FinanceCould You Have Hidden Cash in Your Attic?

Could You Have Hidden Cash in Your Attic?

Thousands of homeowners have attics, garages, and old garden sheds stuffed with boxes and possessions – many of which remain collecting dust for years at a time. Perhaps you have inherited some items and never gotten around to sorting through them or have a few miscellaneous belongings you don’t ever seem to use.

Wonga is encouraging every household to take a look through their storage spaces, with seemingly low-value items like vintage toys, collectables and crockery fetching significant cash amounts at auction and through online marketplaces.

Popular figures from the 80s like He-Man can achieve remarkable values in the modern market, with other brands and series like Star Wars, Transformers, and Thundercat becoming lucrative collector’s items that command a price premium.

Most Valuable Items Found in Attic Storage

As inspiration, the below case studies explore some of the most valuable possessions people have discovered in a forgotten corner of their attics – some of which fetch life-changing sums.

  • In the US, a man in Long Island found a six-foot promotional poster for the 1931 movie release Frankenstein. It sold at auction for $358,500 in Dallas.
  • In Ireland, a farm owner discovered an old rusty sword in a boarded-up barn, which had been left there for 50 years. He later found it was a 2,600-year-old Bronze Age sword with an inestimable value, which is now on display in a museum.
  • One of the best attic finds in the UK was a violin, found in 2016 – it had been passed down through generations but was thought to be worthless. It turned out to be the violin Wallace Hartley played as the Titanic sank, recovered from the sea by one of the recovery workers, and was sold for $1.7 million in 2013.
  • Demonstrating a huge value appreciation in collectable toys and magazines, a man clearing an elderly relative’s home in Virginia found a stack of old comics in the basement. They were first issues of Batman and Superman comics from the 1930s and sold for over $3.5 million.

While few of us will be lucky enough to stumble across such amazing finds, it remains well worth looking through storage boxes and possessions which may have grown substantially in value since they were last in use!

Newsweek has published a useful short-list of some of the things you may find that could be worth a reasonable value, from Pokémon cards to Pyrex cookware and first edition books.

How to Check if an Old Item in Your Attic is Valuable

One of the easiest ways to check whether something has become a collector’s item is to look online and compare similar listings – marketplaces like eBay Collectables are a good place to start, but be wary of using this information as your sole reference point.

Instead, contact a local auction house or specialist if you believe an item may hold significant value to ensure you have an independent opinion. Experts in vintage clothing, 80s toys or even glass Christmas tree decorations may even be able to help you trace the provenance of an item, which can attract an better price.

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