Who knew you could make money by selling pop can tabs? Although you won’t get rich doing so, you can definitely pull in some extra cash – likely more than you’d make by keeping them on the cans and turning them in to the aluminum recycling center.
If you drink a lot of soda or other canned beverages, or if you have friends and neighbors who do, this could be a good way for you to rake in some extra cash.
Here’s what you need to know about how to successfully sell pop can tabs for money.
1. Know Where to Sell Your Pop Can Tabs
When I checked eBay prices I found that bags of 1,000 aluminum pop can tabs (the traditional silver colored ones) are selling for between $4 and up to $10 for buy it now packs.
You can also sell colored pop can tabs and the giant pop can tabs on eBay. Prices on those items will vary; sometimes they go for more than the typical silver colored aluminum ones, and sometimes they go for less.
There are some tricks to selling your pop can tabs on sites like eBay, however. Here are some tips for getting the most money for your pop or other beverage can tabs.
2. Know How to Properly Store Your Pop Tabs
The first thing you need to know to make your pop can tabs more marketable is that you should be taking a needle nose pliers to every tab and removing the curly part in the middle that can get hooked on other pop can tabs.
There are two benefits to this: the first is that crafters can buy them ready to go and don’t have to remove the curly part themselves, and the second is that you’ll be able to get a lot more tabs in your storage container as the curly things account for huge amounts of wasted space.
Another important piece of information you should know is that it’s best to collect pop can tabs that are clean and not bent at all. Bent tabs or dirty looking tabs are of very little use to crafters and other buyers.
The third thing you need to know about storing pop can tabs is that you should store them in boxes or baggies, and not in bottles such as milk jugs, two-liter bottles or other similar types of containers.
The reason for this is that it’s much harder for you to ship the tabs if they’re in large, bulky bottles. Also, buyers aren’t going to want to waste time working to get the tabs out of bottles or other similar containers and risk potentially damaging them in the process.
By storing them in zipper type baggies you make them easy to ship and easy for buyers to get access to.
It’s also important to keep a steady count of tabs in each bag. The goal should be 1,000, or at least 500 in each bag. And store them in the right sized zipper bag for the count – not too many or too little in the bags you are using.
3. Know How to Sort Your Pop Tabs
Sorting your pop can tabs properly is also important. Here are some tips for sorting your tabs after you take the curly thing off and before you put them in a baggie.
Sort by Color
Sorting by color is important. Most buyers are looking for a specific type of pop can tab: either the silver colored ones or the other-colored ones, such as red, green or yellow.
Some buyers might want only the red ones, for instance, so if you’re going to be doing this on a regular basis you might want to keep each color separate and sell them separately as well.
Know that you may need or want to sell the colored tabs in lesser amounts, such as 400 or 500, just because you might have trouble collecting that many colored tabs. The colored tabs aren’t as common as the silver ones, so selling them in smaller quantities can help you move inventory faster.
Sort by Size
Size is also important when sorting the pop can tabs you’re selling. Some energy and other drinks have the super big tabs. Keep “regular” or common sized tabs separate from the bigger tabs when you organize.
Sell the giant tabs separately if you can, even if you need to sell them in smaller quantities. Just be sure to price accordingly, checking out other sellers’ prices on the giant tabs to give you an idea of a competitive price range for your tabs.
Sort by Material
The material of the pop can tab is important too. Most pop can tabs are made of aluminum. The aluminum tabs are generally what crafters and other buyers are looking for, so keep them separate and either try to sell the non-aluminum ones separate or put them in for recycling.
You can tell if a pop can tab is aluminum by testing it with a magnet: most aluminum tabs will not respond to a magnet.
4. Know the Selling Dos and Don’ts
Here are a few other things you’ll want to know about selling pop can tabs on eBay or other places.
- I know we talked a bit about this before, but it’s important to make sure the tabs are clean and in decent shape, not bent, etc.
- Buyers generally pay for shipping, so be sure to include a shipping price with your listing or raise your price point high enough to cover shipping and then offer free shipping. That could make a difference to some buyers.
- It’s important to ship quickly and properly packaged. I suggest keeping the tabs in the zipper bag you were storing in, put them in a padded manila shipping envelope or in an appropriately sized box and writing “fragile” on the bag or box with a permanent marker. This extra care will impress buyers, as well as will shipping as soon as possible.
By taking care to offer a great product, and practicing above-and-beyond customer service with fast and secure shipping, you’ll help to earn yourself a reputation among crafters for offering a great product and great service, and potentially earn more sales.
Where to Get Pop Can Tabs
You might be wondering how you can get as many pop can tabs as possible so that you can maximize your earnings. Here are a few ideas.
Save Your Own Family’s Pop Can Tabs
If you and/or your immediate family drink a lot of canned beverages, this would obviously be the easiest place to start. Take the tabs off the cans before they even go into the recycle bin and instruct family members to do the same.
If you’ve got a spouse and kids you can even make it a family effort and promise to use the tabs for something fun like an outing or a vacation.
Ask Extended Family Members and/or Friends
You could ask your extended family members or close friends to put aside cans – or even just the tabs – for you if you’re comfortable with that. Since a lot of people like to drink soda or adult beverages on a regular basis, you could amass quite a few tabs by asking several family members or friends to save theirs for you.
Ask Your Neighbors
You could also ask your neighbors if they would be willing to allow you to take pop can tabs out of their recycling bins or save the tabs for you. In most cities it’s illegal to do this without permission, so be sure to ask first.
Get Permission to Set up a Collection Container at Work
Your job could be another place to get pop can tabs. If it’s okay with the power-that-be, you could set up a collection container to ask co-workers to put their tabs in the container, or you could get the tabs yourself by checking the cafeteria recycle bin.
This could be a great way to collect a lot of tabs, especially if you work for a larger employer.
Side Hustles are Everywhere
Side hustles such as collecting and selling pop can tabs are abundant, and there are many ways you can make some extra cash. This post on 50+ Creative Side Hustles is just one example of the side hustle ideas we aim to share on Well Kept Wallet.
For me personally, side hustling as a freelance writer has allowed me to stay home and homeschool my four children while bringing in some serious extra cash to help support our family, and I do it all from the comfort of my own home.
By taking inventory of your gifts, talents, and interests, and by looking around you to find opportunities to use skills and products (such as pop can tabs) to make extra cash, you can get a serious boost in reaching your financial and other goals.
The great thing about side hustle income is that there are so many options that you always have more to try if one doesn’t work out for you.
Have you ever sold pop can tabs? Or, have you ever tried another side hustle and brought in some extra money? Answer in the comments below.