scroll top

How to sell scrap metal for cash in 2022

We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Here's more on how we make money.

Selling scrap metal is a fast way to make some extra money. It’s easy to get started, and if you have small items to sell, you can handle everything by mail with prepaid postage.

You likely have scrap metal sitting around your house — your broken aluminum washing machine could net you $20 in scrap metal. Those 14k gold chains you no longer wear could earn you hundreds.

In this post, we’ll show you:

If you’re looking to get rid of scrap metal, 1-800-GOT JUNK can pick it up at a time that’s convenient for you. However, this company will not pay you for your scrap. 

1-800-GOT JUNK is a scrap and junk recycling service. They will remove your unwanted scrap for a fee. The cost is based on how much room your scrap will require on their truck. You can get a free, no-obligation estimate first.

1-800-GOT JUNK is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating and serves the United States, Canada, and Australia. They also offer special pricing for one-item junk removal.

Get a no-obligation estimate from 1-800-GOT JUNK >>

What is scrap metal?

Scrap metal is a broad term that refers to any type of metal that is no longer in use. Recycling plants melt the metal and reshape it into new products, which keeps scrap metal out of landfills.

These are some examples of scrap metal:

  • Old cars and other vehicles
  • Old appliances such as refrigerators, washers, and dryers
  • Jewelry, coins, and objects made from precious metals
  • Silver tea sets and dinnerware
  • Unwanted or broken machinery
  • Dental work or fillings with precious metals like silver or gold
  • Old electronics, laptops, mother boards, cellphones, and hard drives that contain precious metal scraps 

While recycling scrap metal is good for the environment, it's also important to be aware of the potential hazards associated with handling it. 

Scrap metal can sometimes be sharp or jagged, and it can also conduct electricity. That's why it's important to use caution when collecting and transporting scrap metal.

Scrap metal prices:

The scrap metal market fluctuates, sometimes daily. To get the most up-to-date scrap metal prices, you can subscribe to a free app like iScrap. 

Scrap yards with websites may also post daily prices. According to iScrap, prices may differ by region.

Who buys the most scrap metal?

These are some of the top scrap metal buyers:

CJ Environmental

If you want to earn cash for your metal scrap, CJ Environmental is a BBB-accredited business with an A+ rating and lots of positive customer reviews. It serves the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

This national metal refining business will pay you top-dollar for your unwanted scrap. They recycle all kinds of metal scrap through multiple subsidiaries:

CashforGoldUSA.com

CashforGoldUSA.com is one of the largest online gold buyers globally, with more than $165 million paid out to date. 

Not only do they accept gold scrap from jewelry, but also diamonds, silver, palladium, platinum, and even gold or silver dental scrap

At CashforGoldUSA.com, you’ll get:

  • Free estimate on your items (online or by phone)
  • Free, insured postage via USPS or FedEx, up to $100,000 while in transit
  • Shipment tracking so you always know the location of your scrap metal
  • 10% bonus if you ship within 7 days
  • A price match guarantee (they will match any competitor’s offer)
  • Payments within 24 hours via check, bank wire, or PayPal
  • Free return of your scrap if you reject their offer

CashforGoldUSA.com will accept your gold scrap even if it’s broken or in poor condition.

Get a free estimate on your gold scrap from CashforGold >>

CashforSilverUSA.com

CashforSilverUSA.com buys unwanted silver jewelry, silverware, silver flatware, silver coins, silver tea sets, and other silver scrap. They also accept gold and platinum jewelry, gold coins, diamonds, and Rolex watches

While CashforSilverUSA will accept broken scrap, they do not take silver-plated items.

CashforSilverUSA.com guarantees a higher payout than any competitor’s formal offer. 

Request a free FedEx shipping label from CashforSilverUSA.com and get a 10% bonus if you return your items within 7 days >>

CashforElectronicScrapUSA.com

CashforElectronicScrapUSA.com buys old electronics and processes them to remove scraps of gold, silver, palladium, and other precious metals from your  old cellphone, computer, circuit board, or other electronic parts.

This business primarily serves businesses and schools, but also individuals.

With CashforElectronicScrapUSA.com, you’ll get:

  • Free shipping label to mail in your electronic scrap
  • Certificate of destruction/recycling upon request
  • Best price for your electronic scrap with no hidden fees
  • Prompt payment by check or PayPal

Once you send in your items, you can’t get them back. All sales are final. 

Get money for your unwanted electronic scrap from CashforElectronicScrapUSA >>

Peddle.com

Peddle buys cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs in any condition. Even if you have a junk car that doesn’t run, Peddle will give you a cash offer fast. Depending on your vehicle’s condition, Peddle may resell or scrap it for metal or parts.

Peddle is an accredited Better Business Bureau business with an A+ rating that serves the United States. 

With Peddle.com, you’ll get:

  • A free, no-obligation quote for your vehicle
  • Free pickup from a Peddle towing partner at your convenience
  • Payment by check at the time of pickup

Take Peddle’s vehicle questionnaire to get a quote for your unwanted car >>

Once you receive an offer, you have seven days to accept it. 

Where to find scrap metal

Go through your home and look for any broken or unwanted items that you can scrap for metal. If you want a higher quantity of items, you can reach out to family and friends and offer to pick their metal scrap. 

To find more scrap metal:

  • Place an ad on Craigslist.org in search of scrap
  • Join Freecycle.org and look for or request unwanted metal scrap
  • Make a post on social media requesting scrap items
  • Search Facebook Marketplace and Buy Nothing groups
  • Post scrap request flyers on community message boards 
  • Use the Nextdoor app to inquire about metal scrap in your neighborhood
  • Metal detecting

How to scrap metal

The steps to scrapping metal are dictated by the place you’ll take your items. Some require that you separate different metals and items, while others allow you to bring in or ship mixed items. 

Be sure to check with your local or online scrap buyer for procedures. Be ready to negotiate your price if you have a high volume of metal scrap (100 pounds or more). 

Here are some tips for scrapping specific metals:

Steps to scrap aluminum

First, identify that your scrap is aluminum. Aluminum is not magnetic, so if a magnet sticks to it, it may be a different metal (possibly iron). Aluminum will be rust-free, lightweight and is commonly found in:

  • Soda cans
  • House siding and gutters
  • Car rims
  • Bicycles
  • Cookware

To scrap aluminum:

  1. Research and find a scrap yard with a good reputation
  2. Clean your aluminum scrap, if possible
  3. Sort your aluminum based on your scrap buyer’s preferences. There are different prices for different types
  4. Transport or mail aluminum scrap to your chosen refiner

If you take your scrap to a scrap yard, you can expect same-day payment. If you are recycling scrap metal by mail, you must wait for the items to ship and undergo an appraisal before receiving compensation by check, bank transfer, or via PayPal. 

Steps to scrap copper

Scrap copper comes in many forms: wiring, pipes, cookware, and electric motors are just a few items you can sell for money.

To scrap copper:

  1. Research and find a reputable scrap dealer
  2. Clean your copper, if possible
  3. Sort your copper according to your scrap yard’s specifications 
  4. Transport or mail in your copper scrap to your chosen refinery

Remember, sorting is often the most important step. If your scrap yard takes mixed scrap, they might pay you a lower price if your higher-dollar copper items are mixed with lower-priced ones.

Check out this video on how to grade and sort copper scrap:

Steps to scrap gold

Unless you are selling bulky gold items, we recommend selling to a top online gold buyer like CashforGoldUSA.com, which allows you to ship your gold items for free.

To scrap gold:

  1. Find a reputable gold buyer (check out our list of top online gold buyers)
  2. Sort your items if necessary (CashforGoldUSA.com doesn’t require sorting)
  3. Transport or mail your gold scrap and get paid

Gold scrap demands higher prices than other scrap metals. Do your research to make sure you are getting a fair payout.

Steps to scrap silver

If you want to sell silver for cash, we recommend CashforSilverUSA.com, sister site of CashforGoldUSA.com. CashforSilverUSA offers a free, insured mailer to send in your items.

To scrap silver:

  1. Find a reputable silver buyer (see our list of online silver buyers)
  2. Take or mail your silver scrap to your chosen silver scrap buyer

Note: Most places do not take silver-plated items. 

Here's a video on how to scrap silver:

FAQs about scrapping metal for cash

Is scrapping metal profitable?

If you have scrap metal items you no longer need or use, you can make money selling them to a reputable scrap metal buyer. How much you make depends on the volume and quality of the metals you scrap. 

Scrapping metal can become a nice side hustle if you know how to consistently find it and where to get the most money for your metal scrap.

What is the rarest metal on earth?

Rhodium is the rarest metal on earth and therefore the most expensive. It has a silvery white appearance and is often found in catalytic converters, mirrors, and searchlights.

What is the most expensive metal?

Rhodium is the most expensive metal. While its price fluctuates, at the time of this post, it was worth about $14,500 per ounce.

What is the most valuable metal?

Rhodium, commonly used as a plating on white gold, is the most valuable metal at this time.

What is the best metal to scrap for money?

Copper is one of the best metals to scrap for money because it’s a common metal that is in high demand at metal scrap yards. Plus, you likely have it sitting around your house. 

You can find copper in pipes and wiring, so if you upgrade your plumbing, check to see if there are copper pipes you can sell for a profit.

What is scrap metal?

Scrap metal is a broad term that refers to any type of metal that is no longer in use. Recycling plants melt the metal and reshape it into new products, which keeps scrap metal out of landfills.

Is scrapping metal profitable?

If you have scrap metal items you no longer need or use, you can make money selling them to a reputable scrap metal buyer. How much you make depends on the volume and quality of the metals you scrap.

What is the rarest metal on earth?

Rhodium is the rarest metal on earth and therefore the most expensive. It has a silvery white appearance and is often found in catalytic converters, mirrors, and searchlights.

What is the best metal to scrap for money?

Copper is one of the best metals to scrap for money because it’s a common metal that is in high demand at metal scrap yards.

Robyn Evans is an award-winning writer, inspirational author, and occasional songstress (especially in the shower). Born and raised in Baltimore, she focused on helping women make healthy choices for body, mind and soul. She’s a grateful bonus mom to a photographer son and activist daughter and works with young writers through a nonprofit called the Youth Writers Challenge. Robyn writes for corporate clients, is a former feature writer for The Carroll County Times, has written for The Baltimore Sun and is the author of three books.
Robyn's website | Robyn's LinkedIn profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.