14 Items In Your Basement That Can Be Worth A Lot

It’s time to clear out the clutter. You might want to double-check this list before throwing things out.

  • Board games: Vintage board games (like the one above) and handheld video games are popular. For example, one of 5,000 copies of a 1933 edition of Monopoly Atlantic City, went for $146,500.
  • Gold jewelry: Your local pawnshop might want to buy it.
  • Old trunks. French-made trunks might sell for $2,000, while an average one produced in America might go for a couple hundred.
  • Boomboxes. On eBay they could get a couple hundred. But if that old boombox in your basement is a Sanyo M-X920K, you might be able to get a couple thousand for it.
  • Furniture. Real antique furniture can fetch good money. Look for Chippendale to retro Ikea.
  • Vintage cookbooks. Even the most widely used cookbooks from the 1950s and 1960s can command high prices. Good condition copies of Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book are highly prized (prices range from $10 to $450 on AbeBooks).
  •  Postcards. This one surprised me. I am a postcard collector and vintage ones are the most valuable.
  • Musical instruments. If they are in good condition, you might be surprised how much you can get.
  • Old lamps. Even if they don’t work, they can be worth some money. Keep an eye out for manufacturing labels from names like Tiffany, Steuben, Stickley, Louis Poulsen, and Stiffel.
  • Vinyl records. Digital music has taken over but many people appreciate old-school records.
  •  Vintage cameras. I have my grandfather’s old camera. It could pay to check out the value of old cameras.
  • Duck decoys. This was an odd one to me. Vintage duck decoys in pristine condition today can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Coins: Rare coins can be worth money, like the Flowing Hair Silver/Copper Dollar 1794/95, which was auctioned for $10 million. And sometimes circulated coins are worth way more than face value.
  • Glass bottles. Again, antique items fetch more money. Look for bottles in purple or gold, perfume bottles, etc.

Join the conversation
3 of 31 comments
  • Susan Susan on Jul 23, 2022

    How do you get the mildew smell out of old postcards?

    • Michael Douglas Michael Douglas on May 15, 2023

      I read to get the old smell out of books, put them in a plastic arrangement and then put them in your freezer. I wonder if that would work for postcards.

  • Patriciagaumer Patriciagaumer on Jul 29, 2022

    There is a product called Diaper Dust, saw it on Shark tank. It is for diaper pails but I use it in my garbage can or on anything you want to deodorize. It is charcoal & a powder. No scent but it works great. It is a black color but I have not found it to stain.