How to Make Money on Your Unused Pallet Racks

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If you’ve got a stash of old pallets and no longer need to store things off the floor, there are several ways to monetize your pallets. Depending on the amount of time you want to put in, you can break the pallets down completely, cut them into smaller configurations or sell them whole. Many who find they have extra pallets they no longer need are able to make money from them by selling them to crafters.

Leaving the Pallets Whole

While leaving the pallet whole does lend itself to some larger design projects be aware that this decision may make it harder to monetize your pallet lumber.

A complete pallet is usually 40″ by 48″ by 5 inches tall. Depending on how wet the wood is, the pallet can weight from 32 to 45 pounds. This makes the pallet hard to handle and it may not fit in some vehicles. If you’re really looking to make money on your pallets, cutting them down for easier transport is a good idea.

Prepping the Lumber

Pallets are constructed of untreated, un-sanded wood. Age and exposure to moisture can create a unique patina on most any pallet. Unfortunately, in their unfinished state, pallets can be quite hard to handle and may give the user splinters.

If you plan to break them down to sell the pallet lumber and want to offer crafters a smooth finish, you may be tempted to sand them down. This is extremely time consuming and may still not give you the finish you want. Instead, consider planing the individual boards to get a smooth finish but maintain the aged patina.

Pallets As Firewood

If there’s interest in your area, pallet lumber can be burned in woodstoves or fireplaces. Before you market your pallets, look for a stamp on the raw end of the pallets. You’re looking for “MB” or methyl bromide. Any pallet stamped with this mark should never be burned as it will release the toxic methyl bromide as the wood burns.

Also, consider doing some simple cutting on your pallets before you sell the lumber for firewood. Let any buyers know that there’s probably metal in the lumber so then can use a magnet to search for screws or nails in their ash pan.

If you’re tired of paying someone to haul away your pallets, consider putting in some time to make the pallet lumber useful to someone else. Even if you only get $5 a pallet from someone with a firepit, getting the pallets broken down and off your property will save having to work around them until you find someone to dispose of them.

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