Used IBCs


Used IBC containers can be a good way to save money and buy a cheap IBC tote. But finding them can sometimes be difficult and can also present issues with cleanliness and safety. Choosing to go with a used IBC can help individuals and companies lower cost, limit waste and reduce their carbon footprint. The price for a used 275 gallon or 330 gallon caged IBC tote can range from $0 (free) up to $350 or higher. A common price for used IBCs is between $75 and $250. Here we will go over the top points on how to find used IBCs and common concerns to consider with them.

First, for newcomers, an IBC, (short for Intermediate Bulk Container), is a medium sized holding container engineered to provide effective storage, transportation and delivery across a wide range of products and applications. IBC totes are approved for use with a long list of materials from liquids to solids. Totes are frequently used with water and rainwater, (water IBCs and rainwater IBCs), chemicals, (chemical IBCs), oils, hand sanitizer (sanitizer IBCs), paints, grains, seeds, sand and powders. Used IBC containers see use at job sites such as construction, industrial and manufacturing plants, by business owners, by agriculture on farms and ranches, by homeowners, hobbyists, and DIY enthusiasts who make wide use of IBC totes.

Used IBC totes are good for use as rain barrels, long term storage, portable water tanks, fire backup tanks, makeshift septic or sewage tanks, grey water storage, in handling DEF, motor oil and food oil, in aquaponics and hydroponics, as compost bins, raised movable garden beds and many more.

Where to Find Used IBC Totes

Where are the best places to find used IBC totes? While not a comprehensive list, some of the best places to find used IBCs for sell online are:

  1. Online stores (such as that offer certified reconditioned and rebottled totes
  2. Container exchange companies that specialize in buying, selling and recycling used IBCs
  3. Facebook groups and pages
  4. OfferUp buy and sell
  5. Craigslist classifieds listings

The cheapest IBC totes you can find online are sometimes found on either Facebook, OfferUp or Craigslist. IBCs on these sites are often being sold secondhand in “as is” condition, but sometimes you can get lucky and find a good deal on a secondhand IBC tote that has not been used before. However, such finds can be few and far in between.

When considering a used IBC for sale from an unregulated seller, take care to know what it was previously used for and whether that will be okay for what you intend to use the tote for. We cover this concern in more detail here below.

If you can’t find any used IBCs right now at these sites, continue to check. Availability can vary widely based on season, the individuals selling and where you are located.  Or if these sites do not provide results, you can always go with an authorized reseller and have confidence in what you are buying and have it delivered to you.

Used IBCs on Facebook

Famous for its social networking, Facebook offers several potential routes to find and buy cheap, used IBC totes. Several Facebook group pages can be found that either focus on IBC tanks in specific or focus on a common application or hobby. (Note: this will depend heavily on where you live).

Facebook pages may prove fruitful whenever searching for previously used IBCs. Certain groups may center solely around intermediate bulk containers for home use and people may list used IBC totes for sale in such groups.

Other groups such as those on aquaponics focus on using IBCs in aquaponics (aquaponic IBC totes), which is a large DIY focus area for IBC totes. Many people promote used IBCs, list their used IBCs for sale or simply offer insight into aquaponic systems and how to use IBCs for aquaponics.

When it comes to searching Facebook for used IBC totes, look into local city groups where you live that focus on buying and selling secondhand items. This may be the best option. Local buy / sell groups can help avoid having to travel far as many people will not be able to ship an IBC on their own.

Facebook Used Caged IBC Tote Example

Used IBCs on OfferUp

The buy and sell platform known as OfferUp is a fairly new company that currently has become quite popular among individual and second hand sellers. OfferUp is a sell by product, category and region service. Use OfferUp to search for a product within a select category and/or region. Most items are listed for sale on a local pickup option but many items are also listed with shipping available.

OfferUp would make a good choice when hunting for a used IBC tote locally and especially if you live in an area with a lot of industry or agriculture. When using OfferUp to search for a used IBC tote, try typing in “used IBC tote,” “used 275 gallon IBC tote,” “used 330 gallon IBC tote,” “caged IBC tote,” “275 gallon IBC tote,” or “330 gallon IBC tote.”

When we did a search for used IBC totes on OfferUp, we found IBCs listed for sale between $50 up to $300.

When searching on OfferUp for used 275 gallon or 330 gallon caged IBC totes, we recommend doing a search in the following categories:

  • Home & Garden (link);
  • Farming (link);
  • General (link), and perhaps even;
  • Business Equipment (link)
OfferUp Used Caged IBC Tote Example

Used IBCs on Craigslist

Craigslist is a long-lived, fairly basic and straightforward site of online classifieds. While the site may have developed a bad rapport a few years back due to scammers and the like, remains today as a popular and reputable source for buying, selling and trading second hand items including the commonly sought for 275 gallon and 330 gallon caged IBC tote. Used IBC totes can be found anywhere from free up to $150 or more. When it comes to using Craigslist, the site’s #1 rule for safe, fair exchanges and avoiding scams is “deal locally, face to face.”

Again and similar to Facebook and OfferUp, Craigslist works on a local regional scale that provides you results from around your location. While this is good for many things, including safety, but because used IBCs are hard for individuals to ship, it also has a drawback. This local scale can limit the options that are available to the one wanting to buy a used IBC tote. Simply put, if there aren’t any IBCs listed for sale in your city or surrounding locations, you may be at your search’s end unless you are willing to travel to a neighboring state.

Often, searches for a 275 gallon or 330 gallon used IBC tote on Craigslist result in product listings from companies rather than individuals. Such companies make use of Craigslist as an area to market and sell their product. While this can be a solution to “no local results found,” it may not provide the deal you’re looking for.

Craiglist Used Caged IBC Tote Examples

Common Concerns When Purchasing Used IBC Totes

There are several common concerns that can come with purchasing second hand used totes from unauthorized resellers, meaning individuals on Facebook, OfferUp and Craigslist. Common concerns include container contamination, internal or external damage and container structural weakness.

  • Contamination — Contamination of an IBC tote can refer to leftover material or residue within the container or refer to material that was absorbed into the plastic walls of the IBC tote. For leftover material or reside, often a thorough wash and rinse of the tote is enough to make the tote okay for use. Power washing may sometimes be necessary. For absorbed material, this is most common with certain strong, industrial chemicals and petrochemicals such as gasoline and crude oil, and may not be able to be cleaned out.
  • Internal or External Damage — Common damage for used caged IBC totes include bent cage frames, broken cage wires, dented bottles, busted valves, stripped threads, broken caps, worn and leaky seals, nonfunctional vents and damaged forklift channels.
  • Container Structural Weakness — Structural weakness for IBC containers is often associated with its prior use holding harsh chemicals and acids. When used for these materials, the strength / thickness of the IBC’s sidewall can sometimes be weakened or thinned. This can make the IBC less durable and potentially more prone to sidewall failure. Also, when a caged IBC has been kept outdoors and exposed to weather and sunlight for an extended time, this too can lead to a weakening of the IBC’s integrity.
Example of Dirty Used Caged IBC Tote
Example of Unsound Used Caged IBC Tote
… we recommend buying used IBCs from authorized, certified resellers as the safest and most ideal way to know your IBC will be a good fit for your application.

Considering These Concerns

While these issues may be fixable or acceptable depending on what you plan to use the IBC for, it’s important to know the condition of the tote you are wanting to buy used. This is important to avoid application problems, cross contamination and to avoid buying a used IBC that you can’t use.

Many people do not want to buy a used IBC for a garden, rainwater or aquaponics that was previously used for chemicals that may make it into your food, water or fish. And many second hand sellers may not be so upfront or truthful about what the IBC had been used for before.

Which brings us to another common concern with this purchase method. You do not fully know the integrity of the seller and the full extent of their honesty when it comes to the condition of the IBC tote. They may be minimal on the details or completely withhold the truth, knowing they may have a hard time selling the IBC otherwise. This is the reason why we recommend buying used IBCs from authorized, certified resellers as the safest and most ideal way to know your IBC will be a good fit for your application.

The Safer and More Reliable Option: Rebottled and Reconditioned IBCs

Rebottled and reconditioned IBC totes are both caged IBC types that have seen previous use but have been certified for resale. When it comes to strength testing, weight limits and capacity standards, the totes both hold to the same criteria and hold the same ratings. And when looking at them, you cannot tell the difference between a rebottled and reconditioned IBC tote. Below they have a different color face plate and lid cap but this may not always be the case.

Rebottled vs Reconditioned IBC Totes and When to Use Each

When It Is Best to Use Rebottled IBCs

Rebottled totes, as the name suggests, have been fitted with a brand new inner plastic container that has never been used before. The new bottle of rebottled IBCs replaces the old one inside a previously used steel cage. The used cage and new bottle receive thorough inspection and is then certified and approved for use per national industry and UN DOT standards.

Rebottled IBC totes are approved for potable water use, chemicals, and all cargo a new caged tote can carry. Rebottled totes are the best choice for businesses, industries, manufacturers and farms that need to handle, store and/or transport consumable type materials, ingredients and products. They are the best choice for individuals who want a reliable and certified tank for water storage, drinking water, for rearing fish in aquaponics, for aquaponic growing beds or to store food items such as grains, seeds and oils.

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Choose rebottled IBC totes when you need a guaranteed clean used IBC tote certified and great for all applications

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When It Is Best to Use Reconditioned IBCs

Reconditioned totes are refurbished IBC totes with reduced cost without reduced quality. In reconditioned caged totes, both the inner bottle and outer cage have seen previous use. Reconditioned totes are often IBCs that have been used one time and then returned by the business that used them for recycling or conditioning.

Guaranteed reconditioned IBCs are deep cleaned, inspected and certified according to national industry standards. They are approved for non-food grade, non-potable water use, including chemicals. Reconditioned IBC tanks are good for those looking for an affordable or environmentally-friendly option. They are good choice for homeowners, decorative gardens, non-potable rainwater harvesting, DIYers and many DIY projects. Reconditioned IBCs are ideal for construction, road work, sand transport, application chemicals, irrigation, fertigation, waste handling and collection, grey water capture and handling, among many more.

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Choose reconditioned IBC totes when you need the most cost effective option certified clean and good for many applications

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Used IBC Totes | Takeaways

IBC Tanks recommends choosing and using reconditioned or rebottled IBC totes over buying from secondhand sellers. This will ensure you receive a clean, sound container that will meet the demands of your application and offer you the security of knowing you have a quality, certified IBC safe for use.

If you need food grade quality, then choose rebottled. If the tote is not for food grade, potable water, then choose reconditioned. Reconditioned IBCs are best if you need a large number of totes and are on a budget. For businesses, reconditioned totes make a good choice for applications involving wastes or disposable liquids. We are also an industry leader in providing wholesale IBC totes at competitive prices, bulk order discounts and upfront shipping cost estimates.

If interested or looking for more info on IBCs, sizes, prices and other details, review our IBC Specifications page or read our IBC FAQ page for answers to many of our frequently asked questions about IBC totes.

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