Selling old things: supposedly useless things that are worth a lot

Don’t throw away video tapes, Lego and stuffed animals!

From books and toys to retro technology – some of the items that everyone has lying around might just happen to be a nice investment. Not every piece will make you a millionaire, but a few more euros never hurt. The British online marketplace Onbuy has therefore analyzed which eleven supposedly worthless items are lying dormant in our drawers and cupboards, but could well fetch a lot of money at online auctions. And since there’s an almost manic tidying and sorting out going on these days anyway, it’s worth taking a look at this list:

1. Beanie Babies

On top of the list are Beanie Babies, those cuddly toys of the manufacturer Ty. Special specimens are sold on average for around 2437 euros. The popularity of these big-eyed stuffed animals has soared over the past two decades, leaving more than 73.000 monthly search queries on Google, there is no sign that this will soon come to an end!

2. VHS tapes

In second place come the good old video cassettes with an average price of around 2434 euros. Although production ceased in the mid-2000s, there still seems to be a lot of interest. 8300 Google searches have these relics of technology per month. Special editions, in particular, have the potential to bring in the big bucks – most notably, "Star Wars," Disney or "The Mummy," for example.

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3. Tiffany lamps

Tiffany lamps are real art objects of Art Nouveau – made of colorful lead glass ornaments. Designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany in 1893 – his original lamps cost up to 1.8 million euros these days. But not only the originals may call themselves "Tiffany lamp": Because of Tiffany’s dominating influence on this style, the term is used for any kind of stained glass lampshades – including those not from his pen. With 24.400 monthly searches and an average sales price of 1101 euros, the artistic fakes in Tiffany design are also a lucrative business.

4. First editions

It should come as no surprise that first editions of books sell particularly well. But for how much exactly? According to the results of Onbuy for an average of 667 euros per piece! The best-selling first editions included "James Bond," "Lord of the Flies," and many of the "Harry Potter" books.

5. Sony Walkman

Some people might still remember: Before Apple’s iPods, people listened to their music cassettes with a Walkman – at best a Sony Walkman! Although most people now consume music via online music streaming services, some have probably kept their portable cassette player for nostalgic reasons. Good thing, because it turns out that sometimes it pays to save memories – Sony Walkmen bring an average of 328 euros. With 120.000 monthly searches, this is one of the most searched items on this list.

6. Typewriters

They make the hearts of many enthusiasts, collectors and nostalgics beat faster: typewriters. Historical specimens such as a "Malling Hansen" or rare prototypes are even suitable as serious investments – collectors are happy to spend tens of thousands of euros on them. The rarer, the more expensive! Among the 256.000 monthly searches, however, are sure to find interested parties for newer models, which can be sold for an average of 232 euros.

7. Boxes of cornflakes

Collectors are known to exist for almost everything – even for cornflakes packaging. And there are thousands of brands and special editions. Those from the 1960s, for example, are particularly valuable. No wonder, who keeps the empty box of their breakfast cereal? With 4300 monthly searches and an average selling price of 227 euros, this would be worth considering in the future – especially if there are special editions – for example in "Star Wars" design – again.

8. iPod Classic

The iPhone has long since outstripped the iPod Classic. But Apple fans and collectors will happily spend up to 900 euros for models in perfect condition. Original packaging can even fetch several thousand euros. With 84.000 searches and an average price of 209 euros, Apple’s MP3 player in used condition is in eighth place.

9. Handmade blankets

Quite a few have used the Corona isolation period to learn new things, such as sewing. What better way to use the skills you’ve learned than to sew a blanket and potentially get 189 euros for it? Handmade patchwork quilts are a popular gift for many parents, but who would have thought they would be worth so much and be so sought after?? And with 2600 monthly Google searches, they are becoming increasingly popular.

10. Lego

With 3.300.000 monthly searches, Lego should actually be in first place, but on average the sets only fetch 153 euros, unless you have one of the special variety. "Lego has long been one of the world’s most popular toys, appealing to generations of young and old alike. For a toy that has been around for so long, it’s amazing that the love for it has never waned and large sums of money continue to be spent on it. But we wanted to see exactly how much," says Cas Paton, founder of the online marketplace Onbuy. And this is what came out of the analysis: the five most sought-after Lego sets are the Imperial Star Destroyer from "Star Wars" (around 718 euros), the Millennium Falcon from "Star Wars" (also around 718 euros), the MK II mobile heavy-duty crane from Lego Technic (around 508 euros), the Taj Mahal from Lego Creator (around 331 euros) and the Disney Castle (also around 331 euros). But also special figures can be worth a lot.

11. Furby’s

With 199.000 monthly search queries, the Furby lands in eleventh place. With these stuffed animals from 1998 you can easily earn 112 euros. Especially if the Furby was released in a limited edition or is still in mint condition – as is often the case, the rarer the better.

Tips to make the sale work:

1. Set a price for your item by comparing it to similar offerings:

"Are you not sure how much your item is worth, or are concerned about undervaluing it? Check the listings for items similar to yours to get an approximate figure. In addition, the costs for packaging, delivery and possible sales fees should be taken into account," Paton recommends to novice sellers.

2. Take high-quality photos to entice potential buyers:

"Potential customers want to know exactly what they’re buying, so it’s important to take high-quality photos. Use a neutral background so there are no distractions, make sure the background is well lit. Photos from different angles help buyers make sure the item has no flaws and gives them a picture of what condition it’s in, according to Paton, the second golden rule of selling online.

3. Write an honest and detailed product description:

"It is important to write a good product description. Be sure to include details of the item you are selling, such as model, brand and condition. Don’t forget to include keywords so you can expand your pool of potential buyers," Paton says.

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