If shows like Storage Wars have taught us anything, it’s that big bucks can be found in the unlikeliest of places. Every day, treasure hunters spend hours searching for hidden masterpieces in small shops and boutiques. But the next big discovery could be in your own home — that junk gathering dust in your basement could actually be a goldmine waiting to be rediscovered. And should you find a certain Christmas trinket packed away with your decorations, then your holidays may just get a little bit happier.
Looking in the right places
It’s no secret that vintage holiday artworks and ornaments can fetch astonishing amounts of money at auction. Every day, potential buyers spend hours searching for hidden masterpieces in small shops and boutiques. However, some of the most expensive items sold at auction were actually found in the most unexpected places — like a cardboard box in the attic that sits unopened for most of the year.
'Tis the season
As you can imagine, these values of antiques can change depending on the time of year - and Christmas is a peak time for the sale of ornaments. Come the holidays, a potential seller can often expect a hefty return on collectibles. “My aunt recently found a vintage Advent calendar for $1 and sold it in a week for $78,” wrote eBay expert Eric Michael as an example.
The nostalgia factor
In Michael’s opinion, this swing in value has everything to do with nostalgia. “Everybody had favorite Christmas decorations and ornaments from when they were growing up,” the professional antiquer reasoned. “Many people would pay a lot of hard-earned cash to replace broken heirlooms or to locate rare items that they find in old family Christmas photos.”
Pinpoint a particular era
As a result, Michael suggests sticking to specific time periods when it comes to reselling ornaments. For example, boxed items produced by Hallmark in the 1980s can raise a fair price for the right buyer. Meanwhile, collectibles that are tied into film franchises – such as Star Wars - can sell for as high as $50.