13 Items In Your Basement That Could Be Worth Thousands

It’s time for spring cleaning, which means it’s also time to sift through all the random stuff in your basement to hunt for valuable treasures.

You really never know which of your old gadgets could be worth some money. Luckily, the on-demand home services app Handy did a little digging for us. They asked Bonhams auction house to list a few items that may be collecting dust in your basement that could be worth hundreds or even thousands. We added a few of our favorites to the list, too.

Are you a little more excited about spring cleaning now?

1. Old Apple Computers

Whatever you do, don’t throw away your old Apple computers—they could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. A woman in the Bay Area was cleaning out the garage after her husband died and dropped off an unwanted Apple I computer to a recycling company. The company turned around and sold the computer at auction for $200,000!

The types of Apple computers that are the most valuable are Apple I and Apple II computers. The Apple I was designed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in 1976 and originally sold for $666.66. Bonhams recently auctioned off an Apple I computer motherboard for $905,000, so hang on to these babies if you’ve got one.

Apple II computers are less valuable, but can still earn you a chunk of change—one sold on eBay recently for $6,100.

2. White PlayStation 2

The so-called “Snow White” version of the PlayStation 2 comes with a matching controller. What sets this model apart from standard white is that it has a glossy, ceramic-looking paint scheme.

This one you might overlook, since there are plenty of standard white PlayStations floating around. But keep an eye out—one was recently listed on eBay for $6,800.

3. Rare Coins

If you stumble across some pennies during your spring cleaning, hold off before you take them to the bank.

Some pennies, made in 1943, were made of copper, even after the United States stopped producing copper coins. These copper pennies could bring in $85,000!

A rare bronze penny mistakenly made at the Denver Mint sold for $1.7 million in 2010.

4. Portable Radios

A 1924 Zenith Companion portable radio sold on eBay for $12,000 in 2014. Only 1,000 of these portable radios were manufactured, according to Radio Museum, but if you happen to be lucky enough to find one in your attic, don’t toss it—sell it instead.

5. Super Old TVs

By super old, we mean like seriously super old. Collectors are looking for mirror-lid televisions made in the 1930s, when the devices were first invented.

A 1939 RCA TRK-12 sold for $5,900 at a 2009 Bonhams Auction.

Other TVs, include those made by the John Logie Baird LTd. company, are also valuable.

6. The First Personal Computer

The Kenbak-1 computer is largely viewed as the world’s first personal computer and they’re super rare—just 50 were made.

But, if you’re lucky enough to find out in your storage unit, you could cash in—one sold for $31,250 at a Bonhams auction in 2015!

7. Old Happy Meal Stuff

Yep, you read that right. If you happened to hang onto your old Happy Meal toys from McDonalds, you could bring in some extra money this month.

A 1980s pen set sold on eBay for $99 and several totes full of vintage Happy Meal toys sold for $500.

8. Physicist Memorabilia

This one is super random, but apparently anything related to physicist Richard Feynman will sell for a fortune. He won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1965 and helped develop the atomic bomb during World War II.

Bonhams says a tape-recorded interview and a signed copy of Feynman’s autobiography sold for $37,500. Even notes taken by students in his college classes are said to be valuable.

9. Telegraph Keys

A telegraph key was used to transmit Morse code. Bonhams has one from 1860 listed for sale for between $1,000 and $1,500!

10. Old Harry Potter Books

Your obsession with the wizarding world may soon pay off. Blow the dust off those old Harry Potter books, because they could put some cash in your pocket.

A deluxe first edition of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” signed by author JK Rowling sold on eBay for $7,500. Even if you don’t this copy, there are a number of other Harry Potter books listed from $1,000 to $5,000 on eBay.

11. Disney VHS Tapes

Though you may not want to part with your favorite childhood movies, you might change your mind after reading this.

A rare collection of Beauty and the Beast tapes sold for $60,000 on eBay (excuse us while we pick our jaws up off the floor). These rare “black diamond” Disney tapes are super valuable—others have sold for between $10,000 and $25,000.

12. Cereal Boxes

OK, this one is admittedly kind of gross, but apparently you can easily make $1,000 off old boxes of cereal that you stashed away decades ago. Everything from Wheaties to Franken Berry cereal boxes have sold for a high price on eBay.

13. Nintendo Gameboy

If, for some weird reason, you got an original Nintendo Gameboy and decided, “Eh, I don’t think I want to play with this,” you could be in luck. One that was still in the factory-sealed box sold for $1,200 earlier this month.

About the Author

Sarah Kuta

Sarah Kuta is an award-winning writer and editor based in Colorado. She writes regularly about how to find deals, save money and find side gigs. Reach her at sarah@dontwasteyourmoney.com. More.

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