One interesting way to make extra money is collecting and recycling wood pallets. Wood pallets are used all over the country and the world to help transport goods from one place to another. Some companies simply discard these pallets, leaving them available for anyone who is willing to pick them up and haul them to another location for resale. Anyone looking for ways to make extra money can collect these pallets and sell them to other companies with a little time and effort.
How Much Do They Pay for the Pallets?
The price you’ll get for your pallets depends on a number of factors. If the pallets are in good condition, you’ll be able to sell them for more. Pallet prices range anywhere from 50 cents each up to $4 each, depending on the area you live in, how many recyclers are in the area and what local companies are willing to pay.
If you can get yourself a few clients who are willing to pay a decent price for the pallets you can earn some valuable side hustle money. For instance, if you can get two clients willing to pay $2 per pallet who will each buy 100 pallets a week, you can make $400 per week selling pallets. Companies in need of pallets for shipping will be eager to save money by purchasing recycled pallets provided the seller can keep up with their daily or weekly pallet demand and provide good service. In most cases too, pallet reselling is handled on a cash basis, which means you have the money you’ve earned in hand as soon as you drop the pallets off at their specified location.
Where Can I Find Wood Pallets?
Craigslist listings and local businesses are likely your best bet for finding wood pallets. In my local area, there were several listings for free wood pallets on Craigslist, and I know of two local businesses in our small town alone that have piles of wood pallets available for pickup with a “free” sign alongside them.
Check with local manufacturing companies that receive a lot of supplies to see if they have wood pallets you can take off their hands, and check your local Craigslist site as well to find pallets to re-sell.
Who Buys Wood Pallets?
If you want to make money recycling wood pallets you’ve got a number of options for selling them, depending on where you live. It’s likely that the bigger city you live in, the more places you’ll have that buy wood pallets, but below are some options.
Sell to Local Manufacturers
If you live in an area that has a lot of manufacturing companies, this might be a good avenue for selling your recycled wood pallets. Visit various company headquarters or call them on the phone and explain that you’re a seller of recycled wood pallets and start negotiations for a price that will make you a profit and benefit the company as well.
Sell on Craigslist
On my local Craigslist site, there were several people offering to buy wood pallets. The prices ranged anywhere from 50 cents a piece on up. Check your local Craigslist listing to see if there are buyers available in your area that might want pallets.
Sell to Pallet Brokers
Pallet brokers exist all over the US and Canada, working to make sure that wood pallets avoid a lifetime in the landfill. Sometimes the companies repair and reuse the pallets, sometimes they resell the pallets, and in cases where pallets are beyond repair, they often grind them up into wood mulch and resell them to those needing mulch.
There are a number of pallet brokers that could be a viable option for you as a pallet recycler.
Kamps Pallets has locations in nearly all major metropolitan areas and has a contact page on their website for those interesting in working to sell pallets to Kamps.
North American Pallet Recycling Network
This is another prominent company that could be willing to buy pallets you collect. With locations in many of the 50 states (including Alaska and Hawaii), the North American Pallet Recycling Network is eager to work with pallet recyclers to help redistribute pallets for long-term use.
National Wooden Pallet Container and Association
The National Wooden Pallet Container and Association has a directory of companies who buy and sell wooden pallets that recyclers can use to find contact information for companies in their area that may be interested in purchasing the pallets they have for resale.
The recycle.net website has a section specifically for people who buy and sell wood pallets and might be a good place for you to find buyers for your pallets or places where you can pick up pallets for free.
Local Pallet Companies or Furniture/Woodworking Schools
These two options might also be viable places for you to sell the pallets you collect. Check local technical college listings for woodworking or furniture making schools, or check your local phone book in the yellow pages for pallet companies near you that may want to buy your recycled pallets.
What Will I Need to Get Started?
The costs to start recycling wood pallets are pretty minimal, provided you’ve got one main item already in your possession. The main thing you’ll need to get started is a truck and/or a trailer. Obviously, the start-up costs will be cheaper if you already own these things. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing these items unless you’ve already done your research and are certain there’s a market for recycling wood pallets in your area.
You’ll also need a decent pair of work gloves, along with a drill and some nails for repairing any broken pallets. Remember the better shape they are in, the more money you’ll get for each pallet.
Likely the biggest expense you’ll have is the gas needed for hauling the pallets. You can save money on gas for your pallet recycling business in a number of ways. First, you can plan your trips so that you’re hitting businesses in close proximity on the same day. Second, if your truck has a topper or sides installed on it, or if your trailer has high sides on it, you’ll increase the capacity of pallets you can haul. This can minimize the number of trips you’ll need to make which will save you money on gas.
Knowing where you’re going in advance (so that you can avoid extra driving), keeping your car or truck well-maintained, and knowing where the cheapest gas prices are in your area will also help you save money on gas.
The Benefits of a Recycling Wood Pallets
The great thing about recycling wood pallets is that you choose the hours you work and the clients you work with. Being your own boss also means that you choose how much money you’ll make. You can work ten hours a week or fifty hours a week – the choice is yours.
Whether it’s recycling wood pallets or one of the many other awesome side hustle options available, having your own side gig is a great way to increase your income and achieve your financial goals.