10 Surprising Things You Can Turn Into Cash

Posted by Amanda on July 10, 2017
 Get paid for donating, recycling and trading in household items. Ideas for items you might have and where you can turn them into cash.

Everyone has made a set amount of money up until this point in their lives, some of which is still liquid (cash in a savings account or wallet), and some of which is spent and gone (car, clothes, food consumed last week).

But what about taking some of the things you have from the money you have spent and converting them back into cash? Or how about taking some of your everyday habits and making money from them? It’s like giving yourself a pay raise or reclaiming some of your hard earned money.

Things You Can Trade in for Cash

There are many ways you can turn everyday items into cash and some things that are surprisingly valuable you may not have thought of before. You probably have plenty of items and things you can trade in for money. You probably also have other things that you can recycle or donate for money.

things you can trade in for money

10 Things to Turn Into Cash

  1. Gift Cards: If you have gift cards lying around, or received one you don’t have a use for, sell it for cash to Cardpool.
  2. Broken Electronics:  Used iPods, iPhones, video games, GPS systems or cameras can be traded in for a Target gift card (cash this in using the tip above). MDP reader Andrew also added that laptops, cell phones, tablets, and other items can be traded in at Gazelle.
  3. Broken Appliances: Take these to your local scrap metal facility. I tried this and earned $0.32 per pound! The price fluctuates over time.
  4. Wire Hangers: Some dry cleaners will take these back in exchange for cash (the one near us offers $0.25 per hanger).
  5. Curbside Recycling: Some trash companies have partnered with RecycleBank, a curbside recycling company that rewards your recycling efforts with points earned by the number of pounds recycled per week!
  6. Cars that Do Not Run: These can also be scrap metaled, or you can donate them to charities for a tax deduction at the end of the year.
  7. Black Walnuts: Have a walnut tree? Drop your fallen walnuts off at Hammon’s who will pay you a per pound rate (look in the lower right hand corner and see where the nearest drop-off location is for you). A reader Kellley also added that you can sell pecans and there are feed and seed stores that will buy them by the pound.
  8. Empty Printer Cartridges: Office Depot and Staples will give you around $3 per printer cartridge (check to see if it is store credit or cash), and TonerBuyer will pay cash.
  9. Internet Searches: Do your internet searching with Swagbucks, and randomly earn bucks that can be claimed for gift cards as well as cash (paid into your PayPal account).
  10. Carpooling, Biking, and Telecommuting: Sign up for the NuRide program, and log in the miles that you carpool/bike/telecommute to redeem for gift cards or cash.

What are some surprising items you have found to turn into cash?

More Ways to Make Money

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Comments to 10 Surprising Things You Can Turn Into Cash

  1. I have a coworker who regularly raids the recycle bin at Best Buy. I believe you have to have permission to do this, but he regularly goes there to see what people have dropped off to recycle and has on more than one occasion walked away with some pretty decent phones. His best take so far is a digital camera that had a broken screen. Turns out that particular model had a recall issued for it, he sent it in and got an entirely new camera! He also got a Nintendo DS Lite that had a hinge and one of the wires broken. He’s found a replacement kit online for like $16. Not a bad deal.


  2. Hello Diasdiem!

    What an interesting thought! I will have to look into that. We do have a Best Buy around here…and my fiancee is in IT, so maybe he could even fix a computer or two if we find any.

    Thanks for the comment.


  3. He mostly finds cell phones and chargers, but for the most part they’re all still usable. Actually found a few Blackberries before, probably from someone who bought the latest models and didn’t want their old one any more. The main thing is that you need permission to do this, you can’t just rummage through the bin.

    Another thing this guy does is scour municipal auctions for old computer equipment. He once won an auction for like 20 old single-side laser printers, a large format scanner and a couple double-side laser printers for about $50. They were all old, not really flashy or pretty, but they work. He actually gave me one of the printers, and I now have a fully functional laser printer for quick printouts. Cheaper than ink jet printing. I didn’t even have to buy a toner cartridge, it had one in it!


  4. Great to know Diasdiem…and don’t worry–I wasn’t going to do so without permission either:)


  5. This is really a great list. How do you find so good information?


  6. Mark: Thank you! I love to get money out of anything that I can, and I love being frugal, so I just always research this kind of stuff (and use most of the information myself). My father’s wife told me about the Black Walnuts from her experience, and one of my readers from my frugal confessions blog let me know about the wire hangers. There was a presentation at my work about the carpooling/biking…etc. Tips are everywhere!


  7. These tips are very useful. You’re doing really good job on your blog.


  8. I had no clue that some dry cleaners would pay for the wire hangers. At $.25 that would get me 20% back on the cost of the shirt to be dry cleaned.


  9. I use NuRide and love it. I’ve gotten several $5 off coupons for the grocery store we use anyway. They also give away tickets to various sporting events and concerts. I highly recommend it.


  10. I had no idea Costco had this type of trade in program. Thanks for the info! Definitely going to send my old electronics their way. 🙂

    Money Funk

  11. Great list! Another great site is Gazelle: http://www.gazelle.com/. They give you a value for your electronics item, send you a postage paid box, and give you the cash. I used it for an old digital camera, and it worked great.


  12. Hello Andrew!

    Wonderful. I haven’t heard of that website before, but I will give it a try. Thanks!

    Amanda L. Grossman

  13. Black walnuts?!?! who knew!!! Thanks

    Katie Christianson

  14. I started collecting my empty ink cartridge sell them to the folks at needempty.com.
    I’ll give a try to the internet search.

    A lot of ways to make money! Thanks Amanda.

    Jim Chen

  15. Selling pecans is also a good idea. In the south there are a few feed and seed stores that will buy them by the pound. The price you get is determined by the type of pecan. Plenty of people down here clear land just to set up pecan orchards because they pay so much.


  16. These are not surprisingly …

    LAMAR Smith

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