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How to Buy and Sell Scrap Metal

Are you interested in becoming an entrepreneur? Do you have what it takes to negotiate and make trades? If yes, then here is a detailed guide on how to buy and sell scrap metal for profits.

Have you ever come across some dirty looking people picking scraps, wires and cables, aluminum and metal objects, etc from dump sites or waste bins? Well, I have seen them quite a couple of times and to be honest with you, I look down on them with disdain because I thought they were low lives surviving on scraps.

However, my perception changes when I met a few people who are into the sourcing, buying and selling of scrap metals. I was shocked at the profit margin and the potentials of the business. I was even more shocked to discover that those people I considered as low lives, (the ones picking scraps) were actually making thousands and millions of dollars every year. There and then, I learned a new lesson:

“Never judge a business from the outside and never look down on people.”

Now unknown to most people, buying and selling scrap metals is one business that many people have been into for years and are raking lots of income from. So if you have been looking for a way to earn extra income on the side, or even start your own main business, scrap metal recycling is a great option to consider, as there is always money to be made. All you need to get started is a truck and some cash. The most interesting part of it is that you don’t have to be the one sourcing for scraps from dumpsites or trash cans.

This article is a brief guide on how to start making money buying and selling scrap metals, and the following are the steps to take while starting out:

How to Buy and Sell Scrap Metals for Profits

1. Learn more about metals

Metals are different from each other. Some are ferrous, while others are non-ferrous. You must understand these differences and know how to identify the various metals available. Metals like copper and aluminum are more valuable than steel. If you can’t tell the difference between these metals, or you don’t know their values, you will end up underselling your metals most of the time.

2. Keep abreast of price changes

As is the case with precious metals like gold and silver, the prices of common metals do change. These prices are strongly affected by daily market fluctuations as well as other factors such as the type of metal, the degree of extra processing required to sort and purify it, the composition of alloys, and the cost of transportation. One way to keep abreast of current market prices of metals is to frequently visit websites like amm.com and metalprices.com. Another good idea is to keep in touch with other scrap metal sellers and buyers in your area.

3. Learn the industry language

Find out about the technical terms and vernacular of the scrap metal industry, as this will help you a great deal in the areas of communication, learning, and quicker acceptance into the community of scrap metal dealers. If someone mentions terms such as “green rot,” you should not have to rack your brain trying to figure out what that means. You can read many publications on the recycling industry to learn the market language. You can also visit websites such as recyclingtodayglobal.com and cdrcycler.com.

4. Find customers

Before you start buying scrap metals, you need to have a list of ready customers. Find companies that buy scrap metals. Your best bet will be to find metal recycling companies around you and check their buying prices. Check with as many companies as possible and pen down those who offer higher prices. Knowing the prices offered by buyers will help you make good decisions regarding what to pay for each type of metal.

5. Start finding and buying scrap metals

After you have decided what to pay on the different types of metals, you can start your journey to finding them. Check automobile repair workshops around you, they would most probably have various metals lying around. Speak the owner into selling these metal parts to you. Most of the time, such owners would be eager to sell for very cheap prices.

Another way to get scrap metals is to ask people who have abandoned cars and machines in their yards. Most people would allow you to drag them away for free and they would be satisfied with the free space you would create for them. Most metals would be heavy to carry, and you may need to find someone who will help you work for free or for a small amount of pay until you start making good money from the business.

Frequently visit Craigslist.com in your area. Chances are that you would find people who are asking for someone to clean metals out of their yard. You can also try looking up the Yahoo group called Freecycle. Another smart idea is to post ads on Craigslist and in your local newspaper stating that you are willing to buy scrap metals from those who have them.

6. Sell your metals

Once you have gathered enough metal, take them in your truck to the place you found that pays higher prices for scrap metals. All they do is request your ID, take your picture for security reasons, evaluate your metals, and hand you your cash. Calculate your earnings and subtract your capital to find out your profit. There would be days you won’t make up to $100, and there would be days when you will make up to $1,000.

In conclusion, if this post has boosted your interest in the scrap metal recycling business, then start by finding a space for storing scrap metals as you gather them, and take a plunge.


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