eBay is incredible. If you're ever missing a piece of something, someone on eBay is selling it.
I've purchased all sorts of odd parts and pieces to things I'm fixing from eBay and it's saved me a ton of money.
What that also means is that I could be selling odd parts and pieces to things too. By selling these things, rather than throwing them out or recycling them, I can make money and help the environment too by keeping them in use.
What kinds of things am I talking about? I'm talking about downright odd and strange things you never would've guessed are worth money.
I'm talking toilet paper rolls. Egg cartons. Empty makeup containers.
Toilet Paper Rolls
Make sure the rolls themselves are clean but you can usually get anywhere from 10-50 cents for each one. You will need to ship these in a box to avoid crushing (shoe boxes work well) but they're light so shipping shouldn't be too expensive.
Wine Bottles and Corks
Ok, so what do you do with the leftover wine bottles and corks? We recycle the bottles and toss the corks in our fire pit.
But did you know you can sell the bottles and corks on eBay? People are looking for both for their craft projects.
The going rate these days appears to be $20-30 for two hundred corks. Wine bottles go for about $1 apiece but you usually have to clean the labels off and sort them (all blue, all green, etc.) too.
They're used by crafters and home chicken enthusiasts who want to sell eggs. And since they're cardboard, they're light and easy to ship.
If you buy eggs and feel guilty about throwing away the styrofoam cartons, this is a great way to recycle them and make a little extra money!
I bought a Epson Home Cinema projector about 8 years ago and after two bulb changes, the thing finally quit on me. Like high pitch whine and burning plastic quit (it smelled SOOOOO bad). That thing was awesome, though I bought a new one for a third of the price and twice as bright. Technology marches on.
On a whim, I looked on eBay and saw that the projector remotes go for $15 a pop! Not bad for a few minutes of work and I prefer the remote going to a home instead of the landfill or recycling facility.
Box Tops for Education
It turns out those little rectangles are worth some money on eBay since other parents would rather pay a few bucks for a bag of trimmed BTFEs than collect them individually. Honestly, I kind of agree – how else will you get 100 BTFE?
Everyone likes coupons right? Turns out those 10%, 15%, and 25% coupons you get in the mail and by email are worth some money! This is especially true at places where items get pricey, like furniture stores.
A prime example is Pottery Barn – those coupons can go for a few bucks. The ones that come in mailers, those can be worth even bigger bucks.
I routinely pull Wayfair coupons out of Valpaks to sell and they go for anywhere from $2-5 a pop. They're only good for new customers but it seems folks are savvy to the “create a new Gmail account for your Wayfair purchase” game.
The next time you get a coupon in the mail, give eBay a look!
Old Software / Installation CDs
One man's junk is another man's treasure right? Well in this case, sometimes people are resurrecting old machines to handle simple jobs and are missing one piece to the puzzle… one that might be in your junk drawer. Or they're looking for that one historical piece of software to showcase on their bookshelf!
That old installation CD or piece of software just might be worth a few bucks to someone.
Empty Makeup Containers (esp. M.A.C.)
If you have old M.A.C. makeup containers (the primary container, not the boxes), you can sell those online because people are always looking to pick up a few to participate in the Back to M.A.C. program. That program lets you exchange six primary containers and get a free lipstick. If you like M.A.C. makeup but aren't a fan of the lipstick, turn your containers into cash.
HUGE Pine Cones
If you live in an area with a lot of big pinecones, you can turn them into cold hard cash. Big is usually close to the size of a soda can but anything bigger than average will do just fine. The bigger the cone, the fewer you need in a lot to make some cash. If you have one as big as a champagne bottle, you could get close to ten bucks for it!
And the next time you find a place with big pinecones, you might be tempted to grab a whole bunch to pay for your trip! (just make sure taking them is legal)
Before you say “duh, of course” read on — I mean anything. The most mundane things, like t-shirts and hats, that would otherwise be completely worthless are worth big money if they have the name of a defunct company.
Remember Bear Stearns? They went bankrupt in 2008.
A Bear Stearns ballpoint pen can net you $10-$15. That's a regular ole ballpoint pen. Their annual report from 1998 recently sold for $40!
Remember Lehman Brothers? Also kaput in 2008.
But a Lehman Brother mousepad can get you ten bucks. Their 2007 annual report was purchased for $99! Amazing huh?
When an iconic company goes belly up, their junk suddenly falls under “historic memorabilia!”
Do you have anything on this list?