How Can You Make Money With Junk? 5 Effective Strategies Explained

By Chris Shaffer •  Updated: 10/02/23 •  16 min read

Are you overwhelmed with the clutter in your home and seeking ways to make some extra cash? 

Converting your unwanted belongings, or “junk,” into cash is an effective solution to tackle both issues. With a bit of strategy, you can profit from your unused items while decluttering your space.

Making money from your junk may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it's entirely achievable. 

Thankfully, there are quite a few options at your disposal, ranging from online platforms to traditional methods like garage sales. Additionally, even your junk mail could provide you with opportunities to accumulate points for gift cards.

As you embark on this potentially lucrative journey, keep an open mind and a keen eye for opportunity. 

Embrace the possibilities that come with repurposing your possessions and turning your trash into treasure. 

With dedication and persistence, you might be surprised at how much money you can make from your unwanted items while also freeing up valuable space in your home.

Understanding the Value of Junk

Recognizing the value of your junk can help you determine how to make the most money from it. 

When dealing with junk cars, scrap metal, or old furniture and antiques, it is essential to have a grasp on their worth before taking any action.

For example, when you have a junk car, the first step is to assess its value. 

This includes considering factors such as the make, model, year, and condition of the car. 

The resale value of working parts and components is an important aspect to consider. Moreover, the scrap metal from the car's body can also be valuable, with prices often reaching up to $200 per ton.

Scrap metal is another excellent source of income from junk.

Collecting and selling scrap metal can be lucrative due to demand and the increasing prices of metals such as copper, aluminum, and steel. Be sure you know the current market price and abide by local regulations when dealing with scrap metal, as it may require proper documentation and licensing.

Antiques and old furniture can also bring in a significant amount of money. If you have vintage items with unique designs or rarity, they might be highly sought after by antique collectors. Assess the condition and authenticity of the pieces and research their market value to get the best price. Utilize online platforms and auctions as well to find potential buyers.

The salvage industry offers opportunities for making money from various items like used appliances, electronics, and even construction materials. By identifying the market demand and value of these items, you can approach businesses and individuals who might be interested in purchasing them.

Online Platforms to Sell Junk

When trying to make extra money, the internet offers plenty of options for selling your junk. Here, we will discuss selling on Craigslist, utilizing Facebook Marketplace, and selling on eBay.

Selling on Craigslist

Craigslist is a popular platform for private party sales, allowing you to sell your junk with minimal fees. 

To get started, list your items with clear, accurate descriptions and photos on the appropriate subcategory within your location. 

There are no fees for basic listing; however, keep in mind that you will need to coordinate the pickup or shipping of the item with the buyer. 

Exercise caution and common sense when meeting potential buyers to ensure a safe and successful transaction. With Craigslist, you can make money by selling a wide range of items, from furniture to electronics.

Utilizing Facebook Marketplace

Another option to sell your junk is through Facebook Marketplace. 

This platform is integrated within the Facebook app and website, allowing you to easily list items and engage with potential buyers. 

When listing on Facebook Marketplace, be sure to include clear photos, accurate descriptions, and reasonable pricing. 

Unlike Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace does not charge fees for users to list items. However, you do need to arrange for the item's pickup or delivery. 

Since Facebook Marketplace uses your public profile, it's generally safer as you can view the profiles of potential buyers. This platform is especially useful for selling local items, such as furniture, appliances, and clothing.

Selling on eBay

eBay is a well-established platform for selling various items, from collectibles to electronics. The platform allows you to either create a fixed-price listing or conduct an auction. To sell on eBay, create an account, and list your items with clear descriptions, photos, and a starting price. Take note that eBay charges fees for listing and selling, so calculate these expenses before setting your price. Additionally, eBay handles the payment transaction but you are responsible for shipping the item to the buyer. While selling on eBay may have more fees than other platforms, it could potentially yield a higher profit margin if items attract competitive bidders.

Offline Platforms to Sell Junk

Hosting a Yard Sale

Hosting a yard sale is a popular way for you to make money by selling your junk. It's a great opportunity to declutter and turn unwanted items into extra cash.

To organize a successful yard sale, choose a date, register with your local municipality if necessary, and advertise through signage and social media. Be prepared to haggle with buyers and price items to sell quickly. By the end of the day, you'll have potentially made a tidy sum from your junk.

Utilizing Consignment Shops

Consignment shops are another viable option to sell your items and make some money. These shops specialize in selling secondhand items for you, so they handle all the advertising and displaying of your items. Drop off your unwanted stuff, and the shop will sell them on your behalf. Keep in mind that consignment shops charge fees for their services, usually a percentage of the selling price, so factor this into your profit margin.

Selling to Salvage Yards

If you have scrap metal or other materials that are valuable to recycle, consider selling them to a salvage yard. 

Salvage yards are businesses that buy and process materials like scrap metal from various sources. Before selling, sort and clean your materials to maximize the value.

Research what your local salvage yard accepts and their rates to determine the potential return for your junk.

Selling to Junkyards

If you have a junk car that is no longer operational or worth repairing, consider selling it to a junkyard. 

Junkyards buy cars for their scrap metal value and sometimes for their parts. Before selling your junk car, it's important to have the title for the vehicle and understand the towing arrangements. Be sure to gather quotes from multiple junkyards to get the best price for your car. 

Ultimately, selling to a junkyard can be a quick and straightforward way to turn your non-running junk car into cash.

Donating Your Junk

When you have items that you no longer need, one way to make money with your junk is to donate them. 

By donating your items to local charities and nonprofit organizations, you can help others in need and also potentially benefit from tax deductions. This is especially relevant if you itemize your deductions when filing your taxes.

Many charitable institutions accept a wide range of items, such as clothing, furniture, toys, and electronics. 

To get started, look for organizations near you that accept donations, and check their guidelines for the types of items they accept. Once you find an organization that matches your items, arrange for a pick-up or drop-off.

When donating, be sure to obtain a receipt for your donation. The receipt should clearly state the item's estimated fair market value, the date of the donation, and the name of the charity. This documentation will help you when claiming deductions on your tax returns.

In some cases, charitable organizations may also offer gift cards or other rewards in exchange for your donations. This can be a valuable incentive, making your decluttering efforts even more profitable.

Remember to only donate items that are in good condition and suitable for reuse. Donating damaged or unusable items may actually burden the receiving organization with disposal costs, negating any benefits gained.

To recap, donating your junk is an excellent way to make money indirectly through tax deductions or gift cards while helping those in need.

 Be sure to check local charities for their guidelines on accepted items, and always obtain a receipt as proof of your contribution. By doing this, you can confidently make a difference and earn rewards while unburdening yourself of your unwanted items.

Establishing a Junk Selling Business

As an aspiring business owner, you can make money with junk by establishing a junk selling business. Start by conducting thorough market research to understand the demand for junk removal services in your area. This will help you identify potential clients and develop a pricing strategy that suits both you and your customers.

Choose a suitable uniform to maintain a professional image when operating your junk selling business. A neat, branded uniform not only instills trust in your clients but also helps you and your crew stand out in the market.

Finding a suitable storage location is important for managing and organizing the junk you collect. Depending on the size of your business, you may need to rent or purchase warehouse space. Be sure to consider factors such as accessibility, security, and affordability when choosing a storage facility.

To make a profit, you must carefully manage your profit margin by controlling both your costs and the prices you charge for your services. Invest in essential equipment, such as a box truck or trailer, while considering the costs of items like fuel, staff wages, and insurance. 

You also need to price your services competitively, taking into account your local market conditions and the value of the materials you recover.

In addition to providing general junk removal and disposal services, consider specializing in niche services such as recycling, e-waste management, or hazardous waste disposal. 

These services can command higher fees and attract clients who are environmentally conscious or have special requirements that not all junk removal businesses can fulfill.

Once your foundation is strong, market your junk selling business through multiple channels, including online marketing, local networking, and advertisements in print and broadcast media. 

Regular marketing efforts will not only help you attract more customers but also establish your reputation as a reliable and trusted provider in the industry.

By taking all these steps into account, you can successfully establish a junk selling business and generate sustainable profits through efficient waste management and recycling.

Considerations and Precautions when Selling Junk

Understanding Selling Conditions

When selling your junk, it is crucial to understand the condition of your items. For cars, if your vehicle is beyond repair or considered unsafe to drive, it can be classified as junk. In such cases, the value of your car can be determined by comparing it to similar models listed on Kelley Blue Book or other reputable platforms. Keep in mind that some buyers may be interested in purchasing your junk car for its parts rather than as a whole, so understanding the various conditions that your items can be sold under will help you secure better deals.

Managing Legal Papers

Before selling your junk car, ensure that all legal paperwork is in order. This includes the title, proof of ownership, and any other relevant documents needed to register the vehicle. 

You must disclose the proper vehicle information, such as if it has a salvage title or rebuilt title, to potential buyers. Check with your local DMV to learn about the specific requirements in your state. 

Proper documentation will not only help you avoid potential legal issues but will also make the selling process smoother and more efficient.

Maintaining Privacy

As you sell your junk items, it is essential to protect your personal information, especially when transactions occur over the internet. 

To maintain your privacy, avoid sharing any sensitive information, such as your home address or contact details, unless necessary. When receiving payment, opt for secure methods like online payment platforms or meet buyers in person to exchange cash. 

Be cautious when interacting with strangers and verify their identities when possible to prevent scams or privacy breaches.

Managing Insurance Issues

When selling a junk car, you might encounter insurance-related matters. 

If your car was involved in an accident, you must notify your insurance company of your intention to sell it as junk. 

This will help you cancel existing policies or deal with claims that might arise from the accident. It is essential to stay compliant with your insurance provider's rules and regulations to avoid any potential issues that may affect your coverage or future insurance policies.

Potential Profit from Junk Selling

You might be surprised at the possibilities to make money, or even some extra money, by selling junk. 

There are various ways to turn unwanted items into cash, and it doesn't require a significant investment. With a 100% profit margin as your goal, you can source free items and make a substantial profit from them.

One of the popular methods to generate income is by selling online through platforms like eBay and Amazon. 

By bundling themed items or grouping items based on colors, you can create attractive listings for customers interested in specific niches. 

For example, junk journaling is a growing trend where crafters reuse various paper products, like maps, magazines, and cereal boxes, to create their own unique diaries.

Car boot sales and local auctions are another way to profit from selling your junk. These venues allow you to reach a broader audience and potentially sell your items at a higher price than online platforms. 

Plus, you can quickly get rid of multiple items in one day, which frees up space in your home while earning you money.

Exploring local classified ads or even social media marketplaces can also be a lucrative option. These platforms offer opportunities to connect with potential buyers in your community, leading to faster sales and lower shipping costs.

As you can see, there are various ways to make money from selling your junk, and each method offers its own advantages. Don't be afraid to explore different approaches to find the one that works best for your personal preferences and the items you have available. By understanding your target market and optimizing your selling process, you can achieve a substantial profit margin with minimal upfront investment.


By exploring various ways, you can effectively make money with junk. One popular method is selling your junk for cash, which includes items like clothes, toys, and other unwanted items. You can also turn your focus on junk cars, especially if they are old, damaged, or lack any resale value. Selling them for parts or scrapping them for metal can prove to be lucrative.

Another option is to scrap metal for money, which could potentially earn you $100-500 a month if you have a truck and some extra time. 

To maximize your profits, learn about the different types of metals, their values, and the current market prices. Establish relationships with local scrapyards and become familiar with their requirements and processes.

Overall, making money with junk is a viable option for those willing to put in the effort and time. 

With the right strategies and dedication, you can turn your unwanted items and junk cars into cash. Remember to be confident, knowledgeable, and clear in your approach when dealing with buyers to ensure the best possible profits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Best Ways To Repurpose Household Waste For Profit?

There are several ways to repurpose household waste for profit. Some ideas include:

Remember to always prioritize safety and adhere to local waste management regulations.

Where Can I Find Buyers For Household Junk?

To find buyers for household junk, you can:

Make sure to provide clear descriptions and photos of your items to attract potential buyers.

What Common Items Can Be Scrapped To Earn Money?

Some common items that can be scrapped for money include:

Always research your local scrap yards for current prices and guidelines on selling scrap metals.

How Can Recycling Plastic Generate Income?

Recycling plastic can generate income through various methods such as:

Be aware of your local recycling laws and requirements to maximize your income from recycling plastic.

Does Recycling Crushed Cans Provide Monetary Benefits?

Recycling crushed cans can provide monetary benefits depending on your local recycling center's policies. Many centers may pay per pound of aluminum cans, and crushing them can help you collect more cans in less space. However, some centers may prefer non-crushed cans and have specific guidelines, so always check beforehand.

Which Waste Materials Can Be Turned Into A Profitable Business?

Waste materials that can be turned into a profitable business include:

The key to success is identifying a niche within your community and offering an innovative solution for repurposing their waste.

Chris Shaffer

Chris lives at the intersection of business strategy and growth tactics. Having consulted with dozens of different businesses (as well as building several of his own), he brings a unique perspective on what's working across the eCommerce world in businesses of all shapes and sizes.