If you’re a student looking to make some money on the side, one of the best ways to do so is to find things to sell at school. At school, you’re surrounded by friends and peers who all share similar interests as you. Furthermore, it’s likely that you’re all around the same age. This presents one of the best opportunities for making money. So before you do your back to school shopping, be sure to add a few sellable items to fill up your backpacks with.
Just a cautionary reminder, be sure to find out what the local regulations are before diving in and selling stuff at school. That being said, once you’ve researched the rules, you can start making money! This post lists over 20 things that you can sell at school! If you’re diligent enough, you’re sure to find one or two things that can help you make some extra cash.
Most people are mentally ready when they head into school, but not everyone is as diligent about back-to-school items. A lot of students will walk into school missing things that are essential for study. If you’re ready for this opportunity and offer, many will want to buy school necessities off you. Here is a list of school items that you can sell to make some extra money.
List of Items to Sell at School:
- Binder – One of the most basic yet easy to forget school item is a binder. If you have old binders or bought some extra ones, be sure to bring them to school the first few days as there are sure to be people in need of one (same thing goes for dividers).
- Pens – Start charging friends for borrowing your pens! Either you’ll make some good money or you won’t lose any more pens to stingy friends.
- Notebook – Paper notebooks are really cheap nowadays and almost every class requires you to have one. This presents a good opportunity to stock up on them and sell them to students in class.
- Glue sticks – You might think things like glue sticks and crayons and colored pencils are only for younger students in preschool, but you’d be surprised by the number of high school and college students still use them.
- Old textbooks – If you have old textbooks sitting around, bring them to school and see if anyone wants them. Nowadays, textbooks can cost a lot of money (like upwards of $100 per book) so if you sell yours for less, it will be considered a bargain.
- Highlighters and rulers and sharpies – A lot of people actually take super neat notes and require a highlighter / ruler / sharpie to keep their lives organized.
- Erasers – Even though most people will already have erasers, you can still sell unique erasers that are different shapes or different colors. Some people might find them cool and buy from you.
- Pencil sharpener and Pencil case – Everybody will have brought a pencil, but very few will have their own pencil sharpener (or case). You can get these at any dollar store for cheap and sell them for a few cents. Do this enough and you’re sure to turn a profit.
Clothes and Accessories
As a student, you’re not likely to get paid a lot of money. That being said, most students will want to spend their money on things that they can show off. Huge pieces of students’ social statuses come from their clothes and accessories. If you can find a way to sell trendy or cool clothes and accessories at school, you have the potential to earn some quick cash.
List of Clothes and Accessories to Sell at School:
- School clothing (uniforms) – There’s bound to be at least a few students who forget to buy school clothing (or uniforms). If you have any extras that you’re willing to get rid of, you can sell it to them and turn a tidy profit. Nobody wants to be the only one left out, so they’ll be desperate for school clothing.
- Hoodies – If there’s one piece of clothing that dominated my high school scene, it was hoodies. These versatile pieces of clothing were everywhere and if you can find a way to buy a lot of them in bulk and sell them at school, a lot of kids will want to be your customer.
- Coats – Live in a cold area and have an old coat you don’t want anymore? Sell it to your friends at school!
- Footwear – Though it may sound cliche, your shoes really do determine the kind of person you are. In a phase of their lives where appearances matter, there’s no better way to capitalize on this than to sell some shoes at school.
- Hats – If you live in a colder area of the world, you can sell beanies or toques! If you live in a warmer area, you can sell regular baseball caps or bucket hats.
- Shirts: I once had a kid in high school come up to me and offer me $500 for my t-shirt. Granted it was a Bape tee, but still, $500! If you can find unique shirts that are worth more than you got them for and find students who understand their true value, you may have just found a very profitable business model.
For all the talk of school remaining one of the slowest advancing facets of life, technology in school has advanced pretty quick. Nowadays, you can barely get by at any level of school without tech. Consequently, if you don’t have the right tech, you could be seriously left out. Help your seriously left out friends by selling them some electronics!
List of Electronics to Sell at School:
- Calculators (Scientific calculator + graphing calculator) – Every math class beyond the 9th grade level requires a calculator. If you have old calculators that you don’t use anymore or can buy calculators in bulk, you can sell them to kids at school (tax free!).
- Flash-drive – USBs are one of the most underrated electronics. Most people don’t trust the computer school system to save their hard work… but what to do if they don’t have somewhere to store it? They turn to you of course, because you’re selling flash-drives.
- Headphones – Headphones are an especially important electronic because they provide for noise cancelling studying and help you to escape from the rest of the world. For someone who’s used to quiet, a headphone is a must. These are the people you want to try to sell to.
- Battery packs – There’s nothing more annoying that having your phone die at school. This won’t be an issue if you have a battery pack.
- Speakers – If you can get small speakers for cheap, definitely try to sell some at school. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love a little speaker for their rooms or even to toss into their backpack.
Despite all the items listed above, oftentimes the most lucrative thing you can sell are your services. There are plenty of services (like shoe cleaning and locker renting) that you can do. But some popular ones that I’ve encountered (that WORK) are listed below.
List of Services to Sell at School:
- Tutoring – A lot of students need a tutor but don’t know where to get one. If you offer yourself as a reliable and trustworthy source of tutoring, you could rack in some serious bucks in this avenue.
- Study notes and old homework – Check with your school to see if this is ethical, but study notes and old homework can be extremely valuable to the student who’s really trying to maximize their marks. These are the things where you can get paid the most for.
- Streaming services (netflix, spotify, hulu) – If you have some buddies that love TV shows or music, you can add them as a user to your streaming service and charge them for it. It’s a win-win because you get some extra cash and they pay less than the full price for the same service.
There are tons of ways to make money nowadays. You can do gigs online for cash, or get paid to write someone else’s blog, or sell on eBay, or become an affiliate for an online course. The opportunities are truly endless.
That being said, there’s no denying that some opportunities are tougher than others to execute. One of the BEST opportunities you have is selling stuff at your school. This post provided you with over 20 things to sell at school. Ranging from pencil cases to tutoring services, you should be able to find at least one thing that you can grow to be profitable.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there are start making some money! You might even be able to pull in 5 figures before you graduate…
Thanks for reading through this post revealing the best things to sell at school and thank you for following along! If you’re a Canadian Student, check out the Ultimate Canadian Student’s Guide to Personal Finance! If you want to be financially free sooner, check out this page here! To learn more about me, head over to this link here. If you want to get exclusive updates and tips, drop your email in the “get updates” box (might have to scroll up a bit.) Let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments!
Jeff is a Harvard 2025 student passionate about making smart financial decisions both in school and in the workplace so that he can spend more time doing what he loves (like playing golf, spending time with family, and travelling). He has experience working in the financial industry and enjoys sharing all things personal finance, academic, and golf-related. Outside of blogging, he loves to cook, read, and golf in his spare time.