Looking for some quick cash? Check your kitchen. There may be lots of treasure in there.
If you love to cook, you are likely in possession of a lot of equipment — perhaps too much. Maybe it's time to declutter. What items are sought-after by collectors? Here are nine items that could fetch you some quick cash. Time to clean out the cupboards!
My mother had two fondue sets, one in gold and the other in a rusty red. Fondue was a 1970s party phenomenon, and my mom led the pack. She would put on meat fondue parties, cheese fondue parties, and top it off with chocolate fondue for dessert. I learned to light a Sterno can at an early age. Fondue parties are still fun, so if you want to dig your mom's set out and convince her to sell, you can probably get $20 to $30 for it.
If you have only ever used plastic cookie cutters, you are missing out. Metal cutters are far superior, as they give cookies a more identifiable shape. Some are merely cookie outlines, and some — like my grandmother's — have a nifty handle on top. The older they are (the tin will be dark), the more valuable they become as collectibles. Not only are they practical, but they also look great just as decoration in a kitchen. Depending on age and condition of the cutter, you can resell for $3 a piece, and up.
I'm a total sucker for Pyrex casserole dishes and bowls, and am willing to fight to the death at a garage sale if I see them. They're so durable, work beautifully, and come in terrific patterns. If you have some, sell them and earn cash, or watch garage sales for popular patterns to resell. Keep an eye out for patterns known as Blue Dot, Gooseberry, Butterprint or Snowflake Blue, as these tend to be more popular.
Even if they aren't in the best condition, you may be able to sell a butcher block for big bucks. "Distressed" is a trendy style, and they look great in both farm-style or modern stainless-steel kitchens. You may be able to fetch a fast $50 for a 10x20. Find one in rough shape? You may be able to recondition it before you sell it.
With the resurgence of people making their own fermented food, like kimchi or sauerkraut, Crock-Pots are all the rage. The most valuable are ones with salt-glaze finish (bumpy to the touch), or Crocks with decorations like flowers beneath the glaze, or ones with numbers stencilled on them. These can easily sell for over $100.
There are actually conventions and meet-ups where people seek quality cast iron skillets like the Griswold line. Buyer beware, though — there are reproductions out there. Those are usually rustier, have fainter markings on the bottom, and are heavier than the real deal. These are a good thing to look for at garage sales to later resell. A 3" skillet with a lid can bring in about $150.
Look for tin cups, scoops, graters, and containers to sell. While some may have a low resale value ($5), an old coffee tin may earn you about $20. You can put together several tin items and resell in a lot.
Inherit a set of dishes you don't really love? You're not alone. My grandmother's Franciscan "Apple" pattern languishes in our attic. And if you don't want to pass them down to your kids, consider selling the set. Lennox's "Eternal" china will net you about $195, and Spode's old favorite "Christmas Tree" pattern can be found for $150 for a 20-piece set.
Sunbeam mixers were built to last. And last. In good working condition, you can still sell them for between $30 and $90. I know in 1977 my mother decided hers was just too old-looking, and now it's considered "retro."