3 Hot Vintage Valuables That Might Be Hiding Your Home

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

woman looking at clothes on rack
NinaMalyna / Shutterstock.com

With 30 years of reselling under my belt, I’m the go-to guy when friends need a quick appraisal. And over the years, I’ve noticed a recurring phenomenon: The vintage items most people consider valuable usually aren’t, and the things they want to toss are often hot collectibles.

Here’s why: Many of us get our idea of what’s valuable from our parents. But markets change, and new collectors have different tastes.

What disregarded treasures are hiding in your home right now? The answers might surprise you. In this series, we’ll explore hot collectibles you might already own.

1. Backgammon sets by Crisloid

backgammon game
ercan senkaya / Shutterstock.com

If you grew up in a backgammon family, it’s time to call your mother. Have her check the family room credenza for a set made by Crisloid.

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Crisloid was founded 70 years ago by Alphonse and Lucky Lodato. The brothers’ goal was to create heirloom-quality board games made of top-tier materials. In addition to backgammon sets, Crisloid also produces Mahjong sets, dominoes, checkers and cribbage boards.

Vintage Crisloid backgammon sets are valuable because the pieces (officially referred to as checkers) were often made of Bakelite. A precursor to plastic, Bakelite was used in the manufacturing of everything from jewelry to radio cases during the 1930s-’50s.

On eBay, this vintage Crisloid set recently sold for $299.98, and this lot of 30 backgammon checkers sold for $395. For those keeping score, prices like that put sellers in the gin position (IYKYK).

2. Reyn Spooner Hawaiian shirts

Hawaiian shirts
Mongkolchon Akesin / Shutterstock.com

After serving in World War II, Reynolds McCullough began working at a men’s clothier on California’s Catalina Island. His business skill and fashion sense quickly made him the star of the shop — and later, its owner.

In 1958, Reynolds (“Reyn” for short) moved his family and business to Hawaii. With Hawaii’s statehood around the corner, McCullough realized the lucrative potential of island tourism. He quickly combined his business with that of a local seamstress named Ruth Spooner. The duo dubbed their new business Reyn Spooner and focused on making high-quality, easy-care resort clothing.

Though still in business today, vintage Reyn Spooner is where the money’s at. Recently on eBay, this vintage long-sleeve Reyn Spooner shirt sold for $89.60. And on Etsy, this pop-over shirt is listed for $165.

3. Vintage platform shoes

platform shoes
modus_vivendi / Shutterstock.com

In a recent installment of this series, we covered how valuable old disco shirts can be. Now, we’ll head south but stay groovy. Vintage, “disco-style” platform shoes sell fever-ishly well online. And in this category, pedigree doesn’t matter much. Vintage platforms made in the early 1970s (disco) through early 1990s punk and post-punk are hot and equally valuable. (Gen Xers, are you rummaging through your closets yet?)

Brand takes second place to the right look. The higher the heel, the thicker the sole, the bigger the price tag. Still, buyers are willing to pay a premium for top brands. Take yourself out dancing if you have a pair by one of these top shoemakers:

  • Granny Takes a Trip
  • Yosuke
  • Dr. Martens
  • Flagg Bros.
  • Destroy

On eBay, this leather pair of men’s Granny Takes a Trip platform shoes sold for $699, and this pair of blue leather sandals for women sold for $450.

Vive la vintage!

older man with hula hoop
Ground Picture / Shutterstock.com

Let’s dispel the myth that collecting and reselling is all about old butter churns and formal china sets. Today’s buyers want to recapture joy.

Vintage board games, vacation attire, and funk-tastic dancing shoes — these are works of art and functional objects that transport us to other (not-so-long-ago) moments. Embrace the fun and games, and maybe make a few bucks while you’re at it.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.