‘I nearly fell off my chair’ says shopper – who nabbed £2 toy car worth £200 at charity shop… how to spot a gem

A WOMAN who bought a toy car from a charity shop for a few pounds was left gobsmacked after realising its actual worth.

Amy Fenton found an antique Matchbox collectable from Aladdin’s Caves charity shop in Rossendale – and bought it for just £2.

The mini Moko Lesney car may bought from the antique shop


The mini Moko Lesney car may bought from the antique shopCredit: Amy Fenton/Lancs Live
She also bought three imitations of newspaper-themed Corgi vans


She also bought three imitations of newspaper-themed Corgi vansCredit: Amy Fenton/Lancs Live

At first, Amy thought the antique collectable would make a good addition to her showpiece collection.

She told LancLive: “During the visit to my favourite shop, I was instantly drawn to this Matchbox collectable imitating a newspaper delivery van.

“For just £2, it was a no-brainer for me to buy it.”

What Amy bought was a mini Moko Lesney car decorated with A3-sized posters which were part of the original Matchbox family.


And her piece, made in 1958, was number “No.42” in the collection.

Amy soon realised what she nabbed from the charity shop could be way more valuable than she thought.

If you’re prepared to do your research, and love a rummage as much as I do, you can find a hidden gem at an antiques shop. And, if you’re lucky, you might make a profit.

Amy Fenton

“I was intrigued to find out how much the Evening News van, which was made in 1958, was worth,” she told the news site.

Amy then quickly ran a Google search to discover that a similar hidden gem, complete with the original box, was selling for £180 on eBay.

Delighted by her discovery, Amy said: “It seems I have an unintentional eye for a hidden gem.

“Similar items, complete with the original box, are selling for up to £180 on eBay.”

I struck gold when I found a £3k gem in my charity shop’s 20p jewellery bin – but people say I shouldn’t get too excited

Amy, who has a knack for collecting newspaper-themed pieces, also bought three imitations of the original Corgi vans.

“As they [corgi vans] are repros, they’re not worth anything like the originals would have been but are still proudly displayed in my house,” she told the news site.

Amy added that digging well for antique items and doing thorough research can help people find hidden gems at such shops.

“If you’re prepared to do your research, and love a rummage as much as I do, you can find a hidden gem at an antiques shop.

“And, if you’re lucky, you might make a profit.”

Meanwhile, a woman was left who bought a ring in a charity shop for a few pounds was left dumbstruck after learning its actual worth.

Thinking it was just a small piece of costume jewellery, the lady bought the ring for just £5.50.

However, she was soon told that the ring, which featured a huge 2.30-carat diamond, was way more valuable than a thrift shopping item – and could fetch up to £8,000 at auction.

Hearing the big news, the delighted woman said that it was the “best stroke of luck” she had ever had.

She added: “I’m over the moon. You hear about things like this happening to other people but never think it will happen to you.

“I only wore the ring a couple of times. Now I know what it’s worth I couldn’t wear it anyway because I’d be too worried about losing it.”

Ways to make money off charity shops

While many people love to thrift shop at charity stores, only a few know how to turn it into a profitable side hustle.

Charity shops usually sell items that are donated by other people – sometimes very rich ones who give away expensive stuff.

And they can be treasure troves when it comes to picking up high-quality items at affordable prices.

People thrift shopping at such stores can resell the items to make a profit for themselves.

One of the best platforms to sell goods bought from charity stores is eBay, where one can easily make a few hundred pounds by putting in some part-time hours.

Luke Hadley says he makes an extra £500 each month by reselling stuff from charity shops.

He turned his hand to reselling last April when millions of households felt the pinch of rising bills from energy to food.

The dad-of-one scours his local charity shops for womenswear from posh high street shops and sells them for a profit on eBay.

Hadley from the West Midlands, says it’s worth it as he’s been able to give his 14-month-old son Harrison and partner Catherine Saunders, 25 a Christmas to remember.

He also took the family away on a week-long holiday to Butlins and has started to build up his savings and a separate emergency fund.

Meanwhile, a charity shop guru has shared his top three tips that could help you make a fortune.

According to the expert, people should scout for footwear from brands such as Nike and Adidas, as they sell quickly and give out the highest turnovers.

The second tip to make good profits is to buy seasonal clothes from charity shops as they are always in demand.

And lastly, people should always check for vintage and antique items as they might turn out to be really rare or valuable.


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