Lost Fortunes: 20 Items You Once Trashed That Could’ve Made You Rich!

by Emily Clarkson

Do you have a spring clean every so often and ensure that you’re throwing away the things that you think are useless or that you don’t use? We know that it’s important for our mental health to declutter on items around the house, but how would you feel if you knew you’d thrown away something that was of high-value? We can only hope that you’ve put these valuable things in storage and not in the garbage.


We know that most sheds contain a pile of tools that are either rusted, have no use to us or we don’t think we’ll use. However, believe it or not, the tools you have might be worth a bit more money than you’d originally think. If you’ve got some tools that are ‘classic’, they might be packing a pretty impressive price. For example, a John Deere Wrench sold for $16,500, but only 100 of these were made.

Mason Jars

Mason Jars are actually really popular, and you can find them everywhere, especially during a yard sale. It’s mostly decorators or crafters that will end up purchasing these, but it’s important that you spend time and check the direction of the brand name. This is because, from the years 1900-1910, the mason jar company created upside-down versions of their brand name so it would be able to double up as a dispenser. There aren’t many left, and they could be worth up to $1,000 each.


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You go into a thrift shop, or attend a yard sale, and you’ll find a bunch of vinyl available. Maybe one of your parents or grandparents has a good collection. Whichever it is, vinyl’s are actually quite popular amongst collectors and music fans, and the value of them has gone up. According to Record Collector, there is a rare David Bowie album that is worth approximately $3,800. This price is minimal compared to the first pressing of The Beatles’ White Album which is worth $8,900.

Lunch Boxes

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Lunch boxes tend to have quite short production cycles and this means that it won’t be long before they disappear from the market, never to be seen again. Because of this, they jump up in value and they can really encapsulate pop culture obsessions of their era. AOL have stated that a 1963 Jetsons lunch box is worth as much as $1,650, and a rare Superman lunchbox can be worth up to $16,000.


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There really was nothing more terrifying than lying in bed and your Furby making a random noise in the depths of the darkness of your bedroom. You probably gave this toy away because of this and the fact it was the culprit to most of your nightmares. However, the stuffed doll with moving eyes and beak is one of the biggest hit toys of 1998 and you could gain hundreds or even thousands of dollars.


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Do you have postcards that your parents or grandparents received from family and friends many years ago whilst they were away travelling? Well, this small bit of card might be worth more than you’d think. You will find Deltiologists, which are people that studies and collects postcards, that would be willing to pay hundreds of dollars for rare postcards, ones that are in good condition or that have an interesting message on the back. The oldest known postcard was sold in 2002 for almost $50,000.

Vintage Lamps

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We don’t see many of them around anymore, but you might have one hiding away in your loft from your grandparents. However, if you’ve thrown one away, then you might have really missed out. There are branded vintage lamps, such as Fulper, Handel and Pairpoint which have some incredible prices attached to them. A Handel lamp on eBay was going for almost $1,000 and a Handel leaded slag glass was available for $950.

Perfume Bottles

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We buy perfume for the smell that is inside them, so you might be surprised to know that there are some hand-blown bottles from big names like the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company or New England Glass Company that people like the look of, which can sell for up to $1,000.

Video Games and Game Systems

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If you’ve got a certain vintage game system or games that are knocking around in storage, and they’re in good condition, such as the original Game Boy, then you might be able to earn more than $1,500. If you’ve got a rare video game then you could be expected to earn even more! There is a gold version of the 1990 Nintendo World Championships cartridge that is worth more than $26,000, but there are only 26 copies available. The Atari game for E.T. The Extraterrestrial is worth more than $1,500.

Christmas Ornaments

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You might be someone that goes through your Christmas ornaments every year in order to thin them out or make room for new ones. Or maybe you’ve decided to change the colour scheme, whichever one it is, you’ll be gutted if you’ve thrown some good ones away. Glass ornaments are usually the culprits to be thrown because they can look dirty after a few years being hung on the tree and also from gathering dust being in storage. A collector will pay good money for a good, classic ornament, especially if they are hand-blown German or Italian glass; these can go for hundreds on eBay.

Outdated Computers

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Most outdated computers aren’t very useful to anyone in this day and age, especially with the pace of technology improvements. You’ve probably come across one in the loft and thought that it would be no good for anyone, and just sent it straight to the tip. However, an Apple I computer, which was made in 1976 was sold at auction for $995,000 at auction. There was also a woman who had donated one of these computers to a California recycling centre, and then found out that it was worth approximately $200,000.

VHS Tapes

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Times have moved massively forward since VHS tapes, and in such a short amount of time. We have gone from VHS tapes and recording what was on the TV, to DVDs, then Blurays, and now most of us don’t even remember what they were used for because we spend most of our time on streaming services. The VHS tapes that you might have decided to keep for nostalgic reasons, are probably worth hundreds or thousands. If you’ve got the “Black Diamond Edition” of 101 Dalmatians, then this could be worth $750, and the same edition of The Fox and the Hound is worth approximately $1,495.

Vintage Guitars

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If you were learning to play guitar in school, or your parents took it up to join a band they made in college, and you’ve got the guitars hanging around in your loft, and they’re in good condition then you could be sitting on thousands of dollars.

Old Cereal

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Most of the time, when we’re done with cereal, we throw the boxes away. However, if you’ve still got the classic cereal boxes still hanging around then you could be looking at tens of thousands of dollars on ebay. The holographic imprinted Batman cereal box is worth more than $8,000, and the Fruit Brute Monster is going for $11,500.

Vintage Costume Jewellery

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We might think that jewellery made specifically for costumes is just inexpensive, and not worth much time unless you’re in a fancy dress. There are some brands that are worth more, including Coro, Weiss, Hobe and Eisenberg. It’s definitely worth sticking them on ebay just to double check the pricing.


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We all know someone who has “special” silverware that they only bring out during special occasions. You might come across them and think that you don’t need them anymore, but before you throw them away, you might want to think twice. There are some types of sterling silver flatware from companies such as Gorham and Towle that can give you thousands of dollars on ebay.


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These are really old fashioned pieces of equipment, and you might think that because they’re so old, they might not be able to be used or wanted anymore. Hence why you’ve probably thrown at least one away. However, these vintage products pack quite the punch in terms of value, especially if they are rare. A Royal Quiet De Luxe typewriter is worth $374 and a Lettera 32 Olivettri sold for more than a quarter million dollars at auction.

Coin Banks

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You could get some good money from coin banks, even if they are just used to hold your coins. We’re not just talking about your average piggy bank, though, we’re talking about more unusual ones. There was a coin bank that had mechanical features, and these could be worth tens of thousands of dollars according to the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America.

First Edition Books

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There are some book lovers and collectors out there who would do and pay anything for a first edition book. Most of the time, if we don’t want a book, we end up taking it to the thrift store, never to be seen again. But there are some that are valuable and can be sold on ebay, such as the first edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer going for $92K, as well as the fourth edition of the Book of Mormon which has an asking price of $1 million.

Happy Meal Toys

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McDonalds is known for their happy meal toys, and it’s one of the best adventures a child can have. However, when we go through our children’s toys, they’re usually the most unplayed with and the first to go in the trash. If you have any old Mcdonalds toys, especially in good condition, then you might be looking at a few hundred dollars.

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