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How to Make Money Recycling Wine Corks
Wine Corks

by - July 20, 2013 - 20 Comments

At my house there are two things that pile up quicker than I know what to do with them – pizza boxes and wine bottles. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a 23 year old college student or the fact that I just love pizza and wine, but they pile up quickly.

And until recently I have been dutifully marching them down to the recycling center each week, but it turns out that I’ve been throwing out cash.

I haven’t yet found a way to make money off the pizza boxes, but I have discovered that those wine corks and empty wine bottles can be sold for big money! Now we all know that in many states you can turn your glass bottles at the recycling center for a little bit of money. In fact, looking at the back of last night’s yet to be discarded bottles reveals that Maine will pay 0.15 and Iowa will pay 0.05 per bottle. Not bad, but I’ve figured how to get nearly 0.75 per bottle and I live in Florida which doesn’t have any bottle exchange programs.

Here’s how it works:

1. Collect & Clean -Wine bottles will only sell if they have been cleaned out with hot water and soap. There is no need to take the labels off the bottles as a lot of the people who buy empty wine bottles are crafters and they may want to keep the label.

You also want to save up your bottles until you have at least a dozen before listing them for sale. If your family is anything like mine that won’t take too long…

2. Create an Ebay Listing – Ebay is a great place to sell your wine bottles and corks. You want to split the corks and the empty bottles into two separate auctions so that you can make the most possible money. I have noticed that wine bottles usually sell in lots of 10 or 12. Auctions for wine corks sell in lots as small as 20 and as large as 500.

The wine bottles usually sell for about 50 cents each, but fancier bottles can fetch near $5.00 per bottle (hint: Cobalt blue bottles!). Wine corks, however, generally sell for about 10 cents each. Here are a couple of examples…







3. Send Your Bottles/Corks – Make sure you clearly list in your auction how much shipping costs will be. Wine bottles are heavy and you don’t want to get stuck with the shipping bill. I recommend that you look at other auctions to get an idea of what people charge for shipping.

Also, make sure you package the wine bottles up safely, because sellers are usually responsible for bottles that break when they are not packed properly.

Good luck Penny Hoarders!

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  • Anonymous

    I love your blog! Thanks for all the great ideas! Although our family does not drink wine I think we may ask for them on freecycle!

  • Anonymous

    Freecycle is a great idea!!

  • Jonathan


    Thanks for the idea! I too have a lot of wine corks piling up around my house… I was thinking about doing something crafty with them, but don't have the time. So instead of them just sitting around the house, I went on ebay like you said and sold them for a few bucks!


    Jonathan T.

  • Aquabot

    Hope Recycling Wine Corks also works for me thanks for idea!

  • Kyle Taylor

    @Aquabot – I hope it works for you as well. It isn't a ton of money, but those pennies start to add up, right?

  • Cool Findings

    Wow, would never have thought of that! Great blog!

  • Jreilly

    This is a great Idea. I had no idea that wine corks were worth anything at all. I might try this one.

  • Jay

    What an cool Idea. I would never have thought wine corks were worth money. I will try this. Great post, no doubt.

  • Jamorama

    Great Post. Nice Idea on Recycling Wine Cork. Thanks for the well-thought article.

  • David

    I have never seen this blog before, but it is very creative. I have never considered making money from old corks. I guess I will start drinking more..haha

  • make extra money online

    I would never have imagined that you could make money from the corks – the bottles yes, but the corks?
    I think this is amazing, and I suppose as more and more companies have to turn to recycling due to government pressure, these sort of unusual money making strategies will become more commonplace worldwide.

  • Customer Loyalty

    I can only imagine the success awaiting you in the future…you're a young man and you have all these great ideas!

    all the best!

    I am not certain, but I know there are a lot of small wineries around that might be happy to get some free bottles.

  • Taman

    People never run out of ideas to make money, you gotta love it! Here in Europe its totally normal to get money in return for bottles, I guess we're more environment conscious over here. As for the Pizza boxes, I remember seeing a program once where a family was making their whole furniture out of these. They were quite stable too! So there's an idea…

  • James

    I didn't know that. Thanks for sharing about wine corks. Now I'll start collecting them.

  • francesco

    I love your blog! Thanks for all the great ideas! I like it!!

  • pasmanteria

    Just great! You save the environment and earn money at once :)

  • Mr. Showman

    I loved your blog. I bookmarked it keep coming with great posts like this one.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/st-augustine-grass Marilee Santopolo

    You have covered several curious points in this post. I found it by using Bing and I must admit that I am currently subscribed to the blog, it’s very great :)

  • http://www.peliculas-online-gratis.es/ Kraig Riherd

    hey – my first time on this blog and i just had a desire to say hello and thanks for keeping it alive !

  • Mrs Estrada

    I just want to ask where do you take these corks to get recycled at …Please tell me where ….Mrs Estrada or more information on this question

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