A Few Things You Need To Understand When Working With Scrap Metal Buyers

Finding and selling scrap metal can be a good way to earn some extra money, or you could even do it as a full-time job. You will need to do some research and learn about the different types of metal, their grades, and the best way to prepare them for the most money. You will also need to check the local area to find all the scrap metal buyers. While it can be tempting to just go to the buyer who offers what you think is going to be the most money, there are a few other things you need to know to make sure you are truly going to get the best price for your hard work.


It is true that a pound is a pound regardless of whether it is feathers, bricks, or metals. However, many scrap metal buyers quote their prices by the gross ton. This is actually 2,240 pounds. In addition, when you take scrap to them, they weigh it and then round down to the nearest gross ton. This means that if you have 4,000 pounds of metal to sell, you will be paid the amount for one gross ton. This can be a large amount of loss for you. Make sure you understand their policy so you can decide how much to take to them at a time. If you have 4,000 pounds in storage, take only 2,240 pounds and keep the remaining 1,769 pounds until you have another gross ton.


Make sure you know what fees will be deducted from the amount owed to you. If the buyer finds there is some plastic coating on some of the wire that needs to be cleaned off, how much will you be charged for it? These are considered "labor fees." There may also be administrative fees. Be sure all the "extra" fees are a flat rate; it takes the same amount of paperwork regardless of how much metal you bring. 

Calibrated Scales

One of the most important things to verify is the calibration of the scales. Ask to see the inspection from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It is also a good idea to weigh yourself just before going to the buyer's establishment and using their scale to weigh yourself again. If the amount is off by too much, wait until they adjust things to make it right. Also, always ask to see the readout on the scale when your scrap is on it.

Most scrap metal buyers are honest and straightforward. However, it is important to know just what it is they are being honest about.