One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so the saying goes, and there are plenty of items that may be gathering dust in your home that could make you a little extra cash.
Here are some things you might’ve been unaware that you can sell, and if you have the time and patience, could make you some money.
1. Empty jars
There are lots of things people use empty jars for, from food storage to arts and crafts, and even wedding decorations, so there’s a real market for them.
A collection of empty, clean jars could make you between £2 and £20, and you can get more for interesting shapes or large numbers of matching jars. Both eBay and Facebook Marketplace have listings for bulk lots of glass jars, so these could be a good place to start when doing your research.
2. Empty boxes
Although it might sound a little odd, you can actually sell empty product boxes online and earn up to £10 or more per box, depending on the product and brand.
The second-hand electrical market is popular, for example, but items don’t always come in their original boxes, so boxes for iPhones, tablets and so on have a decent market on eBay, depending on the make and model of the appliance.
You can make more money if you’re able to provide the accessories that came with the electronics. If, for example, you bought a new iPhone, but didn’t need the new charging cable that came with it, you could sell that, along with the box it came in, for a higher price.
3. Broken phones and electricals
While a broken phone might not be worth anything to you, lots of people are willing to buy broken phones either for scrap or to fix and sell on.
You can sell faulty or broken electronics for anything from £5 up to hundreds of pounds, so it’s definitely worth checking listings to see if there’s a market for your broken devices.
Bear in mind that old phones are also worth selling if you don’t need them anymore, such as after you’ve upgraded to a newer model. You can read more about how to do this in our guide How to sell your old electronics.
4. Old cables
Most of us have a box or a drawer somewhere that is crammed full of cables for old or unused electronics. While some might be totally worthless to you, someone out there might need that exact cable and be willing to pay for one.
Depending on the cables you’re selling, you could make from a few pounds to over £10 for these on eBay.
5. Unwanted gifts and gift cards
Receiving an unwanted gift from a loved one can happen from time to time, but you don’t need to leave it to gather dust in a drawer. Depending what the gift is, you could potentially make a bit of money from selling it on.
Try selling unwanted gifts on eBay or Facebook Marketplace, but if you’ve got a gift card for a shop that you’ll never use, then there are websites dedicated to selling them. You might want to try CardYard, but Facebook Marketplace is a good option too.
You might be surprised to know that there’s actually quite a big market for second-hand personalised gifts. Of course, it’s usually items with the initial of your first name that are likely to sell as there will be many who share your initial, but often items with a full first name prove popular too.
6. Remote controls
When you buy second-hand electronics, they don’t always come with all the accessories you need such as remotes, so some people search online for places to buy these essential items. You can make between £5 and £10 for most remotes when you’re selling online, with the price depending on which device the remote is for.
7. Empty perfume bottles, boxes and bags
Empty bottles of perfume are sought after for all sorts of reasons, but largely for decorative purposes, particularly if they’re vintage or antique. Modern perfume bottles won’t usually sell for very much, possibly a couple of pounds, but older bottles can sell for up to £20 or even more.
There’s also quite a market for designer perfume boxes and gift bags which, depending on the perfume, can sell for anywhere from £3 to £20 or more.
8. Egg cartons
Egg cartons aren’t just for protecting eggs, they’re also used by kids (and adults) in arts and crafts projects and by gardeners to grow seeds. They’re great for things like Christmas decorations or a school project, or can be used for a low-cost potting method for seedlings, feeding birds and more!
They won’t bring in much cash, and you’ll normally need quite a few before any buyers will be interested, but you could earn a few pounds for 20 or more egg cartons.
9. Pine cones
Another popular option for crafters and weddings alike are pine cones. They make great decorations, and they’re particularly popular in the autumn and winter months.
If you’ve got a pine tree in your garden then you could be quids in. Depending on the time of year, you could get anywhere from a few pounds to over £10 for a box of pine cones.
10. Toilet paper and kitchen roll tubes
Something that is genuinely recyclable rubbish to most of us but could make you money are the cardboard tubes in the middle of toilet paper and kitchen rolls.
They’re another favourite for crafting and gardening, and on eBay a big box of rolls can earn you anything from 99p to nearly £10.
If you enjoy a glass of wine or two then you might be pleasantly surprised to know that if you save up the corks, you could sell them online.
People use corks for crafts but also for wedding decorations, so they’re in demand. On eBay, a bulk lot of 20-100 corks can sell for anywhere between £2 and £20, so think twice before chucking the cork next time you open a bottle.
12. Old coins
Very old coins can be worth a pretty penny if they’re particularly rare, but did you know that you can also sell coins that are no longer in circulation online? While it’s probably best to try and cash these in first, bear in mind that banks are under no legal obligation to accept them. So if you’ve got a stack of the old pound coins, for example, or 50ps that your bank won’t take, then you can sell these on eBay.
The amount you can get will vary depending on the coin, how rare it is, and its condition, but if you’ve got a pile of them, it could be worth seeing if they’re worth anything.
13. Coat hangers
You might have more hangers than clothes, and someone might be willing to buy any you have to spare. So rather than binning hangers you don’t use, or giving them to the charity shop, you could try selling them online.
You can get anything from a few quid to over £20 for coat hangers depending on how many you have and what type they are.
You can sell pretty much anything online these days, but before you get too excited, make sure to factor in the costs of postage and packaging, as well as any other fees into your calculations.
For example, on eBay, it’s free to list up to 1,000 items a month, with any subsequent listings charged at 35p each. When you sell an item, you’ll be charged a final value fee which is 12.8% of the total amount of the sale, including the item price, postage, taxes and any other applicable fees, plus a fixed charge of 30p per order.
This means if the things you’re selling are particularly low value, they might not be worth the effort for a few pence. However, it still might be worth selling items in bulk to see what you can make.
For more ideas on how to make money from things you’ve got lying around the house have a look at our article How to make money from your clutter.
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