Find Cash in Your Attic or Basement

Antique set of china that you can turn into cash.  (photo courtesy of Pixabay)

How Can You Find Cash in Your Attic or Basement?

HGTV’s popular TV show, “Cash in the Attic” inspired homeowners to convert unwanted items into money. If you have a home remodeling project that needs funding, this may be the way to find it. Here’s how to find cash in your attic.

Decide on a project that you need money for, like refurbishing the family room. Get the whole family involved in planning it and excited about the idea. Estimate the price of the materials and labor for the project and come up with a total amount needed.

By now, the family will be motivated to raise the cash for the project.

Photo by Virginia Allain of antique irons. Yes, people will pay money for these old things. Cash in your attic!

On the show, they bring in an expert antique appraiser to tell the family what has value and what might sell well at auction. Since you don’t have an appraiser, buy a Kovel’s price guide or borrow one from the public library. It comes out annually, so look for one with the newest date.

Browse through the price guide to see what is similar to things in your house. Make a list as you look through the book of the page number, and the price listed for items you have.

Take a walk around the house and poke into closets, basements, garages, and attics to see what you’ve stashed away and forgotten about. Even if an item has a fairly low value in the price guide, it isn’t doing you much good hidden away gathering dust.

Look around the rooms in the house for things you’ve displayed, but seldom look at. These not-really-noticed items may be on the wall, the mantel, anywhere. It’s a chance to declutter by removing little-used items.

Decide what items can go to the auction. Don’t send something unless the family members agree. Living with recriminations because you sold grandma’s tea set for $15 is no fun. Keep the project goal in everyone’s mind as they make a group decision on what to send to auction.

Photo by Virginia Allain.

Make a list of what is going to auction and put the estimated price next to each item. Total it up. Make copies for the family to take to the auction.

Find a nearby auction house that can sell your items. It’s probably a good idea to attend one or two of their auctions first to see what kinds of crowd they get and what kinds of items they sell.

Take your items to the selected auction house.

Have a good time at the auction; following the action and marking the actual prices on the list. Celebrate any successes and don’t let any low prices get you down. In the end, you’ve cleared out unused items and raised some money towards the project.

More Tips & Some Warnings

– Newer items, like some formerly-used hobby or exercise equipment, can sell at auction too. Be honest with yourself. Are you ever going to take time to use all that fabric, learn that craft, or start using that treadmill?

– Batch together some items like books to make a box lot for the auction.

– The price for antiques fluctuates and you won’t always get the prices shown in the guide. Consult the newest guide that you can find.

Resources

– Kovel’s price guide (available on Amazon or at some public libraries). There are specialty price guides for everything from dolls to Baby Boomer toys to china. Here’s a selection to get you started.

Kovels' Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide 2018Kovels’ Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide 2018View DetailsAntique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2018Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2018View DetailsWarman's Antiques & Collectibles 2018Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles 2018View DetailsMiller's Antiques Handbook & Price Guide 2018-2019Miller’s Antiques Handbook & Price Guide 2018-2019View DetailsLionel Trains Pocket Price Guide 1901-2018 (Greenberg's Pocket Price Guide Lionel Trains)Lionel Trains Pocket Price Guide 1901-2018 (Greenberg’s Pocket Price Guide Lionel Trains)View DetailsToy Collectors Price Guide 2018Toy Collectors Price Guide 2018View Details2018 United States Coins: Collector Guide with Actual Auction Results2018 United States Coins: Collector Guide with Actual Auction ResultsView Details

Here are specific price guides, just a sampling. Once you start checking the titles on Amazon, they will show you more to choose from.

Warman's Hot Wheels Field Guide: Values and Identification (Warman's Field Guides Hot Wheels: Values & Identification)Warman’s Hot Wheels Field Guide: Values and Identification (Warman’s Field Guides Hot Wheels: Values & Identification)View DetailsBaby Boomer Dolls Plastic Playthings of the 50's & 60's, Second EditionBaby Boomer Dolls Plastic Playthings of the 50’s & 60’s, Second EditionView Details200 Years of Dolls: Identification and Price Guide (200 Years of Dolls: Identification & Price Guide)200 Years of Dolls: Identification and Price Guide (200 Years of Dolls: Identification & Price Guide)View DetailsWarman's Barbie Doll Field Guide: Values and Identification (Warman's Field Guide)Warman’s Barbie Doll Field Guide: Values and Identification (Warman’s Field Guide)View DetailsToys & Prices: The World's Best Toys Price Guide (Toys and Prices)Toys & Prices: The World’s Best Toys Price Guide (Toys and Prices)View DetailsUltimate Price Guide to Fast Food CollectiblesUltimate Price Guide to Fast Food CollectiblesView DetailsNo. 1 Price Guide to M.I. Hummel Figurines, Plates, More... (Mi Hummel Figurines, Plates, Miniatures & More Price Guide)No. 1 Price Guide to M.I. Hummel Figurines, Plates, More… (Mi Hummel Figurines, Plates, Miniatures & More Price Guide)View DetailsOverstreet Comic Book Price Guide Volume 48Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide Volume 48View Details


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