6 Things in Your Storage Unit That Are Now Worth Money

Jon Fesmire |

Have you ever considered that you might have items in storage worth more than you know? People who frequently buy storage units at auction know this. While they often don’t find much of value, sometimes they find real treasures.

One important thing to remember when going through your storage unit to find valuable items is the importance of quality. You may have something that would be worth a lot of money, but is actually worth much less because it has become damaged or aged badly. That’s just one reason why it’s smart to rent a unit with climate control, which keeps all your possessions in an environment that never gets too hot, too cold, too humid, or too dry.

If you’re unsure what your items are worth, a Google search is a good place to start looking. We’ll touch on specifics for various types of items as well.

Collectible Cards

Do you have old sets of collectible cards? Maybe you bought a ton of Star Wars cards when the first movie came out when you were a kid and have held onto them for years. Maybe you bought a few decks of Magic: The Gathering cards when the game was brand new in the 90s. Or, maybe you have old baseball cards that you’ve put away in storage and forgotten about.

Maybe you even have some newer cards, perhaps from the last ten years, that might have gone up in value. Depending on the rarity and demand for a set, or for a particular card, you could be sitting on a lot of money.

Comic Books

How much are your old comic books worth? That depends on a lot of factors. First is quality. If your old comic books have been sitting in a box in a non-climate-controlled unit, they may be suffering damage, which will devalue them. If they’re in a climate-controlled unit, in plastic comic sleeves, with backing boards, they may be in great shape and worth quite a bit.

The next major factor is the age a comic came from. There’s Golden Age (1938 - 1956), Silver Age (1956 - 1970), Bronze Age (1970 - 1985), and Modern Age (1985 - Present). In the Golden and Silver ages, most people had no idea that comic books might be worth a lot someday, and so those comics are not only old, with historical significance, but rare, and therefore quite valuable. Some Bronze Age comics will sell for a lot, while others aren’t worth much more than their original cover price. By the end of the Bronze Age, people realized that old comics were worth something, and started buying extra copies of new comic books. Today, that means that most of those from the end of that age, and those from the Modern Age, haven’t gone up much in value.

If you’re wondering how much yours are worth, check out The Premier Comics Price Guide online.

One more thing. You’ll get more for your comics if you sell them directly to collectors, rather than to a comic book store. It may be more work, but comic shops need to make money too, and they will buy yours from you for far less than they are actually worth.

Toys

Old toys, especially from the 90s or earlier, may be worth a surprising amount of money. This is especially true if they’re in sealed packages, but even if not, if they’re in good condition and complete, they may be worth a lot.

A few good examples are Polly Pocket sets, worth several hundred dollars now, rare Game Boy cartridges, also worth upwards of several hundred dollars, and Furbys, which can sell for around $500. A good place to check what your old toys might be selling for is eBay.

Collectible Dolls

Porcelain dolls have been a popular collectible for generations. Older dolls in good condition, perhaps passed down to you from your mother or grandmother, may be worth a small fortune. Even more recent dolls may be worth more than you expect.

There are price guides online, and you may also want to check what dolls are selling for on eBay. Before you sell, really do your research so you don’t undercut yourself.

Books

It used to be that if you had books you no longer needed, you’d sell them to a used book store. You can still do that, especially if you just want immediate trade value, or want people to be able to get those books for low prices.

However, today it’s easier than ever to sell old books for more. If you are in the business of selling old books, get the Amazon Seller app, which will tell you the current value of each of your books. You can then sell them on Amazon, or through other book selling sites, like AbeBooks.com.

You’ll also want to check if you have first edition books, or books signed by their authors (and note that books with a signature, but not personally dedicated to a specific person, are worth more). Books with rare misprints can also be highly valuable. If you think you have something unusual and therefore valuable, you may want to seek a book appraiser to be sure.

Antiques

Some of the aforementioned items can be considered antiques, but this category is so much broader than books and dolls. It includes furniture, jewelry, silverware, china, art, and much more.

If you’ve ever watched Antiques Roadshow, you know that it’s tough to tell what something old may be worth, so get it appraised. This could involve hiring an appraiser, visiting an appraisal fair (like the Antiques Roadshow), or by doing careful research. Depending on the value of an item, you may want to sell it on a site like eBay, or through a professional auction house that specializes in antiques.