Aaron Bostrom | 

Put a Cork In It: How to Recycle Wine Corks for Cash!

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Wine corks seem to be popping up everywhere lately. They’re in high-end gift shops and boutiques, along with craft fairs. And they aren’t in bottles. Rather, corks are enjoying a rebirth in the form of bulletin boards, hot pads and even business card holders.

It makes me wonder where artists and crafters find all of these wine corks. Surely they don’t drink all of that wine themselves (and hey, I would not judge them if they did!)

The more likely source is Ebay, where crafters and artists buy wine corks by the dozens for all of their projects.

What does this mean for you? This gives you the chance to be their supplier! It’s a great way to recycle leftover wine corks, and if you don’t have wine bottles at home, it’s easy to find others who have plenty. There’s a good chance they would be happy to unload those unwanted corks. The next time you pop open that beautifully aged bottle of wine or attend a fun and fabulous cocktail party, don’t trash those corks. Cash in on them instead! Current auction listings show corks sell on average for $0.10 each. It can add up to enough spare change to gas up the car, buy a last-minute gift, or enjoy a dinner out that would normally be unaffordable.

Get Cash for Old Wine Corks

  • Create an Ebay account in order to start selling corks (or even wine bottles).
  • Take a clear photograph of the corks to give buyers the best possible view of the product.
  • Split the corks into separate auctions in order to make the most possible money. Auctions for wine corks sell in lots as small as 10 and as large as 500.
  • Make sure shipping costs are clearly stated in the auction. You can even set a minimal handling cost (for your time). $1.00 is typically fair.
  • Begin the auction and watch the bidding war begin!
  • When the auction concludes, promptly package and ship the corks. Buyers rate Ebay sellers based on quality of the product and the length of time it takes for the product to ship, so positive ratings are a big benefit for sellers!

In addition to Ebay, consider selling corks on Etsy, which is is similar to Ebay, but it’s focus is crafters and artists. Also unlike Ebay, it allows sellers to list an item for a flat fee of $0.20 instead of a varying fee and final commission.

I tried this on Etsy. I gathered 20 assorted wine corks (it was so easy! All I did was ask my waiter friend to save them for me!) and sold them for the asking price of $3.00 plus $3.00 shipping/handling. It took me less than 14 minutes to snap a photo and list. Once sold, Etsy took $0.20 cents, and shipping was about $1.50, so my profit was $4.30. Not bad for a handful of corks that would have been thrown away. Just imagine if you had lots of people saving them for you or struck up a deal with a local bistro or restaurant!

Instead of sending old wine corks to the landfill they can be collected and sold for cash. Artists see the value in a cork, and now you will, too! It might even be worth asking local bars or restaurants, or friends and family to save their corks for you. Just don’t tell them why you need them: You could have some competition on your hands!

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