Let’s be real for a minute - you’ve probably got some amount of debt (depending on your age group), but you also probably have a fair amount of useless crap from your childhood clogging up all available space at your childhood home. Nothing to be embarrassed by; we’ve all been there in some way or another.
The good news is some of your old junk could be worth something! The bad news is that 99.9% isn’t worth much. The following pointers aren’t intended to be a prescriptive guide about what to sell and how much to expect: that would be impossible. This is more of a reminder that before you have one too many at Thanksgiving this year, go take a spin down memory lane and dig through your old childhood junk.
Condition is king
Toys were just that: inexpensively-produced items that would be given to children, who would then do what kids do and play with them. Many of my GI Joe figures met an explosive death with Black Cat firecrackers in the alley behind my house - and just like haircuts on Barbie dolls, or missing pieces of games or toys, they all impact the value. Loads of the toys that we all loved as kids (for those of us in our 20s and 30s) are being reissued, or turned into Michael Bay films - so even some of the less-than-cosmetically-perfect toys can still bring in a little money. So ask yourself: if and/or when you have children (or if you already do), do you really think that they’re going to want to play with your old-ass M.A.S.K. toys, or that treasured Samantha American Girl Doll? You could be setting yourself up for heartache.
Don't be lazy
If you’re trying to make some money on something, do your homework. It’s not as simple as you think to just sell something on eBay, and trust me - you don’t want to invite some weirdo from craigslist over to your place to paw through your old stuff. The simplest advice is to take the time to sell it at auction on eBay, put it up for a $1 start auction, and let it rip (just make sure you charge enough for shipping).
Additionally, if you’re the lucky owner of any of the following, now is the time to consider selling before trends change and your stuff is worthless. Trust me - waiting too long and missing out big-time is a bitter, bitter pill to swallow.
Old Nintendo stuff
- any and all of it, especially some of the more desirable cartridge games. Which items are more desirable? Jesus, what do I look like? Google around to find out which games and collectibles are bringing in the money - or if that’s too much trouble, message me on Facebook and I will buy them all for a $1 apiece.
American Girl Dolls
- As I mentioned above, good condition American Girl Dolls (esp. The Pleasant Company made ones). Sorry Barbie, unless you’re from the 60s/70s, Samantha, Felicity, and Kirsten have got you beat in terms of resale value.
In Original Packaging
- Maybe your folks forgot about some presents, or you had so many awesome toys that you put some things away and never opened or played with them. You're going to want to sell those as well. People go nuts for intact packaging and nostalgia, so here’s your chance to capitalize.
I hope these pointers can help navigate the sometimes-muddy waters of nostalgia hocking. Maybe if you’re lucky, you can make a student loan payment (or two, if you’re really lucky).