On a daily basis, there are plenty of things with notable value we routinely overlook. I’m not talking about an autographed photo of Marilyn Monroe worth $150,000. I’m talking about the less obvious, more typical stuff.
The likelihood of finding a diamond in the rough worth millions is typically low. But that doesn’t mean you’re not unwittingly sitting on your very own gold mine. My advice? Take a look around before you throw away something that could be worth more than meets the eye.
No matter how humble or odd they may seem, everyday objects you no longer want or need may be worth a little more than you think. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, after all. So dig through second-hand artifacts, price those items wisely, and start making a profit today.
Here are 12 unique and underrated things you could sell for some extra cash.
Vintage Road Maps
With virtual maps and GPS now calling the shots, road maps aren’t sold quite like they used to be. As we move into a more and more digitized world, road maps might become obsolete. So I strongly suggest holding onto yours. Not because I fear you’ll get lost without them, but because they may be worth a significant chunk of change.
Old road maps have always been collector’s items. Chances are, they always will be. Crafters and collectors of oil and gas memorabilia love them. And thanks to technological advancements, they have an extra layer of nostalgia folded in.
All old maps come with a price tag. The older the map (and the bolder the graphics) the better they tend to sell. To start your hunt, go to antique stores, yard sales, and the attic. You can also shop online. Many maps range in value from $8 to $20. And if you’re in the market to buy a super old map, good luck snagging a map from the 1500s that’s under $200.
Here are some factors that affect the value of maps, compliments of the Art Association International.
Do you have a stack of old metal license plates? How much are they worth to you? They might be worth more to someone else. Online, license plates are always an easy sell. People use them to build everything from coffee table tops to birdhouses to wall decor. They’re also a collector’s item that tends to go quickly. As with road maps, the older the plate, the better the price.
True collectors are always on the hunt for a rare find. If you have a license plate in good condition and from non-contiguous states (Alaska and Hawaii), consider cashing in. Rare Hawaiin porcelain license plates are being sold for up to $5,000 and $10,000 as we speak.
Believe it or not, people will pay for used false teeth. They’re also an easy item to spot in the wild and flip for a profit. According to MoneyTalkNews, one man bought dentures at a yard sale for $1 back in 2019. Then he sold them on eBay for $75.
Brand new dentures can cost thousands of dollars on average. And they’ll always be one of a kind. So whether someone is a collector of oddities or looking for a bargain, there’s a market for used false teeth.
Read More: 10 Times When Being Thrifty Costs You Money
Antique keys are forever stylish, especially when they’re made out of iron or brass. Some crafters convert them into jewelry, and others create works of art, displaying them in a frame or reimagining them. I like to give them to people as gifts. The more unique the key seems to be, the more money you can likely get for it.
Once upon a time, I was madly in love with this exfoliating coffee scrub. I used it for years, and my skin had never been clearer. Then one day, without warning, I couldn’t find it anywhere. I soon realized it had been discontinued. But that didn’t stop people on eBay from selling straight out of their own supply.
Of course, they jacked up the price from $6 dollars to $20 and so on. So in the end, I moved on. But it’s still nice to know that if I ever want it again, someone is always selling discontinued products. You just have to do a little digging. People stock up on things that will soon be hard to come by, and we all can make a little extra money doing the same.
Today, sift through the things you’re never going to use and consider selling them to someone else. If it’s discontinued, the odds are in your favor.
If you live near the beach, keep your eyes open for sea glass. Surf-tumbled shards are highly sought-after by collectors, jewelry-makers, and crafters. As noted by MoneyTalkNews, red, orange, and amber sea glass often make the prettiest penny, selling for almost $200 on eBay.
No matter how small or gigantic, driftwood remains a hot commodity. Distinctive and versatile, driftwood is often sold as a piece of decor in landscaping, furniture construction, DIY terrariums, and taxidermy projects. If you spot a large piece for sale that’s particularly unique, it might come with the price tag to prove it.
Before you start collecting driftwood, be sure you know the rules of the beach you’re on. Some beaches prohibit taking any natural materials, but others are a little more lenient to those seemingly souvenir shopping.
Not everyone has large pine cones in their yard or region. And if you do, you could potentially make some money selling them. Wander around and pick out the largest ones you can find. Those are generally the easiest to sell.
People will always use them as accent pieces, especially around the holidays. If you’re in a DIY mood, you could even start making wreaths and trying your luck on Etsy.
Maybe your old typewriter is beyond repair and you’re ready to toss it. Not so fast, friend! Be sure that you hold onto those keys and any other salvageable pieces. Obviously, there’s not an endless supply of typewriters out there. Due to rarity, it can be hard to come by the parts and namely, loose keys.
So in a world of slimmer and slimmer pickings, you can make some extra cash with what’s still valuable on your typewriter. Antique manual typewriter keys are often repurposed and turned into handmade jewelry, mosaic pieces, and unique trinkets. And who knows? Maybe someone out there is building a typewriter and looking for those keys right now.
People buy old yearbooks for all sorts of reasons. For instance, people purchase yearbooks from their alma mater, especially if they’re looking to connect with their school’s history, and proudly display it.
Perhaps the most lucrative route, yearbooks featuring the rich and famous are valued highly among celebrity memorabilia collectors, especially if it was signed by a major star. Not to mention, artists looking for vintage photos and old advertisements will never run out of use for other peoples’ yearbooks.
If major celebrity-free, the year and school will ultimately affect the value most.
Read More: 50 Celebrity Throwback Photos
Vintage Post Cards
I love to decorate with vintage images and collect postcards, whether they were originally mine or not. And I’m not the only one who thinks of them as art. Antique stores often have plenty of old family snapshots and antique cards to choose from, and often for a price that’s great for everybody involved in the transaction.
There’s something romantic and special about memories, even when they belong to strangers. Since anything can be a decor accent, there’s a unique market for the stuff you might think only holds sentimental value.
I once found a box of old love letters, postcards, birthday cards, and photographs. They once belonged to an elderly couple and had been abandoned after everything else deemed valuable was salvaged from their house. Looking through their memories was like reading their love story through the decades. As a hopeless romantic, I wanted to keep all of it. But I decided to sell some of it. I quickly learned that the more interesting someone found a photograph or postcard, the more they were willing to pay on the spot.
As you might’ve guessed, the oldest postcards in the best condition go for the most money. As noted by Love to Know, “the oldest known picture postcard sold in 2002 at the London Stamp Exchange auction for just under $50,000 dollars. Posted in 1840, the postcard’s value lay in its significant age, as well as the fact that it was among the earliest cards printed and mailed.”
Obviously, money is worth money. But even modern bills are sometimes worth more than their face value. For instance, if a bill has nifty serial numbers, people will pay more for them than they’re technically worth.
Check your wallet right now. You may very well be carrying around more cash than initially meets the eye.