Your Old Coins, Toys & Other 'Junk' Could Be Worth A Lot — Here's How To Find Out

A possible fortune at your finger tips! 💰

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Boxes of junk stacked on top of each other. Right: Canadian banknotes.

Boxes of junk stacked on top of each other. Right: Canadian banknotes.

You've likely accumulated lots of odds and ends over the years and now you're not quite sure what to do with them. That drawer full of Canadian Tire money or shelf of vintage toys may seem like clutter just taking up space in your home, but with the right research and evaluation, you may be surprised to find out that your quirky collections hold hidden value.

So, dust off those old keepsakes and don't toss them just yet. Here are seven ways to figure out if you can turn your junk into cash:

Online Research

\u200bSomeone browses the eBay app.

Someone browses the eBay app.

Ymgerman | Dreamstime

Start by searching online auction sites, like eBay or Etsy, for items that are similar to yours. Look at the prices that they sold for and see if there's a consistent price range. You can also check out online antique marketplaces, like Ruby Lane or 1stDibs, for more specialized items.

When conducting online research, try to find items that are similar in terms of age, condition and rarity to your item. Look for those that have sold recently instead of what's currently listed for sale. Sold prices are a better indicator of the item's true value. Also, keep in mind that the price of an item can fluctuate depending on the market, so it's a good idea to check prices periodically over time.

Local Appraisers

\u200bA stamp collection with a magnifying glass.

A stamp collection with a magnifying glass.

Dana Rothstein | Dreamstime

Local appraisers can provide an in-person estimate of your item's value. They may charge a fee for their services, but they can offer expert knowledge and insights that you may not have access to otherwise.

Look for appraisers who have expertise in the area of your item. For example, if you have a vintage guitar, look for an appraiser who specializes in musical instruments. Be sure to ask the appraiser what their fee is upfront, and ask if they charge a percentage of the item's value or a flat fee. Also, keep in mind that appraisals are usually based on the appraiser's opinion, so the value may vary between appraisers.

Online Appraisers

Online appraisal services can provide you with a valuation of your item through photos and descriptions that you provide. Some popular appraisal services include Value My Stuff and WorthPoint.

Before using an online appraisal service, make sure that they have good reviews and are reputable. Most services charge a fee for each item you want appraised, so make sure to read the fine print. Be sure to provide as much detail as possible about your item, including high-quality photos, measurements and any known history.

Antique Shops

Antique shops may be interested in purchasing your item or offering an estimate of its value. Keep in mind that they will likely offer you less than what they plan to sell it for, so you may want to consider selling it directly to a collector or online marketplace.

When visiting antique shops, bring your item with you and be prepared to negotiate the price. Also, be wary of dealers who offer you a low price upfront, as they may be trying to take advantage of you.


Pawnshops may offer you a price for your item or provide an estimate of its value. However, keep in mind that they will likely offer you less than its true value since they are reselling it for a profit.

If you decide to visit a pawnshop, be prepared to negotiate the price. Pawnshops usually offer lower prices than other resellers, so don't expect to get the full value of your item. Also, keep in mind that pawnshops may not be interested in all types of items, so call ahead to make sure they will appraise your item.


Attend local auctions to see if similar items to yours are being sold and for what price. You can also check out online auction sites, like Sotheby’s or eBid, to see if any auctions are selling similar items. Just keep in mind that auction houses usually charge a buyer's premium, often a percentage of the final sale price.


Finding collectors who are interested in your item can be a great way to get a higher price than you would from other resellers. When reaching out to collectors, be sure to provide as much detail as possible about your item, including any known history or provenance.

Be prepared to negotiate the price, as collectors may have a specific price range in mind. You can find collectors through online forums, collector groups on social media, or specialized collector websites. They may have a better sense of your item's value and be willing to pay more for it than an antique shop or pawnshop would.

Sofia Misenheimer
MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Sofia Misenheimer is an award-winning writer, editor and former radio journalist with a passion for finding hidden gems in the city.