How to Turn Your Trash into Cash: 3 Simple Ways

There is a reason garage sales, thrift stores and eBay are so popular. It is really true that your trash may just look like treasure in someone else’s eyes. But even so, there is a trick to finding the buyers who want what you have to sell.

In this post, learn how to turn your trash into cash with these three simple options.

Option #1: Participate in a group yard or garage sale.
Many nonprofit organizations and community associations designate certain days each year to host community yard or garage sale events. At these events, the whole community can come together to socialize and discover treasure amongst their neighbors’ trash.

Sometimes there are certain restrictions, such as setting a minimum price for any item or donating a percentage of personal proceeds to a local charity. But if these policies work for you, a community-wide event can be a great way to attract lots of potential buyers you might never otherwise meet.

Option #2: Resell it online or at a local secondhand store.
The resale market is strong precisely because there are many people eager to save some cash in exchange for enjoying someone else’s “gently used” items. Perhaps the biggest benefit to recommend reselling your items in the secondhand market is that there is a shop for just about any type of item, from movies and games to couches and cars.

If you have a lot of any particular item, such as kids’ clothes or video games, consider selling those items directly to a specialty reseller. A good example is Gazelle for electronics and games or Play It Again Sports for athletic equipment.

Option #3: Recycle and earn cash.
Yet another simple way to turn your trash into cash is to recycle it. There are plenty of companies that will pay you to recycle items even if they no longer work. Electronics, scrap metal, cans, paper, ink cartridges, wine corks and even trash can fetch a pretty penny when sold to the right recycling organization.

The best way to get started is to evaluate what you have to recycle and then do a quick internet search to find organizations that will pay you to recycle different categories of items. For example, Terracycle will pay a charity of your choice when you box up and send them your trash to recycle. And eBay has a rousing secondhand recycling market for used wine corks.

There are so many creative ways you can recycle packaging, products and scraps and earn a handy bit of extra cash. By doing a little legwork and establishing a connection with different recyclers, you can generate a small, steady stream of cash from your recyclables.