How to Buy a Used Plastic Storage Box

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How to Buy a Used Plastic Storage Box

Plastic storage boxes are used to store and move items. Types of stored objects include food, crafts, shoes, clothes, tools, and toys. Companies manufacture some plastic boxes to hold specific items, while designing other containers for general purposes. Used boxes are often cheaper than new ones and being that they are available in many different shapes, sizes, and colours, they make the perfect storage solution to make the house clutter-free after a spring clean.

About Used Plastic Storage Boxes

Used plastic storage boxes are usable in homes, offices, and large industrial facilities. They range from small containers that fit in kitchen cupboards to large heavy duty plastic boxes, and many of which can be purchased in bulk or singly. A set of storage boxes can be a real money-saver; shipping costs for a bundle order may be less than multiple orders of single containers. Plastic boxes last longer than cardboard ones, which break down over time. While water damages cardboard boxes, plastic containers will withstand the wet conditions. The origins of plastic date back to the 19th Century. The material’s primary usage was for military purposes and wartime use. Alexander Parkes unveiled the first manufactured plastic in 1862. Parkes labelled the invention Parkesine, which came from cellulose, a substance found to become pliable under heat and keep its shape when cooled.

Choosing a Used Plastic Storage Box

Due to the wide variety of boxes and their varying types of plastic and features, it may be tricky to narrow down the selection. One of the key considerations should be the type of plastic and making sure that it meets storage conditions and budget. As there are a number of different types of plastic available, knowing the features of each type is greatly helpful.

Type of Plastic

Homopolymer is the plastic used for most plastic storage boxes, while block polymer is a smaller percentage. The following table describes the two types of plastic and the advantages and disadvantages of each one.





Homopolymer serves domestic and light commercial uses.

The material maintains its shape well over time. It is more affordable than block polymer. Homopolymer is available in a variety of colours or clear.

Homopolymer may buckle under weight of heavy items; not intended for heavy commercial use.

Block Polymer

Block polymer is primarily for industrial usage.

It is a strong, long-lasting substance. Block polymer withstands cold and warm temperatures.

The material can get brittle and crack over time. Block Polymer is only available in colours, not in clear.

Do not forget to take into account the weight of the objects the box is intended to store. It would be pointless to invest in a storage box only to find that it will buckle under the weight. The same applies to temperature; if the box will be kept in a hot place, it is important to ensure that the box will not gradually melt over time.

Options For Used Plastic Storage Boxes

There are many features available for used plastic storage boxes. Just as with making sure the most suitable plastic is chosen, it is also worthwhile reviewing the box's intended uses when deciding on a number of different features. The following table explains options available for plastic boxes.


Circle, square, and rectangle are common shapes.


While some boxes have lids, others are open top design.


Handles may be on the sides and / or top of the box for easy transport.


There are boxes with internal compartments of various sizes, designed to organise small items such as fishing tackle and beads.


While some boxes are solid colours, others are clear design. Contents are easy to see with a transparent base.

Type of Lid

A used plastic storage box has a lid or has an open top design. There are two types of lids.


Put pressure on top of box with hands to seal it to the base. Hear a snap when the two pieces connect.


Hinges, on the lid, hook over the sides of the base to secure the two pieces together.

A clip top keeps out insects, rain, and other elements of the storage environment. Liquids are more secure in the clip top system than using a snap lid; there is less chance of spillage. Some boxes are stackable when lids are on for organisation in a limited space.

Uses for Plastic Storage Boxes

As different as the people who own them, the uses and possibilities provided by plastic storage boxes vary greatly.

Domestic Use

Indespensible to all those looking to run an efficient kitchen, plastic storage boxes are the ideal solution for hygienically storing leftovers, packed lunches, and even breakfast cereals. Many such boxes are also microwave and dishwasher safe, though it is essential to check this first.

Office Use

Anyone who has ever worked in an office will know the pains that paperwork brings with it. Organisation is more than essential, and used plastic storage containers provide not only an economical, but also an efficient solution to organisational issues. Being that office style plastic storage boxes can also be used as drawers for important documents, it may well pay off to buy these boxes in bulk.

Hardware and DIY

The DIY expert knows that investing in good quality plastic storage is just as important as stocking up the tool cabinet. With plastic boxes available in such a variety of styles, they can be bought for the specific tools they are required to store. Being that plastic is often lighter than metal, a plastic tool box is a great option, especially when manual labour is on the agenda.

Playroom Boxes

When the house is full of toys and the playroom is a haven for clutter, looking for ideal storage solutions does not have to be restricted to the cold and transparent look of office plastic boxes. Plastic boxes for children's toy storage are widely available and can be found to suit most budgets. There are a wide enough range of options available so that boxes can be found which will engage a child of any age and may be even encouragement enough to tidy up.

Finding a Used Plastic Storage Box on eBay

There are different ways to find a used plastic storage box on eBay depending on the type of box needed and below are examples of how to navigate the category tree to come to domestic use boxes and tool storage boxes. Of course, when searching for any type of box, it is possible to enter a search term into the eBay search function and look through the results there.

eBay Category Search

Find a used plastic storage box for domestic use, such as holding food, by first heading to the eBay homepage. Click the All Categories tab on the left-hand side of web page. Select Home & Garden. Click Furniture & Living, followed by Cooking & Kitchen Fittings. Under the Categories section at the left-hand side, select Food & Kitchen Storage. Next, click Plastic Containers / Tupperware and, hit the Used button under the Condition options. Refine the search further by Main Colour, Brand, Price, and other details. The same is true for boxes needed for tool storage. From the homepage, click Home & Garden. Under the heading, choose DIY and then sub-category DIY Tools. On the results page, click Tool Boxes / Storage under the Categories section on the left-hand side. Select Compartment Boxes from Item Type list.


A used plastic storage box is a useful item for holding and moving items. The box provides a way to keep its contents organised in a variety of storage environments, such as home and office. They will make your life considerably easier when refreshing your home. Choose a box based on desired options, intended usage, and storage environment. Browse search results pages on eBay to find a used plastic storage box.

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