10 weird things you didn’t know you could sell on eBay

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.

We all know we can sell things like gift cards and clothes and electronics on eBay (some have even considered selling jewelry on it), here are a few of the weird things people sell.

Table of Contents
  1. Toilet Paper Rolls
  2. Wine Bottles and Corks
  3. Egg Cartons
  4. Remote Controls
  5. Box Tops for Education
  6. Coupons
  7. Old Software / Installation CDs
  8. Empty Makeup Containers (esp. M.A.C.)
  9. HUGE Pine Cones
  10. Anything Discontinued

Toilet Paper Rolls

cardboard-rolls

Those cardboard rolls, for toilet paper or paper towels, are perfect for crafters.

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

used-wine-corks

Do you like to drink wine? Ha, what kind of question is that.

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.

Egg Cartons

egg-cartons

Whether it’s the cardboard, styrofoam, or plastic egg cartons – you can sell them on eBay.

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!

Remote Controls

remotes

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

box-tops-for-education

Those little magenta squares are worth some money to parents! Our son recently started Kindergarten so we’re well aware of the fundraising pressures of public schools. 🙂

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?

Coupons

pottery-barn

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

windows-311-operating-system

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.)

back-to-mac-empty-containers

People love vintage containers, especially makeup containers, because they just look very cool.

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

pinecones

Crafters love pine cones! Crafters love MASSIVE pinecones.

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)

Anything Discontinued

lehman-brothers

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?

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

The 14 Best Places To Sell Used Furniture

Which place is best to sell your used furniture depends on what you want to sell and if you are willing to ship it. If you are selling large household furniture, such as your old couch, local marketplaces like Facebook or OfferUp are probably your best bet. However, if you have high-end specialty items you'll likely need a broader market and have to ship it to the buyer. In this case, you'll want to look into places like Sotheby’s or Chairish. 

Jim Wang

About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a thirty-something father of three who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and a farm in Illinois via AcreTrader.

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  1. PJ says

    I once noticed an old record player turntable set out on the curb a couple blocks from my house…the plastic cover was in good shape, the wood looked good, but the needle arm stuck straight up in the air. I offered it on eBay “for parts or repair” and it sold for $20+ shipping!

  2. Albert says

    Hello Jim Wang I have the first driver license samples that ever came out do you know if I can sale them on ebay,i am very sure that the examiners of this old vintage drivers license are no longer alive,thank you Albert.

    • Jim Wang says

      Have you tried searching on eBay to see if there’s a demand for them? I don’t know the legality but I imagine they’re so old they aren’t being used anymore.

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