Check your attic: these old items could be worth some money

Old, vintage stuff has always been in. Some people like them because of their unique and antique look while others appreciate them as valuable collectibles. Either way, if you checked your attic or basement, there is a vast chance you would find something from the old days that has some value on it. So, grab your flashlight and start your adventure through time! You might make someone’s day by providing an opportunity to gain something they have been looking for their entire lives and you didn’t even know you had it. The plus side for you is that you could earn some real money.

1.  Vintage spare time mementos

If you decide to embark on the mission of digging through your old things, be sure to check whether you have some of the early editions of comics. You can get big bucks for them if they are in mint condition, but also if they have been taken out of their original box. Another example of possible hidden treasures are figures, especially Star Wars figures from the ‘70s and ‘80s. Nevertheless, if you or your predecessors were into music – you can make a profit out of it, too. Namely, vinyl records have made a major comeback and a large number of collectors seek out for these. So, make sure to check your collection because some of the records may be worth serious money. Among the things people are ready to pay a lot of money, particularly if they are in good condition, are vintage record players.

2.  Toys from the olden days

Dive into the toy chest from your childhood and check whether you have some valuables there as well. Remember those Polly Pocket toys and sets from the ‘90s? Well, if you still have some of those, you have the opportunity to exchange them for cash. Even bigger fortune lies in American Girls dolls with their clothes and accessories, an example being Samantha, which sold for an amazing sum of $4,200 on e-Bay! Boys’ toys aren’t to be overlooked either. Vintage He-Man, Transformer and G.I. Joe toys in the original box and even out of the box can earn some real money. Collectible Pokémon cards and many other regular toys from the 1950s onward can bring you a few bucks.

3.  Antique currencies, coins and banknotes

If you bump into an old coin bank (which can also be worth some money, by the way), check thoroughly what is hidden and probably forgotten inside. You don’t even know it, but you can be lucky enough to be the owner of some rare, old coins which can bring you a fortune with a proper old coins valuation. These include some coins with errors, which were retracted immediately after being put into circulation but they can still serve as a valuable printing error to you. Yet another type is extremely rare coins such as 1943 Lincoln Head copper penny which you can sell for an astonishing $10,000 or even more! Moreover, if you possess some of the paper money from the previous decades, be ready to appraise them and to be amazed!

4.  Fine dining

Everybody has that one cabinet where their grandmothers or even great-grandmothers keep a fancy china set that you never get to use, but is saved for some important guests, right? Well, if you are one of these people and want to offload some of these things, do your research because some of these sets can you bring you money. People also go crazy for the vintage Pyrex dishes! Another valuable thing: sterling silverware. Full sets of sterling silverware sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Watch out for those dusty, old lunchboxes. Wipe off the dust and check if you have a lunchbox featuring cartoon characters, rock groups, superheroes or movie stars – and if you do, then you’re in for a real ’green’ treat. You could be in for a real payday if you possess any antique kitchen utensils such as upside-down ball mason jars, milk glass banana stands, ball jugs and many others.

5.  Valuable literature

You may have some cash sitting in your old, covered-in-dust bookshelf. Classic books and first edition books go for a high price online. Related to the topic of literature, the machine used for writing them can also be sold for much money. Typewriters that are both functional and fashionable can hold real value. The value goes even higher if you are an owner of a bubblegum pink color typewriter since these models are very rare.

As you can see, vintage things from every aspect of our lives can be worth some money. I don’t know what exactly is it about them that makes them so special, is it the mystery of past lives they were part of? Is it a prestige stemming from being a proud owner of something that not many people in the world possess or yet the idea that every patina or chipping that is a part of them acts as a unique color or shape? No matter the reason, it seems that vintage never goes out of style.

Lucas is a business consultant with a passion for writing. Doing his research, exploring and writing are his favorite things to do. Besides that, he loves playing his guitar, hiking and traveling.

Turning Your Home Furniture Hobby Into a Winning Business

If you’re looking for a new business to get underway, then you could much worse than taking your existing hobby and finding ways to make money from it! One of the best – and increasingly popular – hobby-cum-businesses is home furniture. Because this is an area where limited produced pieces are often more popular than mass-produced items, you’ll be on a more level playing field with other furniture companies than you would be in other industries. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy: it isn’t! If you’re thinking of starting your own furniture company, then take a look at our tips below, and you’ll be increasing your chances of success.

Perfect Your Craft

There’s a big difference between someone who does something as a hobby and someone who does something professionally. Before you look at making a viable business from your home furnishings, make sure that you’re taking the time to perfect your craft. You’ll receive plenty of compliments from friends and family when you’re just getting going, but it’s a different matter when you start charging people for your creations. As such, you’ll want your furniture to be as perfect as possible! If that means delaying your launch date by a few months while you hit the appropriate standards, then so be it.

What’s Your Niche?

As you might have gathered, the furniture world is pretty big! And you’ll perform much better if you select a niche to work in. For example, you could focus on kitchen tables and chairs, or bedside cabinets, or coffee tables for the living room. You’re likely able to do everything, but as you’re getting started, it might be better to build your company around a specific set of furniture. You’ll also want to work on a particular style, too: are you rustic, modern, traditional, or something else?

What Do People Want?

But of course, what you’re good at making and what you like to make might not coincide with what people generally want. As such, before you sink too much money into your new venture, try to find out if there’s an audience for your creations. This is where your market research will come in handy. It’ll help to determine what people are looking for, how what you create meets that end, what to charge, and so on.

Getting Creative

Having said that, it’s important that you’re putting your own spin on your creations too. You shouldn’t just give people what they want; if you do, you’ll end up playing it too safe, and if you’re going to succeed, then you need to have something different about your products! So develop your own style, and don’t be afraid to take chances. It’s not always about meeting everyone’s wishes; when it comes to artistic pursuits like furniture, there’s also an element of showing people where they might like to go, too.

Working From Home Or Renting

You’re going to need space to work, and that’s going to force you to make a tough decision: do you work from home, or rent a space? There are benefits to both. If you work from home, then you won’t be spending money that could be better spent elsewhere on rent. If you’re working from a rented space, you’ll have more space to work and store more of your creations. All weighed up, it’s probably a good idea to rent a space. This will allow you to make extra income by hosting workshops, and will also give you a more professional look, especially if you’re “store” is located in one of those hip industrial zones that are becoming increasingly popular in urban areas.

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Source: Pexels.com

Antique Markets

When you’re in the furniture game, your best friends are going to be antique markets. These are places to not only sell your creations, but to also buy pieces that you think you can improve upon. Take a long your best creations, and you’ll soon gain a reputation for offering top-quality goods.

Getting the Word Out

You probably looked at setting up a furniture company because word of mouth was helping to get the word out about your creations, and thus you decided to make a go of it full-time. However, when it comes to making a full-time business out of was once a hobby, you’ll need more than word of mouth. You’ll want to have a website and social media channels, and also work with a furniture marketing agency to draw more people to your online presence. Of course, referrals will also be a big part of your business, so try to come up with some sort of incentive package for your clients who direct future work your way.

Use The Best Materials

You might be able to make your furniture look good, but your reputation will quickly fall to pieces if, well, your furniture falls to pieces. As such, make sure you’re using the best materials for your creations. People have no shortage of options if they want cheap but poorly made furniture; they’ll come to you because they know it’s the best, and they’ll expect you to use good materials!

The Art of Presentation

If you’re going to sell your furniture online, then you’ll need to learn the art of taking a good photograph. Look at taking an introduction to photography course, or hiring other people to take professional photos of your products.

Building Relationships

Also, don’t forget the power of building relationships! It’s much cheaper and easier to keep an existing customer on the hook rather than fish for a new one. Work with your clients, and make yourself available for custom pieces.

Final Thoughts

So far as businesses go, there are few as enjoyable, creative, and as easily accessible as selling furniture. If you have the passion to create things for their own sake (i.e. when it was a hobby), then you’ll have the necessary drive to turn it into a successful business..and especially if you incorporate our words of wisdom above.

Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Employees

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, and you know that your hard-working employees deserve at least a small token of your appreciation. But, we also know how busy and stressful December is in the world of business, so it’s not unusual to find yourself heading to the office Christmas party and realize that you completely forgot about holiday gifts for your employees. But fret not! Here’s a list of cool last minute gifting ideas to save the day and help you show your employees that you value them.

Baked goods

Who doesn’t like cupcakes, pies, or Danish? Even if somebody actually doesn’t, then that person must be a doughnut lover. So, instead of racking your brains trying to come up with something unique and fancy, it’s a better idea to try and remember what your employees like to gorge on during their lunch break and hand them an assortment of their favorite baked goods in nice, festive wrapping. Sometimes there’s no need to go over the top when it comes to gift-giving, and a box of, say, blueberry muffins can do the trick.

A desktop terrarium

Let’s face it, offices can be stuffy and gloomy places which is why a decorative desktop terrarium makes a perfect addition to your employees’ attempts to personalize, brighten up, and add a touch of nature to their workspace. What’s great about these miniature greenhouses is the fact that the plants in them don’t actually require too much nurturing or natural light. So even if your busy employees, immersed in their everyday work forget to water them from time to time, no biggie. All these resistant plants require in order to thrive is to be misted every two to three weeks and some indirect light.

A Christmas gift card

When you want to get your employees something that they really want or need and you have no idea what that would be, then simply give them prepaid Christmas gift cards, and make sure that yours will be their favorite gift this holiday season. Every year, thousands of gifts are returned because people either don’t like the choice or they already have the same thing, so this is the best way to avoid disappointing your employees by presenting them with unwanted items. Additionally, gift cards are suitable for any budget, and they can be used in a number of stores.

A digital notebook

Writing important notes down is very useful, but it’s not exactly practical as people tend to lose post-it notes or torn pieces of paper, which is why a digital notebook is the right thing. Namely, this smart gadget allows you to jot down your thoughts, ideas, or lists and it stores them in the cloud where you can access them anytime you want. Your employees will be thankful for this amazing, and yet comparatively affordable gift as they will be able to clean up and declutter their desks.

A Shiatsu massage seat cushion

Sitting at your desk for more than 8 hours a day can put a lot of strain on our health. To help your employees stay healthy and productive, get them a relaxing Shiatsu massage seat cushion that will be just the remedy their sore backs need. Nothing says “Thank you for all your hard work” better than this portable massage device that they can use anywhere – in their car, on the couch, or even at the office.

A heating lunch box

Some people prefer home-cooked meals to fast food, but the problem is that their food gets cold by the lunch break. This can be an issue, especially if you don’t have a kitchen at the office. That’s why a heating lunch box is an amazing idea that will allow your employees to enjoy healthy and delicious meals while they’re at work. This useful device renders a microwave oven completely unnecessary.

A desktop punching bag

Working at the office can be stressful, so a desktop punching bag that will let your employees blow off some steam when someone (maybe even you) steps on their toes should be a mandatory piece of office equipment. This convenient gift can be a part of stress and anger management strategy in your company, and help people who work for you vent their frustration and have some fun at the same time.

The gift of words

Never underestimate the power of warm, sincere, heartfelt words. A personalized and carefully crafted thank you note, preferably accompanied by a box of chocolates or some cool merch, will definitely hit the spot with your employees. Don’t forget to mention what a pleasure it is to work with them and how you appreciate all their efforts.

Creative holiday gifts don’t have to cost you a pretty penny and yet they can make your employees happy and show them that you care.

 

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Guest Author is Alex Williams is a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. Alex is a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog

Amazon’s Handmade and Its Impact on Ecommerce

love-handmade-02bUntil recently, Etsy, a website where people can sell handcrafted goods, has dominated the handmade ecommerce market.

Through Etsy, artisans can sell everything from knitted scarves to paintings to handmade jewelry.

The company has blossomed into a $2 billion a year company, and it’s seemed as though no competitor could cut into Etsy’s profits … until Amazon decided to get in the ring.

Amazon’s “Handmade” May Be a Game Changer

Amazon, easily one of the biggest online retailers on the planet, has introduced a new service called “Handmade”.

This service functions much like Amazon’s current store options, but now, instead of having to sell retail goods, an individual can sell things that they made.

Think of it as Amazon meets eBay.

There are not currently any plans to hold auction-style sales, but where eBay allows individuals to sell both retail goods and personal items, Handmade is set to do the same for artisans.

Whether you run a company or you’re just a hobbyist, Handmade will allow you to get your wares in front of a new audience and with the backing of Amazon’s extensive coffers, this competition could get ugly fast.

How Handmade May Effect Ecommerce

Aside from creating a challenge for Etsy, Handmade may also bring large changes to ecommerce.

In the past, online sales were dominated by larger players, such as Walmart and Sears. With sites like Etsy and eBay, suddenly, anyone could compete.

Walmart won’t carry your line of handcrafted shoes? Fine … sell them on Etsy. You’re not able to get your local art gallery to host your work? Sell it on eBay for whatever price you’d like.

The difference here is that Amazon has a very powerful reach, and as mentioned, its pockets are incredibly deep.

In fact, according to the article, “What Does Amazon Handmade Mean for Ecommerce?” the online giant brings in nearly $75 billion annually.

This means that it can afford to market Handmade and take chances that competitors may not be able to afford.

If you’re planning to give Handmade a try, it’s also worth looking into Etsy and similar sites.

While it’s true that Amazon can afford to take chances, the company is still going to have to prove itself to artisans and consumers.

In fact, smaller sites that allow artisans to sell handcrafted goods may actually do better in the long run as many people who sell their own work may find Amazon a big too corporate to work with.

About the Author: Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include digital marketing and tech trends.