4 Types of Household Trash that Sell on eBay

Beer bottle caps
Artists use bottle caps to create beautiful projects. Getty Images

Thousands of dollars are literally thrown in the trash every day. Why? Because people could be selling their household trash on eBay on a regular basis and creating a stream of income to pay for things like groceries, extra frills, or whatever your family needs. Most people aren't organized enough or resourceful enough to even think that trash could be a product line. If you think outside the box and discover the materials that crafters, gardeners, and artists use to for their hobbies, you can figure out ways to sell trash as a raw material for other projects.


Egg Cartons

Styrofoam or cardboard egg cartons sell on eBay. Make sure they are clean and free of any broken shells or raw egg residue. People with backyard chickens buy egg cartons on eBay because it is cheaper than buying from a wholesaler or farm supplier. Egg cartons are also used for crafts, starting seedlings, storing small items, or even storing Christmas ornaments. 50 egg cartons go for about $30 on eBay with free shipping. Take this strategy even further and ask friends, neighbors, and co-workers to save their egg cartons so you can sell them.

Box Tops for Education

You know those little pink emblems on certain boxed products? Those are worth big money on eBay. Schools have brutally competitive contests about which class or grade level can collect the most box tops to redeem for cash. Box Tops are worth 10 cents when redeemed. eBay sellers have figured out that they can sell large quantities of Box Tops to people participating in the school contests.

Some parents would rather die than see their child lose a contest, so they go on eBay and buy Box Tops for their child to submit. What's interesting is that Box Tops sell for about 9 cents on eBay. This isn't a product that a person can go to a store and buy - Box Tops are only available on eBay. 

Bottle Caps

Ever heard of mosaic art?

Mosaic table tops? That's right, bottle cap mosaics are a hot craft project. The artists who make these items need the raw material, the bottle caps, to make their projects that include inlaid serving trays, Christmas ornaments, kitchen and bar backsplashes, trivets, letter art, board games, and all sorts of creations. Bottle caps must be clean, not bent, and not rusty. A lot of 1,000 bottle caps sells for about $30 on eBay. An easy way to get bottle caps to resell is to think about friends or contacts who might work at a bar or restaurant. See if you can strike up a deal to get the discarded bottle caps to sell. 

Empty Printer Ink Cartridges

Staples and Office Max have cartridge recycling programs but it takes a while to get money out of them. The programs require members to purchase new cartridges within the same month they recycle old cartridges and points accumulate. If you just want the cash from empty printer cartridges, sell them on eBay. Just put used empty cartridges in a plastic baggie and wait for a few to accumulate. Why would someone buy empty ink cartridges on eBay? Because they refill them with ink with a home refill kit and use them again or sell them refilled. The brand and quantity, empty printer ink cartridges are worth around an average of $3 each on eBay.

Prices are all over the board on this product depending on brand and quantity. Scale this operation and ask friends, family, and co-workers to save their empty ink cartridges. Most people won't go to the trouble to save them and resell them.

Pay close attention to what your family throws away or recycles each week. Some of these items can be sold for cash on eBay. Set up plastic bins in the garage or basement to collect these items as your family goes through them. A few dollars here and there add up quickly, and since there is no inventory cost, profit margins will be high.