Selling “Garbage” On eBay – From Wine Bottle To Empty Boxes

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We’ve heard all the excuses that people give to put off selling on eBay: “I don’t have money to invest, It sounds like too big of a commitment, I don’t know what kinds of things people want, etc…”  Well, after reading through this list (and maybe our other BOLO’s) you are out of excuses.  Every day you throw away things that you could be making money with on eBay.

So buckle up, and let’s launch into the list of 8 items you didn’t know you could sell on eBay!

8 Items To Sell on eBay Instead Of Throwing Away

1. Empty Toilet Paper & Paper Towel Rolls

Since paper towels can be had for around $1 a roll, who would have ever thought that the empty rolls would be worth anything at all!?  Well, it turns out that there is a sizable market for empty paper towels and toilet paper rolls/tubes on eBay!  What do people need these for?  I’m not sure… Craft supplies?  Tunnels for quite a small hamster?  Whatever it is, they sell!  So start saving them!  I know I am!

2. Empty Cell Phone Boxes

Most people at some point in their life own a new phone (or else do like I do and buy used phones off of eBay).  But if you get one of those killer upgrade deals, you have a choice to make…keep and store the box so you can resell the phone for a higher price at some point in the future, or resell the box immediately to recoup some of the cost of your phone!

For example, if you buy a new iPhone off of eBay for $300, and then sell your box for $30 (as above) then you’ve recouped 10% of the cost!  Or, if you have several boxes, sitting around from past upgrades, group them together and put them on bid!  The lot of Samsung boxes above had almost 30 bids by the time the auction ended!  I don’t know about you, but learning this had me begging for empty boxes from family and friends (and maybe peaking in trash cans…)

If you have some empty boxes around, check out our article on How To Sell Your Empty Phones Boxes On eBay!

3. Pinecones

If I learned one thing from making this list, it’s that anyone can sell on eBay!  Not having enough money to buy items to resell is no longer an excuse.  If you live in the country, simply wander outside, find a pine tree, and collect the most beautiful pine cones!  These often sell very well and are incredibly easy to pack!  The larger the pine cone the better they sell!  make sure your cones are fresh, clean, and haven’t been crushed.

4. Broken Crayons

If you have or had kids then you most certainly have a box of cruddy crayons hanging around!  Not only are they easy to find around your own house, but these crayons are also often available by the box from garage sales for a pittance.

You don’t need to worry about how used they are, people often buy these for crafts, to meltdown, etc.  Crayons in bulk typically sell for around $5 a pound plus shipping.  (Plus they won’t be used to write on your walls anymore.  Maybe you should sell those sharpies while you’re at it?)

5. Empty Wine Bottles

Selling empty wine bottles can do anything from letting you buy more gas station wine, to helping you make your rent payment.  Depending on the age, rarity, and make of the bottle, empty wine bottles can go anywhere from $1 apiece to well over $100 apiece.  So next time you’re going through someone’s cellar (your parents’ maybe?) don’t throw away those bottles!

6. Egg Cartons

When I was a kid, I actually used egg cartons to save and count my money!  Turns out I should have just been selling the egg cartons instead.  While they won’t make you rich, if you eat a lot of eggs around your house, you’re much better off saving the cartons for eBay than throwing them away!  You can make at least $0.25 a carton!  Now I just need somewhere to store them…

7. Acorns

Another instance in which you can almost literally go outside and pick up money off the ground!  You are only limited by your ingenuity because there’s a market for everything.

Large acorns with their caps still on are highly desirable as decorations.  All acorns can be sold however and ugly decrepit acorns without their caps are often sold on eBay by the pound for animal feed.  So if your kids are bored…

8. Bottle Caps & Lids

Selling bottle caps (particularly vintage ones) has long been known to be a highly profitable enterprise on eBay.  Since my husband and I don’t drink either alcohol or soda, we don’t have many opportunities to gather metal caps.  Instead, we decided to follow the advice of Kara over at ​SheThrifts and save our caps from all sorts of bottles!  (Check out her story and how much she made ​here).  While we can’t claim to have become rich overnight, we’re making money on what we used to consider trash and throw out!


At the end of the day, making money on eBay is about ingenuity and seeing opportunities where other people just see garbage. So whether you’re selling items out of the trash or buying liquidation pallets by the truckload remember, as a reseller, you make a difference!

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