With pretty much everything under the sun, it’s hard to zero in on Goodwill’s hidden gems. But with a little research and a keen eye, you might find a real diamond in the rough in these nonprofit thrift stores – just don’t forget to check the housewares section.
Keep your eyes peeled for precious metal hiding in the flatware. Real silver will usually look tarnished (but you can polish it with water and baking soda!) and make a ringing sound if you tap it. Snapping up an entire set or finding brand names like Tiffany or Gorham can also add more value.
Seeing green? Mint-colored dishware dates back to the ’30s, but the style erupted in popularity after World War II. Spot McKee, Jeannette, or Fire King logos on the bottom and you might be holding the real deal. A single butter dish could be worth upwards of a $100.
First Edition Books
Original or signed versions of beloved books can obviously get flipped if you connect with the right fans. Plug the title into AbeBooks.com to get a rough estimate of what your classic’s worth.
Another thrift store favorite? This colored glassware by the Anchor Hocking Company, which can still fetch fair prices, especially in big sets or the coveted pink hue. Just do a little research on your phone before forking over a lot of cash. The going rates can vary widely based on the piece.
You might hate the painting itself, but don’t ignore an artwork’s frame. Ornate or antique-looking borders can out-value the piece inside and sell well online, according to MoneyPantry. Of course some quick research on the artist isn’t a bad idea either – it netted one woman over $27,000.
Thanks to our ever-changing world map, outdated models with bygone countries auction off for surprisingly high prices. Recent online sales value even everyday finds at $25 and up – way more than any Goodwill price tag.
There’s something to be said for long-lasting kitchenware. Vintage Pyrex – especially in bright hues and unusual patterns – can go for a pretty penny on resale sites. The best part? Many collectors still use their durable pieces for baking and cooking.
Vintage Luggage Sets
Of course Louis Vuitton reigns supreme when it comes to vintage trunks, but lesser-known brands still go for big bucks when they come in matched groups.
Vintage Canning Jars
Yes, they’re trendy on Pinterest, but once upon a time, people used these for food storage, not just holiday crafts. Do a quick Google search to check the brand (Ball is usually worth the most) and approximate age, but there’s nothing wrong with buying one just because it’s pretty!
Arts and Crafts Furniture
In case you missed it, millennials aren’t exactly buying antiques. However, the market for Mission and Craftsman-style pieces from early 1900s still commands strong prices. The real jackpot? Anything by famous designer Gustav Stickley.