Moving between houses and apartments is one of those chores that no one really likes to do, but sometimes it’s necessary to do. One of the biggest expenses in moving (aside from hiring the moving company) is buying boxes and packing materials.
Moving boxes and packing materials can get expensive. Especially true if you are packing up and moving a 3 bedroom house. Moving.com estimates that to move an average 3 bedroom house with two adults it will take 45 medium boxes, 31 large boxes, 13 extra-large boxes, 9 picture boxes and 4 wardrobe boxes. With each box costing between $2.20 up to $12.00 buying boxes can add up quickly! In this case, $413! This is just for boxes!
This doesn’t include paper to wrap dishes or bubble wrap for wrapping valuables. Those are add-ons that add considerable cost to the price of moving.
After someone has invested all this money in boxes and has moved from one place to another, in most cases, inevitably, the boxes are then thrown into the garbage or recycling bin. Other times, people will post their moving boxes to the free section craigslist or one of the freecycle email list hoping that someone can reuse what they no longer need. This is where our opportunity is.
Collecting discarded moving boxes and reselling them for profit.
In most cases moving boxes can be reused 3 to 5 times before they start to fall apart. To collect boxes, just keep an eye out for online posts for people giving away free boxes. Once you’ve built up a decent collection of boxes you can post ads either online or in places like the post office, super markets, storage units offering your recycled boxes for a discounted price.
Be sure your ads show a comparison of prices between your price and the full retail price of a comparable new box so that the financial benefits are immediately noticeable by the potential buyer. I recommend pricing your boxes 30-50% lower than new boxes. The price difference, especially to a customer that knows they’re going to need a lot of boxes, will make a huge impact on their savings and will make the decision for them easy.
If you’ve got the space to store the boxes your inventory can almost be limitless. Once you’ve made a couple of sales you may be able to get a feel for some other things that people need for moving such as bubble wrap, plain newswrap paper, and packing tape. These items in bulk can be bought much cheaper from companies like uline.com and others.
For example, moving.com sells bubble wrap at a retail price around $0.20 per foot. Bought in bulk from uline.com that same bubble wrap can be as low as $0.13 per foot. There are also opportunities in tape. A case of 36 rolls of tape can be purchased for a little as $1.25 per roll while the average retail price is closer to $4.00.
In our scenario above for a 3 bedroom house, they would need at least 100 feet of bubble wrap and 3 to 4 rolls of tape. Add on items can easily increase the value of each sale by 10-25%.
Statistically people move more often in the mid to late spring months. If you plan ahead and stock your inventory through the fall and winter months you should be able to make 3 or 4 sales per week during the spring months. With the average sale $250-$300 you could easily earn $1,000 per week for very little effort.
Don’t forget to co-market your box recycling company with your ink cartridge and toner recycling income stream.