How to Make Money Recycling Moving Boxes

Cardboard Moving Boxes

It’s not exactly a resume builder, but there are a growing number of people who make extra money collecting and reselling used moving boxes.

The best part about it is that this one costs you nothing to invest, just a little time.

So, here’s the deal.  The Census bureau estimates that about 50 million Americans move each year and every time they move they are purchasing dozens of moving boxes from companies like U-Haul and UPS. Most of those end up in trash or the city recycling bin. It’s a waste, but most of all it’s foolish. That’s because there are companies that will buy your used moving boxes for anywhere between .50 to $2 a piece depending on the size. They turnaround and resell those boxes to new movers, thus making a profit as well.

Even better there are tons of people giving away their used moving boxes on Craigslist which you can collect and turnaround for a profit. I’ve made hundreds of dollars picking up free boxes around town and selling them to used moving box companies.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Look around the house for as many boxes as you can find. Traditionally its moving boxes that sell so save your smaller boxes for shipping Ebay items or wrapping Christmas presents. The boxes need to be in good condition and broken down. They can have markings on them, but they need to have their structural integrity in tact. The basic formula is the bigger the box the more it’s worth. Wardrobe boxes with a metal rod can fetch over $2 in the resell market.

2. Ask your friends and family for their unwanted boxes. You would be surprised how much people want to get these out of their garages, basements, and attics.

3. Scour Craigslist for people giving away free boxes. If you are not familiar with the Craigslist Free section it’s going to change your life. Each city has a free section where people can list their unwanted items that they are giving away at the curb. All you have to do is drive by and pick them up. A quick search of my city’s Free section shows dozens of people in the past week who have listed their moving boxes for free pickup.

4. Look for Companies giving away boxes. The free section on my craigslist even revealed that a local Barnes and Noble is giving away hundreds of moving boxes each week. Check it out:

All you have to do is pick them up. Just think: if you picked up 250 boxes a week from this store you could be making up to an extra $250 per week. If you don’t have a lot of listings on Craigslist in your area try calling local stores and ask them if you can pick up their used boxes.

5. Resell Your Boxes. There are a couple ways to go about doing this. Places like or offer you a forum to sell your boxes to other individuals. I’ve had quite a bit of success using these sites and generally make between .50 and $1.50/per box. I’ve even had success reselling my boxes directly on Craigslist in the For Sale category!

Should you choose to collect moving boxes for extra cash remember to think creatively. The more sources of boxes you have coming in each week the more money you are going to make.

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