Stories of the flea market Picasso purchased for $14 or the Superman #1 found on Craigslist for $5 make good entertainment, but are more rare than being hit by lightening. Realistically, these sort of finds are a long shot. However, here are five relatively common, yet overlooked, flea market and Craigslist regulars that could net you thousands of dollars profit.
Be sure to do some research before you purchase items so that you know what values you can expect and what to look for when identifying items. Item prices can fluctuate in different markets.
- Sonic TV Remote Controls. Today most wireless products are controlled by infrared remotes. However, the sonic controlled remotes from the 1950’s-1980’s are worth at least $50 to collectors, and some can fetch several thousand dollars depending on branding and condition. Watch for these old remotes at flea markets; sometimes you can purchase an entire box of them at one time.
- Light Emitting Diode (LED) Digital Watches. These futuristic
timepieces became popular in the 1970’s but were replaced by the more practical LCD watches that are still used today. These watches have a button on the side that you push for them to light up and display the time. These vintage LED watches are highly collectible and working pieces can fetch much as $3,000 for a rare model.
- 11″ Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Monitors. Yes, we are talking about the clunky old computer screen that was replaced by the flat screen display. It is common to see old CRTs for sale, unfortunately most sizes are nearly worthless. But because of the industrial applications of the 11″ size, this sized monitor can frequently be resold for $1600 or more, depending on condition. When you see people selling old monitors, the 11″ size is mixed in with the others, so you need to check carefully. The monitor will either be marked on the side or the back, or you can measure diagonally from one corner of the screen to another using a small ruler.
- Japanese Barbie Dolls. Many older Barbie Dolls are collectible, however a surefire way to cash-in is to check Barbie’s butt. If it is marked “Japan” the doll is worth at least $2500 to collectors. Many times these Japanese Barbies will be mixed in with the other dolls so you will need to sort through them. Do not be afraid to look under the doll’s clothes in order to check for the “Japan” stamp.
- Non-Polaroid Instant Film. Many companies, such as Kodak, infringed on Polaroid’s patent for instant cameras and were shut down. You may see these instant cameras for sale, but they are not worth much. However, unopened film is rare, even though it is expired. Non-Polaroid instant film can be worth up to $450 a pack.
This is the first in our series of “Common Flea Market Finds That Can Be Worth Thousands.” Be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed or check back for the next installment to help you make the most of your buying dollar.