Today I’m going to deviate from my traditional type of post to share a story about money that’s worth mentioning because it could happen to anyone. You may have seen in the news this week that a man unknowingly bought a Faberge egg for $14,000 and later found out it was worth $33 million dollars. After thinking he had overestimated the worth of his purchase, he hoped to get $500 for it to be melted down for the material. Then he did some googling and discovered the egg in his possession was highly sought after and had been missing for a century. Just like that, an insta-millionaire. What are the odds of this kind of thing happening to you? Not very high? Not so fast…
Last summer, my husband and I brought back a car full of goodies from his father’s house after rummaging through the basement to help him clear out some space. One of these was The Legend of Zelda, a Milton Bradley board game from the 80’s. Because it’s one you don’t see around much, my husband looked it up and stumbled upon this listing:
$18,000 for an unused version of the game. Sixty-two watchers and eighty-two bids as of today. At the time of our discovery, there was only one other listing for it on eBay. Now there are at least five, the lowest with nine bids and selling for $55.00, the second highest being $6,500. If that thing really goes for thousands of dollars, it will make everyone who is selling for double digits think twice (pun!), even if their versions are used or flawed. When I asked my husband if we should put it up for auction, he said no, which I think is a wise choice. Why not sit on it another twenty years and see what happens then?
These stories are a great reminder that you never know what family heirlooms or piles of junk could be worth some major cash. And that maybe a google search of your findings would be the first thing to do. Also, if you buy a fancy golden egg with a clock inside adorned with jewels and inscribed with a name like “Vacheron Constantin”, you probably don’t want to melt it down. It feels harder for young people to accumulate much of value without an older generation’s help, but not impossible (still holding out for the those Beanie Babies, huh?). With technology taking over, there are plenty of seemingly worthless things you own that will someday be very hard to come by. My husband has an out of print DVD that was posted on Amazon for over $5,000. My mom hung on to her collection of 1960’s Beatles handbills which can apparently be worth up to six figures for the number she has if they are in mint condition. The man with the Faberge egg bought it at “a sale”, which sounds easy enough. I go to sales. I’m sure there are people who make a hobby of this sort of treasure hunt. There is no reason you can’t have in on the fun too. What have you had in your possession that was surprisingly valuable? Did you sell? It might be wise to take a second look at your stockpile before the next Goodwill run.