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How to Sell Scrap Metal

Three Methods:Obtain Scrap Metal for SellingDetermine the Metal’s ValueSell Your Metal to a Dealer or Recycling Center

Scrap metal has become more valuable in recent years because countries like China, India and other developing nations are willing to pay record prices for the goods. This article will teach you where to find scrap metal, where to find dealers and how to obtain the best prices for your metal.

Method 1 of 3: Obtain Scrap Metal for Selling

1. Know where to find scrap metal.
Many items in your home that you have considered discarding may have value if sold for scrap. For instance, old Christmas tree lights contain copper; even old toasters contain copper wiring and a steel body.
Check your neighborhood or town for metal items discarded on the side of the road. Even metal items that seem like complete junk can have some value.
Salvage auto parts. Old car parts, particularly catalytic converters, can be quite valuable.
Save old plumbing fixtures or wiring after a remodel. You can sell your old copper pipes or wiring at a scrap yard instead of discarding them.
Visit sales. You may find valuable metal at tag sales, estate sales and foreclosure sales.

2. Obtain a vehicle for hauling the metal
Obtain a vehicle for hauling the metal. A pickup truck or a vehicle with a large trunk is your best option. You can carry scrap in the backseat of a car, but you will risk damaging the car’s interior.

3. Know which metals are in demand.
Steel is an iron-chromium alloy that is commonly found in kitchen utensils, hubcaps, beer kegs.
Brass is a zinc-copper alloy found in decorative items, musical instruments and some plumbing applications.
Copper is one of the most valuable scrap metals and is found in household plumbing fixtures and wiring.
Aluminum can be found in beverage cans, some cabling and household tins.
Iron is one of the least lucrative metals but still has some value. Look for iron in pipes, construction beams and automobile parts.

Method 2 of 3: Determine the Metal’s Value.

1. Check prices online.
Many websites such as Kitco provide up-to-date market prices for a variety of industrial metals.
2. Call multipe yards for prices.
Different yards will offer a variety of prices for different kinds of metals.
3. Prepare to negotiate.
Take some time to build a business relationship with a high-caliber scrap yard.
Save price tickets and total how much metal you bring in weekly, monthly and annually to the scrap yard.
Talk to the owner about higher prices. If you can continue to offer steady quantities of scrap and you’ve built a relationship with the business, the owner may be receptive to paying you more.

4. Wait until you have a large volume of scrap metal. Many scrap yards pay better prices for larger volumes.

5. Keep seasonality in mind. In areas with cold climates, prices for scrap metal often increase in the winter because salvaging is more difficult and fewer people are selling scrap.

Method 3 of 3: Sell Your Metal to a Dealer or Recycling Center.

1. Sort and clean your metal. You will be paid more money if the scrap yard does not have to do as much work to sort and to clean up your product. 

2. Search the web using terms like “scrap yard” or “metals recycler.” Alternatively, you can search sources such as the telephone directory or other local business directory.

3. Review the government’s Energy Star website to find out about places that will pay you for the opportunity to recycle old appliances.

4. Weigh your vehicle on the inbound scale when you arrive at the scrap yard.

5. Allow the scrap yard to unload your vehicle.
The scrap yard will use a magnetic crane to separate iron and other ferrous material.
The scrap yard will unload other scrap metal with a forklift.

6. Prepare to register. Most scrap yards require you to be at least 16 years of age and to have a valid photo ID. Some may photograph you. Your records will be kept onsite as a deterrent to theft.

7. Get paid for your scrap metal. While scrap yards are not technically allowed to give you cash for your metal, many provide you with a payment slip. You can then go to an onsite ATM machine and collect the appropriate amount of cash.

Source: Wikihow.

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