We all would love to buy something cheap, sell it years later and make a fortune. That's what makes it so painful when someone else actually goes and does it.
Yep, someone last week sold a 17th-century Chinese “libation cup," which holds traditionally religious associations, at an Australian auction for $75,640, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. Ready to be depressed? The cup was originally purchased for just four dollars.
After purchasing the cup -- again, for four dollars -- the seller reportedly contacted a Sotheby’s consultant to inquire about its value and was told that the cup was worth an estimated $20,000 to $30,000. (It was bought for more than double that latter number, or 18,910 times more than its original purchasing price.)
This story comes on the heels of a recent string of bargain shop success stories. Just last March, a bowl bought at a New York tag sale for $3 sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $2.2 million. In November 2010, a porcelain Chinese vase that sat on an elderly man's bookshelf for years was identified as an object from the reign of 18th-century emperor Qianlong. It sold for approximately $69 million.
If you're looking for an even better auction block investment, however, bills and coins are where it's at. In just the past year, such rarities have sold for $2.5 million, $3.1 million, and $10 million. We'd hand you a tissue to cry into if we could.
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This Girl's Virginity
Catarina Migliorini, a 20-year-old Brazilian student, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/28/catarina-migliorini-brazilian-woman-auctions-virginity_n_1922579.html#slide=1580679">auctioned off her virginity</a> to provide housing for poor families.
Scarlett Johansson's Used Tissue
Turns out a tissue becomes a lot more valuable once Johansson's nose takes a giant whiff. The actress's used issue <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7796991.stm">sold for $5,300</a> and the proceeds went to hunger charity USA Harvest.
Baby Naming Rights
In 2005, a woman from Connecticut put the rights of naming her child up for auction and received bids for <a href="http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/gallery/gallery.aspx?cp-documentid=26951602&page=4">over $15,000</a>!
Elvis Presley's Dirty Underwear
A pair of soiled underwear worn by Elvis Presley found <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/10/elvis-presleys-bible-auction-94000-stained-underwear_n_1870575.html" target="_hplink">no takers</a> at an auction, though originally they were expected to fetch <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/27/elvis-dirty-underwear-up-_n_1832904.html" target="_hplink">as much as</a> $16,000.
Virgin Mary Sandwich
<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/4034787.stm">According to BBC News</a>, a cheese sandwich claiming to have the image of the Virgin Mary was sold on eBaby for $28,000.
John Lennon’s Toilet
A toilet once belonging to John Lennon was sold for $14,740, according to <a href="http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/gallery/gallery.aspx?cp-documentid=26951602&page=3">MSN Money</a>.
A Spot In A Wedding
To help pay for her wedding, one woman took matters into her own hands and auctioned off one of her <a href="http://hamptonroads.com/2008/06/money-cant-buy-love-how-much-be-wedding">bridesmaids spots.</a>
A woman from Albuquerque put her soul up for sale on eBay with bids starting at $2,000. "What I'm gonna deliver is the opportunity for someone to save my soul," the woman promised, according to <a href="http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S2677763.shtml">KOB Eyewitness News 4</a>.
Rob Swanson's Mustache
Nick Offerman--who plays Ron Swanson on NBC'S "Parks & Recreation" <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/18/ron-swansons-mustache-auction_n_1802851.html">put his mustache up for auction</a> to help raise money for the pediatric cancer charity Because of Ezra.
Bonnie and Clyde Guns
These guns once in the possession of notorious gangsters Bonnie and Clyde when they were killed were sold for a total of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/bonnie-and-clyde-guns-auction-new-hampshire_n_1928493.html#slide=1584916">$1.1 million dollars</a>.