10 Weird Items You Can Find for Free and Sell Online

Explore the untapped market of freebies you can turn into online gold.

Woman decluttering wardrobe by organizing them in boxes
Updated May 28, 2024
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Drive through any neighborhood on garbage-collection day — or peruse the “free” listings on Facebook — and you'll find a lot of good things people are tossing out.

But it’s their loss. Literally. There's mad money to be made selling free stuff online. And while you could drive around town to see what’s set out curbside, you don’t have to.

Your junk drawers and spare closets probably are full of unwanted goods waiting for a new home. Here are 10 odd items you can find for free and sell on eBay if you want to make extra money.

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Empty paper-towel rolls

Pixel-Shot/Adobe rolls of paper towels on kitchen table

Don’t toss those empty paper towel rolls: Teachers, crafters, and others might pay big bucks for your used tubes.

A used 50-pack of empty paper towel rolls recently sold on eBay for $22. Talk about an easy way to get ahead financially.

Canadian pennies

Johanna Goodyear/Adobe pennies spilling

Getting stuck with Canadian coinage — especially pennies — can be a pain. Canada is actually phasing them out.

However, some of these pennies might bring you extra cash. For example, a single 1954 Canadian copper penny recently sold for $19.95 on eBay.

Sea glass

egiadone/Adobe colorful seaglass

Keep your eyes peeled for more than just sand dollars and seashells: Many beachcombers and artists love sea glass, too.

Using sea glass is a lovely, popular way to make picture frames, jewelry, and other coastal crafts. A couple of pounds of raw sea glass recently fetched $85 on eBay.

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Egg cartons

Milan/Adobe eggs in basket

Turns out there is a market for used, empty egg cartons. Who knew?

You can find many listings for egg cartons on eBay. Styrofoam cartons may sell for more than cardboard or natural pulp ones: An empty stack of 20 recently sold for $20.

Happy Meal buckets

Luca Lorenzelli/Adobe Ordering Mc Donalds food online

Nostalgia is always a big seller, and McDonald’s Happy Meal Boo Buckets serve up a super-size dose of it.

Sets of four Boo Buckets can sell for $50 on eBay, making it worth your while to hunt these down and flip them.

Trader Joe's grocery bags

Tada Images/Adobe Trader Joe's

The cult of Trader Joe’s extends beyond its grocery goods: Recently, a single lot of 10 brown paper bags from the retailer sold for $14.99.

The design that sold on eBay is still in Trader Joe’s stores now, so this opportunity to make cash remains available.

Coupons

Scott Griessel/Adobe Latina woman with coupons

Tossing out those huge sheets of free Burger King coupons that come in the mail can feel like throwing away money — and in a way, it is.

Fortunately, bargain hunters on eBay will pay for your unwanted coupons. Three sheets of 60 Burger King coupons recently sold for $3.75.

Admittedly, it’s not a huge sum. But perhaps you can find other coupons that are even more valuable.

Vintage D.A.R.E. T-Shirt

Елена Бабанова/Adobe woman sits on the floor next to cardboard boxes

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program has largely disappeared. However, those famous black-and-red T-shirts remain popular.

If you’ve got one stashed away, your old T-shirt could go for $20 on eBay.

BOOK IT! button

ymgerman/Adobe browsing the eBay store on a smartphone

If you found your D.A.R.E. shirt, odds are good you’ve got a couple of old BOOK IT! buttons, too.

A used, matching set recently sold for $35 on eBay. This might be conclusive proof that it pays to be a good reader.

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Meal toys for kids

Dontree/Adobe potato head transformers toy

Meal toys for kids from many different restaurants are a popular collectible on eBay that can help boost your bank account.

And it’s not just full sets in mint condition. A Wendy’s toy from 2000 recently sold on eBay for $12.59.

Bottom line

okrasiuk/Adobe woman taking photo of the dress

In a world where stacks of used egg cartons can fetch $20, the barrier to entry for sellers is set awfully low.

Beyond eBay, you can peddle some of these wares on Facebook Marketplace, Etsy, and Mercari.

So, look for the items on this list: Selling them can be an easy way to build wealth in the new year.

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Author Details

Stacy Garrels

Stacy enjoys writing about fintech, consumer deals, the side hustle economy, and random tomfoolery. She's personally tried more than 100 different gigs, including being an Uber driver for one afternoon.