It Might Be Worth Something

What is an item worth? check the market and see what people are willing to pay.

Many of us hold onto items because we believe they might be worth something. Some of us have collections from childhood, while others have inherited pieces or antiques. Unfortunately, while some possessions are truly valuable, many are not. Before you make a decision to hold onto an item for its monetary value, check the market and see what people are willing to pay. Online auction sites can be a good starting place for getting an idea of the “going rate” for a variety of items. The true value of any piece is impacted by a number of factors (condition, age, authenticity, etc.), so a professional appraisal may be in order if you decide to sell.

Below is a taste of some “investment items” that I commonly encounter with clients. Read each description and take a guess of what you think each might be selling for today, then scroll to the bottom of the post for results.

** Disclaimer: The dollar values are the starting bid on ebay as of April 26, 2015. The Seana Method is not an appraiser, and makes no claim about actual value. **

Item #1: Hummel Figurine

Hummel Figurine
Hummel Goebel Figurine 4 Little Fiddler TMK 3

Item #2: Baseball Card

Good condition 1969 Topps Tommie Aaron ATLANTA BRAVES baseball card
Good condition 1969 Topps Tommie Aaron ATLANTA BRAVES baseball card

Item #3: Comic Book

Comic book

Item #4: Longaberger basket

Longaberger 1995 Heartland Bread Basket Combo
Longaberger 1995 Heartland Bread Basket Combo

Item #5: Madame Alexander Dolls

Madame Alexander Dolls
Madame Alexander 8″ collection of 9 dolls

Item #6: Hallmark Christmas Ornament

Hallmark Mr. Monopoly 2000 Christmas Keepsake Ornament CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Item #7: Vintage Board Game

Vintage 1976 Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Board Game by Parker Bros..Complete
Vintage 1976 Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Board Game by Parker Bros..Complete

Item #8: Watermen Fountain Pen

Waterman Man 100 Smooth Sterling Ssilver 925 Fountain Pen Fine Nib Serial 2066
Waterman Man 100 Smooth Sterling Ssilver 925 Fountain Pen Fine Nib Serial 2066

Item #9: WWII Item

Vintage WW2 U.S. Army Trench Shovel ~ Stamped Ames 1944 ~ Very Good Condition
Vintage WW2 U.S. Army Trench Shovel ~ Stamped Ames 1944 ~ Very Good Condition

Item #10: Transistor Radio

Vintage Windsor Model 3369 AM/FM Transistor Radio - 1971
Vintage Windsor Model 3369 AM/FM Transistor Radio – 1971 (does not work)


Starting Bid on ebay as of April 26, 2015:

  • Hummel Figurine: $9.99
  • Baseball Card: $1.77
  • Comic Book: $7.25
  • Longaberger Basket: $12.50
  • Madame Alexander Dolls: $9.99
  • Hallmark Ornament: $2.01
  • Board Game: $9.99
  • Fountain Pen: $449.00
  • Trench Shovel: $19.99
  • Transistor Radio: $5.00

*     *     *     *     *

The point of this quiz is to shed light on the tricky world of selling possessions. Markets are constantly fluctuating, and an item that was “hot” a few years ago may have fallen out of fashion today. For the items above, I shared the starting bid, but you can get a better idea of the value by checking what people actually paid. When you select an item, go to the column on the left and scroll down to “Buying Format,” and then select “Sold.”

At the end of the day, selling always equals work! To sell, you will need to price, advertise, and potentially ship your items. You can pay someone to perform these tasks, but this cuts into your profit.

If you are space constrained and wondering if you should keep specific items, do a little research on the current market value. It is possible that you’ve been holding onto a piece with an inaccurate idea of its worth.

Have you ever sold an item and been surprised by its value?

Seana's Signature

11 thoughts on “It Might Be Worth Something”

    1. I totally agree with looking at the final bid, Hazel. I had to laugh when I was looking at opening bids for the Princess Diana beanie baby. I know it is hot right now, but some people are not living in reality:)

  1. Great post! All my clients that say they want to keep an item because it is value, they are shock to realize that it is not as valuable as they thought it would be. Sad to say, there isn’t a lot of stuff out there is actually valuable anymore. Some times I think it is an excuse to not make a decision on what to do with it. Thanks for sharing.
    Sabrina Q. recently posted…On-the-Go Supplies OrganizedMy Profile

    1. It can be kind of a “harsh reality” to realize that things which were very costly in their day are not valuable now. I hate delivering that bad news 🙁

  2. I have had a few senior clients want to try to sell things that had sentimental value and when they found out the items weren’t worth any money they wanted me to donate the items to a museum. I know it’s really hard to let go of items especially if you were saving them counting on the fact that they would be worth something. I feel like we have to be extra sensitive to this and be compassionate when showing them what their items are worth monetarily. Thanks Seana!

    1. I agree, Autumn. It can be very upsetting to find out that items you though there valuable treasures are not of value today. It’s a fickle marketplace!

  3. Oh my gosh, who knew? Although, I keep hold of everything because I’m a packrat. But If there’s a chance I could make money, I might get rid of some stuff.

  4. Seana- What a great post! This is one of those tricky things about determining value. And by value, I’m not only talking about monetary value, but also the value of our time (or someone else’s) to sell our things for often a nominal amount. This is a familiar conversation that I have with clients. And frankly, I’ve experienced personally too.

    It’s an individual choice to determine the “value,” the time and effort involved in selling, and the return on the effort. That often gets weighed with the goal. Is it to clear the space quickly? Is it to get some monetary compensation for the items being released? Is it based on not wanting to “waste” a perfectly good thing? Donating vs. selling or giving vs. selling are other options.

    This is a personal choice as to what to do with those things we no longer want. Only you can determine that. Your post helps us weigh one of the options. Thank you for that.
    Linda Samuels recently posted…Two of the Most Powerful Clutter ConceptsMy Profile

    1. Thanks for this lovely comment, Linda! I always try to emphasize that selling = work. A buyer isn’t going to waltz into your home and hand you cash… at least not in my experience. It is exactly as you say, all about priorities, and not just monetary priorities, but our time as well. Is the true value in freeing the space? Then whatever is most expedient is also most desirable.

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