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If you are someone with a load of scrap metal on your hands, then you should be interested in selling it for profit. But in order to get started in the scrap metal buying and selling industry, it is important to first understand how scrap metal prices work.

This knowledge will better prepare you so that you can get the highest returns for your junk metal.

Continue reading to learn the basics of scrap metal pricing, and where to go to sell yours for cash on the spot.

Price Factors

The value of scrap metal largely depends on three factors: market value, weight, and purity.

The price for a certain type of metal starts at a market value that fluctuates daily, or even hourly. From there, the more pure your metal is, the more it is worth, and the more you have of it, the more you earn.

For instance, one ounce of 14 Karat gold is worth less than one ounce of 24 Karat gold.

And on a day where gold is priced higher on the market, one ounce will render more profit than on a day where the values are ranked low.

Once you have your weight and purity, you can look up the market value for your metal and simply multiply the two values together for a rough estimate of what your freight is worth.

You can find current metal prices online for free.

A recommended site is http://www.infomine.com/investment/metal-prices.

But here’s a catch, in order to know exactly what metals are in your scrap, you need a metal analyzer, which runs in the ‘tens of thousands of dollars‘ range. For this reason, it is best to get the information you need (current market value and weight), and then visit a metal recycling center or refinery to have your metal freights tested. This will give you an accurate estimation of your metal’s worth.

Here is an example of estimating the value of scrap metal:


Current Market Value for Copper = $2.14 p/LB usd

Total Weight = 14.77 lbs.

Estimated Worth = $31.61 usd

Pricing Your Scrap Metal

Once you have an estimated worth, you can start to shop around for buyers. Keep in mind that your estimated worth is just an estimation, and not necessarily an approximation of what you will receive in cash profit from a junk metal buyer or scrapper. Call around to several places to get quotes from buyers. Look for metal recycling centers, metal refineries, used auto dealers and shops, independent scrappers, and scrap metal buyers. Choose a buyer with experience and a long-standing reputation within the community to avoid a fly-by-the-night buyer that pays low and then disappears.

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Source by Sarahbeth Kluzinski