Get ahead of the crowd with Premium
Register Forgot password

Make money selling your old toilet rolls

Nadia Krige 5th Oct 2022 5 Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Nope, we’re not even joking about this! In fact, there are truly loads of people out there just dying to get their hands on your old toilet rolls.

We did a little investigation into this rising money-making trend and gathered some important information to help you make an extra buck or two.


Why old toilet rolls?

Toilet roll and empty tubes

While most of us might toss the little brown tube at the end of the toilet roll into the recycling bin without a second thought, a lot of people actually treasure them for the infinite DIY possibilities they hold.

Here are just a few of their most popular uses:

  • Home-made Christmas cracker inner tubes
  • The basis for napkin holders
  • Seed-coated bird feeders
  • Or, if you pop some soil and a seed or two inside, they make for great propagating tubes

The thing is, most people would need more toilet rolls than they can produce to see a project through, and therefore welcome the opportunity to invest in a few extra wherever they can.


Where to sell?

Pile of toilet roll tubes

So, where do they automatically turn?


Good old eBay, of course! Where else?

Astoundingly, a search for ‘toilet roll tube’ delivers no less than 179 results.

Most of the listings come as bulk packs of between 10 and 150 rolls each and generally go for between £2 and £19, including postage.


You could also list your toilet rolls on Gumtree simultaneously to reach a wider audience. While eBay is hugely popular among a younger demographic, Gumtree reaches 16 million monthly unique visitors, roughly a third of the UK‘s adult online population.

Plus, with only 6 results showing up in the ‘toilet roll tube’ search, the market isn’t nearly as saturated as on eBay.

Facebook groups

Apart from these e-commerce sites, you could even try selling your old toilet rolls on one of Facebook’s many local used goods groups or even on a community dedicated to arts and crafts.

This way, you might even make a connection with a regular buyer to whom you can sell toilet rolls every few months.


How much can you make?

Woman looking at cash thoughtfully

Well, to put it quite plainly… not much at all. However, for the little effort that goes into gathering the rolls, storing them and sending them off, an average of £7 a pop (for 50 rolls) isn’t a bad bit of pocket money.

In fact, if you’ve been trying to save up for something small (maybe a weekend away or a specific item of clothing), this could be a great way to generate some income dedicated to that cause alone.


Tips for making money from your old toilet rolls

Empty toilet roll

Before you go tearing through your current toilet roll with dollar signs in your eyes, you might want to consider a few of the following tips:

Sell in bulk

Instead of trying to get rid of rolls one by one, it makes a lot more sense to sell them in sets of between 20 and 150. How many you choose to sell in one go is completely up to you, but 50 seems like a good, round number to start off with.

Have a few extra in stock

Once you’ve gathered your first 50 rolls, we know you’ll want to rush to eBay to get them listed. However, remain patient for a little longer and gather about four times the amount you’ve decided to sell. This way, you can post four different listings and make a little more cash in one go.

Make it a team effort

Most people aren’t that attached to their toilet rolls, so you may as well ask for help with your money-making project. If you get friends, family members and neighbours to donate their used rolls to you, you’ll be able to sell on a much more regular basis. While you may not make enough to give them a cut, you might want show your appreciation in other small ways  – chocolates, biscuits or a home-cooked dinner are always great tokens of thanks.

Find cheap (or free) packaging

To keep your toilet rolls from being squished and losing their shape, you’re going to need to send them off in securing packaging. Instead of spending money on buying boxes for this purpose, you could always visit your local grocery store and ask for their old shipping boxes. They are normally happy to give these away to people who are moving house etc.

Include postage in your price

Look, if someone’s buying a limited edition Star Wars action figure on eBay, they’d probably be willing to shell out a few extra pounds for postage/shipping. Not so much with something as commonplace as toilet rolls. Consider offering free shipping – they’re going to be so light, it won’t cost you much at all – and get more people interested in buying.

Also read:

Sign Up – Newsletter
1 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gwendoline Bates
Gwendoline Bates
5 years ago

I really can’t think of anything much more unhygenic.

Ms Linda Rozee
Ms Linda Rozee
5 years ago

My dog would be devistated if I did that! Like the kid in the Fairy Washing Up Liquid advert, my dog sits and waits until the last piece of paper is used, then pounces on the tube and chews it up….. Well will have to stay poor…

Jasmine Birtles
5 years ago
Reply to  Ms Linda Rozee

Ahhh, bless him! yes, you definitely need to keep them for your lovely dog. At least it’s cheaper than buying dog toys 🙂

Philip Stone
Philip Stone
6 years ago

Think I’ll stick to composting mine. Minimum postage £2.90 for anything over 25mm thick. So forget offering free shipping, unless you can fit a large number in a box within max small parcel size (45 x 35 x 16cm for Royal Mail). Nice spot though. Thought the article was a spoof till I read through!

Jasmine Birtles
6 years ago
Reply to  Philip Stone

Haha, I see what you mean. Mind you, you could ask the buyer if they would mind them flattened. That way you could send them more easily and cheaply. It depends what they need them for of course 🙂

Jasmine Birtles

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

Jasmine Birtles

Send this to a friend