- While some vintage items can make you filthy rich, others are basically doomed to collect dust in your basement.
- Some collectibles like Beanie Babies, Barbie dolls, or vintage band T-shirts might seem extremely valuable but they are actually worth just a couple of dollars or a fraction of their original price.
- Here are 21 collector’s items that are actually worthless today.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Have you ever gone through your boxes from college or your children’s old toys, only to come across something you think might be rare or worth a fortune?
For some, finding dust-covered pieces of art or toys from the ’90s are the ticket to making big bucks. However, for most people, these items are practically worthless.
Some collectibles like Beanie Babies, Barbie dolls, or vintage band T-shirts might seem extremely valuable but are actually only worth a couple of dollars or a fraction of their original price. Other collectibles currently on the market might seem like a great investment but are unlikely to appreciate in value over time.
Here are 21 collector’s items that are actually worthless today.
Franklin Mint collectibles often sell for a fraction of what owners paid for them.
- The Franklin Mint/Getty Images
Franklin Mint collectibles are marketed as valuable items one can purchase as an investment in order to see the item’s value appreciate over time. However, unfortunately for many owners of Franklin Mint dolls, collectible plates, glassware, diecast cars, silver ingots, coins, or medals, there is little chance of selling these mass-produced collectibles for more than what you originally paid for them.
While some sellers are trying to get around $200, or the original selling price, for Kate Middleton collectible dolls, most Franklin Mint dolls without their original box will sell for around $20 to $50.
Norman Rockwell collector plates are only worth about $10.
- Oli Scarff / Getty Images
Franklin Mint also sold a line of collectible plates with Norman Rockwell paintings printed onto the surface. While the artist’s paintings continue to evoke feelings of nostalgia and Americana among Baby Boomers, the plates have lost much of their original value over the years.
According to Antique Trader, Norman Rockwell plates once valued at $50 to $75 sell for $10 a plate.
Model train sets are worth less than you might think.
- Karl Gehring/The Denver Post/Getty Images
While model train sets can be fun for people young and old, they’re definitely not going to pay your bills. According to major model train manufacturer Lionel, while earlier train sets may hold some value to collectors, newer versions may be practically worthless.
“The value of a particular set or piece is dependent on several factors such as condition, rarity, and the presence of the original box in good condition,” the company says.
New baseball cards are usually only worth a couple of dollars.
While some baseball cards can hold extreme value, like the Babe Ruth baseball card that fetched $500,000 at auction, most are basically worthless. Baseball card collections can hold great sentimental value – but the best one could hope for when selling collections that contain only newer cards is a mere couple of dollars.
Ceramic or porcelain dolls tend to hover around the $10 price mark.
- Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Not only can porcelain and ceramic dolls be a little creepy, they’re also not worth as much money as one might think. While some dolls can potentially be worth hundreds of dollars depending on their condition, current fashion trends, and rarity, most porcelain or China Bisque dolls will sell for around $10.
Pogs from the ’90s can go for under $1 each.
- Xavier ROSSI/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
This ’90s fad has resulted in many basements and attics becoming overcrowded with small, circular collectibles known as Pogs – many of which are completely worthless. While some Pogs can be worth a decent amount of money, individual Pogs can go for under $1 and even larger collections will sell for around $10.
Recent comic books aren’t as valuable as older ones.
- Business Insider/Melia Robinson
Rare or older comic books can be valuable, but newer comic books won’t sell for much more than their original price – and that’s only if they’re in mint condition. Due to the fact that most of the superhero characters from comic books in the 1980s and onwards are well-established, newer comic books are simply not as valuable as original comics from the 1930s through the 1950s.
Royal family memorabilia is mass-produced and usually not very valuable.
- GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images
While you might think a plate with Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle’s face on it could earn you a pretty penny someday, you’re most likely mistaken. Royal family memorabilia is widely dispersed and manufactured for many different occasions, including jubilees and weddings. While these commemorative items might look nice in your kitchen, these mass-produced collectibles aren’t worth much money nowadays.
“Star Wars” toys from the ’70s can earn you big bucks, but later action figures and toys haven’t appreciated in value.
- Andrew Burton/Getty Images
It may come as a surprise that not all “Star Wars” toys are worth boatloads of cash. Don’t be mistaken – “Star Wars” toys from the 1970s or rare collectibles from the franchise can definitely make you rich. However, the Chicago Tribune explains that mass-produced action figures and toys from the 1990s and early 2000s have never really appreciated in value.
Most vinyl records are only worth a couple of dollars.
While some vinyl records can be worth a lot of money, most are basically worthless. While original Beatles albums or other rare pressings might fetch tens of thousands or even millions at auction, many vinyl records will only end up in the dollar bin at your local record store. If you’re looking to sell a vinyl record you believe might be of some value, it’s important to cross-reference with other sales of the same record, or simply get it appraised by an expert.
Barbie dolls are usually only valuable if they’re rare and in mint condition.
Rare or older Barbie dolls have been known to make people quite a lot of money at auction. However, your average run-of-the-mill Barbie doll collection probably won’t make you rich anytime soon. Most Barbie dolls in good condition can be found on eBay for around $10 to $20, not far off from what they were originally sold for.
Antique “silver” serving plates look expensive but are actually not worth a lot of money.
- DeAgostini/Getty Images
One might think that the sophisticated-looking silver serving platter your grandmother left you could make you rich one day. We hate to say it, but this seemingly expensive collectible is practically worthless today. Most vintage “silver platters” go for around $10 to $50 on eBay.
Pez dispensers can sell for as low as a couple of dollars on eBay.
- Biz Carson/Business Insider
While some Pez dispensers can hold value, most of the collectible candy dispensers are basically worthless. Collectors can hope to sell their individual Pez dispensers for a couple of dollars on eBay, and whole collections could only be worth slightly more.
Stamps valued at hundreds of dollars have sold for much, much less.
- Silent Resilience Photography/Getty Images
While stamp collecting used to be all the rage, it’s rare for stamps to be of significant value – though there are definitely exceptions. Most stamps were at one time mass-produced, drastically reducing their value to any collector or stamp dealer. Older stamps can be of some value, but only if they’re in good condition and haven’t succumbed to creasing or water damage. Perhaps the worst news for stamp collectors is that even stamps valued at hundreds of dollars are fetching just a fraction of their true worth at auction, according to The Guardian.
Vintage band T-shirts aren’t as valuable as you might think.
There’s nothing more rock-and-roll than a band T-shirt from the 1960s or 1970s. However, while your vintage tee might earn you approval at the Rolling Stones reunion tour, it’s unlikely to make you tons of money if you were to sell it. Most vintage band T-shirts sell for around $20 on eBay, and even shirts from popular bands haven’t sold for much money. Rare T-shirts, however, can go for much more.
Funko Pop! figurines are usually valued under $20.
- Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider
The adorable collectible figurines, known as Funko! Pops, are extremely popular nowadays. Modeled after movie stars, famous celebrities, “Game of Thrones” characters, and more, a majority of the collectible action figures are valued at under $20. However, since the figurines are relatively new, it’s hard to say how they will appreciate over time.
Most vintage Playboy magazines are relatively worthless to collectors.
- Chris Ware/Getty Images
While vintage copies of Playboy magazine might look cool in your bachelor pad, it’s unlikely they’re worth much nowadays. Older copies and first editions of the magazine can be worth a pretty penny, but most copies from the 1970s and onwards are relatively worthless and will most likely only sell for a couple of dollars.
Most Beanie Babies are only worth a couple of dollars, contrary to popular belief.
- Getty Images
A couple of Ty Beanie Babies have sold for huge amounts of money, but that doesn’t mean you should list every Beanie Baby you have on eBay in the hope that it’s valuable. Before tossing out the tiny stuffed animals, make sure you don’t have any rare ones, but the rest are most likely worthless or only worth a couple of dollars.
Pandora charms can be bought online for less than the original selling price.
- Angela Weiss/Getty Images
As the third-largest jewelry company in the US, Pandora exploded onto the scene with its simple bracelets and mix-and-match charms in the early to mid-2000s. Pandora charms run for about $40 to $65 on the company’s website, but many older or discontinued charms are being sold on eBay for as low as $10 or $20 as interest in the charm bracelets has faded in the past couple of years.
Precious Moments figurines sell for between $5 and $20 on eBay, less than their typical selling price.
- Steve Kagan/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
When it comes to these sweet, symbolic collectibles, prices vary greatly. While some Precious Moments figurines could be worth a fortune now – like this retired “God Loveth A Cheerful Giver” design worth around $300 – most figurines sell for between $5 and $20 on eBay, less than their typical selling price.
Vintage college swag has more sentimental value than monetary value.
- Pierre Vauthey/Sygma/Sygma/Getty Images
When it comes to old college gear like sweatshirts and pennants, you might be better off hanging on to them to relive the glory days, rather than trying to sell them to a collector. Most vintage college sweatshirts run for about $10 to $30 on eBay, while felt pennants can sell for around $10.