5 Sure Fire Ways To Increase Profit on Scrap Metal

It’s no secret that selling scrap metal can make you a good chunk of change, but if you want to make the most money for your hard work, there are a few tips and tricks that can make all the difference. In this article, we will go over five of the best-kept secrets in the industry so that you can turn a good payday into a great one. 

Use a magnet to tell non-ferrous from ferrous metals

Scrap metal can broadly be divided into two categories: ferrous metals, which contain iron, and non-ferrous metals, which do not. Although ferrous and non-ferrous metals can be sold for profit, non-ferrous metals such as tin, copper, and precious metals are especially valuable. Most people believe all metal is magnetic, but this is not true. 

Non-ferrous metals such as copper and gold are not magnetic, so consider using a magnet to separate the ferrous from the non-ferrous metals in your scrap, and you’ll be able to maximize your profit by selling the non-ferrous (more valuable) metal separately for a higher price. 

Suggested Reading: Difference Between Non-Ferrous & Ferrous Metals

Remove & cut wires from appliances to make more money 

Wires and cables are worth a lot of money, so you should permanently remove them from any appliances before scrapping them. That said, not all cables and wires are created equally. Generally speaking, although worth a reasonable amount, these types of copper wire will be worth less than other types of wires and cables. 

Insulated cables and THHN wires are worth almost double the going rate for copper wire, and Bare Bright wire is worth, on average, nearly four times as much. However, it’s well worth the time and effort to strip all wires and cables from appliances, as this will surely increase your profit at the end of the day. 

Strip Copper wire

Now that you have removed all of the wires from your appliances, the next step toward maximizing your profit is to strip any copper wire you extracted. By removing the plastic waste from your copper wire, you can increase your profit by at least 25%. 

Some scrap yards have machines that can strip large quantities of wire in bulk but will charge a premium. Alternatively, you can strip the wire yourself with a wire stripper or a knife (while wearing gloves). The process can be time-consuming but is well worth it in the end. 

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Remember that 12-gauge wire has a 75% copper recovery rate, while 250mcm-750mcm wire yields are around 75-90% copper recovery. For example, if you had 100 pounds of 250mcm copper wire and you were to sell it as-is unstripped at an average price of $1.50 per pound, you would receive $150. In the same scenario, if you were to strip the wire, you would get 90% or 90 pounds of pure copper at around $1.90 per pound, which is $171. Worth it. 

Suggested Reading: What Wires Are Worth Stripping For?

Cut out catalytic converters from junk cars. 

Catalytic converters can net you a healthy profit, so it is always worth it to remove them from any junk cars you come across. We aren’t talking about a bit of profit either; on average, catalytic converters sell from between $300 and $1500 apiece. To expedite the sale, you can sell your catalytic converters online at RRcats.com; the process is easy. 

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Wait for the right time.

Often, people are eager to sell their scrap right away; they want to get it off their hands and turn it into cold, hard cash, but this can be a big mistake. Market prices for scrap metal fluctuate, so keeping an eye on the market is a good idea. When prices dip, it may be worthwhile to hang on to your scrap and wait for a more suitable time to sell; the difference in the amount of money you’ll receive by selling when prices are up is considerable.

Let’s Wrap It Up

Selling scrap metal can be a profitable full-time business for those who can maximize their profits. There are a few tips and tricks that you can employ to ensure you get the most profit from your efforts. By using a magnet to separate ferrous from non-ferrous metals, removing cables and wires from appliances, stripping any copper wire you collect, cutting out and selling catalytic converters online, and waiting until the market is favorable, you’ll be able to make the most money when selling scrap metal. 

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