Vintage Items Worth Money: 3 Old Electronics Worth Up to $5,000

By: Todd Covelli | Victor Padilla Posted: 12:31 PM, Jun 5, 2019 Updated: 12:39 PM, Jun 5, 2019

You may be surprised to learn that you could have a dust-covered goldmine in your garage or attic. And it’s from an unlikely source: vintage electronics. That’s right! Old tape players, radios and even cameras are getting big bucks at auctions and sites like eBay. But before you start your treasure hunt, you’ll want to hear from our professional auctioneer – Rowlan Hill from Blue Leaf Estate Auctions – who has a list of three vintage items worth money.


1. Reel-to-Reel Tape Decks


Let’s start our list of vintage items worth money by fast forwarding to reel-to-reel tape decks – invented in the ‘40s and popular through the ‘80s. Rowlan says that many audiophiles consider the sound of reel-to-reel superior to today’s all digital formats, and musicians are snapping these up to create modern music. “Reel-to-reels will give you that drag sound; it will give you that analog sound to create mix tapes,” Rowlan describes. He says look for brands like AKAI and TEAC. We saw one AKAI go for more than $3,000 on eBay recently. Cha-Ching!


2. Vintage Cameras


Next on our roundup of vintage items worth money, we’re focusing on vintage cameras from the ‘40s through the ‘80s. “Polaroids are coming back – they’re the hottest thing out right now,” insists Rowlan. And you can still buy film for them online and in stores! Also, vintage cameras are mostly used for decor pieces these days. So how much are they worth? “These cameras always sell at the auctions. Some sell for more than others. The cooler it looks, the more it brings,” informs our auctioneer. We found old Polaroid camera going for nearly $90, while the older Brownie cameras are in the $15 to $50 range.


3. Old Radios


Tuning into our last piece of vintage electronic gear: old radios. “Old radios are kind of hot because they’re good decoration; they’re good looks in some houses,” explains Rowlan. Our expert says that while early brands like Westinghouse and Philco from the ‘40s are top sellers, also look for Sony and Panasonic from the ‘50s on up. One vintage Sony radio recently fetched more than $5,000 on eBay – which is where Rowlan recommends you check the value of any electronics you want to sell. “Go to eBay, look up sold items, and see what they’ve sold for. Look up two or three of them to make sure the prices are consistent,” he suggests. Duly noted!


Whether in your garage or attic, now you know about three vintage items worth money.


Tune in to The List weekdays for everything that’s new, now and next! Check your local listings here.