Can You Make Money Selling Toilet Paper Rolls?

The average person goes through 100 toilet paper rolls per year. That might not surprise you, but what will is the fact that people will actually buy the cardboard tubes the paper is wrapped around!

But can you make money selling toilet paper rolls? Yes, you can actually make $60-$240 per year selling rolls to people looking to use them for crafts or other like purposes. All you have to do is collect them, make sure they’re clean, and sell them on sites like Amazon or eBay. 

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a closer look at who the customer is, how the process works, how to be successful, and if it’s worth it.

Who Buys Toilet Paper Rolls?

Most people know what toilet paper is and (ideally) most people use it. But have you ever thought about how much of a waste it is to throw away that cardboard roll once the toilet paper is all gone?

Well it is a waste, because there are actually people who will buy your toilet paper rolls – meaning you can actually make money off of what you might have thought was just trash.  

If you’re like me, your first question was, “Why would anyone do that?”

Well, it turns out that people purchase toilet paper rolls to use them for a variety of different things.  They use them for different things like arts and crafts, gardening, or even bird feeders!

So, oddly enough, there is definitely a market for selling them.

Making Money Selling Toilet Paper Rolls

The process of selling toilet paper rolls is similar to collecting and selling aluminum cans, scrap metal, junk mail or other types of trash.

Here is how it’s done:

  1. Collect toilet paper rolls
  2. Clean and discard
  3. Sell and make money

1. Collect toilet paper rolls

For collecting the toilet paper rolls, the easiest place to start is in your own home. 

You probably use toilet paper everyday, as do all of the members of your household. The average person uses about 100 toilet paper rolls per year. That means with a family of four, you are going through an average of 400 toilet paper rolls a year, or about 33 a month.  

Keep in mind, most people you know probably use toilet paper also, so you could even ask friends, other family members, and coworkers if they could start collecting their toilet paper rolls and giving them to you.

You should get creative, but limit it. Meaning, don’t go dumpster diving and collecting all the grime-covered cardboard rolls out there. Make sure what you get is sanitary.

2. Clean and discard

The next step is to clean the rolls. What this means is getting off any residue that you can.  

The end of the paper is glued to the roll, and you might have noticed that some toilet paper gets stuck on it. That’s what you’ll want to do your best to clean off.

This would not take much effort to get off, and if someone is buying them for something that would require that to be removed, they might be more apt to purchase the rolls from you if you have already taken the little bit of time to remove the residue paper yourself.  

You will also want to discard any bad rolls – you’ll only want to sell good quality rolls. They’ll sell faster and you’ll gain a better reputation as a seller.

Go through and discard any rolls that are crushed or ripped to ensure you are selling only clean and whole rolls.  

3. Sell and make money

Now, you might be wondering what obscure website people are going on to buy toilet paper rolls. It might surprise you to know that Esty, Amazon, and Ebay all have markets for it.

A quick search for ‘toilet paper roll tubes’ will show you just how many listings there really are. People make and sell all kinds of toilet paper roll crafts!

Toilet rolls made into crafts for kids
Toilet rolls made into craft figurines for kids

One common thing you will notice is that there are no people listing just one or two rolls for sale. That’s because people buy – and thus sell – in bulk. And it makes sense, because people are going to want quite a few for their uses. Which is actually good news for you, because the more you sell at once, the more you will be able to make.

You should also include free shipping – or have fulfillment by Amazon if selling on there – because most people probably won’t want to pay $10 for the rolls and $10 more for shipping costs.  And the rolls are so light, it won’t cost you much to ship them.   

How Much Can You Make?

Obviously you can list them for whatever price you wanted to, but is there a number that generally sells? 

Well, the most common amounts would be about $.5 to $.20 per roll or $5 to $20 per 100 rolls.  So, if you were collecting 100 rolls per month, you would be able to make an extra $60 to $240 per year, which is not too bad for the fact that you probably would’ve just thrown them away before.

Obviously, the more you can collect, the more you can sell. So if you really want to make this a steady stream of income, it’s important to get creative with your collection methods.

Are There Startup Costs?

There aren’t really any startup costs because while yes, you do buy the toilet paper, you aren’t buying it to sell it, you are buying it to use. So, I wouldn’t classify that as an upfront or startup cost. And collecting from your friends, family, and even coworkers probably won’t cost you anything either!

Pros

  • A way to earn money with something you already have to use anyway
  • Easy to sell
  • Doesn’t require any money up front

Cons

  • Difficult to collect a lot of rolls
  • Would be hard to turn into a full-time job
  • Doesn’t make a lot of money

Conclusion

Overall, this is a great way to make extra money with something you already have to buy. Selling the rolls is easy, and doesn’t cost you any money upfront.

The only problem is that collecting the tubes is difficult because you can’t go dumpster diving or trash picking – they have to be clean and put together. Therefore, it will be hard to make a steady stream of income with this.

With that being said, it is worthwhile to give it a try. Using this in combination with other money making tactics – like selling bottles – will give you multiple different avenues for revenue that will ultimately add up!

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