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Make Money

Make money from your old toilet roll

No sh*t! People are actually paying good money for those empty toilet rolls...

make money from old toilet roll

Normally the sight of a finished toilet roll would fill you with absolute despair (often mixed with a dose of rage at whoever's turn it was to buy the next batch but didn't!).

But what if reaching the end of the loo roll was a sign of cash to come?

Believe it or not, that habit of building a cardboard fortress in the bathroom to avoid the effort of binning these tubes could be about to pay off, big time.

Savvy eBayers have been taking to the auction site to sell their cardboard loo roll tubes in bulk, and earning a surprisingly decent amount of cash in exchange.

You'd be surprised to see just how many people are selling the stuff, and what's even more surprising - people are actually buying them!

Whether you've an eBay buying addiction or consider yourself a selling pro - we've got the tips to up your eBay game!

What's the going rate for empty toilet rolls?

price of empty toilet rollBizarre as it may seem, buyers are more than keen to snap up the cardboard.

Whilst one bold seller is currently flogging a box of 800 tubes for an impressive £48.00 plus £22.00 P&P (we're not even joking), other - slightly more realistic - sellers are cashing in around 10p per tube.

So for something you're likely to be collecting anyway, that's not too bad a deal!

Tips to maximise profits

breaking bad making moneyHere are a few tips to ensure you're getting the most out of this money making trick:

  1. Don’t just sell a few at a time - It's a good idea to collect as much as you can over a few months and sell them in bulk. A listing definitely looks better when there’s a mountain of the stuff on offer rather than just a few, and people seem more keen to part with cash for larger quantities.
  2. Offer free (or mega-cheap) P&P - Asking for £22 P&P is setting yourself up for failure. Whilst you are selling a full box, the tubes are light as a feather. Ask around your local shops for decent (free) cardboard boxes to send them in - and do it neatly! Neater-looking collections go for a higher figure.
  3. Make it a team effort - As everyone in your digs will be contributing in their own 'special' way to making cash on these tubes, it's a good idea to make the whole process a combined effort: Everyone chips in a few quid, buy the toilet paper in bulk (look out for deals on this, but sites like have 36-packs for as little as £5.40) then use the money you make from eBaying the tubes to pay for the next round of bulk toilet paper. You'll be practically self-sustainable! 
  4. Ask for donations in your building - Your neighbours will be tossing these tubes out everyday, so ask them if they’ll kindly donate to your entrepreneurial efforts to help get your numbers up (or pretend you're doing arts and crafts with them).

The only question to ask now is... what exactly are people doing with all these toilet roll tubes they're buying?

Answers on a postcard.... or in the comments below 😉

Want to hear some more weird money-making ideas you can try at university? We've got loads in episode four of No More Beans, our podcast all about saving money while you study!

Find out how to make cash out of your old textbooks, your old mobile phone and all those CDs, DVDs and games you don't use anymore.



I buy them for my two gerbils. They chew through 2-4 a day and love it! They sometimes sleep in the rolls, eat the rolls in the morning and then sleep in a new one that I give them.


I buy them for my hamster! She loves cardboard tubes more than any toy I’ve ever bought her and we can’t get through loo roll quick enough between my boyfriend and I haha!

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