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The Best Ways to Spend $100

Can you earn cash investing in collectibles? It depends

Play your gift cards right

En español | Check out gift-card exchange sites — like giftcardgranny.com or Cardpool.com — to sell or buy unused gift cards at a discount. With $100, you could net a card worth $120 or more, says certified financial planner Dannell Stuart of Mission Wealth Management.

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Snag a budding star's autograph

Buy 20 baseballs, a blue ballpoint pen and two tickets to a nearby minor league baseball game for a potential major league profit, says Financial Safari's Pete D'Arruda. During batting practice, have your photo taken getting balls autographed by many players. Former Triple-A player Evan Longoria's ball fetches up to $195 today.

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Schwinn Sting-Ray Bicycles

These banana-seat bikes once ruled the suburbs; if you kept yours (or your kid's), it might fetch $1,000 today.

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Lego Ultimate Collector's Millennium Falcon Set

Lego investors struck gold with this 5,000-piece set, which sold in 2007 for $500 and now trades for about $3,000 in mint condition.

The Lego Group

Vintage Hollywood Memorabilia

Items owned by iconic figures such as Liz Taylor or Marilyn Monroe are good bets, says Elizabeth von Habsburg, managing director of Winston Art Group.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Commemorative Stamps

Those Elvis stamps from 1993? They're still not worth much more than 29 cents each.

USPS/AP Photo

Beanie Babies

A 1998 handbook predicted that Stripes the dark tiger, which sold for $5 in 1995, would be worth $1,000 by 2008. Current value: about $25.

Art Directors & TRIP / Alamy

Collectible Plates

In fact, just about anything recently produced that's touted as rare or limited edition is unlikely to appreciate in value.

Woolworths via Getty Images

Most Newer Coins

Until 1964, U.S. dimes and higher denominations contained 90 percent silver; they're now worth about 14 times face value, according to Rohan.

Rusm/Getty Images

1978 Chevy Corvette Indy Pace Car Edition

Many buyers of this low-volume commemorative model stored their $14,000 'Vettes and waited for values to rise. Today, cars sell for an underwhelming $20,000.

Robert Wisdom | Dreamstime.com

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