Budgeting

5 Valuable Old Things You Probably Own

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Ryan Ong

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My last spring cleaning was like the Chinese Cultural Revolution: Everything was turned upside down, evaluated for three seconds, then mercilessly discarded. I went through my cupboards like Chairman Mao went through intellectuals. Two hours later, everything was on E-Bay or buried in an unmarked grave. It was a week before I realized the valuables were gone with the trash. How was I supposed to know it wasn’t costume jewellery? Just because it’s in a safe with a combination lock and three insurance certificates it must be valuable? Please. But anyway, here’s an article to make sure you don’t throw out any money makers:

 

1. Old Porcelain

Before throwing out your old porcelain, or giving it away, have some one evaluate it. It may be worth nothing, or it may net you a few thousand dollars. There’s a thriving Singaporean market for Chinese and Straits Born porcelain. On average, genuine Perankan porcelain can fetch $300 – $500 in hard cash. Get lucky, and you’re looking at sums of up to $2000.

Don’t get your hopes up; most of the time, old porcelain is just old junk. But it costs nothing to have local collectors take a look at it. Even if it’s not authentic, they might buy it to rip someone else off just for kicks. Oh, and don’t bother putting it on E-Bay; this is strictly local market stuff. You can make value enquiries with organizations like the Perankan Association, or write something in the comments and I’ll get back to you.

 

Flower vase
“So…I shouldn’t have sold the flowers and dumped the vase?”

 

2. Vintage Records

There’s a niche market for old school vinyl records in Singapore. The buyers frequent places like The Adelphi, a mall that (since Black Room’s closure) has been about as lively as Lim Chu Kang cemetery on a slow night.

Of especial collector value are records from bands like the Stray Dogs, Rotten Bodies, and 4 Pounds Nett. Ask your dad; this was from a time when Singaporeans considered “musician” to be a job option. You might get $40 – $120 for these. Vinyls from 80’s bands like Chicago and Journey are also easy to sell; they fetch up to $10 each. If you have any they shouldn’t be hard to find; just follow the smell of cheese.

If you really have a lot of records, put them in a box and swing by Vinylucky. It’s easier to sell them in lots than E-Bay them one at a time.

 

Antique vinyl
But is it high density?

 

3. Old Game Consoles

These things do better on the overseas market, so look at E-Bay rather than local buyers. Old game consoles like the SNES, Sega Saturn, and Atari 2600 can fetch between $40 – $240, depending on their condition. More recent game consoles, like the PS 2 and the original XBox, net a consistent $70 – $90.

The best way to sell these is to package the old games with them. Because short of making really cool coasters, what are you going to do with them anyway? The games can fetch you about $10, but check their prices on E-Bay before you let them go; popular titles might hit the $20 – $30 mark.

Quick note: If you own games like Ninja Breadman, please do the responsible thing and don’t resell them. Like most STDs, you’ll want to keep them to yourself or get rid of them, not pass them on.

 

Old Intellivision
“And let me guess…I power it by getting a team to shovel coal?”

 

4. Old Toys

Did you know Singapore has a whole museum dedicated to old toys? The Mint Museum of Toys makes me shed a tear. When I was a kid, the only toy I could afford was a horn, and I had to yank it off the water buffalo myself. And like most underprivileged children, I shared the longing for tin cars and whatnot long into adulthood.

While there’s a niche market for old toys in Singapore, it’s less stable than Mariah Carey backstage. Prices are almost random, and an old Transformers figure (Japanese, not American) can fetch between $12 and $450. The same one. It depends on almost entirely on the collector you’re asking.

For beginners, OLX is an easy place to sell old toys; a small bin of playthings will easily rack up a few hundred dollars. But if you want to make more money, then yep…E-Bay. Just expect to wait a really long time for a response. Toy collectors are a picky bunch, and they’ll take their time to shop around.

Which shouldn’t surprise you, considering they’ve been waiting to buy it since they were 11.

 

Old Star Wars Toys
“Almost mint, except for the one my dog ate. You don’t want to know how I got it back.”

 

5. Lighting Fixtures

Light fixtures are some of the most easily sold furnishings, at least in Singapore.

If you have old brass chandeliers or a wall sconce, take some pictures. Than put them up on sights like Adpost, or visit a store like Friends Lighting. You can get between $150 – $250 for smaller fixtures, and a full chandelier might get you $800 – $1500. For new home owners, it’s a lot cheaper (and sometimes more aesthetically pleasing) than getting faux antique lights.

Interestingly, old furniture is quite hard to sell on the local market. One reason is the simple issue of space. Another is that furniture stands out more than light fixtures, making it harder to blend into a design scheme. Whatever the case, unscrew those lights if you need a quick buck! You can always grab a cheaper replacement at IKEA.

 

Old chandelier
“Sure it works. If you’ve got candles.”

 

Image Credits:
The Eyes of New YorkepSos.deuitdragerij, polo goomba, Craig Hatfield, Brandon Stafford, tamburix

Do you sell or buy any of the items listed here? Comment and tell us about it! And drop a comment if you need to enquire about Perankan Porcelain! 

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Ryan Ong

I was a freelance writer for over a decade, and covered topics from music to super-contagious foot diseases. I took this job because I believe financial news should be accessible and fun to read. Also, because the assignments don't involve shouting teenagers and debilitating plagues.