So, yesterday I came across an article that said people are selling their empty toilet paper tubes on Ebay.
I had to check it out for myself, and yep, they are.
People use empty toilet paper tubes for craft projects, and apparently they’re willing to shell out cash for them. I found them in lots as small as 27 for $4.99 and as large as 200 for $25. If you want to get in on this goldmine, the key to selling high quality toilet paper tubes is making sure all the residual paper is removed so they’re “clean.” I even saw one seller who offered a “bonus” by throwing in a few empty paper towel tubes for free. That does kind of sweeten the deal, right?
The toilet paper tubes got me wondering, what else are people buying and selling on Ebay that usually ends up in my trash bin? They do say, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” And it is, literally.
Just look at this list below of things I usually toss out or recycle. And where I live, I have to pay my garbage man extra to haul off recyclables. You mean, I could be selling this stuff instead?
Hey, Christmas is just around corner. Who wouldn’t like a little extra cash? OK, it might be a little late to start saving up toilet paper rolls for this year, but if you start now, you could stuff a few stockings next Christmas.
1. Empty Toilet Paper Rolls – See info above. My boys use approximately one entire roll of toilet paper a day. Our toilet is in a perpetual state of clogged. We could easily come up with a lot a month to sell.
2. Empty Baby Food Jars – Also used by crafters. Should be clean with the labels off and glue removed. Lots of 50 are going for as much as $57! You could almost by full jars and empty them yourself for that price.
3. Empty Wine Bottles – Crafters use these also. Most were sold by the dozen, washed and labels removed. Prices seemed to depend on the color of the glass and size and shape of the bottle, but it was around $10 for 12. Caution: Don’t become a raging alcoholic in a quest to acquire enough empty wine bottles to sell on Ebay.
4. Beer Bottle Caps – Once again, used by crafters. Many make them into magnets. No dents seems to be a must. Some lots were assorted and some were all the same brand. When we camped in Canada last summer, my six year-old filled the cup holder on his camp chair up with Molson bottle caps he found on the ground. He thought they were pretty, because they had a red maple leaf on them. I threw them away when we got home. If only I’d known they were worth cash! Lots of 100 assorted domestic beer caps were listed for $5, while international brands went for a little more.
5. Broken Crayons – People melt down old crayons and mold them into new, fun shapes. Four pound bags sell for around $23. If you’re an elementary school teacher, you could probably come up with four pounds of broken crayons easily!
6. Used Cardboard Boxes – There were all kinds of used cardboard boxes for sale. Some were specially padded boxes for cell phones, laptops and other electronics. Others were insulated boxes used for shipping cold food items. And many were just run of the mill shipping boxes that were broken down. The key to quality used boxes is to make sure they’re clean and not bent or torn. The specialty boxes were about $10 a piece, and the regular ones sold in lots of 10 or 20 starting at $5 and up, depending on size.
7. Used Golf Balls – Golfers who just want to practice their swing and not worry about getting their balls back love big boxes of old golf balls. A box of 100 sells for between $18 and $30, depending on condition. Live near a golf course? Start collecting stray golf balls!
8. Used Greeting Cards – This is another item crafters love. If you have vintage greeting cards, they’re worth quite a bit more, $20 or $30 for large lots. Time to go through Grandma’s attic! But large lots of recent greeting cards go for about $5. Save your Christmas cards this year.
9. Back Issues of Magazines, current and vintage – These are most valuable if you have several from the same year. A lot of 17 Rolling Stone magazines from 2015 was listed for $26. A little warning, this category is full of people selling girlie magazines, but Martha Stewart and Better Homes and Gardens were in the mix too.
10. Empty Coffee Cans – I’m talking the new plastic ones, which technically aren’t cans. I guess folks use them to store all kinds of things in their garage, and they’re willing to pay you for them. Lot of four or six of the extra-large size go from between $6-$10. I could easily rack up a few lots of those over a year with my coffee habit.
So, before you throw stuff away, ask yourself, “Would anybody buy this on Ebay?” You might be surprised. You could even ask family and friends to give you their old toilet paper tubes. They might think you’re nuts, but you’ll be the one making it rain in your PayPal account.
The only downside I see to all of this is storage space until you have a big enough lot to sell. There’s a fine line between being The Queen of Ebay and making a guest appearance on an episode of Hoarders.