Jul 20

Make money from broken and half-used stuff

Reading Time: 5 mins

It’s surprising how you really can make money from broken and half-used stuff – things you would normally throw away. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure and no more so than on eBay and other selling sites like eBid, Gumtree, Ziffit and even here on MoneyMagpie (check out our mobile phone recycler).

You can even make money selling toilet roll innards and shop vouchers that are a bit dog-eared (on Zeek).


Make money from broken mobile phones

Mobile phone with smashed screen

It really doesn’t matter what state your old mobile phone is in, you can always make something out of it.

Even a really old, non-smartphone model that isn’t working anymore can bring in a fiver or so. Companies like to use the parts, particularly the chip which can be used in caravans and other vehicles to track them.

Go dig out your old mobile phones from the back of your shelves and drawers and see how much you can get from them in this comparison tool here.

Check out our article here on how to make money by recycling your mobile.


Make money from broken computers and iPads

It really doesn’t matter what state your laptop, desktop, iPad or printer is in, someone will be happy to take it off your hands.

Broken apple products

Broken iPad

Pretty much anything made by Apple can be sold for something, whatever state it is in. A broken laptop, for example, can be sold on eBay. Computer menders and people who love Apple products will pay decent money for them.

Broken laptops and desktops

broken laptop

Take a look at what similar products are selling for on eBay and put yours up for roughly the same amount. If you have a bundle of bits (cables, mice and other items) you could sell them as a job lot. Again, see what others are selling them for. Put a ‘buy it now’ price on but accept offers.

if you just want to get rid of them…

freecycle logo

…just put them on or the ‘free stuff’ section on There’s always someone who will come and take them off your hands for free.

You could also offer computers and other technology that you don’t want to special charities. For example, Computers For Charity use them to help children in developing countries in their education. Check them out.


Sell half-used bottles of perfume and creams

Half empty perfume ebottle

People who love perfume – particularly expensive ones – are often quite happy to buy half-used bottles of their favourite scent. If you have Channel No.5, Versache, Dior, Mugler or one of the other posh brands, you can definitely make money sell them on eBay. Cheaper brands go well at car boot sales.

Perfume fan Kirsty Bowman-Vaughan regularly buys half-used bottles and is very happy with the result. “I bought a bottle of Channel No.5 recently which was about three quarters full,” she says “and it cost me £25. I’m very happy with that. I don’t mind at all that it is second-hand. I think it’s a bargain!”

It’s the same with good brands of cleansers, moisturisers, toners and other cosmetics. Even eyeshadows, lipsticks and other make-up – if they are good brands like Clinique, Dior, Elizabeth Arden or similar – can sell well on eBay or eBid.

Take good photographs of the products, make sure you’re very accurate about the state of them – how much is left, how old it is etc – and price the items at a similar price to others that have sold on the site.


Sell old books, CDs and DVDs

stacks of used books

On the reselling website you can get rid of old books, CDs and DVDs that you don’t want anymore. Even ones that have dog-eared pages, broken cases and torn paper can sell for something.

All you need to do is to download the Ziffit app here, scan all your items with it and then, if you like the amount of money they are offering you, accept it. You can send the items off to them for free and they give you the money straight away either via Paypal or cheque.

See our article here about how to sell your books, CDs and DVDs on Ziffit.


Make money selling toilet roll innards

Toilet roll tubes

As you can see in our article on how to make money on the toilet, it’s possible to sell the insides of toilet rolls for cash. Parents and nursery school teachers buy them for children to do arts and crafts with them.

It’s not huge money – about £7 for 50 – but, if you have the space to store them as you collect 50 or so, it could be worth trying!


Broken Jewellery, crockery and even guitars

Broken Crockery

Take a look at eBay, put in the word ‘broken’ and it’s amazing what comes up:

  • Job lots of broken jewellery
  • Broken iPhones
  • Broken iPads
  • Broken crockery (sold ‘for craft’)
  • Broken guitars

…and more.

So before you throw something out, consider whether it could possibly be used by someone for parts, for craft, for playing with, for turning into something good.

You could get some cash for that.


Sell old gift vouchers for cash

Gift voucher

If you got some gift vouchers for Christmas or your birthday, but you don’t want to use them, you can get money back from them by selling them on Zeek. Even if they are dog-eared, someone will be pleased to take them off your hands.

Hunt through your wallet and drawers to see if you can find an old one that is still valid and make some money from it on Zeek.



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I’d never thought of selling broken and part used items before, great idea.

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