For most people, treasure hunting is one of those things that people associate with a) the Pirates of Penzance or b) using high-tech equipment to rummage around the sunken ships and fallen planes that litter the ocean beds of faraway islands.
But, what if we told you hunting for treasure could be much easier than this? What if hunting for treasure could be done in your nightgown and slippers? Mmm hmmm. We’re saying your house could be that much dreamed about X on a map made of parchment. We’re saying your home could be littered with treasure; riches so vast that your mortgage could get paid off in one foul swoop, or at least see you save some pennies.
Sure, the odds may be stacked against you, but that doesn’t mean you should run the risk of doing nothing. The odds of winning the lottery are over 175,000,000 to 1 and yet you still buy a ticket now and again and, more importantly, you cherish that ticket, checking the numbers the moment you wake up just in case. The same principles apply.
So, without further ado, here are the treasures you should devote your attention to the next time you find yourself wasting time on Instagram. Who knows, you may stumble across the best photo opportunity ever!
A Pretty Penny for Pyrex
Remember when you turned twenty-five and your mom got you that set of bright orange casserole dish made out of pyrex (as a not-so-gentle nudge to say it’s time to grow up and get married)? Well, you might want to take it out of the bottom-right cupboard in your kitchen, blow the dust off and then check to see how much they are going for on eBay. Seriously. If it is vintage, then you might find yourself locked in a conversation with a collector that is willing to pay a serious amount of dollar. How much you get depends on the condition of yours, but you might find yourself walking away with over $2000 in your back pocket.
The Art of Making Money
Just imagine how mad it would be if you had been walking past a treasure chest everyday for years, maybe even grimacing slightly when you saw it. Well, that could be the case if your walls are decorated with art. The first thing to check, of course, is the artist name. But this isn’t the only thing that makes art valuable. Having an original piece of work can add a nice amount to the price, as can having a limited-edition print. However, it goes beyond the actual art itself because the frame itself could be worth a bob or two as well, which is why you should try not to remove old artwork from a frame, but take it to a valuer just as it is instead.
Read Into It a Bit More
Most people hold onto books for sentimental reasons. They were the books they were read as a child, or it as their parent’s favorite book or they like the cover art. It’s a charming thought. That said, your sentimentality may come with a price tag if you have something like a first edition of The Hobbit ($65,000) or a flawless version of The Philosopher’s Stone ($37,000). Here’s the best bit, though: to check how much a book is worth all you have to do is browse BuybackExpress.com and enter the ISBN. It doesn’t have to be these books either. They are hundreds and hundreds of mortgage curing books out there, from The Hounds Of Baskerville to The Great Gatsby, Casino Royale to Jacob’s Room, all of which are well worth a look in.
Just in the Nick of Time
Let’s cut straight to the chase on this one: finding a watch anytime soon could be rather good timing. Now, you may be thinking that to have a watch worth more than the GDP of Malta you need to look through a drawer and find a Rolex or an Omega or a Vacheron Constantin or a Patek Philippe or any one of those big name brands. But that is not the case. Not at all. In fact, those who collect vintage watches are more interested in the lesser known brands like Geneve, Enicar and Movado which, in case you were wondering, is good news for you.
People Go Wild for Wicker
Trends come and go and each of them is completely subjective. What you may love someone else may loathe, and vice versa. So, while you may be using the wicker furniture in your conservatory as yet more surface area for things you haven’t yet put in storage, other people are looking for 19th Century wicker pieces with a budget that stretches into the thousands. Now we know 19th century stuff is rare, but don’t despair just yet because mid-century items can fetch a pretty penny as well, rattan poufs being a great example, with many fetching in excess of $400 at the moment.
The RADAR Test
When you are staring down the barrel of something that looks old or antiquish, the one thing you should always do is repeat the word RADAR, which stands for rarity, aesthetics, Desirability, authenticity and really good condition (that last one is a bit tenuous we admit). It doesn’t matter if it is furniture, ornaments, books, clothing, cars, watches or whatever; you should run through the RADAR tick list and see which boxes get checked. As a little note to self, though, if you do think you have found something that is antiquish, please don’t try and clean it up or polish it; selling ‘as is’ is always the way to go. Oh, and ss a little tip, when it comes to keeping an eye out for things that are worth something, always have a peek at where they were made, who they were made by, if there is a hallmark and, yup, even look for unusual shapes too. These are more often than not what we like to call ‘winners’.