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Is there money in flipping pallets?

What are pallets?

Pallets are wooden or plastic platforms used to store and transport goods and materials efficiently. They provide a stable base for stacking products on that can then be moved around warehouses and distribution centers by forklifts and pallet jacks.

Pallets come in different sizes with common dimensions of 48 x 40 inches (standard pallets) and 48 x 45 inches (Euro pallets). They are typically made from wood (often low-grade softwood like pine) or plastic and can support thousands of pounds without breaking.

Major companies like grocery stores, manufacturers, and other shippers have a constant supply of used pallets. These companies often don’t want to pay to dispose of used pallets and are happy for someone to take them. This creates an opportunity for pallet flippers to acquire free or cheap pallets, refurbish them if needed, and resell them for a profit.

Where to source pallets

The first step to flipping pallets is finding a consistent source of affordable pallets you can acquire in bulk. Good places to look include:

– Grocery stores and food/beverage distributors. They receive inventory daily on pallets and accumulate used pallets quickly. Building relationships with store managers can get you access to their used pallets for free.

– Large manufacturers. Look for factories, plants, and warehouses that receive raw materials and ship finished product on pallets. They may let you take away surplus pallets for free if you haul them offsite.

– Construction suppliers. Building supply companies, hardware stores, and lumber yards receive inventory on pallets and are often looking to get rid of them.

– Wholesalers and distributors. Food and beverage wholesalers, consumer goods distributors, auto parts suppliers, and similar companies receive truckloads of goods on pallets and amass used pallets.

– Retail stores. Big box retailers like Walmart and Target may let you have their extra pallets, especially if you take them away quickly and keep their loading docks clear.

– Pallet recycling companies. Some companies collect, repair, and resell used pallets in bulk. You may be able to buy large quantities of used pallets from them at wholesale prices.

Evaluating and refurbishing pallets

Once you’ve sourced used pallets, examine them to determine their condition. Sort pallets into three categories:

– Ready for resale – No repairs needed. Can be resold as-is.
– Need minor repairs – Boards are loose or need re-nailing. Fix and then can resell.
– Damaged beyond repair – Too many broken boards or structural issues. Best discarded or recycled.

For pallets that only need minor repairs:

– Remove loose/broken boards and replace with new boards using a hammer and nails
– Check for protruding nails and hammer them flat so they don’t catch on goods
– Re-secure loose boards by hammering in more nails
– Verify pallet structure is intact and capable of holding weight

Pro tip: Branding on pallets – You may find pallets stamped with a company’s logo (e.g. Pepsi). This branding legally still belongs to the company. You need permission to resell branded pallets.

How to sell refurbished pallets

There are several options for selling your flipped pallets:

– **Sell to pallet wholesalers** – Pallet recycling companies will buy pallets in bulk quantities. Easy option but lower profits.
– **Sell on pallet marketplaces** – Online sites like connect pallet suppliers and buyers. More effort but higher returns.
– **Sell locally** – Market to nearby businesses that use pallets. May get a better price but more hustling to find buyers.
– **Rent pallets** – Rent out your pallet inventory to companies temporarily, then get them back and re-rent.

Pallet pricing

Pallet prices can vary widely based on:

– Type – Hardwood pallets sell for more than softwood. Plastic pallets fetch the highest prices.
– Size – Prices increase for larger-sized pallets.
– Condition – New and like-new pallets command higher pricing than more damaged ones.
– Quantity – Buying pallets in bulk gets discounted wholesale pricing.

Some example pallet sale prices:

Pallet Type Size Condition Price Per Pallet
Hardwood 48″ x 40″ Reconditioned $12 – $20
Plastic 48″ x 45″ New $25 – $75
Softwood 48″ x 40″ Used $3 – $12

As you can see, the potential profit margins on buying pallets for little to no cost and reselling them can be substantial.

Is flipping pallets profitable?

Flipping pallets can definitely be a lucrative business with nice profit margins when done right. Here are some pros and cons to weigh:


– Low startup costs. Minimal upfront investment needed – just tools for repairs.
– Easy to source inventory. Lots of businesses willing to let haul away pallets.
– Demand for pallets. Manufacturing and shipping industries have ongoing pallet needs.
– Potential for high margins buying low and selling high.
– Minimal storage space needed. Can repair and resell pallets quickly.


– Manual labor for repairs and loading pallets.
– Need warehouse space or storage for inventory. Outdoor storage requires waterproofing.
– Transportation costs. Need a box truck or trailer to haul pallets.
– Ongoing pallet supply not guaranteed. May lose a supplier suddenly.
– Slow payment from some buyers.

Steps to start flipping pallets

If you want to get into the pallet flipping business, follow these steps:

1. Find a reliable source of free or cheap used pallets.
2. Set up a workspace for pallet inspection and repairs.
3. Get necessary tools – hammer, pry bar, nails, saw.
4. Make contacts with potential pallet buyers in your area.
5. Establish pricing for your refurbished pallets.
6. Start reconditioning pallets and selling to customers.
7. Expand your sourcing and distribution as your business grows.
8. Invest profits into more workspace, trucks, tools, and helpers.


Flipping pallets can be a profitable side business or full-time venture. By sourcing used pallets at low cost, repairing them, and selling or renting them to end users, there is decent money to be made. However, you need to develop reliable pallet sources, efficient reconditioning processes, and quality buyer relationships to be truly successful. Put in the hard work and you can build a nice return flipping pallets.