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Turn your Scrap into Quick Cash


I am a big fan of the television series Hoarders. It would be so hilarious if it weren’t downright tragic to see people hoard objects with a vengeance. While such compulsive hoarders are definitely an extreme case, all of us demonstrate some degree of this behavior by holding on to old and useless stuff.

But what if I told you that this old and useless stuff that you’ve been hoarding, because you think it might come in handy someday, can be sold for some quick cash? And no, I am not talking about putting it on eBay or Craigslist hoping to find an interested buyer.


Caught your interest now, didn’t I? So sit down and listen up for I am about to take you to a minefield of treasures posing as ordinary trash!

Why sell scrap for cash?

If the question going through your head right now is “why should I sell scrap for cash,” my answer is why not? Who minds some extra dollars flowing into their pockets without making much effort? Certainly not me, and I can safely assume the same for thousands of average middle-class Americans who don’t want to miss any opportunity to make an extra buck.

Even if you don’t need the cash, think of the cleaning up you’ll be doing by getting rid of all the useless (s)crap lying around your home (unless you’re secretly hoping to feature in the next season of Hoarders). As for the money you get in return, do a good deed with it.

Now let’s talk about how you can sell scrap for money. Start by stripping your home (including your attic and basement) clean of stuff that you have not used in a while. The simple rule of thumb I follow is – if I haven’t used something in three months, I probably never will.

When I say strip it clean, I mean S-T-R-I-P (yes in all caps)!

Right from the beer cans and liquor bottles that you’ve been saving to electrical wires and broken electronics that have been hogging precious space in your home – consider everything to be a potential greenback unless told otherwise. In fact, why stop at junk inside your home. You can even sell the old car rusting away in your garage and probably leaking dangerous fluids into the ground for scrap.

Where can I sell my scrap?

Here’s what you have to do – look up the yellow pages for scrap dealers or junkyards in your neighborhood. You also have the option of taking your scrap to metal recycling facilities in your area. SIMS Metal Management, for example, has facilities across the country where you can sell your scrap for cash.

But before you do that, you may want to sort your scrap and clean it up. Sounds like too much work? Find a nice Saturday afternoon to do it. Put on some music and get a chilled beer (or hot cocoa depending on the weather). Believe me the process will become a lot more pleasant.

Why am I emphasizing on all the sorting and the cleaning? Simply because the better condition your scrap is in, the higher will be the payout. Also, sorting your scrap will allow you to identify the different types of metals in your stock. This is important as different metals come with different price tags.

As for prices, you can do a quick search on the Internet. But these prices are not always updated. You can also try calling your local junkyards to find out the current rates for different categories of scrap.

What happens to my scrap?

What happens after you say goodbye to your scrap depends on where you sell it. A junkyard or scrap dealer might resell the scrap in the form that it was sold to them. A recycling facility, on the other hand, will process this scrap metal into recycled feedstock and sell it for industrial use to manufacturers within and outside the country.

If you thought that selling scrap for cash is only good for your pocket, think again because you’re not really selling scrap, but recycling it and we all know what that means.

I won’t go into the details of how recycling benefits the environment and conserves precious natural resources, because I am sure you’ve already heard that enough. But I do want to part with this question – are you ready for some out-of-turn spring cleaning? Who knows what treasures-in-the-form-of trash you might find hidden in some corner of your house!

by Lisa Carter
on 09/16/2013

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