- Various items you've had in your house for years may be worth a lot more than you think.
- Children's toys like action figures, baseball cards, and McDonald's Happy Meal toys could be worth thousands of dollars.
- Similarly, silverware, jewelry, and vintage technology could put more money in your pocket.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
What's old isn't always new again, but your treasures from years past might make you wealthier.
From books and vinyl records to silverware and porcelain vases, some items lying around your house may make you a pretty penny. Not every item will make you a millionaire, but an extra thousand bucks (or 10) never hurt anyone.
Here are 16 things that have probably been accumulating dust in your house that could turn a serious profit.
"Harry Potter" books that have been on your bookshelf for decades could be worth something today.
If you still own the hardcover first editions of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," then you should check to see if it contains the print line "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1." This edition of the book could be worth up to $55,000.
The American versions of the series could also be worth something. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" can be sold up to $6,500 if it has the print line "1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 8 9/9 0/0 01 02" located on the copyright page.
You could sell old McDonald's Happy Meal toys for over $300.
Although Happy Meals are cheap, the toys that come with them may be worth a whole lot more. If you have a collection of Happy Meal sets like TY Teenie Beanie Babies, Furbys, and Halloween Buckets, then you might be able to sell them for a profit. For example, "Inspector Gadget" from 1995 could earn you $350. However, not all of the toys are worth that much. The Changeables toy set is worth $20 to $140.
Rare models of Hot Wheels toys have sold for $3,500 in the past.
The rarest Hot Wheels car is the Collector Number 271 from the 1990s and is said to be worth $3,500. Unfortunately, only seven have been authenticated.
Rare stamps could make you a millionaire.
Stamps are relatively cheap to purchase, but super rare ones could be worth a whole lot today. In fact, an Inverted Jenny stamp form World War I sold in 2016 for $1,351,250. Even if you don't have an extremely rare stamp lying around your house, you might be in possession of one that is somewhat valuable. Caricaturist Al Hirschfeld stamps from the late 1990s, for example, are being sold for more than $100 online.
Vintage Apple computers could be worth up to $355,000.
Old computers may be bulky and obsolete, but don't toss them to the curb just yet — especially if you have an original Apple. An Apple 1, circa 1976, is one of the most valuable computers sought by collectors. That particular model sold for $355,000 at Christie's in 2017.
It's all downhill from there, financially speaking. Later models, such as the Apple II and III, are priced in the $1,000-$2,500 range, according to tech site TurboFuture.
A vintage cereal box can be worth hundreds of dollars.
Marsha Dixey, consignment director at Heritage Auctions, said that the cereal box craze began about 20 years ago with Wheaties when the General Mills brand launched sports-themed collectible boxes.
"I've seen things all the way back to the 1910s, Kellogg's early boxes," Dixey told Insider.
On eBay, a set of three Dallas Cowboys Wheaties boxes are going for $119.
Some first-edition books sell for $1 million.
First-edition books can yield quite the value when putting them up for sale. In fact, eBay is filled with first-edition prints that are listed for mind-blowing values. For example, a 1939 edition of Marian & Baer's "Pandora Box" is currently listed for $250,000. Napoleon Hills' complete set of "The Law of Success" is being auctioned at a whopping $1,550,000.
Vintage musical instruments that are hard to find can be worth up to $400,000.
According to a 2011 list from Vintage Guitar magazine, one of the rarest instruments is the Space Age chic 1958-59 Gibson Explorer, valued at $250,000 to $310,000. A 1936-42 Martin D-45 is an even greater find. This steel-stringed acoustic model could be worth between $250,000 and $400,000.
Comic books from the 1930s to 1950s are valued at over $1 million.
The market for comic books remains strong, bolstered by the popularity of movie adaptions of superhero stories. The most valuable comics are those from the "Golden Age" of American comics, which spans from the late 1930s to 1950. For instance, the New York Daily News reported that the 1939 issue of D.C.'s "Detective Comics" that introduces Batman is now worth a whopping $1.38 million.
Prices, however, can vary greatly. Comics Price Guide can help you figure out what your editions are worth.
Similarly, some action figures are worth a great deal of money today.
All things '80s are also a hit on the collectibles market. Action figures and playsets from the series "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" are among the most valuable. The Eternia playset circa 1986 currently goes for just under $7,300 on eBay.
Some Beanie Babies from '90s are actually worth a pretty penny.
If you lived through the '90s, you probably have a cache of Ty Beanie Babies somewhere in your home (unless you've already cashed in on the plush toys). According to an eBay buying guide, some of the most profitable plushes include Peanut the Royal Blue Elephant ($1,500-$5,000), the Victorian-style Old Face Teddy Bear ($2,000), and Chef Robuchon ($7,353.51), a bear dressed like the Michelin-starred French chef Joël Robuchon.
That said, most Beanie Babies aren't actually worth much.
Baseball card values vary by condition and rarity.
"Boys are always going to be interested in [baseball] cards," Dixey told Insider, because they remind people of happy memories, like the first baseball game they attended with their dad.
At Heritage Auctions, a rare Mickey Mantle card from 1952 went for over $400,000.
In the jewelry market, designer pieces are more likely to be lucrative than costume fare.
Adam Zimmerman of Syl-Lee Antiques described, for instance, how a vintage bracelet from the French luxury brand Van Cleef & Arpels, with the company's "VCA" maker's mark intact, could be worth between $100,000 and $110,000. Depending on their size and precious metal composition, these bracelets retail for as little as $1,300 for the "Sweet Alhambra butterfly bracelet" (made of yellow gold and mother-of-pearl) and upwards of $360,000 for the "Perlée cuff bracelets with diamonds, medium model," which is comprised of white gold and diamonds.
If you're not lucky enough to find antique coins worth a million dollars, you can still cash in some pocket change.
According to Zimmerman, quarters, dimes, half-dollars, and silver dollars minted before 1964 are 90% silver. Depending on denomination and year issued, your coin could be worth between $0.93 and $82.20 in melted silver. On average, a silver dime is worth just over $1, while a silver quarter will get you about $3.
In recent years, the market for Asian decorative works, like Chinese vases made of porcelain or jade, has boomed.
"With Chinese antiques, you want it to be at least 100 years old," Zimmerman told Insider. "1920, 1915 is really the cut-off. If you have something that more often than not is from 50, 60 years ago and it's Chinese, it's probably not worth much."
True to his statement, an eBay search for Chinese porcelain vases reveals that bidding prices range from as little as $10 to as much as $1,290,000.
Vintage silverware lying around your house could be worth thousands of dollars.
Silverware can be hit-or-miss, but a haul from a famous designer like Tiffany or Georg Jensen could be worth your while, especially if it's older and you have a complete set. A 84-piece Tiffany set from 1905 is listed at $$4,975 on eBay, while a silver flatware service (297 ounces of weighable silver) produced by the company in 1927 sold at Christie's for the larger sum of $17,500 in 2011.
As the first American manufacturer to make products with British-grade (92%) silver — which would later become the US sterling standard — Tiffany has remained a strong seller on the antique market.
Sports memorabilia, like specific players' jerseys, could turn a large profit.
A jersey that Jackie Robinson wore in 1947 during his rookie season on the Brooklyn Dodgers sold at Heritage Auctions for over $2 million dollars.
Furniture from the mid-century design period, which spans roughly from 1933 to 1965, can be worth a lot of money.
"I do see a rise in contemporary furniture," Dixey said. "It's IKEA-like, but at the same time it's slightly better made and does carry value, especially by the famous contemporary makers."
Pieces by well-known designers are in demand. On eBay, a 1960's Safari Sofa by Archizoom for Poltronova is going for $60,000.
Certain sneakers in the back of your closet may put more cash in your wallet.
Not just any old pair will bring home the bucks. The rare, auto-lacing Nike Mag sneakers — aka the sleek sneaks made famous in the "Back to the Future" trilogy — have gone for $30,000 to $60,000 on eBay, according to Sole Collector. In 2016, sneaker enthusiasts had to enter a charity raffle sponsored by the Michael J. Fox foundation for a chance to snag these futuristic shoes.
You could also make a profit on Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars (if you have some from the '50s or '60s, that is). On eBay, the OG gym shoes are priced at about $100 to $1,000.