What the Tech: How much is your collection worth?

It could take a long time to find out, or you can use your smartphone.
It could take a long time to find out, or you can use your smartphone.
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 12:54 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - You probably collected something as a kid. Maybe comic books, baseball cards, or Barbie dolls, thinking they might be worth something someday.

It could take a long time to find out, or you can use your smartphone. Consumer technology reporter Jamey Tucker shows how to t quickly find out if you’re sitting on a gold mine.

Like a lot of people, I’ve saved boxes of baseball cards and comic books. My kids still have their Beanie Babies.

They were supposed to be worth a lot of money by now.

But trying to find out how much these things are actually worth today, is no easy task - unless you have a smartphone. Just open Google Lens on any android or iOS device, or with the Google app you probably have on your phone. It will open your camera and you just line up the item in the frame.

In a second or two, Google will show you all the places that item is found online. If it’s a collectible, like a baseball card, it goes to an eBay listing where someone is selling the same card for $9. But a basketball card I almost overlooked is worth over $100.

How many of us thought Beanie Babies would let us retire early? Google helped me find one that just sold on Esty and on eBay it’s selling for $14.

It also works with things like Longaberger baskets which we were sure could be worth thousands by now.


It only shows what someone else thinks it’s worth. But if you check eBay, search only for what someone actually paid for it. Depending on the condition of your collectible, that’s what you can expect to get if you sell it.

There’s no guarantee that what you find listed on eBay is the actual value of your collectible. It depends a lot on the shape it’s in. And with sports cards, it’s even harder to tell from a picture.

Still, you can get some idea of what you’ve got could be worth a lot of money, or it’s just a memory.

There’s a good reason to check those collections: One specific Beanie Baby is said to be worth more than $600,000, and rare baseball cards have sold for more than $5 million.

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