5 Easy Ways to Recycle Old Stuff Online (For a Profit!)

5 Easy Ways to Recycle Stuff Online

When I was a kid, my sister and I would collect aluminum cans from everyone in the neighborhood. We’d spend hours collecting, sorting and smashing the cans– the smashing was the fun part! Then, when we had filled enough trash bags to fill the back of my dad’s truck, we’d take them to the local scrap yard. One truck load was about $100. As a kid that $100 bucks felt like a million.

Today I’ve got less time on my hands, so I’m always on the lookout for easy ways to recycle my old stuff online. We’ve all heard of old standards, like Amazon and Craigslist, but those sites require listing your item, shipping costs and possibly meeting with a stranger. Here’s a couple of safe and easy ways I’ve found to recycle my old stuff online for a profit.

1. Recycle Clothes with ThreadUp
With ThreadUp, you order a “Clean Out Kit” via their website, pack it full of your old brand name clothes and return it via mail. You’ll receive store credit on their website, you can donate the money or you can get cold, hard cash (via Paypal). ThreadUp has pretty high standards, so not all of your clothes will make the cut. The clothes that don’t make the cut will be passed on to third party sellers or repurposed into new items like carpets and pillow stuffing.

2. Recycle Electronics with MaxBack
MaxBack is a site for selling your old cell phones, tablets and wearables. The concept is easy. You visit their website, choose the device you wish to sell, print your label, choose the way you wish to be paid and ship your package. MaxBack pays you within just a few short days! I was excited to see that MaxBack will even pay you for an iPhone with a cracked screen. Both my husband and I have old phones with cracked screens, I have an old Nike Band and an Amazon tablet that I plan on sending in.

3. Recycle Textbooks with BookByte
With BookByte, you can buy, sell and rent textbooks. If you’re hoping to cash in, you’ll head to their website to get a quote on your book. If you’re happy with the quote you’ll just mail the book to them. The shipping is free and you can get paid via cash, check or PayPal.

4. Recycle CDs, DVDs, BluRay and Games with SecondSpin
SecondSpin makes it easy to sell your CDs, DVDs, BluRay and Games. Head to their website to search for your items, place them in your cart and submit the cart. You’ll pay for outgoing shipping upfront, but you’ll be reimbursed (up to 25 shipped items) once they receive your items. You’ll get payment for your old goods by online credit, check or PayPal.

5. Recycle Ink Cartridges with Ecycle
I’ve thrown away an embarrassing amount of ink cartridges. I had no idea you could even recycle them until recently. With a site like Ecycle, you send in empty inkjet and laser printer cartridges for a profit. You register with the site, attach a shipping label (shipping is free!), drop it at your local UPS and you’ll receive a check. Ecycle does ask that you send in 20 items or 20lbs of product at a time, but if you work for a business or a school, you’ll have that in no time.

What are your favorite ways to recycle your old stuff online? Talk to us in the comments!

P.S. Looking to declutter and minimize? CLICK HERE to learn about the Fearless Minimalist Guide


4 thoughts on “5 Easy Ways to Recycle Old Stuff Online (For a Profit!)

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  1. Michelle

    Great list! We are currently going through all of our things and trying to get rid of as much as we can before we put everything in a storage unit (we are moving into our RV).

  2. LeisureFreak Tommy

    Amazing list. I had no idea, I had to chuckle at your story about you and your sister collecting cans for cash as kids. When I was a youngster in the early 70s you could turn-in for recycle pop (coke, etc.) bottles for a nickle. Aluminum cans weren’t really the thing produced yet. There was a nearby new neighborhood under construction and the workers would toss their bottles in the scrap wood pile. I remember a summer affording all the ICEEs (now Slurpee) I could stomach at the 7-11 convenience store that year. Thanks for triggering the memory.

  3. Jen

    I have got to try MaxBack. The amount of old electronics we throw away is too wasteful. Thanks for introducing these. I have only tried to sell old stuff on ebay but these are great resources.


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