Could your weird collections be worth millions?

It's always boggled my mind how some people will pay thousands of dollars for items that once sold for just pennies. It would be neat to see a 200-year-old rare coin, or a collection of commemorative stamps from the early 20th century, but I just don't see spending the equivalent of a vacation house on my own private island to own these things.

Nevertheless, if you've got a collection of some sort, there is probably someone out there who will pay you for it -- and you might be surprised at just how much money some things will fetch. When I first noticed this phenomenon as a child, I started hoarding pogs. I never played the game and in fact couldn't even tell you the rules, but I owned thousands of those stupid discs, because I was told that one day they would be very valuable. (I still have them and I'm still waiting for that day to come. Something tells me it won't.) My mother has a whole cabinet full of salt cellars, but I'm pretty sure none of them have ever been used. My in-laws have a salt and pepper shaker set for any theme or occasion. And there's a guy I know who has every issue of Playboy magazine ever printed. Now I can see someone forking over big bucks for that collection!


Forbes has compiled a list of some of the world's strangest -- and most surprisingly valuable -- collections. Lots of people collect coins, and it's pretty easy to find buyers for particularly rare specimens, but imagine a set of just 301 pennies fetching $10.7 million! That's a pretty incredible markup. My personal favorite on the Forbes list is Rune Trapper's collection of airplane barf bags. He has over 1200 airsickness bags from 474 airlines and 133 countries. That's impressive. There's also a dog collar collection on the list valued at $75,000, and if you own any memorabilia from The Wizard of Oz movie, you might see six figures for something like that.

The thing about collections is that they become extremely sentimental. If you're ever going to build up a collection worth any real money, you're going to be at it for most of your life -- will you be ready to part with these things when the right bidder comes along?

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