint or even 1983’s Colonial Mist.


If our parents were big concertgoers in their youth, there might be a pretty penny in their old poster collection. Posters from famous (or infamous) concerts and famous artists can be quite lucrative — with a poster from a 1966 Beatles concert netting $137,500 at Heritage Auction.

Even if our families were more movie fans, there’s still opportunities to cash in on vintage posters for beloved classic films. According to Mearto, an organization providing online appraisals of fine art, antiques and collectibles, posters for 1920s and 30s-era horror movies are popular among collectors, meaning that there’s green in black-and-white.

Perfume Bottles

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Perfume bottles hold some of the most immaculately crafted scents, but they can also be works of beauty in their own right. While perfume aficionados flock to find their favorite fragrances, bottles have their own passionate collectors who will pay top dollar for rare finds. Art Nouveau pieces in good condition are popular, especially intricate or embellished pieces made from blown glass or crystal.

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This article originally appeared on From Trash to Cash: Surprising Household Items You Didn’t Know Were Valuable

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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