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Make money from broken and half-used stuff

Jasmine Birtles 11th Mar 2020 One Comment

Reading Time: 5 minutes

It’s surprising how you really can make money from broken and half-used stuff. Things you would normally throw away might be another man’s treasure. This is true on sites like eBay, eBid, Gumtree, and Ziffit. Don’t rule anything out!


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 get something out of it.

Even a really old, non-smartphone model that isn’t working 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.

Dig out your old mobile phones from the back of your drawers and see how much you can get from them.


Make money from broken computers and iPads

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

Broken apple products

Broken iPad

Pretty much anything made by Apple can be sold, 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. Name a ‘buy it now’ price, but accept offers.

if you just want to get rid of them…

freecycle logo

…just put them on Freecycle.org or the ‘free stuff’ section on Gumtree. 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.


Sell half-used bottles of perfume and creams

Half empty perfume ebottle

People who love expensive perfume are often quite happy to buy half-used bottles of their favourite scent. If you have Channel No.5, Versace, Dior, Mugler or one of the other posh brands, you can definitely make money selling 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. “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 make-up – if a good brand like Clinique, Dior, or Elizabeth Arden – 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 they are, etc – and price them 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 Ziffit.com 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 via Google Play or the App store, scan all your items, and, if you like the amount of money they are offering, accept it. You can send the items off for free. They’ll 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’s arts and crafts.

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 it!


Broken Jewellery, crockery and even guitars

Broken crockery

Put in the word ‘broken’ into eBay – it’s amazing what comes up:

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

…and more.

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


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 selling them online at CardYard. 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!


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5 years ago

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

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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