4 Household Items You Can Easily Recycle for Cash - Free of Debt
Household Items for Cash

4 Household Items You Can Easily Recycle for Cash

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Everybody could use quick cash, but how about quick cash that asks you to do almost nothing?

Many people assume that when something is done being useful at home, it is safe to just throw it away. This makes enough sense, but the reality is that many people can find ways to make your trash useful. Because of this, you can resell many of the things you would normally throw away. In other words, you can make money for doing by simply not throwing away your trash.

There are a few reasons that people will take on your trash. Sometimes states provide programs that are meant to help promote recycling, while other common household items can simply be re purposed or refurbished with a little bit of know how. All that matters for you is that you may have items at home that are worth money to other folks.

As a cherry on top of the cash pile, you can also be happy with yourself for going green. It’s not everyday that you can do something to be proud of while also raking in dough, so check out these common household items that you can sell instead of throwing away.

(1) Ink Cartridges

If you have ever had to buy ink for your printer, you probably know how incredibly expensive it can be. However, did you know that even when they are empty, you can recycle empty ink cartridges for cash?

There are several options for anybody looking to sell their used ink cartridges, but there are also several simple things you can do before it is time to sell to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck. As a general rule, you will probably be best served by holding on to them until you have at least ten empty cartridges, as this will make it easier for you to sell them (or even to get a bidding war going).

You will also have an easier time selling name brand, printer-specific cartridges than generic one-size-fits-all makes. This is because the name brand cartridges are generally seen as more reliable and more likely to generate interest, thus meaning you can get a bit of extra money for them.

So where to go with all of your empty cartridges?

The first stop when you are trying to figure out where to recycle ink cartridges is good old eBay. By selling your toner cartridges on the Internet’s most popular auction website, you can expose your lot to a larger audience, increasing the chances that you can attract interested buyers.

Make sure to include the brand name and any specific printer information in the title of your listing. If your cartridges have never been refilled, include the keyword “virgin” in the title as well. This will make them much more likely to sell, and will also allow you sell them at higher prices. Make sure to include a picture of what you are selling.

You can typically expect to make about five dollars per cartridge. If they are name brand cartridges that have never been refilled, you can often even get a bit more. This is the beauty of recycling empty ink cartridges on eBay. It will require a little bit of extra work and you will have to make sure that you have a lot that people will be interested in purchasing, but you can easily make the most money by going this route.

If you don’t want to keep holding on to your empty cartridges, an alternative is to find a big chain office supply store to sell them back to. Many of these stores have recycling programs for exactly this purpose and will pay you at least two dollars per cartridge in store credit. While store credit at OfficeMax or Staples may not seem as appealing as plain old cash, you will be able to reliably show up and get your money quickly.

The last option is to use a website specifically geared towards buying your ink cartridges. You can easily find a number of these with a quick Google search, and they all offer to buy your ink cartridges for anywhere from a few cents to several dollars.

In the end, there are a number of options for anybody looking to sell empty ink cartridges. You will probably get the most lucrative results by stocking up and selling them on eBay, but the other alternatives work fine too. Whatever you end up doing with them, you will be glad to put some cash in your pocket instead of essentially throwing it in the trash can every time you switch out the ink in your printer.

(2) Cans and Bottles

Everybody uses bottles and cans in some form or other. The most common form of aluminum can to get tossed in the trash are soda and beer cans, but these days you can buy just about anything in an aluminum, glass, or plastic bottle or can. Most people don’t even think twice about these little guys, even though almost everybody has at least heard of bottle deposit programs.

There are two reasons that people don’t often think about bottle deposits. The first is simply that the money you get for each can is small, so it doesn’t seem worth it to most people. However, it adds up quickly.

Bottle buybacks go for five or 10 cents per bottle, depending on the state and the size of the bottle (some states will go up to 15 cents for certain kinds of bottles). If you bought a typical 12 pack of soda, you could get back at least 60 cents by simply bringing in your cans to a bottle deposit.

While 60 cents doesn’t sound like much at first, it is easy to underestimate how many cans most people go through. If you simply went through a 12 pack every week, you could make over $30 by the end of the year for simply taking your cans to a deposit. While some people may not drink this much, many do, especially those with large families. When you are dealing with the expenses of several kids, it sure is nice to get money back for simply recycling.

The second reason that many people do not get cash for recycling their bottles is because not every state has a bottle deposit program. In fact, currently only ten states do. However, if you live in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, or Vermont, you are in luck.

If you live in one of these states, it is worth your time to check out what specific cans and bottles you can turn in for money. You may be surprised to find out what you can get and how easily you can get it.

(3) Car Batteries

A bit more difficult than the above options but certainly more lucrative, you can make quite a bit of money by holding on to your car batteries. While it may not seem like you go through enough batteries to make this worth it, with a little bit of a grinders mentality you can turn this into fast cash practically for free.

The first step is obviously to hold on to your batteries and acquire what others you can. You can do this easily and legally by simply asking friends and family to save theirs for you, or by checking the dumpster areas of auto body shops on your commute home to see if any batteries have been orphaned. Don’t be surprised if you build up a decent collection in a relatively short amount of time.

Why go through this trouble? Because if you take the time to collect them and find the right scrap yard to sell them to, you could easily walk away with meaningful dough. You will want to call around and see which scrap yards are around and what they are willing to pay, but doing this will allow you to significantly raise the amount of money you bring in.

It is worth noting that you will likely have more luck finding an interested yard if you live near a large port, as much scrap metal is shipped and sold overseas. In general, you can hope to make 10 to 20 cents per pound. Considering the average car battery is about 15 pounds, you can easily turn this into a decent chunk of change in no time if you are able to collect a few.

Collecting scraps is not what everybody is interested in. It does include some diligence, foraging, and the inquisitiveness to ask around. However, for those with the patience to give it a shot, there is definitely some money to be made.

You can also potentially sell your old battery to an auto parts store or auto body shop for store credit, though you will want to call ahead to see if this is something that they offer. The last place to check is to try selling your car battery on Craigslist. You just may be able to find yourself a good deal.

Whatever ends up suiting you, there are plenty of ways for you to make money when it comes time to switch out your car battery.

(4) Electronics

While some electronics may seem plain old dead to your untrained eye, they often have value to outside experts.

Whether you are tossing out an old DVD player, a Play station, or an old computer, it is worth checking to see what you can get for it. Prices will vary greatly depending on what it is that you are actually looking to sell, but you will probably be able to find somebody looking to buy if you check enough places.

One of the best tricks in the book is to do an advanced search on eBay to see what recently sold items have gone for. This is one of the best ways to gauge the market for items that you would like to sell, especially if you are unsure of what they are really worth. In the case of selling old electronics it can be particularly useful because you can look up much more specific keywords in order to make more discerning comparisons.

Craigslist offers a less specific forum for you to browse, but also allows you the ability to make your transaction fairly quickly. You simply name your price and wait for somebody to match it. This can take a lot of the strategizing out of the equation and let you simply take a shot at making cash.

One last possibility to give a shot is to call local electronics repair shops. While some may not be interested, some may see a potential opportunity to refurbish your item or utilize certain parts. This process will be more manual than the others because it will require you to call around and compare offers, but could potentially lead to a good deal if you are not confident in your odds of selling the item online.

As a good rule of thumb, the more you paid for the item when you bought it, the better the odds that some part of it will have lasting value. While this may not always be true, it is always worth making sure that you can’t get some quick cash for your electronics if your alternative is to simply toss them in the trash.

You would be amazed at the number of items that people throw out when they could sell them. While you rarely get Power ball jackpot money from taking the time to sell these items, it can add up over time and requires no investment. Even the effort can be quite minimal if you know what you are doing, so why not take a few minutes to make sure that you are getting every dollar that you can?

After all, one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

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