old stuff

It’s a hard question to answer, but hopefully you’ll find it easier with the more you scrap. Here’s some tips on helping you decide how to get the most value out of your scrap metal – by determining if you should “scrap it or sell it”.

We all know that “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure”, which is why we constantly scour yard sales to find items that others don’t know the value of in the hopes of selling them for profit. Lots of TV shows have glamorized the pickers and collectors of junk and how they turn large profits.

With a little TLC, we can make most items profitable, or even increase their value. But sometimes, you may realize that all that work to refurbish a piece only ends in a loss, and you would’ve been better off scrapping it. That’s why it’s important to weigh the options prior to starting on a project to make sure you get the most money out of it. When it comes to metal objects, it is entirely dependent on how much you can get per pound at the scrap yard.

For starters, it’s important to know which metals will turn more profit by the pound. For some metals in particular, you can actually make more money off of them but you have to have larger quantities. So the amount is also a determining factor. To make this decision a simple one, first think about how much time and material it will take to fix it (i.e. make it profitable).

Then estimate how much you could sell it for once refurbished. Subtracting your cost of time and/or materials from the final sale price will give you the profit. So then you can compare this price to what you would get at the scrap yard. Is it more? Is it less? Or about the same? If you need to get a current cost per pound for the metal, just give us a call! (919) 772-9190

Here is a simple checklist to help you keep your eyes on the prize:

  1. How much is this metal worth per pound?
  2. Do I need a certain amount of this metal to make enough profit?
  3. How much time would it take me to refurbish it/make it usable?
  4. Are there extra materials I would need to purchase to fix it? If so, how much will it cost me?
  5. How much could I sell it for once it is refurbished?
  6. Is it an item that would be easy or hard to sell?
  7. Where should I try selling it?

Next, you should ask yourself if it is an item that would be an easy or hard sell. Sometimes you can still make a better profit even if you have to wait for the right buyer, for example if you are selling a car, but more than likely having to hold onto it for too long will result in less profits for you. (Keep in mind we can recycle cars too!)

Lastly, determine how you will sell it and where you plan to list it. Depending on the market you want to sell to, think about how many people will see it and whether there are shipping charges or not, this should influence how you go about selling it. Sometimes the quickest and easiest way is to list it online on Ebay, or better yet, a local site like Craigslist or even Facebook’s Marketplace for a fast turnaround. You may already have a consistent outlet for reselling items that most people or companies are looking for, but for the uncommon item that isn’t readily resold, this could pose a problem.

At least we can all agree it is always best to take the risk and you always have the option to bring it to TT&E. If you don’t ‘sell it’, let us ‘scrap it’!


TT&E Iron and Metal
Recycling for a better environment.
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