We all know there are things in our homes we can sell on when we no longer use them - like second-hand clothes or unused gadgets. But the money-making potential of your cast-offs, can go much further than this. There is some impressive cash to be made from the kinds of things that would otherwise end up in the bin. Here are seven unexpected money spinners to retrieve from the rubbish.
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All together, if you listed one job-lot of each of the seven items on eBay, you'd be £25 better off - which isn't bad for things that would normally just be chucked in the bin
Toilet roll tubes
Blogger Skintdad revealed the money-making potential of the cardboard inner tubes of toilet rolls at the end of last year. Other people value them for their arts and crafts potential, and while they may be able to collect a couple for themselves, those teaching crafts to large groups occasionally need to get their hands on 50-odd toilet rolls at a time. All you have to do is blag a box from the supermarket, fill it with used rolls as you go along, and sell them on eBay when you get to around 50 or 60. You should make about £5 for 50 rolls - which isn't bad for what is essentially otherwise going to be litter.
There is sometimes better money in kitchen roll tubes, because they are harder to get hold of, and they may appeal to people who don't like the idea of their craft materials spending time in other people's bathrooms. You can also sell them in smaller numbers. It means you could sell 15 for £1.99.
Corks are popular crafting materials too - and are great for making everything from picture frames to cork boards and Christmas decorations. The selling prices on eBay are enormously variable, but seem to fetch a higher price if you sell somewhere between 50 and 70 at a time. Recent selling prices have ranged between 4p and 8p per cork - or up to £4 for 50 corks.
Empty wine bottles
If you have the space to store them, you can sell your empty wine bottles too. If you have had a particularly posh or expensive bottle, it's worth trying to sell that on, because collectors will pay really good money. An empty bottle of Petrus from 1985, for example, recently sold for £53. You just have to trust it is going to a collector rather than someone who plans to pass plonk off as the real thing. If you don't tend to drink incredibly fine wine, you can still sell the bottles to home brewers, who will pay roughly 10p each for them - or £6 for 60.
Ever since the vintage shabby chic look became fashionable for weddings, jam jars have been in higher demand. It's worth including the lids - to appeal to jam-makers too. If you have lots of similar jars you can sell for more, but even if you just have an odd collection, it may sell. The prices vary dramatically from about 6p per jar to 20p, so on average, you could sell 20 for £2.00. It's worth adding a word of warning here: you may be tempted to try your crafts out on the jars first, but covering them with glitter or wrapping them with lace or hessian string will actually reduce your selling price in most cases.
Some people like to store their shoes carefully in boxes - especially if they are going to be on display. It means that if you have a posh branded shoe box, somebody somewhere will want to buy it. Usually, the posher the brand, the more a box will fetch. So for example, a Gucci, Prada, Celine or Channel box may sell for around £5 (more if you keep the tissue paper, dust bag, carrier bag and any ribbon), and even branded trainer boxes will sell for £1.
When retailers started charging for carrier bags, there was a flurry of people selling bundles on eBay. Now that has calmed down, you can still sell carrier bags from posh designer shops online. A paper bag in perfect condition from somewhere like Prada or DKNY will sell for between 50p and £1, but what's more surprising is that plastic Harrods carrier bag in perfect condition will do so too.