7 surprising things people will pay real money to buy online

Beyond obviously valuable stuff — smartphones, computers, collectables — these seven items sell surprisingly well.


Angela Lang/CNET

After spending so much time in quarantine cleaning out your closets, cabinets, the attic and garage, you’ve got a ton (maybe literally) of stuff you’d like to sell, but you don’t think it’s worth the time it takes to list it on eBay, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Don’t rent a dumpster just yet — some of that stuff might be worth a whole lot more than you think.

We’re not just talking tech, either — we have separate guides to selling your old phone, how to get the most for your used PC and how to sell your Mac. Old VHS tapes, sporting goods and toys — and not just Star Wars toys — can fetch top dollar on auction and classified ad sites. (Just stay away from these seven used tech items you never want to buy or sell.) So, before you start sorting your “sell” pile into “keep” and “toss” bins, check out these everyday items that are totally worth selling.

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You’ll get more money for complete Lego sets, but you can sell off your bricks by the pound if you’re not interested in sorting them.


Screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

1. Sell Legos by the set or by the pound

The more effort you put into sorting your Lego bricks, the more cash you’ll be able to get out of them. If you have complete sets, great! Those typically sell for the most money (bonus if they’re still in an unopened box). If you don’t have all the pieces (or the time it would take to figure out if you do), you can list your Legos for a premium if you sort by color or type of block. 

If you’d rather just sell off that 55-gallon storage bin full of miscellaneous Lego parts as quickly and effortlessly as you can, unsorted Legos go for about $5 to $10 by the pound on eBay.

You can also donate your preowned Legos to Lego Replay, a program that benefits children’s nonprofits.

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It’s a myth that classic Disney movies on VHS typically sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars, but you can still get $2 to $20 or so for your old Disney VCR tapes.


Walt Disney Pictures

2. Disney movies on VHS are a goldmine

First, to dispel the myth: No, you’re probably not going to get thousands of dollars for your old Disney VHS collection. As urban legend debunking site Snopes points out, although you may see a lot of old Disney movies listed for absurd amounts of money (like this copy of Beauty and the Beast on sale at eBay for $1.28 million), those listings almost never have any actual bids. A quick search for “Disney VHS” tapes that have been “sold” is even more telling, revealing selling prices anywhere from a buck to $20 or so. 

That said, up to $20 (and in some cases even more) for your old Disney VHS tapes isn’t bad for a format that’s nearly as old as Star Wars.

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Buyers will pay anywhere from $5 to $20 or more for the original remote that came with their TV, stereo or set-top box.


Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

3.  Remote control, no TV included

Even though programmable universal remotes can be had on the cheap (like this $60 Logitech Harmony at Best Buy), they’re not always a great replacement for the remote that came with your TV. For that reason, there’s a bustling second-hand market for old remotes to TVs, stereos and other components. 

If you have any old clickers lying around to a TV, stereo receiver, VCR, DVD player or cable box that you no longer have, you might be able to get anywhere from $2 to $20 apiece for them, not including shipping, which you can also charge for.

Read more: Roku remote: $20 upgrade makes quarantine streaming so much better

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Selling off your old car parts may be more time-consuming, but you’ll rake in way more cash than if you sell the whole thing for scrap.


Sarah Tew/CNET

4. Turn your old car into cash flow

If you have an old car that’s beyond repair, you could sell it to a local junkyard, but you’ll be lucky to get more than a few hundred dollars for your clunker. If you have a basic understanding of car parts and the tools needed to remove them (plus the space to store a gutted motor vehicle) selling your car part-by-part will yield far more of a return.

This one requires a bit of mechanical knowledge and know-how, but if you have the skills and the space, it’s definitely worth the effort. A car that you might get $200 or $300 for from a junkyard could turn into $2,000 to $3,000 if parted out.

Read More: How I finally bought my dream car on eBay 

There are also tons of charities that will gladly take your old car off your hands. In exchange, you get to write off the value of the vehicle as a tax deduction. But be forewarned: A CNBC investigation revealed that many of the supposed nonprofits that accept used car donations aren’t on the up and up.

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Don’t just toss your old prescription glasses in a drawer — sell or donate them online instead.


David Carnoy/CNET

5. Resell your old prescription glasses

The way many eye care insurance plans are set up, a lot of people replace their prescription eyeglasses every two years (often by purchasing them online). But even though your old frames might be a bit worn out, unless they’re so damaged they’re unusable you can still probably get a decent return on selling them. 

How much you get will depend on how good of a shape they’re in plus how hot of a brand name they are (Ray-Bans, Coach), but even $20 is a come-up if your only other option was to leave them in a drawer somewhere.

Eyeglasses are another item with a list of charities that will gladly redirect your used item to a vision-impaired person in need. If you’d rather donate your eyeglasses, you can do so at New EyesOneSight or Eyes of Hope.

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A bucketful of used golf balls might just net you enough to cover your next green fee.


Dale Smith/CNET

6. Collect and sell used golf balls

There’s so much money to be made in the $200 million per year used golf ball market, some people even make a full-time job of it. The biggest payday is for certified scuba divers who plunge the depths of water hazards collecting stray balls. 

But if you happen to have a serious enough golf habit (or live in a neighborhood or apartment complex that was built atop an old driving range or course where golf balls pop up like dandelions), valued at anywhere from a couple of cents to a dollar, even just a few buckets’ worth might cover your next green fee. Obviously, the better condition they’re in (and the more premium the brand) the more they’re worth — i.e. Titleist are worth more than Srixon, and mint is better than damaged.

You can sell used golf balls to LostGolfBalls.com or directly to consumers on eBay.

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Crafters will buy your used crayons by the pound, but you can also donate them to nonprofits that supply free crayons to at-risk children, children’s hospitals and the like.


Dale Smith/CNET

7. Turn used crayons into cash

Broken, used crayons still have a lot of life left in them. You can melt them into new crayons, of course, or use them to color homemade play putty (think Play-Doh), not to mention use them to make any number of crafts like candles, ornaments and luminaries. Or you can sell them to people who want to do those things. Used crayons fetch anywhere from $3 to $5 per pound on eBay and even more on Etsy. Just like with other items, name brand (Crayola) are worth more than generic, and you can charge more if you sort by color.

There are also several crayon-collecting charities that recycle used crayons into new ones for at-risk children, children’s hospitals and the like. If you’d rather get paid in good vibes, check out The Crayon InitiativeCrazy Crayons and Crayon Collection.

Looking for more smart money hacks? Here’s how to save up to 70% at Amazon all year long. Stop paying for streaming and try these alternatives to Netflix, Apple Music and more. And cure the fear of missing out on a bargain with this browser add-on that looks for better deals across multiple online retailers.

— to www.cnet.com

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