Scrap Yard Near Me: All You Need to Know About Selling Scrap Metal

If you’ve been throwing away all your old machinery, we’re sorry to inform you that you’ve been missing out on a fair bit of money.

Nothing’s completely worthless, and taking your scrap metal to the nearest scrap yard can bring in more bank than you think.

There’s also the added advantage of improving the environment by participating in recycling.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term “metal scrap yard,” it’s a place where various metals are bought and sold.

You can take all your old metals there to sell, for example, your old car, your microwave, the old freezer, etc.

You can easily find the one closest to you by googling something like “scrap yard near me,” “scrap yard near me open today,” “scrap metal for cash near me,” “metal scrap yard near me,” “automobile scrap yards near me,” “scrap metal recycling yards near me,” or “car scrap yard near me.”

If your browser can access your device’s location, you’ll definitely find a few.

However, not all scrap yards take in just any sort of metal. So, what do scrap yards collect?

Scrap Yard Near Me: What do Scrap Dealers Collect?

Some metals are especially popular with scrap dealers. Metals like copper, brass, zinc, iron, steel, lead, stainless steel, aluminum, and nickel are worth certain amounts, but non-ferrous metals like copper are more valuable than ferrous metals like steel.

Ferrous materials are less valuable because they’re more common and easier to come across.

Ferrous metals have iron in them and are used in making durable things and engines because of their magnetic quality. Some examples are steel, nickel, and cast iron.

On the other hand, non-ferrous metals are harder to come across and are known for their conductive ability and resistance to corrosion.

They can easily be distinguished by their properties.

They’re not magnetic and are more malleable and lightweight. Examples include aluminum, lead, zinc, and copper.

Scrap yards collect other things, too, like machines and appliances such as old cars, trucks, household electronics, boats, planes, stainless steel sinks, etc.

Like we said before, you can make a fair bit of cash selling your old items, but, like any industry, scrap dealers will want to cut costs and make a bargain.

You can search “best scrap yards near me” and check out all the yards to find out who’ll give you the best prices, but that’d take a lot of time and effort.

To save you some stress and energy, here are some ways to make sure that you get the best deal for your metal.

Scrap Yard Near Me: How to Make Sure You Get the Best Deal

1. Know What Your Merchandise is Worth

The price of metals rises and falls just like any other commodity.

Even if you knew what the price was yesterday, you can’t be sure that the price holds the same today.

You can Google something like “scrap yards near me prices,” but that won’t guarantee you’ll get the real prices.

You have to look through many websites to ensure that the information is accurate.

Bear in mind that you may not be able to find the exact price for every single unit of metal that you have.

But if you can arm yourself with the general baseline price of each material, you’ll be better prepared to negotiate.

2. More is more! Gather as much metal as you can

When dealing with scrap metal, selling in bulk is much better than selling in pieces.

This is because scrap dealers make more money by selling in bulk, as well.

Most scrap yards have no limits on how much you can bring in at one time, so haul in as much as possible.

To do this more effectively, here are a few places  where you can find scrap metal:

  • Wiring
  • Bolts, screws, and nuts
  • Old pipes, drains, and faucets
  • Old appliances like refrigerators, toasters, washers, dryers, dishwashers, heaters, etc. It’s best if these appliances have motors.
  • Old cars, buses, airplanes, boats, even your scooter!
  • Yard sales
  • Doorknobs, frames, handles or hinges
  • Ask your neighbors or friends. They might be happy to have you take some of their old stuff off their hands.

But don’t take stuff you just find lying around. Just because it looks misplaced doesn’t mean it is.

3. Sort your finds out

Grab your magnet because it’s time for some testing and organization.

If you’ve never hunted for metal before you’ll really need the magnet so don’t forget to buy one. After you’ve gathered a sufficient amount of metal, you need to organize them.

This is important because presenting your jumbled up find to the scrap dealers will almost certainly get you a worse deal than offering an organized pile.

When it comes to selling scrap metal, the general rule of thumb is the more work the buyer has to do to process your pile, the lower he’ll pay.

To avoid that, use your magnet to separate ferrous metals from non-ferrous ones.

Sort your ferrous metals into smaller categories like steel, tin, and iron. Do the same for your non-ferrous metals and categorize them as copper, aluminum, brass, gold, etc.

Finally, within your organized categories, divide your find into clean metals and dirty metals.

4. Call to make sure your facts align

Although you might have already checked the prices of metals online, the prices may rise and fall based on certain geographical factors. So you must research the common prices for various metals with your area.

Go back to googling our favorite term “scrap yards near me,” identify the ones closest to you, get their numbers and start calling to find out and compare their prices.

5. Get a truck

Metal is heavy and can be quite sharp as well.

You may need to rent a truck to move your stash to the scrap yard safely.

You can either borrow one from a friend or family member or rent one for the day from a car dealership.

Of course, you should add the cost of transportation to the price of your metal when you’re negotiating.

And, those are our tips on getting more out of your scrap metal.

Though there are many metals that are accepted by scrap dealers, there are some materials that they don’t allow.

We’ve listed them below:

  • Radioactive materials such as military scrap and some measuring devices.
  • Any potential explosives like ammunition.
  • Materials that may contain asbestos such as pipe insulation.
  • Any corrosives such as lead batteries
  • Any combustible materials
  • Containers that may contain suspected toxins.
  • Refrigerators or air-conditioners that may contain HCFCs or CFCs.

Most dealers and recycling plants will not accept any of these materials from you, so make sure that you don’t add them to your metal stash by mistake.

Now, let’s discuss how to deal with a dealer that wants to scam you.

Scrap Yard Near Me: Ways Scrap Dealers Can Scam You

According to this research article, the scrap industry is worth more than most people think.

In business, it’s natural to want to take advantage of the other person’s lack of knowledge or weakness to get a bigger deal.

Scrap dealers are no different, but we want to make sure you get as much as possible from your finds.

To help with that, here are a few common scams when dealing in scrap metal.

1. The bait-and-switch:

This is more commonly done with cars.

A scrap dealer might try to scam you out of your agreed payment after they’ve towed the truck to their yard.

They might say that now they’ve looked closely at the car, it’s not worth the price formerly agreed to.

This is why you shouldn’t hand over the documents of ownership until you’ve collected a check or cash.

If you’ve already handed over the documents to them, then they’ve got you and can say that they’ve already paid you, but you want to extort them.

2. Handling the documents for you:

When selling something that requires ownership to be exchanged legally like a car, you, as the seller, need to take care of all the documentation yourself.

You’ll also need to cancel any registrations you had on it, like insurance at the necessary places, and remove all personal effects from it.

If you allow the scrap dealer to deal with all the necessary documentation of the exchange of ownership, it could lead to a scam where you’ll be charged for storing your vehicle in their lot.

3. Tow-truck fees:

In most cases, the scrap yard is responsible for towing any purchased vehicle to their yard.

The bill for that is normally covered by the scrapyard if they don’t have their own tow trucks.

To avoid this, when googling “scrap yards near me,” “car scrap yards near me,” or “scrap yard near me for cars,” try to find out if they’ll pay the tow truck fees.

It’s important to clarify this because some tow truck drivers might come to pick the vehicle up and say that the vehicle is worth less than the agreed price.

This is so they can make the difference.

Some tow truck drivers might lie that towing wasn’t included in your arrangement with the yard.

If either of these happens, call the scrapyard to clarify immediately.

4. Worthless material:

If a scrap dealer ever tells you that the appliance or vehicle you brought in is worthless and then acts like he’s doing you a favor by buying it at all, you should tell him that you’ll get a quote elsewhere.

This is a common trick to make sellers feel like the dealer is generous by wanting to take their unwanted property off their hands.

However, you’d be surprised at how much your old car or fridge can make when it’s sold off piece by piece.

Try telling that dealer you’d like to get a quote elsewhere and watch how he’ll start to bargain.

Even if this happens, get a quote from another yard anyway.

In conclusion

So here’s the 411 on selling scrap and making good money off it. Can you make a living off of selling scrap? Probably not.

Selling scrap to make a living isn’t as easy as taking an old appliance to the closest store you found when you googled “scrap yards near me.”

There’s a lot of work that goes into it, but you probably won’t make enough to quit your day job.

However, hunting scrap metal on the weekends does make for a fun side hustle, especially for kids.