Scrap Yard
Updated July 25, 2022

Scrap Yard (Near Me): 5 Tips to Get the Most Cash for Your Metal

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A scrap yard is a recycling center that buys and sells scrap metals such as iron, steel, stainless steel, brass, copper, aluminum, zinc, nickel, and lead.

Scrap yards will often buy electronics, appliances, and decommissioned vehicles to dismantle them and sell the metal to refineries or larger scrap brokers.

When it comes to vehicles, most scrap yards deal with cars, but some also deal with motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, and boats.

In any case, the metal from scrap yards ultimately gets reused and repurposed, so scrap yards are good for the environment.

You’re probably looking for a scrap yard nearby that will pay you top dollar for your metals.

Here are 5 tips to get the most cash from your metal or car.

Click here to learn about more ways to earn extra cash!

Ways to Make Extra Money

1. Do Your Research.

They say knowledge is power, and nowhere is this more true than at a scrap yard.

Whatever the metal is that you’re looking to sell, make sure you do your research so you know how much it’s worth.

For example, if you have insulated copper, know what type of copper (#1 or #2) is inside your insulated copper.

#1 copper is worth more than #2 copper, so it’s important for you to know what kind of copper you’re dealing with so the scrap yard doesn’t offer you a #2 price.

Scrap Metal: can you really get paid top dollar for it? Read our tips on getting the most cash for your scrap metal. #ScrapMetal #MakeMoney2. Bigger Is Better.

The more metal you bring to the scrap yard, the more negotiating power you have.

Think about it.

Let’s say you have a huge load of aluminum.  The scrap buyer really wants your business more than he does the kid bringing in a small truckload.

For this reason, the scrap buyer is willing to spend time negotiating with you and may even be willing to lower his price.

So if you can, accumulate your scrap metal for a while before heading to the scrap yard.

3. Call Every Single Scrap Yard Near You for Scale Prices.

Don’t assume that the bigger scrap yards will give you the most money.

Sometimes the bigger scrap yards have higher overhead costs, making them less likely to be willing to negotiate with you.

However, the smaller yards can be more willing to work with you since they have less business coming in the door anyway.

4. Separate, Separate, Separate.

Before you go to the scrap yard, separate all your metals.

Doing this will help you do your research (see #1. above), which is key to getting the most buck for your scrap.

Everybody separates their scrap differently, but here are some ideas:

  • Use a magnet to separate magnetic metal (ferrous) from non-magnetic metal (non-ferrous).
  • Sort your ferrous metal into tin, lead, and steel.
  • Sort your non-ferrous metal into copper, brass, gold, and aluminum.
  • Then within your buckets of all individual metals, sort by cleanliness.  Remember, you will likely be paid more for clean metal than dirty metal.

5. Consider Scrapping Christmas Lights.

A little-known item that makes for good scrapping is Christmas lights.

They’re also easy to find at places like garage sales and swap meets.

Sure, they don’t have much copper on them, but since Christmas lights are so cheap to acquire, you can make good margins on them.


Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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4 years ago

I have r.v ..32″ scrap metal… roof no wolls..clin”””complitli…i dont have transportation…is in my bag yard…

Mark J Magnani Jr
Mark J Magnani Jr
Reply to  Juan
4 years ago