If you’ve ever set foot in a warehouse or purchased wholesale products, you are most likely already familiar with the wooden pieces that large quantities of a product are placed upon so that it can be easily transported via forklift. Unfortunately, while these wooden platforms are quite useful when they are needed, many of them are simply disposed of and discarded.
For those who are business-savvy and looking for an opportunity to make a little more extra money throughout the month, you can take advantage of these discarded wooden products and profit off of another company’s used goods. But how exactly do people make money on wooden pallets, and what do you need to know in order to do so yourself?
If you already have wood pallets or know where to gain easy access to them, here is your go-to guide on how to make money selling wood pallets.
Selling Wood Pallets for Cash
Why Sell Them and How Much Money Can You Make?
Scooping up and finding ways to sell old wooden pallets may not be for everyone, but for those who know exactly where to find them and where to sell them, making it a regular task to acquire and find buyers for this much-needed product can supply you with some additional income (although the amount you earn will be dependent upon local demand, resources, and what you ultimately decide to do with the pallets).
Some of the benefits that come with selling wood pallets on the side of your job is that this can be turned into a relatively stable side hustle once you find the right clientele in need of regular wood pallets. Additionally, unlike your full-time or part-time job, you will generally receive cash payment upfront, giving you access to the cash you need immediately rather than having to wait. These two reasons alone are why some engage in this lesser-known but potentially lucrative undertaking.
The biggest question and the most important one to tackle right away is, how much money can you make selling wood pallets? The answer to this question will vary based on factors like how many pallets you have to sell, what the conditions of the pallets are, what size your pallets are, how many buyers or selling opportunities there are near you, and what pallets typically go for in your area.
The amount that you will make selling wooden pallets will be partially based on what people are willing to pay for it and how well you market and set up your wood pallet side hustle. It can be helpful to take a look around to find out how others have been successful in the past and how you may be able to mirror that success on your own.
Of course, once you learn how much you could potentially make selling these simple materials, the next obvious question is, where are you supposed to find these pallets?
Where to Find Wood Pallets to Resell
We know that wood pallets are used to move large quantities of goods, but exactly which companies are going to be actively using wood pallets and receiving goods (and those who will be likely getting rid of their wood pallets once they have successfully unloaded the goods and stocked their stores)?
Some places to look out for wood pallets include local businesses such as:
- Department stores
- Popular chains like Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s
- Nearby warehouses and factories
- Furniture stores
- Tire stores
- Shopping malls
- Retail stores
However, stores aren’t the only place where you may be able to find wood pallets for your resale business. You can also find pallets for sale or free on online platforms like Craigslist, Freecycle.org, or even on listings throughout Facebook or in the paper. Put simply, as long as wood pallets are in demand and in use, you are not going to experience a shortage (but you will need to strike as others may be looking to take advantage of their availability).
Now, it’s important to remember that if you do see pallets sitting outside of a business, this does not necessarily mean that they are free to grab and take home with you. Some businesses sell their pallets to get rid of them and earn some extra income in the process. But others may actually spend money to get rid of them or may not have any certain process dedicated to the disposal of these pallets. This is the next point of importance when it comes to establishing your wood pallet resale business.
Once you find businesses that have an ample stock of wood pallets, you will need to then:
- Approach and Pitch: Reaching out the company in a professional manner, letting them know your interest in their wood pallets, and explaining why it can be beneficial to them for you to cart away the wood pallets that are no longer in use is key to making sure that you have a steady stream of inventory (and, therefore, a steady stream of income). Let them know that you will save them time, money, and effort by offering to remove their wood pallets from their site.
- Aim to Provide Free Removal or Negotiate Downwards: Many businesses simply want to be rid of their extra wood pallets, and if you can develop a relationship with these businesses, you will have constant access to free resources that you can flip for cash (this is especially desirable for businesses that pay to have their pallets removed). If they tend to sell their pallets, provide them with a desirable yet profitable offer so that you can make money after you remove the pallets and sell them.
- Develop a Rapport and Schedule With Your Clients: As it is with any business, you want to make sure that you have a strong relationship with your clients to ensure that you gain access to steady work and that they reap benefits in return. Be on time, be presentable and professional, and develop a schedule with them so that they are regularly getting their pallets removed.
- Diversify Your Client Base: The more businesses that you approach, the more inventory that you are going to have. Although landing your first client is exciting, making sure that you have multiple clients to rely on can be helpful in the event that something happens to a business and you no longer have their wooden pallets to depend on for income.
With access to a regular inventory, you can now begin to dive into selling the wood pallets that you are gradually accumulating. But where do you begin?
Where Can You Sell Wood Pallets?
Whether you are looking to sell to individuals or organizations, there are a number of places that will help you make money off of the pallets that you have stored away. Some places to begin looking into for your wood pallet selling needs include:
- Recycler’s World: Recycler’s World is not a pallet broker that you can sell directly to like other items on this list, but a large directory of pallet recyclers that may pay you in return for giving them the extra pallets that you wish to recycle. If you are having difficulty finding the right buyer for your needs, this website will help you find more local options where you may be able to consistently sell your inventory.
- National Wooden Pallet & Container Association: Didn’t find what you are looking for with the above website? If not, there is another high-quality directory known as the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association. Fortunately, this website will not just list some well-known pallet recyclers. Instead, those looking to buy or sell pallets will enter their location information (as well as the search radius for nearby recyclers) as well as pallet and business information to seek out their desired listings. If you want hyperfocused search results, you should consider using the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association website over similar wood pallet recycling search directories.
- North American Pallet Recycling Network: To top off the directory options, we have the North American Pallet Recycling Network. This website is, unfortunately, not hyperfocused by region, but once you identify yourself as living in the states, will give you a list of state recyclers where you can sell your goods.
- Kamps National Pallet Solutions: Kamps National Pallet Solutions is a company that provides recycling services to those wishing to sell their old pallets. With over 100 locations nationwide and programs for both reconditioned (repaired) and remanufactured (those that have been made out of recycled parts) pallets, you are sure to be able to fetch a fair price for all of the pallets you need to sell, whether they are somewhat worn down or in great condition.
- Gruber Pallets: Gruber Pallets is another company that will directly purchase your pallets, with quantity pickups as small as 100 pallets at a time. However, there is a catch. Gruber Pallets is only looking for pallets of certain sizes, with the four main pallet sizes they are searching for being 48×40, 48×42, 42×42, and 48×48. They will accept other sizes, but the earnings that you make will be dependent upon how valuable those pallets will be for the company to resell.
- Local Online Sales Platforms: Much like you are able to fetch pallets on local sales platforms like Craigslist, you should also consider listing your items on these types of sites as well, with some notable additions being apps like OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace. Although you can’t guarantee income as you would with the above companies, this can help you to diversify your buyers and ensure that you have income coming in from all directions.
- Local Manufacturers and Factories: As long as manufacturers are producing products that they will offer wholesale to nearby companies, there is going to be a need for wood pallets on which to stack these bulk goods. Consider reaching out to local manufacturers, explain why you would be cheaper and more responsible than purchasing new pallets, and begin trying to become their regular supplier of wooden pallets for their storage and transportation needs.
- Local Furniture/Woodworking Schools: High-quality pallets are made of wood that can be repurposed rather than turned into pallets over again. If you know that there are local furniture schools or schools and organizations involved in woodworking, see if they may be interested in purchasing the used pallets you have to use for the wood rather than for loading and transporting goods!
Overall, selling wood pallets may require you to be a little creative, but there is a demand and a market for it. With the right work effort and determination, you will be able to find buyers for your used wood pallets.
Selling Wooden Pallets in Other Formats
As we stated above, some wooden pallets may be more valuable for their wood than they would be trying to repair and resell them. If you are someone who is highly creative, you may wish to make your own goods out of the used pallets to create furniture, crafts, and other items. Then, once these items are ready to be purchased, sell them locally or through websites like Etsy. Although this will be a much bigger task than selling used wood pallets, it can be a great way to make a little bit more of a profit off of your time and effort.
At first glance, selling wood pallets can seem like easy money. But the truth is that those who are making money through this side hustle do have to make an investment in order to make a profit. There are also certain considerations you will need to make besides startup costs when you want to sell used pallets regularly. Some things to keep in mind when you begin trying to sell wood pallets should be:
- The Equipment You Need to Haul Wooden Pallets: Picking up and transporting wooden pallets takes a vehicle that can handle the capacity needed for your clientele. While a pickup truck may work at first, you are most likely going to need a large trailer as you move forward if you plan on working with companies that have a substantial number of wood pallets that need to be hauled away.
- Where You Will Store Your Wood Pallets?: Unless you have enough storage space at your home, you will need to find a safe space where you can keep all of your inventory and work on it before you resell it. Look closer into storage companies and other places where you may be able to store your wood pallets until it comes time to sell them.
- Safety Equipment for Transportation: There is nothing worse than transporting your wooden pallets only to find that some of them have taken damage during the trip. Make sure to invest in safety equipment that will keep your wood pallets protected during their journey home.
- Repairing Broken Wood Pallets: Repairing wood pallets is a part of the job as many pallets will break or take damage while supporting bulk material. Look into what repairs you may need to make and how those are done so that you can successfully sell these products once they have been fixed.
- The Amount of Money That Will Be Spent on Transportation: Fuel is an additional expense that you will have to calculate when looking at your total earnings. How much can you afford? How much profit are you looking to earn? Do you have enough local options that you won’t be spending too much on gas and losing out on income? These are all things to keep in mind as you begin seeking out wood pallets.
- What the Local Laws and Regulations Will Be for Your Business: At the end of the day, your wood pallet business is just that, a business. You need to ensure that you have the proper permits, paperwork, and are following all of the rules and regulations set forth by your local and state government. Otherwise, you run the risk of facing fines and other legal issues.
Once you have assessed these areas and are positive that you are set up for success, you can begin collecting/buying and selling your pallets!
If you are someone who knows that there is an abundance of wood pallets near them and knows that they can make a profit off of these items, the good news is that this a tried and tested method to make a little bit of extra money each month. If this is a side hustle that appeals to you and is something that you have both the time and the resources for, the guide above will help you learn more about what reselling wooden pallets looks like and how you can begin sourcing and flipping these products to make a profit!