There are certain things in your home that you may look at and say, “Can I sell that? Probably not.”
But what if all the “probably not” items could actually have a home? What if even the strangest things — like empty boxes or broken electronics — could actually earn you a little cash?
The Weird and Profitable World of eBay
Welcome to the wonders of eBay. We’ve put together a list of some of the most bizarre objects you can dream up to show you that they’ll actually sell.
1. Empty Boxes
Okay, okay, we know you’re already in disbelief. But look at this new listing on eBay of cardboard boxes selling 50 for $38.99. That might be worth a trip to the local grocery store to pick up some spares.
That said, high-end designer boxes are the things that really sell well. Or boxes that used to house some high-dolls.This empty American Girl box is listed for $25.49.
And if you have other luxury goods hanging out around the house, then you just might want to round up those boxes and sell, sell, sell. This wallet-sized Coach box is going for $14.50 while this Apple iPhone 10 XS box could sell for as much as $11.99.
Sure, we’re not talking hundreds of dollars here, but when the box is free, any money you earn will be an added bonus. And if you want to make more money, consider recycling some of those leftover boxes.
Chances are you have at least a few of these laying around the house. Maybe you have so many that you can afford to get rid of a few. Come to eBay. You may not make a profit, but you’ll almost certainly break even. This used lightning cable is selling for $24.90.
And don’t stop at the obvious, like phone chargers. Think of your power cords to video game systems, laptop chargers, USB cords and even cords that hook up to your digital camera. Anything that’s wiry and plugs into a wall or electronic device can probably net you some extra money. If you have any left over, try putting one in your winter emergency car kit.
3. Instruction Manuals
Have you ever gone on a wild goose chase trying to find the instruction manual for your washing machine now that it’s broken? Maybe you miss your vintage instruction manuals for your old video game systems.
Once again, these are not items that will make you big bucks, but since you’re profiting off of something that was essentially free, why not sell them? This LG washing machine instruction manual is going for $10. If you have your car manual on hand, you might be able to sell that — and save money from it.
4. Installation CDs/Drivers
If you’re into vintage technology, this is a good category for you. Remember those old desktop software CDs? If you have those lying around, you can make a pretty penny.
This setup install CD for Neat Desk is going for $8.99 while these Creative Sound blaster live installation drivers will net you $26.99 for three. Here are some other ways to make money fast.
If you have a Keurig coffee maker, then chances are you have some additional K-cups around the house. These pods make great coffee — and can also make you major dollars.
This pod sampler, for example, with 40 or 60-count pods is listed for $24.99 on eBay. If you want to sell these, we recommend selling them in bulk. That likely won’t be too hard, as many people buy boxes and boxes from stores like Costco only to find they have excess. If you have even more than you know what to do with, read our tips for reusing K-cups.
6. My Coke Codes Rewards
This might be the most surprising item on this list — sell your old bottle caps. There is a catch. The more you have, the better, so you’ll have to get to a bag of 50 or 100 before you start making real money. But this bag of 100 Red My Coke Rewards is selling for $9.99 on eBay. We say start drinking soda stat.
7. Box Tops for Education
Want to give back to local schools — eventually — and make some money? Then collect Box Tops for Education, which can net almost $200 for 1,000 Box Tops. Although Box Tops are now rounded up through digital receipts, if you can find a vintage cereal box with a box top, you’re sure to get good results.
8. Gift Cards
Here’s an eternal dilemma: You’ve gotten a gift card to a place you don’t like. You could regift it…or sell it on eBay, among other things.
If you’ve already cashed in a bit on the card, don’t worry. Someone can still purchase your partially used cards. You probably won’t get the full value of the card, but you can likely get close to it — like this $40 listing for a $50 Disney gift card.
You can also offer free shipping and instead email the buyer the code and PIN. But some buyers will want the physical card. Keep in mind you need to be exact about how much is on the card.
And if you don’t have any on hand, we have tips for getting free gift cards that will come by next week.
Broken television but your remote control still works? We’ve been there. Consider selling your old remote. Make sure you list the specific make and model of the TV so people know which remote they’re getting.
If you have stuff from the 2000s or 1990’s, you’ll really be in luck. That’s what collectors want. This set of used remotes is going for $22.99 on eBay. Here are a few more technology tips that will keep you set if you’re working from home.
10. Broken Electronics/Appliances
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Except maybe don’t fix it even if it is broken? It’s a twist on the old adage, because you can sell broken electronics and appliances on eBay. One way to do that is by selling them for the parts only — this eBay seller is able to make as much as $44.99 off of used parts for electronics.
11. Craft Supplies
Are you a big crafter? Do you find yourself scrapbooking or trying to stitch a dress by hand? If so, then you may have scraps of fabric lying around that you might want to sell. Gather a bunch of scraps together and you could sell them for as much as $20 with little effort.
Yarn and material can be particularly popular because they are difficult to match if you can’t find the exact lot number. Before you toss out antique lace or other sewing materials, take a peek at the listings on eBay.
12. Discontinued Products
Is your child dying to get their hands on a toy that is no longer made? Do you want to find something that hearkens back to your childhood? Well, there are other people like you, and selling old toys or items that are no longer made might be a good ticket to the online marketplace.
If you’re thinking specifically of selling old toys, we have some tips for you. A sealed boxed Furby from 1999 is selling for almost $200 on eBay right now, so you can make a killing off of this.
13. Large Pine Cones
A walk through your backyard might yield you your next sale on eBay. You can sell pine cones. Yes, you heard it here first. A dozen ponderosa pine cones can make as much as $10. And if you have any extra left over, think about making them into a budget Halloween costume for your kid.
14. Empty Toilet Paper Rolls
When you’re finished with your toilet paper (sorry, we had to say it), there may be another use for that roll than just the trash can. Sell it on eBay! (It’s become a common refrain now.)
You can get almost $10 for 50 empty toilet paper rolls. We can hardly believe it. And if you want to have more ways to repurpose your toilet paper rolls, we have other ideas.
15. Perfume and Makeup Samples
Ever walked into Sephora and left with five new testers that inevitably sit in your closet, unused? Now there’s a use for those samples. In fact, some stores even routinely give them out. Sell them and give someone else a little joy in their day.
If you have enough samples, you can sell them as a mixed bag and get around $20 for them — or more.
I know, we’re shuddering just thinking about it too, but dentures actually sell on eBay. These dentures will get you $60. Start collecting or reselling.
17. Empty Perfume Bottles
The beauty of an empty perfume bottle is its uniqueness, the color of the glass, the luxury of the bottle. Everyone wants to partake in that luxury just a tad. So once you finish that bottle of perfume, consider selling it — empty.
These Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel perfume bottles are selling for $25 on eBay. In fact, if you start getting into the business of making your own perfume, you could sell the bottle and the perfume.
Current or vintage magazines can sell incredibly well depending on the publication, condition, featured articles and other factors.
Be sure to list any specifics in terms of the name, date, volume/issue number and condition. This information will help someone seeking a specific issue. Consider selling even catalogs, especially vintage ones. This stack of Cuisine at Home magazines from 2007-2011 are selling for $64.90.
19. Empty Egg Cartons
We’ve told you to sell toilet paper rolls and pine cones, so why not sell egg cartons while you’re at it? This set of 63 Costco egg cartons is going for $37. Just start collecting, and eventually you’ll have some money in the bank.
And if buying all those egg cartons means you have extra protein in the fridge, here are some good recipes for dinner.
20. Old Coffee Mugs
Your pantry brimming with coffee mugs. Can’t possibly fit another? Sell them.
Old coffee mugs can be sold on eBay because somewhere someone might be looking for the one you have. People like to replace their favorite items if they break or wear out. Your mug doesn’t necessarily need to be a collectible to sell.
Some of the most popular coffee mugs are old Starbucks mugs. This vintage Starbucks mug — ok, 2008 — is selling for $32.99 on eBay. Next time you’re walking around a thrift store, check out the mug section.
Writer Elizabeth Djinis is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder, often writing about selling goods online through social platforms. Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Smithsonian Magazine and the Tampa Bay Times. An earlier version of this post was written by blogger Lauren Greutman for I Am That Lady.