Sell Pop Can Tabs for Money: 4 Things You Need to Know

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Soda can tops that can be recycled

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.

Where to Sell Your Pop Can Tabs

One of the primary markets for pop can tabs is eBay. Apparently, crafters like to use them on things they make and sell.

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 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.

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 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:

  1. Crafters can buy them ready to go and don’t have to remove the curly part themselves
  2. 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. Store them in the right sized zipper bag for the count – not too many or too little in the bags you are using.

How to Sort Your Pop Tabs

aluminum pull tabs inside plastic bottle

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.

The Selling Do’s 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 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.

Ask Your 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 such as collecting and selling pop can tabs are abundant, and there are many ways you can make some extra cash. This can be a good way to get a little extra money each month, especially if you drink beverages that come in cans every day.

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  1. iluvpandas says:

    Where is the best online platform to sell it on? I have about over 1,000. Also, what is the idea price?

  2. Janet kaczmarczyk says:

    I have about 3000 or better I need to know where to send them and how much.

    1. Check out the article for some ways to get rid of them and make some money!

  3. Hi. I am in Saskatchewan, Canada. I have 6 sandwich size Ziplock bags full of silver aluminum can tabs. I have an injured eye and don’t use eBay. Can you help me find the best place to sell my tabs? I would appreciate any assistance. Thanks.

    1. You might also be able to sell your tabs locally by putting up flyers in businesses in your area. In addition, consider advertising to your friends and family through social media and Facebook. If there are any local crafters, you might check with them to see if they are interested. Also, you could look for community buy and sell pages on Facebook and list them there. I hope you get them sold. Good luck!

  4. Can you actually sell them to hospitals?

    1. I seriously doubt it. Try using the information in this post to help you get money for them. Or, check to see if any crafters that you know or are in your area are interested. You could also post them on Facebook in a buy and sell group in your area. 🙂

  5. jahquita maxwell says:

    How much money do I get for a full jar?

    1. That depends on who you sell them to. Use the links and ideas in this post to help you find ways to make the most from them.

  6. Were do they buy blue Texas tabs?

    1. You could try eBay, as the post suggests, or see if you can sell them to a crafter in your area by listing them in a local buy and sell page on Facebook or another social media channel. Or, check out the online yellow pages and contact some recycling facilities in your area. You may have to contact them or send an email to ask directly if they take them. With a bit of research, though, you may find a buyer and make some extra money.

  7. Cynthia Bowens says:

    Where can you take can tabs to redeem them?

    1. As the post suggests, you might try selling them online through eBay. Or you could try a local buy and sell group in your area. Another option is to check with recycling facilities in your area. Good luck!

  8. Were do I take a gallon of can tabs in exchange for money?

    1. Use the information in this post to help you. I wish you luck!

  9. Stan Depuy says:

    If those pull tabs aren’t damaged too much (take a look – most are just barely out of shape), use them AS A PULL TAB ON ANOTHER CAN.
    I would think they would have much more value reused as a tab than melted down.

  10. I save can tabs that are provided to me for my causes: Veterans and Ronald MacDonald House.

    1. Good for you, Becky! Those sound like worthy causes.

  11. Dineo molefhi says:

    I have lot of can tabs. Where can I sell them?

    1. Use this post and the links provided to sell them. You can also look for places in your community by using the internet to search or Facebook groups in your area. Good luck!

  12. Jeremiah Satoute says:

    I have not, but I think I’ve saved up a million and now I’m ready to sell.

    1. That’s great! I hope you can get them sold and get some extra money!

  13. No. But, I want to. I have many of them.

    1. Well, I hope you use some of these ideas to try to get money for them. Good luck!