Last updated Mar. 18, 2023 by Favour Chinaza
Selling scrap metal is an excellent way to make money from garbage and worthless materials. It can also help in the resolution of environmental challenges that are currently plaguing the earth.
Most people bring a scrap bucket to the scrap yard and earn the lowest possible amount for their scrap. This is because people don’t know the tricks of earning top dollar for scrap metals.
Earning that extra income from your scrap metal is entirely possible, and because you are putting in the effort anyway, you might as well get paid the most amount of money you can.
This article reviews how to make money selling scrap metal.
Scrap Metals are metals that are left over from the production of a product and can be melted down and reprocessed into another usable form.
Scrap metals are obtained from a lot of commercial products like automobile parts, appliances, furniture, and construction surplus. Therefore, a reasonable amount of money may be obtained by selling even the most rusted scrap metal.
Many metal-containing products are discarded when they are no longer useful to people. For example, rusted pots and pans are thrown away, metal furniture is abandoned in the alley, old bicycles are disassembled and discarded, and so on.
Instead of being used to create new products, metals end up taking up space in landfills.
Good Read: 6 Ways to Recycle Computers for Money
No, there are other scraps you can recycle.
You can make money recycling glass bottles and jars. There is money, too, in recycling aluminum. However, scraping metals for extra cash will make you more money.
Metal is more durable than many other materials and can be recycled multiple times without losing quality. Recycling scrap metal also reduces waste and conserves energy and natural resources.
For example, remelting steel scrap requires far less energy than creating new products from raw materials. Re-using scrap metal also helps to save landfill space.
The primary distinction between recycling metals and traditional recycling is that scrap yards buy metals for melting, whereas the city typically collects paper and plastic.
Scrap metal is valuable to scrap yards, so it represents an opportunity for a savvy scrapper to earn extra cash, and there are different ways to get money selling scrap metal.
Everything from cables and wires to old alloy wheels, fridge motors, and much more can be sold to a scrap metal dealer for cash.
Metals with the highest value
It’s difficult to give a general price for various types of scrap metal because they fluctuate constantly.
However, the most valuable metals (aside from the obviously expensive gold, silver, and platinum for the time being) are, in order of decreasing value:
Because of the health risks involved, lead is no longer as common as it once was. However, larger batteries, particularly car batteries, continue to contain lead.
Basements may still contain old lead pipes, which have hopefully been removed. In addition, lead weights are another household item that may be lying around and should also be brought in.
Titanium isn’t as common, but it can be found in electronics. It’s light and strong. Its properties also make it popular for sporting equipment such as bicycles and golf clubs. If they can’t be sold as is, they might be worth scrapping!
Got a lot of old trumpets lying around? If not, brass taps, lamp fittings, and doorknobs may be used, especially at the more decorative end of the spectrum.
Brass is frequently used in plumbing components; for example, some of the fixtures connecting dishwashers to pipes are made of brass. Brass may also be used for mechanical bearings and gears.
Aluminium is found in gutters, awnings, sidings, signs, and other building materials. You can make money recycling aluminum cans. Because of the metal’s lightweight, it is also used in electronics, so anything old that cannot be resold intact may be best sold for scrap.
Metal furniture, from tables and chairs to lamps, is frequently made of aluminum. Television antennae and satellite dishes are other good sources, as are aluminum wires.
Copper is well known for its high scrap value, which is why it is frequently stolen. However, we strongly advise against stealing copper wires because it is illegal and extremely dangerous.
However, if you have copper wires or pipe left over from a plumbing or electrical job, you should bring it to a scrap dealer.
Copper is commonly used in old boilers and building gutters, and copper wires can be found in everything from washing machines to dishwashers, cameras, blenders, computers, and much more.
If you can’t resell it, taking it apart to look for sellable scrap is always a good idea before getting rid of it for good.
Scrap metal value is dependent on a lot of factors. For example, lead is more valuable than stainless steel, but other types of steel can be far less valuable.
Alloys and conditions can influence the price; corrosion and contamination can make a particular metal much less valuable.
But one thing is certain: copper is almost always at the top of the heap, so keep it rather than throw it away.
You can always contact scrap metal dealers for a good quote – they will be happy to assist.
Ferrous metals are more plentiful, usually magnetic, and less valuable than non-ferrous metals. However, non-ferrous metals are more valuable because recycling them does not change their chemical properties, giving them an infinite life cycle.
Appliances, furniture, tires, building materials, transportation parts, and packaging contain ferrous metal. However, precious metals, aluminum, lead, copper, tin, zinc, and alloys are examples of non-ferrous metals.
Non-ferrous metals are harder to find but will reward you with more money. The main types of non-ferrous metals are aluminum, copper, and brass.
Aluminum is the easiest to seek out of the non-ferrous metals and scraps for around $.30/pound. You can find aluminum in house sidings, frames, gutters, car parts, rims, and wires.
Although non-ferrous metals account for only about 10% of recycled scrap metal, their higher value means they account for 50% of the industry’s revenue.
Both types of metal are valuable for scrap, and you can use a magnet to distinguish ferrous scrap metal from non-ferrous scrap metal. If the magnet sticks to the metal, it is ferrous.
If you have metal to sell, there are several places you can sell it (and several areas you should avoid)! First, remember that dealing in scrap metal without a scrap merchant license is illegal, so Facebook Marketplace and similar local online trading platforms should be avoided.
Look for a scrap merchant in your area. They will be able to weigh and assess your metal and transfer the value of your scrap. Scrap merchants are legally required to ask for ID when trading metal to prevent illegal trading, and they can no longer offer cash.
Aside from the monetary benefits associated with selling scrap metals, there are other benefits of scrap metals.
Recycling scrap metals enables the cleaning up of garbage in our environment. It also contributes to the creation of employment opportunities for a large number of individuals.
Some Junk yards value scrap metals by looking at their weight. These types of yards follow the principle of “the more metal you bring, the more money you’ll earn.”
Most scrap yards divide metals into two categories: ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, ferrous metals are more frequent in municipal solid waste than non-ferrous metals. However, non-ferrous metals are more valuable in terms of money. Ferrous metals are metals that include elements such as iron and steel.
To make money selling scrap metals, you need to have a source that provides you with scrap metals.
Here are places to find scrap metals for business purposes.
Local repair business centers are the best places to find scrap metals. Find local repair stores and enquire about their scrap metals.
Most large repair business centers already have clients who book to get rid of their scrap metals. So when looking for repair businesses, target the local and small ones.
Local repair businesses always need people to clear out their scrap metals.
Retail establishments replace their shelves regularly. This replacement is done for the sake of safety and convenience.
Hence, retail establishments are a valuable source of used steel shelving and shopping carts that have been damaged.
Most professional repairmen often have many items in their workstations, including scrap metal from past repair jobs.
Although they may not have as much scrap metal as a local repair business, they will still have pieces and junk that can be used to build up your collection of metals.
Getting scrap metals from different technicians and electricians will help build your collection.
People who want someone to come to pick up their old appliances often post ads on Craigslist. But, unfortunately, these people either can’t fix them or don’t want to.
They don’t want to deal with taking the appliances to a place where they can be recycled. Worse, if they take them to a junkyard, they will have to pay to drop them off.
People know that some people make extra money by selling scrap metal, so they’ll post ads offering free scrap metal for you to pick up and take away.
Also, companies that make things sometimes put up ads for scrap metal that someone can pick up and take away for free.
Look for these kinds of ads in Craigslist’s “free” section.
You can also ask family, friends, and neighbors if they want to buy your scrap metal. For example, ask if they have aluminum cans and if they’d be willing to save them for you. Then, agree to pick them up every week.
Or, ask if they’ve got old appliances or autos they want to take off their hands. Agree to pick them up and take them somewhere else. You’d be helping them and making money at the same time.
You can also search for scrap metals in your neighbor’s yard. But before doing this, seek permission.
Most people don’t give out their scrap metals for free. However, you can choose to negotiate a price with them.
As a result, not all scrap dealers will pay the same amount, with costs determined solely by the market price.
It does pay to shop around for the best scrap metal prices and find the scrap metal yard that consistently gives you the best deal compared to other local competitors.
You will find lots of metal scrap dealers who will give you the best price possible, but the price may not be static. Contact online scrap dealers if you have questions or want to know the current prices.
At salvage yards or scrap yards, metal is sold by the pound. A quick Google search should reveal locations near you, or you can use the iScrap app.
First, figure out where your scrap will be. For example, you could search Craigslist for free scrap metal or old appliances, connect with local businesses, or talk to people working at a demolition site.
You’ll also have to find a scrap yard near you that will buy your old stuff. You can look at scrap metal prices a few yards nearby.
Use a magnet to separate your non-ferrous metals from your steel, which is less valuable.
If you have copper or other metals that don’t contain iron, make sure to separate the screws, bolts, and other pieces of metal that aren’t part of the main metal.
Group like-kind metals together. Separate your #2 copper-insulated wire from your #1 copper-insulated wire, for example. By doing this, you’ll be able to get the best deals.
Figure out how you will pick up and move your scrap metal. For example, if you want to collect big appliances, you might need a truck or a trailer.
You might also need a place to work to take things apart and sort your scrap.
If you are working with a lot, you’ll also need a place to store it.
Now that you’ve gathered and separated your metals, you’re ready to sell them. But first, you’ll want to take your goods to the local scrapyard.
A scrapyard differs from a junkyard, but only slightly.
From the outside, scrapyards and junkyards may look the same, but scrapyards only buy and sell metal, while junkyards have a lot of different things.
Junkyards have also been historically used as auto wrecks and parts yards.
Your best bet is to call ahead to any scrap yards in your area and find out which pays the most for the metal.
In most cases, you will find that they are all comparable to each other. For example, some yards pay you in cash, and some will write you a check.
Thinking of selling your scrap metal but don’t have the means to transport it yourself? Arranging for the collection of a skip can be a great solution.
Find a service that will bring you a skip or container, allow you to fill it at your leisure, and then remove it for you.
Remember that recycling scrap metal is good for the environment. So if you’re a business looking to meet environmental obligations, recycling scrap metal with a skip collection service is a great option.
If you’re in charge of a construction site project, remember that organizing an industrial collection service is much more cost-effective.
Look online for skip and container services in your area and select one that meets your requirements. You’ll usually be able to choose from various skip and container sizes, so consider how much space you’ll need for your scraps.
When you’ve found a service that meets your needs and determines the size of the container needed, you can schedule the delivery of your skip.
When your skip or container arrives, you can begin filling it. Take care to do so safely; scrap metal can be heavy, so ensure you use good lifting techniques and adhere to government manual handling guidelines.
After filling your container and collecting it, your scrap will be valued and paid for – it’s that simple! Singleton’s provides a simple electronic payment system to ensure you are paid as soon as possible.
If you are looking for the most profitable things to scrap for cash, then scrap metal is one of them.
You can make anywhere from a few extra bucks a month for beer to a few thousand dollars if you have a connection to a business that regularly makes scrap. Of course, it all depends on what you scrap and how often.
Also, keep in mind that prices on the market change all the time based on how much people want something.
Having said that, here are some rough numbers to work from:
- Light iron and other ferrous metals are worth between $0.06 and $0.10 per pound, but they are easier to find so that you can get more weight.
- Copper: $2.65 per lb.
- Copper wire with insulation costs $.90 per lb.
- Brass: $1.60 per lb.
- Stainless steel: $.42 per lb.
- Aluminum: $.50 cents per lb.
- Aluminum cans: 60 cents per pound on average
- Copper: $3.28 per pound on average
- Brass: $1.79 per pound on average
Because of how much these metals cost, you must collect many of them to make money.
There may be faster and easier ways to get money. But if you have easy access to a lot of scrap metal, you could make some extra money by recycling it.
It’s not uncommon for a scrapper to make up to $100-$200 a day from their hauls. Not a bad way to make a little extra money before the holidays!
Because the price of scrap metal is not fixed, each scrap metal dealer will offer a different price for your scrap metal.
Some days, dropping off a van load will leave you with more money in your pocket (or on your card because we don’t accept cash! ), but other days, you will leave with less – and it’s worth explaining why.
Scrap metal prices, like gasoline, are determined by a wide range of factors, and, like gasoline, they can fluctuate weekly or even daily.
The London Metals Exchange sets metal trading prices, including scrap, based on global trends – but there may be factors closer to home that influence how much your local scrap yard will pay.
The LME deals with the big ones, which are primarily market demand.
Scrap metal is recycled to be used in construction projects and manufacturing for a wide range of other products, so prices are frequently determined by what materials are required by manufacturers worldwide and what people buy.
Aluminium is a great example: it’s a lightweight metal that’s increasingly being used in everything from cars to iPhones. Increased demand raises prices, allowing us to pay you more for it.
Prices reflect the fact that it is in much higher demand than, say, lead.
Prices are also affected by how much metal is already on the market – if countries or manufacturers have large amounts of scrap metal stockpiled, they will not pay as much for it. On the other hand, prices will rise if it is scarce. As a result, it’s a bit of a balancing act.
The price of scrap metal is determined by more than just the global market; every dealer wants to offer the best price to their loyal customers, so the prices of their competitors are always considered.
A company’s own costs also have an impact; if it costs them more to sort, handle, and transport the scrap metal they buy, they’ll pay less for it in the first place to keep their profits healthy.
Even the oldest cars might have a few bits and pieces with plenty of life left in them – and the right parts can fetch a high price.
If you know a lot about cars and are a bit of a mechanic, safely removing anything you know would be of interest – especially to anyone with a classic car might be a good idea.
However, check with the scrap yard before taking the car there; they may not accept a partially-disassembled vehicle, so there may be a balancing act in what you take out and leave in to get the best deal.
If you bring us anything intact that can be re-used, we’ll take it out – reducing waste wherever possible is an important part of what we do.
Selling scrap metal can be lucrative, so it’s no surprise that people are eager to cash in. Likewise, it’s probably no surprise that some people are willing to break the law to pocket large sums of money.
Selling scrap metal from your home or car is perfectly legal. However, you must obtain a license if you intend to collect scrap metal from others.
There are two types of licenses: site collector’s licenses and mobile collector’s licenses.
It is illegal to collect scrap metal from others without these licenses, including going around your neighbors to see if they have anything you can take away and sell.
And, of course, taking scrap metal from bins, skips, and abandoned sites – or, more broadly, any kind of metal theft – is illegal for various reasons.
Of course, not everyone who roves around collecting scrap is up to no good – as previously mentioned, a mobile collector’s license is possible.
However, if someone comes knocking and asks if they can buy scrap metal from the skip outside your house, make sure they show you their license.
You’ll not only be following the law, but you’ll also likely get a better price from a registered dealer and know your scrap is being disposed of properly.
Even licensees are unable to offer cash for scrap metal. It is illegal to pay cash for scrap under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act of 2013. So, if a dealer offers to pay you in cash for your scrap metal, you should walk away.
While you can accept checks, electronic payments, which deposit funds directly into your bank, are now the norm. Very convenient.
Finding a reputable, licensed scrap yard in your area is the best way to ensure you’re selling your scrap honestly, responsibly, and for the best price.
Some merchants may require you to take it down to the scrap metal drive-in yourself, whereas others will provide a scrap metal collection service.
Just make certain that they have the proper licenses for both services first!
Selling scrap metal isn’t for everyone, but it could be a good way to do it if you need extra cash. You don’t need much skill or experience to do it. All you need is a magnet and the right vehicle. But you can do other side jobs if you don’t want to take computers apart or pick up old appliances.
For example, you could sell used electronics or work for a delivery or rideshare service. If you find something you like, your next side job might not even feel like work. And if you keep at it, you’ll be able to reach your financial goals.
Yes, you should pay taxes on any proceeds from scrap metal sales. It’s usually best to create a separate account for scrap sales and include everything in the turnover. Because we accept electronic payments, you will always receive a receipt, which is convenient and easy to keep track of.
Scrap metal sales are also VATable, so consider this when selling scrap. If you’re unsure what to do, consult your accountant.
One of the most valuable scrap metals is copper. Most scrap dealers will pay a high price for copper because it consistently generates a high value. A pound of copper is $4. However, you can also make money recycling aluminum, cast iron, car batteries, plumbing brass, stainless steel, large appliances, lead, transformers, and more.
Scrapping metal allows you to profit from items people pay others to remove. This hobby can earn you money in various ways if you know what you’re doing. If you want to turn this into a profitable pastime,
The simplest items to scrap are common scrap metal household items. For example, stainless steel sinks and brass faucets are frequently found in kitchens and bathrooms.
Yes, it’s perfectly legal for you to sell scrap metal from a job – it’s a fairly common practice for plumbers, builders, handymen, and other tradespeople who end up with scrap metal on their hands.
If you’re ever in doubt, always ask the client if they’re okay with you taking and disposing of the scrap – most will be more than happy for you to handle it for them! You offer to split the funds in exchange for handling the labor. Don’t mislead anyone about your intentions.
You are welcome to do it yourself, and we will not object if you do! But you don’t have to; you’re welcome to bring us a van full of mixed scrap, and we’ll take care of the rest. If you’re going somewhere else, you should probably call ahead and ask because everyone has their own rules.
When deciding where to take your scrap metal, you should also find out how the scrap yard will pay you. Cash payments for scrap metal are against the law, which is another reason why it is much safer to only deal with licensed scrap metal dealers. There are ways to get paid that don’t involve cash, but you can still get your money right away.
Unfortunately, buyers no longer pay cash for scrap metal – and that’s all down to the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. It may appear to be a hassle, but the Act exists to protect buyers and sellers from unscrupulous practices.
You should take a mile away if anyone offers you cash for your scrap. It’s against the law, and you’ll face the consequences if caught. But you won’t have to wait for a cheque to clear because we accept instant electronic payments.