How To Check Scrap Metal Prices

By Jay White

June 7, 2015   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Running a scrap metal business can be lucrative. Scrap aluminum, brass, copper, iron and steel are rising in value because more products are made from ever-increasing amounts of recycled materials. To meet this growing demand, scrap processing centers accept a wide range of materials from businesses and individuals. These recycling centers readily share the prices that they pay to purchase scrap metal. How much money you make depends upon the quantity and quality of the material as well as the current price a recycling center or scrap yard is willing to pay. Whether you are running a fulltime business or just want to sell a small amount of scrap metal, it pays to do a little research because scrap metal prices change based on daily market fluctuations.

Identify Your Scrap

The first step is learning how to determine the types and quality of various metals. Scrap metal is divided into several categories of ferrous, or iron, and non-ferrous materials. Simply guessing as to whether an item is aluminum, copper or steel will not produce an accurate picture of the scrap’s true value. Prices will vary significantly based on the quality as well as the type of alloy offered for sale. Divide the scrap into piles of different alloys and obtain an accurate weight of each grouping.

Historical Research

Go online and research historical information to identify trends. Like most commodities, the price of scrap metal increase and decrease based on demand. Generally, prices rise in the winter and fall in the summer. Researching the highs and lows enables you to know the best times to receive the highest price on various types of scrap metal.

Determine Current Prices

Many processing centers and other scrap buyers maintain websites where they post their current prices on the type of metals that they are currently buying. Prices are generally grouped based on the type of metal, such as ferrous and non-ferrous, as well as other items like power tools and catalytic converters that generally contain small amounts of recyclable metals. Visit or call local and nearby scrap yards and metal recycling centers to confirm their latest prices and to ensure the processing center will accept your scrap. The exact price that you receive will vary according to the condition of the material, weight and amount of work necessary to recover the metal. Compare prices between various processing centers to get the best price.

Jay White

I started Dumb Little Man many years ago so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone. I hope you find something you like!

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