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Man's $5 Goodwill find could net him $50k, but what are your chances of finding something valuable?

Posted at 10:58 PM, Feb 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 13:34:23-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- A $5 vase purchased at a Goodwill Store in Indiana could net a man more than $50,000.

An appraiser on this week’s episode of PBS’s “Antique’s Roadshow” - taped in Indianapolis last year - said the vase is actually a piece of Overbeck Pottery produced in Indiana in the early 1900s. And it’s worth a lot more than the $4.99 he spent.


So what are the chances that you can find something like that?

To the untrained eye, it’s tough to tell what’s valuable.

Dan Ripley with Ripley Auctions said most valuable items get passed down through generations or are distributed through estate sales. So it’s not always easy to identify which are valuable antiques.

One of the easiest ways to identify an antique is by the maker’s mark stamped on the bottom. But not all antiques are that easy to identify.

“When you’re talking about art glass and you look at the bottom of it, you can tell a piece of blown glass by the way it’s finished on the bottom,” said Ripley.

Either way, this man’s story has us wanting to go shopping at Goodwill.

A Goodwill representative tells RTV6 that the company does have people who look through donated items for things of value, but some of them do slip through the cracks and make it onto the shelf.