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The Ultimate Guide to Scrapping Metal for a Living

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Did you know that in 2008, our country’s second most profitable export was scrap metal? After only computer components, scrap metal took the Silver medal home. And then they recycled it.

Do you enjoy the thrill of the hunt? Then hop on Craigslist and be the first to respond to a “Free Scrap Metal” ad. The internet is full of opportunity to find and flip a profit.

Recycling scrap metal is a heavy undertaking; no, really. Metal weights tons. But if you’re willing to put in the labor and be a little innovative, then this job’s for you.

Are you considering scrapping metal for a living?

Someone’s gotta do it. Check out this informative guide that explores the scrapping industry. We’ll go over how much each type of metal is worth today – and why you may be sleeping on a fortune.

The 101 on Scrapping Metal for a Living

Let’s see why this industry can be so profitable.

What kinds of metal are there?

Metal divides into two different types: ferrous and non-ferrous. Ferrous, a combo of iron with carbon, is the most common. Non-ferrous includes more precious metals.

Ferrous includes any of the following: aluminum, copper, lead, zinc, tin.

Non-ferrous is as follows: gold, platinum, silver, iridium, palladium.

What are the different kinds of metal worth?

Want to determine the scrap metal prices per pound? That’s sometimes hard to do, as scrap prices can change by the day or by the scrap yard.

As of 2017, brass was worth the most at $1.18 per pound. The rest are as follows:

  • Aluminum – $0.60
  • Lead – $0.34
  • Copper – $0.27

Make sure you compare and contrast prices you hear from a scrap yard vendor. Make a few calls before committing to one. You can even establish a good relationship with a specific vendor and keep coming back.

What equipment do you need to scrap metal?

Besides yourself, what tools do you need to scrap? The answer is not much.

First, you need the determination to find scrap. Check out garage sales, estate sales, Craigslist, and the like. Check with friends and family about unused scrap metal in their homes and basements.

Next, you need a heavy duty truck. Something that can stand to get a couple scratches. Flatbed trucks are easiest to load and unload.

That’s it!

Can you negotiate with a scrap yard vendor?

Yes! Much like the garage sale where you bargained with the scrap seller, you can bargain with the person you sell to. Take steps to make yourself an established, trusted seller with a vendor.

Is Scrapping Worth It?

The answer, without a doubt, is yes. If you already have a truck and the will to look, then you’re ready to start scrapping metal for a living. Although the metal scrapping industry has lost a little steam, the profit is still there.

Are you unafraid of some heavy lifting? Does the idea of working for yourself intrigue you? Do you want the opportunity to make hundreds a day on someone’s unwanted items?

There’s nothing to lose when it comes to scrapping metal. But much potential to gain.

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for opportunity, check out our blog for more advice and tips!