Collecting Treasures: People can hide money in pretty creative places. When it comes time to move or sell personal items, be careful.
If you’re selling estate items or helping a relative or friend downsize, be sure to check hidden spots for money. People find the craziest spots to hide their cash, as we’ve recently experienced when sorting through items of two consignors’ estates.
This past spring, we found and returned more than $6,500 to the two consignors, and our employees also found a vintage Lumiere camera hidden away in one of the homes that ended up selling for $5,000. In our case, we found the cash hidden in furniture, a purse, and a small belt buckle gun holster.
People have different reasons for hiding cash and other treasures. Sometimes they hide valuables in case their homes are broken into, and other times they might be hiding them from their spouse or children.
Either way, it’s important to take the time to carefully check furniture, closets, garage shelves and other areas to make sure you’re not leaving anything behind.
There’s no doubt that clearing out a loved one’s home can be very emotional, and often times people don’t know that the cash or valuables are hidden. We recognize how emotional the process can be for the family, and our staff is trained to look through all of the nooks and crannies to make sure we don’t auction an item off with a secret kitty attached.
Based on our experience, here’s a list of the most common places people hide their money and other valuables:
- Furniture, including mattresses and hidden nooks.
- Envelopes, both in desk drawers and stuffed under couch cushions.
- Purses and their contents, such as wallets, lipstick holders, and compact mirrors.
- Inside cookie jars.
- Cans, including food cans and other cans packed away in the garage or attic.
- Behind art – Often, people will tape cash to the back of paintings.
- Inside freezers.
Again, people are very clever about where they hide their valuables. If you can, have that conversation now with your loved ones so you are not in the dark when it comes time to clean out, sell or donate their valuables.
As I’m writing this, one of my managers says he has hidden money behind fake electrical outlets, and he reminded me that there are fake soda bottles that look like they have liquid in them, fake batteries and more.
What’s the craziest place you’ve ever found hidden cash or valuables?
Erik Hoyer co-owns EJ’s Auction & Consignment in Glendale and J. Levine Auction & Appraisal in Scottsdale. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, on www.ejsauction.comor @EJs_Auction on Twitter.