Determining the value of scrap metal can be difficult, especially if you have it in large amounts. To most people, a pile of scrap metal may just seem like junk; however, it can be valuable depending on the metals present. Estimating the value of the scrap can give you an idea of the amount of money that you can make from this venture. Here are some ways in which you can be able to make an estimate before handing over the metal to the scrappers.
Identify the types of metal
Metals are valued differently in the scrap metal industry. They are generally categorized into ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals contain iron and are magnetic while non-ferrous metals do not contain iron and are non-magnetic. Non-ferrous metals are the most valuable as the absence of iron makes the metal more resistant to corrosion. Such metals include copper, aluminum, zinc, brass, nickel, lead, and tin. You can fetch some good amount for these metals on a good day.
The type of metals that you have can give you a rough estimate of how much you are likely to make from recycling. Although ferrous metals aren't as valuable, you can still fetch some reasonable amount from them depending on the amount you have.
Assess the market
Just like every other industry, the scrap metal recycling industry experiences fluctuations in prices. There are periods when prices are high, and others when they are low. If you sell your scrap during the boom period, you are likely to make more that you would during the low season. For instance, during winter, the demand for scrap metal tends to increase as the weather does not allow people to collect it as much. This can be a good time to sell if you want to make more money.
Assess the prevailing market prices before trading in your scrap. You can even create a storage space so that you won't feel the pressure to get rid of the metal, especially if it interferes with your business activities.
Factor in preparation costs
Selling scrap metal that is heavily dirty, corroded, or not sorted will result in lower earnings as the scrappers will require manpower to clean and sort it. As you calculate the value of your scrap, factor in the costs of preparing the metal such as cleaning, sorting, removing non-metal items, and such. This way you can be able to get a better estimate of what you will make after presenting it to the scrappers.
After estimating the value of your scrap, make sure that you approach a reputable scrap yard so that you can get the actual value of the metal based on the prevailing market prices.