Scrap Metal

How to Get the Best Price for Your Scrap Metal

Selling scrap metal can be an effective way to keep your business clear of debris while making some extra cash. If your business produces a lot of extra, uncontaminated metal, it could be valuable to familiarize yourself with the basic tips and tricks of the trade that will help you get more money for your metal.


Sort Your Metal

Before you rush to the nearest metal recycling plant, familiarize yourself with what metals they do and do not accept. Separate the ferrous (or iron-containing) and non-ferrous metals, as this is a common distinction that most scrap yards will use. This will make the process easier both for you and the company you choose to work with.


Sell in Bulk
Many scrap yards will offer higher prices if you bring in a large quantity of the same type of metal. After checking with local laws on metal storage, store your metal scraps until you reach your transportation limit. Make sure to check with your chosen company for any premiums or tiered payment plans according to weight.


Abide by Company Policies
Each company will have its own rules on what types of metal they will accept and restrictions based on the use of each metal. If the metal has been subjected to certain contaminants, it might not be accepted.


For example, many companies will not accept metals under the following conditions:


  • Metal vessels containing gas, diesel, oil, etc.
  • Aerosol cans, propane tanks, etc.
  • Cans that contained paint, sealers, pesticides, or other toxic chemicals
  • Discuss the specific requirements and limitations with individual companies
  • Mind the season


In regions where the price of metal is not subject to frequent fluctuation, you can often expect metal to sell for more during the winter.


Sell Regularly
As a scrap yard notices that you consistently bring in large quantities of metal, they will come to value you as a patron more and more. Keep your price tickets as a way to track how much metal you are delivering to the scrap yard.


Negotiate the Price
Get to know the manager after you have established yourself as a loyal patron. If you are regularly delivering large quantities of presorted, quality metal that meet their specifications, then they likely do not want to lose you. You may be able to negotiate a special, higher price.


If the owner or manager will not go for the pay raise, you still have proof of your quantity and quality on hand because of the tickets. You can shop around and try to negotiate the price that you want with other companies. Be respectful, but don’t be afraid to ask for more.


Bringing your scrap metal to a scrap yard or metal recycling plant can be a lucrative way to get rid of your excess metal. Make sure to follow these tips in order to get the most money for your metal.

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