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Collector's Items That Are Actually Worthless

Precious Moments Figurines

Precious Moments Figurines were all the rage in the 1970s and 1980s. People would go out and spend hundreds and thousands of dollars just on a couple of the small figurines. Many would wait in line for hours for special releases, scour their local area for any sales, and end up with a collection they had spent thousands on.

We hope these people were only doing this for the fun of it, because many of these figurines are only selling for a few dollars each on eBay and at estate sales. You are lucky if you could even sell one for $50. There just isn’t a market for these collectibles anymore.

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Model Trains

Model Trains are not as popular of an item with younger generations these days because, unlike the older generations, they grew up with more cool cars than cool trains, and so cars are more of the “it” collector’s item for them.

Many people have tried to sell their model trains as they go into retirement, but are seeing that the hundreds of thousands of dollars they spent on the trains are not being returned with interest. The trains are having lots of trouble selling, let alone selling for the good price they hoped to once sell it at.

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Cabbage Patch Kids

Back in the day, people would fight in the stores over who got the last Cabbage Patch Kids doll, but today, not even the Cabbage Patch collectors will look twice at a Cabbage Patch doll.

These dolls used to sell for around $25 each, and people bought them thinking it was an investment. They thought they would eventually be able to sell them easily for way more than they bought them for, but that is definitely not the case now. You would be lucky to get the original price of $25 for one in the box in mint condition.

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Rocks

This one is quite obvious, but you won’t be able to sell your rock collection for anything to anybody unless you happen to come across a very rare rock that some geologist cares about, and you know enough about it to be able to sell it for what it is worth.

Nearly everyone had a rock collection growing up, and it is still happening with children today. The good thing is that at least we aren’t spending thousands of dollars hoping for investment, we are just looking for a fun pastime.

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Trading Cards

Baseball cards, Pokémon cards, and the like, are just not as valuable as they once were. If you have a very rare baseball card of a popular player, there could be hope for you just yet. If you have collected hundreds or thousands of cards with not many diamonds in the rough, you are not as lucky.

The reason for worthless trading cards, like baseball and Pokémon, is that the companies printed enough back in the day to not make them rare, and collectors hold on to these cards thinking maybe one day they will be worth something, when in reality, there isn’t a market and five other people on your street have the same cards you do.

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Porcelain Dolls

The main reason for the worthlessness of porcelain dolls nowadays is that most young people find them just plain creepy! There have been far too many horror movies centered around creepy dolls for anyone to actually want to pay hundreds of dollars to have one in their own home.

While you might get the big bucks for a rare doll that some other collector is looking for, the chances are even rarer that you have one of those dolls and that you will find a buyer. You can also buy similar dolls on the market for about $10 if you really wanting a porcelain doll.

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Stamps

Stamps are a really difficult area of collecting to get into. Since there are so many stamps always in circulation, it can be hard to tell which ones are actually of value and which ones are worthless.

The trickiest part is that some of the worthless stamps look nearly identical to the valuable stamps. The differences are certain numbers, printing locations, and other fine details that make the valuable ones stand out, not to mention the condition that the stamps are in as well.

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Beanie Babies

Just like the trading cards, Beanie Babies were mass produced for a long time making these collector’s items simply that: collector’s items. They are not worth any more than the fun you experience while collecting them and the joy of seeing children play with them.

Of course, people talk about the rare Princess Diana Beanie Babies bear and the other ones that are thought to be “rare” when they really are not. You can ask around and find out nearly everyone you know either has one or knows someone who has one. It’s not exactly rare if it is almost as common as a cordless vacuum.

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Cassette Tapes

It should be obvious why these are no longer worth anything. Cassette tapes and VHS tapes alike are now completely worthless because no one has access to the right machinery to play them anymore.

If they do have a cassette or VHS player, chances are - it is broken. There is that rare person who might still be collecting these “antiques” and might pay good money for a couple of them, but that is a very rare sale. It’s hard because not even Goodwill will probably take these anymore.

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Happy Meal Toys

Speaking of mass produced, just think about Happy Meal toys. While some might be more rare than others and receive a shockingly fair amount of cash in exchange, the vast majority are pretty worthless, especially if they have been used as a toy and not a mint condition collectible, which, let’s face it, is anything from McDonald’s in mint condition?

Happy Meal toys, like the majority of the other items on this list, just don’t have a market outside of the few collectors that are still actively searching for more. The good thing is that at least you didn’t totally waste your money along the way because you got a meal out of each purchase as well!

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Norman Rockwell Collectibles

Norman Rockwell has been adored for his work on the Saturday Evening Post even long after his prime. However, the collectible plates that display his work are not to be admired for their value because, frankly, they don’t have any. Several people have these plates in their homes as well, so you are not exactly the only one that has a specific plate. These are collectibles in the sense that the company wanted you to buy them all and it was fun for you to do so, not in the sense that you could actually make money from these one day.
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Vinyl Records

Vinyl Records are becoming more popular, why are they not able to sell for more? Well, it’s because they are cheap to come by and cheap to recreate. With Spotify, Apple Music, and other digital music megastores, it’s not worth it for someone to find an original special edition copy of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band unless they really love it.

It’s also possible for kids these days to buy an album on iTunes or another site and get it “printed” onto a Vinyl Record as a personal gift to someone instead of searching and scouring for the real thing on eBay. They are fun for people to collect, but they don’t want to spend a ton of money on it, and there are several ways around that.

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Pogs

How did people ever think this was a good idea? Did we really think these little circles with pictures on them were ever really worth something, or were we just wishful thinking because we were told this was the next big thing?In reality, they are practically worthless. Very few Pogs could now be sold for even $20 a piece. Some large collections of Pogs only sell for around $10. Looking back, it was pretty worthless spending all of that money we can never get back.
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Comic Books

Again, comic books are in that category of mass produced objects that people bought in a frenzy thinking they would be valuable but there isn’t really a market for anymore. There are some old, rare comic books that could sell for a pretty penny, but the likelihood that you have one is even more rare.

Comic books were so popular back in the day that publishers, artists, and writers were pumping out as many as they could to keep the craze alive. Once it died, the market for them did too. While superhero movies are calling back to this time period of the comic books, it is still not opening up the market enough to make a lot of money.

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Royal Family Memorabilia

While people love the royal family and worship them like, well, royalty, the memorabilia that is marketed towards these adoring fans is not as well received in selling the said memorabilia for more than you purchased it.

Again, it’s mass produced to make you think that they are rare, collectible, or even worth something, but they just aren’t. Like the Princess Diana Beanie Babies bear, there are several other people in your area that probably have the exact same one as you.

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Star Wars Toys

Star Wars toys are in a similar boat. If you have truly vintage Star Wars toys from the 1970s, you could sell your collection for quite a bit of money, especially if they are in mint condition.

However, don’t fool yourself into thinking that any more recent Star Wars toys that you can buy today at Walmart or Target could earn you the same amount of cash in 30 years. These newer toys are cheaply made and mass produced. Don’t make the same mistakes that others have done with Pogs and Beanie Babies.

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Barbie Dolls

There is 100% a pattern here. Barbie dolls are mass produced and only valuable if they are rare and in mint condition. For little girls growing up, Barbie dolls were so fun to dress up and play with, and they were so confused to see why people would buy these pretty toys and then never play with them.For some, you could make a lot of money, but for others, it’s better off just giving to a little kid so they have a new doll to play with. They will value it for what they see it as, not with a collector’s eye. But if you know that what you have is actually worth something, you should probably get your money’s worth, whatever it may be.
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Vintage Silver

If you search on eBay for vintage silver, you will be pleasantly surprised at the prices you will find if you are looking to buy, but very disappointed if you are looking to sell pieces you once thought held a lot of value.

It’s also fairly easy to find these “special” pieces at thrift stores like Goodwill for a very low price. Even some antique stores are not pricing these pieces as highly anymore. Young consumers also don’t care as much about it. They would rather shop at Target.

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Pez Dispensers

Who thought this was a good idea? Why did anyone think these things would be valuable in the future? Maybe someone who is sentimental about their childhood might want to find one or two of their old favorites to keep, but they won’t pay the big bucks for it.Pez still makes new dispensers each year to keep up with what is popular for kids nowadays, but there aren’t as many collectors, so there aren’t as many people willing to buy “vintage” candy dispensers.
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Funko Pop! Figurines

This is a bit of a new trend with millennials and gen Z. You will find a lot of Funko Pop! Figurines in the styles of popular video game and movie characters, but you should stop if you think these will actually be worth something in the future.

Given the history of these other items that were mass produced, marketed as collectibles, but end up being worthless, do you really think that these figurines will have a different fate? Most likely not. They are currently not worth a lot, so why would they be worth more in the future. Save your money and don’t gamble it away on collectibles for the sake of investment. Collect, instead, for the simple joy of collecting.

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