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Vintage Tupperware may be worth a lot more than what you paid for it

TODAY logo TODAY 2/12/2019 Lyn Mettler
TODAY, product courtesy of merchant site © The Miller House Antiques & Collectibles TODAY, product courtesy of merchant site

While it's no surprise that midcentury modern is back in vogue, it turns out that the trend extends not just to furniture but to (of all things) plastic Tupperware.

Yep, it turns out that some of that old Tupperware that's been sitting around the house for decades might be worth quite a bit more than its original cost.

Etsy and eBay are full of "vintage Tupperware" listings with people selling everything from pitchers and coasters, to canisters and measuring cups — even oddities like salad dressing holders and cake covers.

And Tupperware even made toys. Remember this?

While no one is likely to become a millionaire from the sales of old Tupperware (the pieces aren't going for hundreds of dollars like vintage Pyrex dishes), it could certainly net the seller a few hundred dollars, depending on the condition and age of the pieces.

According to Stacy Verdick Case — the owner of Peony Lane Designs in Minnesota — who sells vintage Tupperware at her brick and mortar store, as well as online through Etsy, told TODAY Food that most of her items sell for between $4 to $20 per piece.

However, according to the popular antiquing site Dusty Old Thing, select items in great condition may sell for up to $50. To score a great deal, Case recommends scouring garage sales, where clever buyers might be able to score a vintage piece for as low as 50 cents.

"If you are really lucky and hit an estate sale of a former vendor who has old stock from their selling days, you can get a whole set in mint condition for a couple hundred dollars," she said.

The most popular items, according to Case, include those in the Crystal color, since Tupperware still makes replacement lids in that color, as well as the midcentury Millionaire line of pinks, greens and blues. Other hot pieces include salt and pepper shakers with atomic stands from the 1960s and the gold canister that was produced in the 1970s.

Why so popular?

Case said that it's likely a mix of nostalgia for those who remember using the old Tupperware when growing up and the fact that these pieces still function. "The midcentury colors are lovely, and they economically and environmentally make sense for the millennial generation," she said. "And since Tupperware was made to nest and store in tight spaces, they make sense in the tiny home generation."

In the process of writing this article, I even discovered I have an old colander that was passed down from my mother-in-law ... and I did not even realize was made by Tupperware! Though plastic colanders are selling for up to $40, unfortunately, the version I have in my cabinet is only selling for about $10 on the auction site. I think I'll just keep it and use it at home ... for now.

Of course, Tupperware still sells plenty of new items, too, and even has a Classic section on their website for new versions of throwback items. Apparently, Tupperware parties are even still a thing, as the company currently hires "consultants." But today, they can now hold a "party" online, in addition to setting up at a home.

While you're rummaging through your cabinet, keep an eye out for any old Pyrex dishes — they may be worth a lot more!

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