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.