Hoarders and pack rats sometimes appear a little crazy to the outside world, but for every hoarder that gets on TV trapped under boxes of painted pine cones, there are a handful of savvy collectors who might surprise you with the value of their expansive collections. One of the amazing things about America is that the collection of anything can become a legitimate -- and even lucrative -- hobby. So, let’s take a look at six price guides you can use to help determine if your “junk” is hiding any diamonds in the rough.
1. Star Wars Memorabilia
Much like the movies themselves, “The Star Wars Super Collector's Wish Book” has evolved with each new edition. Schiffer Publishing has decided to create a two-volume set to separate general merchandise from toys. Whether you collect Star Wars window clings or Clone Wars kitchenware, when it comes to collectibles from a galaxy far, far away, this handy guide has got you covered.
2. Comic Books
The popular “Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide” delivers up-to-date information on more than a century’s worth of comic collectibles. You can download an electronic version from the Heritage Auctions website and easily browse listings on your computer.
3. Coin Collecting
If you’re into coin collecting, you probably already use “The Official Red Book” published by Whitman Publishing. This comprehensive coin collecting price guide for U.S. coins has become the go-to resource for dealers and hobbyists alike. The 2013 edition uses an intelligent pricing grid that makes it easy to find a wealth of information all in one spot.
4. Vintage Pool Cues
Paul Newman and Tom Cruise introduced the Balabushka pool cue to the masses in the 1986 movie “The Color of Money.” Vintage collectors have long lusted after the classic creations of legendary designer George Balabushka. The “Blue Book of Pool Cues” lists prices for vintage models from various manufacturers, although the information has not been updated since 2005.
5. Sports Cards
Time to dig through the shoeboxes full of old cards lying in the back of your closet. Beckett’s first basketball card magazine featured Michael Jordan on the cover. With that first entry into basketball cards, His Airness cemented Beckett as the leader in sports cards price guides. The company now covers baseball, basketball, football, hockey, boxing, racing, golf, soccer, tennis, Mixed Martial Arts and more.
6. Beer Cans
Believe it or not, you can even get your old beer cans appraised. It doesn’t even matter if you helped empty the can. eBeerCans.com serves up photos, can values, tips for collectors and an appraisal service. Some old beer cans can be worth more than $5,000 – much more than the nickel that the recycling plant will dole out!