10 Collectible Antiques That Could Earn You Some Extra Money

- by Isla Williams

If you need to get your hands on some fast cash, a rummage through your belongings may turn up some antique or collectible items that will bring funds in quickly – provided you know what you’re looking for.

In this article, we’ll help you separate the treasure from the trash, locating hidden gems around your home that might fetch surprisingly big sums when sold to the right buyer.

Have you got collectible antiques to sell? - Cashfloat

Antique collectibles

What we’ll cover:
  • The kind of things that could be worth money in your home
  • How to find out if you unknowingly possess a valuable item
  • Reasons why people spend money on second-hand items
  • How you can get your items valued
  • Where to sell antique or vintage collectible items
  • Where to store your valuable items

What are antiques and collectibles?

You may be very surprised at the number of everyday objects lying around your home that could be worth a substantial amount of money – items that you’d never considered to be valuable before.

Who would have thought that typical hobbyist collector’s or household items like stamps, coins, BT phone cards, or posters could become as popular and as valuable as antique furniture or a rare vinyl album? Or that an ugly 70’s painting tossed in the loft, or an old video console with a few games, could now be worth a fortune?

From personal belongings to family heirlooms, to clutter lying around your home or stuffed in a box in the attic or the garage, everyday items can be worth bigger sums of money than you realise. Even more so with items that are rare or in limited supply.

Not only are new items becoming valuable collectibles as time passes, but classic collector’s items are appreciating in value. You could sell these valuable items for cash or you could use them as collateral if you want to take out a secured £600 loan from a pawn shop.

Are people really prepared to pay for items I don’t want?

Surprisingly – yes. There’s a buyer for every item, if you know that to sell, and where to sell it. 

Some things you probably used to use, but now don’t think much of, are now rare collectible items, and you’ll be amazed how much people are prepared to pay for them – especially those that provide a link to their childhood or happier times in the past. These could be toys, favourite video cassettes, or one of the first gadgets they ever owned, items that invoke happy feelings that connect them to a particular time and place. 

Other people buy things that link them to loved ones or family members. Many people will buy collectibles that brought them a lot of joy as children and pay hundreds of pounds to see them restored to their former glory. There are even antique and vintage collectible dealers who buy these things to sell on to other people.

Here are 10 examples of common items in the homes or everyday people like you that often turn out to be very valuable indeed!

  1. Coins
  2. It’s true what they say, money makes money. Coins have always been a favourite collector’s item. Don’t worry if you do not possess a fine coin collection handed down to you as a family heirloom. Modern coins, that you may have in the form of pocket change, can be worth a lot of money. It is time to check any coin collecting vessels that you and your family may have in the home for treasure hidden in plain sight.

    The Royal Mint occasionally makes errors on minted coins and it can be some time before these errors are found and corrected. Rare coins with errors on them can be worth a lot more than their actual monetary value. Your old jar of coppers might have a valuable ‘error coin’. One good example of a valuable error coin is the 1983 ‘new pence’ coin. These coins can be worth hundreds of pounds.

    Recently, rare 50p coins have been changing hands for hundreds of pounds. Kew Gardens, Olympic Games and EC commemorative 50p’s, 20p pieces without a date on them and heaps of other valuable coins can be worth money.

  3. Vinyl records
  4. Vinyl records could be amongst the most valuable things in your home. Most of us got rid of our vinyl record collections and embraced new technology back in the 80s when CD’s became the way to listen to music. Today vinyl records are making a huge comeback. Many performing artists now release their new albums on vinyl as well as digitally.

    The most valuable vinyl records are changing hands for astronomical amounts of money. You can check online lists for some of the most popular. The market for vinyl records changes all the time and it’s not just the kind of records you’d expect to be worth a lot that are. For example, records from musicals can be worth money.

    On top of that, it’s not just the records that are popular now as well. The family record player could be worth a fortune to somebody who wants to play their vinyl record on your particular record player.

    Did you know that Ringo Star’s personal copy of the “White Album” sold for $790,000 in December 2015?

  5. Vintage toys
  6. Check your home for valuable, vintage toys. Vintage toys are usually sold for huge profits when they’re boxed and in good condition. Even better if they’re unused. That said, much loved used ones are still sought after and can fetch a good price as well. Lego sets are especially popular with some selling for a few times their original buying price. 

    Toy cars are another popular collector’s item, especially Hot Wheels and Tonka toys. Porcelain collectible dolls, especially early American ones, can command high prices as well as Sindy, Barbie dolls and Star Wars toys, whatever their condition.

  7. Tea and dining sets
  8. Tea and dining sets could also be another valuable item that you possess in your home. Family crockery is usually kept unused and passed down from generation to generation. Some crockery sets become a collectible antique, which are worth a surprising amount of money. It is important that there is no damage and that the set is complete.

    These items are a classic example of something that may be useless to you and that is left packed away in a box in the attic, but could be worth money.

  9. Ceramics and silverware
  10. Valuable silverware is usually hallmarked allowing you to see the maker, age and place of manufacture. Although most silverware items are not particularly popular at the moment, some are. Silver can also be sold for its value in weight to bring in a few extra pounds.

    Ceramics of any value also usually have a clear stamp on the base that allows you to do online research to find out when and where they were made and what kind of value they have. Royal Dalton, Royal Worcester and Staffordshire potteries are all worth looking out for.

  11. Furniture and light fittings
  12. It’s not just collectible antiques from previous centuries that are valuable. With Art Deco items becoming hugely popular in home design, an old table or light fitting from the 20’s or 30’s could be quite valuable without you realising it. Old Ikea furniture from the 70’s is selling for up to ten times the price paid for it when it was originally purchased. Many of these items were not popular at the time that they were manufactured which led to the line being dropped and not as many being made, which makes them rare and sought after today.

  13. Books and comics
  14. Old comics that were originally bought for a few pence can be worth tens of thousands of pounds. Millions, in fact, in the case of the 1st edition Superman comics. The first comic to feature Superman sold for £3.2 million on eBay in 2014 (10 Rare Comic Books That Are Worth a Fortune | Mental Floss).

    The comics that are worth huge sums of money are often American ones where a new hero or villain was introduced, especially when those heroes or villains are still famous in today’s action films. That said, British comic books can also be worth money. If you happen to have a first edition of The Dandy it could be worth £5,000. It could be worth £20,000 if you’ve still got the whistle that came with it.

    It is not just collectible comics that could earn you some money, some childhood books that you may have including The Wind in the Willows, Charlotte’s Web and The Secret Garden are all highly collectable. 

    Usually, it is early and rare editions, or signed copies which are worth lots of money. Harry Potter books can command large sums of money and do not necessarily have to be in pristine condition. Savethestudent is a great site to help you work out how much you can earn from your old items.

  15. Electronics
  16. Electronics can be highly sought after rare items. Some of the first gaming consoles are selling online for thousands of pounds and retro Walkman cassette players are exchanging hands for hundreds. Old mobile phones are all worth money, especially some of the earlier models and so are old computers.

    Although they were only released in 2001, the first iPods or even just early generation ones, are one of the most wanted vintage items in 2021 and can be worth several hundreds of pounds. Some, usually unopened ones in their original packaging or unusually coloured ones have sold for many thousands.

    These old electronics can all make a lot of money!
    Click on the ? to discover the items and their prices!
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    These old electronics can all make a lot of money!
    Click on the ? to discover the items and their prices!
    old electronics -cashfloat
    old electronics -cashfloat
    old electronics -cashfloat
    old electronics -cashfloat
    old electronics -cashfloat
  17. Clothing and accessories
  18. Clothing and accessories can be very valuable. Stop before you take a bag of clothes to the charity shop and take a closer look at what you are throwing away. Vintage clothing left in attics from the 60’s and 70’s can be worth a fortune. Even more modern designer items can be worth more now than what you paid for them. It is not only the famous designers who have produced valuable clothes. 

    Also the lesser known designers are becoming more popular now than when they first produced their ranges. You can check online to see what is currently selling.

  19. Paintings and drawings
  20. Maybe paintings and drawings that you have could be surprisingly valuable. Cheap prints that were available for sale in Boots in the 70’s, such as The Chinese Girl, can now sell online for over £200. Some of these paintings still adorn walls in sitting rooms across the UK or are hidden away in attics.

    Paintings and drawings, by lesser known artists whose works are becoming popular today, may be hanging in your home. Some can be auctioned and sold for a good sum of money. You could be extremely lucky and find a rare antique or a sought after collectible painting that could make you a fortune.

    Did you know that almost two in five British people own collectible antiques? They may also own vintage collectible treasures. Unfortunately, most people are just unaware of the fact.

Here is how to get a valuation:

If you suspect that you have found something of value in your home, the quickest way to find out if it does have any value is to check auction sites such as eBay and see how much similar items are selling for. It’s wise not to just trust eBay, though.

Once you have established that your item is saleable, you may want to seek out a more accurate valuation from an expert. There are plenty of appraisers online. They specialise in giving advice on how to store and get the best price for your particular item. It is worth seeking out advice before putting it on eBay or another site and not receiving its true worth.

You can find a reputable collectible antiques dealer through the online database of The British Antique Dealers Association. For more recent vintage collector’s items there are numerous dealerships and companies available. Remember to shop around and get your item valued by a few different people.

You can also contact auction houses for appraisals or watch out for free appraisal days in your area and then take your item and have it valued. You could even appear on the antiques roadshow.

Alternatively, there are numerous websites that will give you an online evaluation. For online appraisals, you usually send in photographs and then they will give you a value without actually seeing the item. This saves you a lot of money compared to having to drive to and then spend a day out at an auction house.

What to do while you’re waiting for a valuation, but need funds fast

Often, people start rummaging through their belongings for items to sell when they need some quick cash to tide them over in an emergency. If you’ve been lucky enough to find some saleable items in your home, and are waiting for a precise valuation, or you’ve already received a valuation and are now waiting for your items to sell on an auction site like eBay, accessing a payday loan through a direct provider like Cash Float could be a lifesaver.

At Cashfloat, we help people who may have struggled to borrow money in the past due to an imperfect credit rating, providing small, unsecured loans of up to £1,000 – often known as payday loans – that are lent at a higher than normal rate of interest, over a very short period.

If you pass our simple affordability checks, you will have fast access to the sum you need, and will pay back both the principal and the interest in manageable monthly repayments, usually on your payday to keep it simple and easy to manage your debt.

This type of loan is a great way of bridging a gap when you know that funds are on the way – such as while you’re waiting to sell some antique items you’ve had valued for a certain amount. While a payday loan certainly won’t solve long term financial problems, a payday loan from Cashfloat can help you manage short term cash flow issues, and help you avoid getting into further debt. 

Our entire application process is purely online, and only takes a couple of minutes. You’ll receive an instant decision, and if you’re approved, the money will be in your account within one hour.

What can we summarise about collectible antiques?

The most important lesson to be learned is that before you declutter your home and sell off objects that may be worth some money, it’s a good idea to check out their value and find out if you could make some extra cash. People earn a living from trawling car boot sales. Unsuspecting sellers give away hundreds of pounds worth of merchandise for next to nothing. Things that you may not have considered to be of any value can be very collectable if you can find the right buyer.

You might want to be aware, if you sell antiques worth over £6,000 or more there is special tax to pay. Find out more on gov.uk

FAQs about buying and selling antiques

Before buying or selling antiques, it’s important to make yourself knowledgeable about the subject and get answers to all of your questions. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.

Where should valuable items be stored?

If you discover valuable items at home and decide that you don’t want to sell them at the present time, then you will have to think about how you plan to store them. If you intend to keep them in your home, but do not want to display them, then you may want to invest in a home safe that will keep them secure. It is advisable to buy a reliable AIS Approved safe and to have it fitted by a professional. You may also want to think about fitting a burglar alarm as they are a good deterrent. Did you know that 60% of burglars admitted to avoiding homes with alarms in a recent survey? The last thing you want to do is apply for is a bad credit loan if your precious antiques get stolen.

Do I need to let my home insurance company know if I buy antiques?

Yes. You will need to let your home insurance company know and list any valuable items otherwise they may not be covered by your house insurance. Safety deposit boxes or renting secure storage from a large company is another option that you can look into, but be aware that their individual policies regarding levels of security and prices can vary significantly.

What are the best antiques to buy?

Depending on your budget, there are many antique items that you can buy. It is best to buy something which is not too fragile and won’t break easily. The antiques which are worth the most money, are generally the antiques which come from earlier centuries. You can also keep your eye on more modern items as well, because some modern collectible items are also worth a lot of money.

How can I identify antique dolls?

To find out if your doll is antique, look for the Maker’s mark. Doll manufacturer marks are usually found on the back of the neck or head or at the bottom of the foot. Use this number when conferring with an appraiser.

How old does an item have to be to be considered antique?

100 years old. Anything 100 years old, or older, and in its original condition is considered to be an antique by most antique dealers. Items that are old but not as old as 100 years are called vintage.

What antique dealers are there near me?

On sellingantiques.co.uk, you can get a list of over 450 antique dealers in the UK. You can sort the list by your county and find a dealer near you.

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About The Author
Isla Williams
Isla found her calling in writing early, with her first article published at age 9. An accountant by training, Isla now devotes her time to her true passion.
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