There is a collector for everything. As I look around my home, I see my collections of things that are mostly useless to anyone but me – sand in jars and bottles from beaches I have been to around the world, Mardi Gras beads from different events I have been to over the years and my beloved postcard collection going all the way back to the 70’s. It started when my friend Laurie sent me a postcard to Maryland from her family vacation to Williamsburg, VA when we were 9. But some of my collections might have some value to the right collectors – the entire Bloom County series of books (some of them first editions), all of the state quarters (I think the Delaware and New Jersey had the fewest minted so I know I have several of each) and other coins like wheat pennies, and real silver coins that include at least one buffalo nickel.

The internet is making it easier to find those long lost items that will complete (or enhance) any collection. Some things are obviously desirable collectibles – original Star Wars & Star Trek figurines, sports memorabilia and comic books. But there are many items that might be laying around your homes that could be worth a fortune to the right collector. How many people kept all their vinyl records long after they got rid of their turntables? The album art itself is worth more than the records in many cases. Do you still have VHS tapes?  What about your mom’s Pyrex casserole dishes from back in the day? I wish my dad still had that typewriter he used to write his dissertation when he was at Stanford in 1972. Click here to see what you need to start looking for around your house (or your friend’s houses).

One year for my dad’s birthday I gave him a roll of 1941D pennies that I bought on eBay for about $5. His birthday was in 1941 and his name is David so naturally he was quite tickled with the gesture. He took them to work and handed one out to everyone who remembered to wish him a happy birthday. Now that I think of it – I wonder if those two dollar bills I have stashed away to give to children of my friends could be worth more than 2 dollars apiece? Those kids always think I giving them fake money anyway.