As a long-time collector and reseller, I am constantly looking for “sleeping items” – ordinary household products that bring unusual prices to the resale market.
While other gatherers are busy finding this one great rating, I like to focus on humble items that have a quiet but fanatical fan base.
Take a look at your home. Does each drawer turn into a trash can? Does your guest room look like a “Storage Wars” commercial? Why not break down and make a few extra dollars doing so?
Although eBay is my personal online sales site, Etsy works just as well. It no longer applies exclusively to handmade products. For larger pieces that would be difficult to send, consider Facebook Marketplace oz Craigslist.
Here are some surprising household items that you can sell for quick money.
1. Tips for lamps
The end pieces are often neglected threaded parts that attach the sunshade to the harp of the lamp.
Plain metal caps are ten cents, but decorative finishes made of brass, glass, crystal and porcelain are always very popular in my online resale business. In fact, I often buy old lamps for a dollar or two just for finishes.
If you have some decomposed lamps stored in your basement or garage, take a look at the hardware.
Antique linings usually fetch higher prices. Milk glass jars from the 1930s can cost from $ 30 to $ 50. But there is also a demand for modern designs. In 2019, I sold a pair of modern brass pineapples on eBay for $ 32.
2. Swing-A-Way can openers
Swing-A-Way has been producing the classic hand can opener for decades. Although the style did not change much, production moved abroad.
Older models from the 1960s and 1970s have an all-steel construction, have rubberized handles in a variety of colors, and are clearly marked “Made in the USA”.
Customers love older Swing-A-Ways because they are built like tanks and will last a lifetime. If you need to clean up a little clutter in the kitchen, don’t ignore this icon of practical and effective design.
Rubber handles in bright colors such as red, blue and green are best sold. I saw an antique Swing-A-Way with royal blue rubber handles bring in $ 24.99 on eBay.
3. Ice cream dots
An ice cream scoop is similar to an ice cream scoop, but it’s more flat – imagine a hybrid of a scoop and a scoop.
The best blades were made by Vernco and were made of heavy stainless steel with rosewood or walnut handles.
Again, the simple design and amazing workmanship of these gadgets continue to attract buyers who are willing to pay $ 15 to $ 20 for a shovel in excellent condition. Who needs ice cream at such sweet prices?
4. Vintage box cutters
There is a collectible market for everything – even for vintage box cutters. And as with most other collectibles, brand, model, and rarity are everything.
Check out your workshop or garage for useful knives manufactured in the U.S. by Stanley Tools. The 199 and 299 models are especially popular.
I saw on eBay that the Model 299 with extra blades sold for $ 35.99. Who knew that such modest items could fetch such beautiful prices?
5. Glass thermometers
Glass oral thermometers, relied on by older generations, have largely replaced digital versions. But there is still a strong – I dare say “feverish” – market for old-fashioned mercury in glass models.
All brands sell well with their simple battery-free operation. But check the thermometers of the three most popular brands in your medicine cabinet:
- BD (Becton, Dickinson and Co.)
I saw one antique BD thermometer with a protective case bring in $ 29.99 on eBay.
6. Antique canning jars
A few generations ago, canning vegetables, fruits and meat was part of everyday life. Canned glass jars made by Kerr, Ball, Mason, and Putnam were practical items to help families store food safely.
Today, these household products are in high demand due to their rarity and simple beauty.
Buyers prefer jars that retain the original zinc or glass lids and will pay a premium for unusual colors such as lime green, amber, purple and blue.
I saw on eBay that the blue ball glass no. 4 half pint sale for $ 134.99, model no. The 333 amber glass made by Putnam, however, reached $ 160. A lesson? Sometimes the simplest items are the most valuable.
7. Vintage Polaroid cameras and film
Almost everyone has a box filled with outdated technology. And if you’re old enough, yours can include a Polaroid camera or two.
Although most models resell for a modest $ 5 to $ 10, there are a few exceptions:
- The Polaroid SX-70 is wildly collectible and can fetch $ 100 to $ 300 – or more if you have an original leather travel bag.
- The Polaroid SLR 680 – which has a sonar distance and an autofocus lens – typically sells for $ 250 to $ 300.
Do you have some unused movie packages 668 and 669? Don’t throw them away! A single package of color film can cost $ 20 to $ 30 on eBay.
8. Kirby vacuum cleaners
I always joke that there is more metal Kirby’s vacuum like most new cars. But this durable construction is part of the reason why Kirby Co. it has been around for over 100 years.
Compared to other popular vacuum cleaners, Kirby models are a bit cumbersome, and their many attachments can be intimidating. Nevertheless, antique models retain their value. The Kirby G3, G4 and G5, made in the 1990s, can bring in $ 150 to $ 250 online.
If you have an old Kirby tucked away in the hallway, it may be time to drag him out and cash in.
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