How to sell pallets for cash near me (2024)

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Every year, 1.9 billion wooden pallets are used in the U.S. to transport tons of goods across the country.

A study by Virginia Tech found that out of the 700 million pallets made and fixed in the US, just under 3% wind up in landfills.

Did you know there are plenty of free pallets nearby that you can recycle and turn into cash?

Starting a side business with less than $100 is an excellent way to earn extra cash.

Things you’ll need

To kickstart your pallet recycling business, a pickup truck is essential. Alongside, you’ll require a drill, gloves, and nails to repair broken pallets, boosting their value.

Once operational, your primary cost will be fuel. However, there are ways to cut down on gas expenses.

For instance, outfitting your truck with sides to enhance its cargo capacity enables you to transport more pallets in fewer trips, ultimately reducing fuel consumption.

Where can I find wood pallets?

Obtaining wooden pallets for recycling is easier than many assume. You can acquire them from various businesses that regularly receive large deliveries of goods and products, such as:

  • Department stores
  • Factories
  • Warehouses
  • Tire shops
  • Flooring/tile stores
  • Any business involved in manufacturing and selling products in bulk.

Here are some top companies known for giving away shipping pallets:

  • Walmart
  • Lowe’s
  • The Home Depot
  • Tractor Supply

If you see pallets lying around, approach the owner or manager of the place and offer to remove them for free.

Many businesses often lack space for unused pallets and will be glad to have them taken away. Some may even pay to have pallets removed, especially if they have a lot of them. They’ll likely allow you to take them for free.

To enhance your approach, communicate with the owner to determine their regular pallet supply. This allows you to establish a pickup schedule for efficient collection.

Additionally, seek multiple pallet sources nearby to minimize transportation costs. Consolidating pickups from various locations reduces the number of trips required, saving on gas expenses.

Are pallets behind stores free?

Occasionally, you might notice pallets in store parking lots. But don’t assume they’re free.

Some stores sell their pallets, but you can negotiate the price. If you arrange regular pickups, you could secure a better deal. Ultimately, most businesses just want the pallets gone. If they can make a few dollars, that’s a bonus. If not, they’d rather dispose of them.

Craigslist

Craigslist is a great resource for finding free pallets that you can turn into profit. Craigslist’s “free” section often features numerous ads from individuals and local businesses giving away pallets of various sizes and shapes.

Here’s a simple guide to finding them in your area:

  1. Go to Craigslist.com in your browser. It will automatically redirect you to your local Craigslist page.
  2. Navigate to the “for Sale” section and click the “Free” tab.
  3. Browse the listings or search for terms like “free pallets” or “free pallets curb alert.”
  4. When you find free pallets, contact the owners to arrange for pickup.

It is the most efficient way to score wooden pallets at no cost today.

Freecycle.org

Freecycle.org boasts over 5300 groups globally with 9 million members, it’s the go-to platform for finding free items. Freecycle.org is a site where people give away and receive various items for free. Easily locate nearby groups by doing a quick search on the site.

Other places

Here are some more places where you can get free wood pallets:

  • Classified websites
  • Local newspapers’ classified sections
  • Local buying and selling apps
  • Facebook groups related to wooden pallets in your area

Repairing

Broken pallets are common, but fixing them is simple. Why bother? Repairing them is worthwhile because functional pallets fetch more money than damaged ones.

All you need are basic tools: a drill, hammer, and plenty of nails.

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Most pallets are made of sturdy oak that’s tough to nail directly. Instead, use your drill to create small pilot holes for the nails.

Where to sell wooden pallets?

Selling wooden pallets can be challenging, but there are various potential buyers available.

Here are some places where you can sell your wooden pallets:

1. The North American pallet recycling network

Selling your pallets to a broker is likely your simplest choice. No matter where you are – whether it’s Los Angeles, New York, San Antonio, Houston, Virginia, London, or elsewhere, there’s a good chance you’ll find a nearby pallet broker. You can easily locate them by visiting The North American Pallet Recycling Network.

2. National Wooden pallet & container association

Looking for packaging companies, woodworking shops, and other businesses that buy and sell used pallets in your area? Visit the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association’s website and search by zip code. You’ll get a list of nearby companies with their contact information to connect with.

3. Kamps pallets

If you reside in the Midwest, Kamps Pallets is one of the largest pallet brokers. However, you’ll need a substantial number of pallets to work with them.

4. Recycle.net’s Pallet Exchange Listings

Visit Recycle.net to explore their dedicated section for individuals and businesses involved in buying and selling pallets of various types. It serves as a directory for listings. Simply search for your location to find potential buyers interested in purchasing your pallets.

5. Local woodworking & furniture schools

Another option is to contact local woodworking and furniture schools. You can find their contact information in a telephone directory or Woodworkers Directory.

6. Local manufacturers

Local manufacturers need wood pallets for their products. Reach out to them by phone or in person and let them know you can supply wood pallets.

7. Craigslist

I checked out my local Craigslist’s Buy & Sell section and found numerous ads from people looking to buy or sell pallets. Posting an ad is quick and usually free in most cities.

8. Local pallet company

If you can’t sell all your stock, consider selling the remainder to a local pallet company. You can find one in the local phone book or online directories. Typically, wood pallet recyclers find it convenient to sell to these companies, but it might lower your profit.

How much can I sell pallets for?

Wondering about the value of pallets? It varies based on:

  • Your location.
  • Availability of wood pallet recycling centers nearby.
  • Most significantly, what pallet buyers are willing to pay.

The primary factors influencing the cost of pallets for individuals and businesses are their size and condition.

The price of used wood pallets varies based on their size and condition. You can typically sell them for anywhere between $0.50 to $4 each. The final price depends on the condition of the pallets and the buyer’s preferences.

If you’re selling pallets to local manufacturers, consider this: a busy manufacturer typically needs 50 to 100 pallets weekly. If you find five buyers needing 50 pallets each, five days a week, and they pay $2.50 per pallet, you could earn $625 per week.

The bottom line

Recycling old and unused wooden pallets can prove to be a highly beneficial and profitable activity. Being your own boss means you get to decide your own working hours, and when you sell your pallets to manufacturing companies, you get cold hard cash right away. This is because these companies usually pay you against delivery, which means there is no credit involved.

Apart from the instant payment, there are several other advantages to recycling pallets for cash. By selling your old pallets, you’re not only earning some extra money but also helping the environment by reducing waste in landfills. Additionally, you’re contributing to the sustainability of the wood industry by ensuring that the existing wood resources are being efficiently utilized.

Moreover, recycling pallets is a simple and straightforward process, which doesn’t require any special skills or experience. All you need is a little bit of space to store your pallets, and you’re good to go. So, if you have some unused pallets lying around, don’t hesitate to turn them into cash.

One major advantage of selling recycled pallets is that companies buying pallets will pay you upon delivery, eliminating the need for credit. This means you receive immediate cash for your pallets.