How to Sell Your Junk for Scrap

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When sold correctly, junk scrap can turn you a pretty penny. Many homeowners have lots of junk metal lying around that they don’t even think about. This junk either accumulates around your home or you throw it out from time to time. Either way, it’s time to learn about the various types of metal that you can scrap to get yourself some extra spending cash.

junk yard car parts

Know the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals

Before you can recycle your metal, you’ll need to determine whether it’s ferrous or non-ferrous. Ferrous metals are materials like steel and iron. They’ll be accepted by the scrap yard, but won’t bring you a large payday. Non-ferrous metals include copper, brass, stainless steel, bronze, and brass. These are going to bring in a much larger payday at your local scrap recycle center.


To learn the difference between these ferrous and non-ferrous metals, use a simple magnet. If the magnet attracts the metal, the metal is considered ferrous. If the magnet doesn’t attract the metal, then it’s a non-ferrous material. Knowing the difference is very important to help you determine what metals to collect to get the profit you want.


recycle copper

Copper is a very common material that has a distinct reddish color if it’s still in good condition. Otherwise, it fades to more of a darker brown color with rust spots. This type of metal is commonly used for plumbing pipes, on the inside of air conditioners, for gutters, and even for electrical wires. When it comes to the value scale, copper is at the top. It’s very important that you take care of any scrap copper, as it will bring you a pretty penny at the scrap metal facility.


In its natural state, aluminum is actually a silver color. However, you’ll commonly find it painted. Aluminum is well-known for its ability to bend very easily. Most homeowners collect this metal in the form of soda or beer cans. This material can also be found in siding, window frames, gutters, screens, and doors. Aluminum isn’t worth a whole lot of money at the scrap yard, but most homeowners do have this type of material in abundance.

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Iron can be commonly found in two forms: light iron and cast iron. Light iron has a grey color and is commonly found in household appliances. Cast iron, or wrought iron, is a heavier form of this material. You’ll find wrought iron on things like decorative staircases. You might have cast iron in the form of old cooking pots, construction site materials, rotors, or brakes. Iron tends to fall on the lower end of the pay scale at the scrap metal recycling facility.


Brass is defined as a yellowish metal that has a very small speck of red in it. This material is heavy to the touch. It’s used to make things like door handles, light fixtures, keys, and bathroom fixtures. This material is actually a combination of zinc and copper. You may find it in plumbing or other fixtures throughout your home that are connected to copper wiring or piping. Brass is in the middle of the pay scale when it comes to the scrap metal recycler.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is usually very easily identifiable by its silvery, reflective material. However, it can rust very easily and turn a darker brown color. Steel is used in many different products because it’s so readily available. You can find it on shelves, cabinets, chairs, and even cars. Because steel is so abundant in nature, you won’t get a very big paycheck for it unless you have literal tons of steel. However, it’s worth keeping if you’re making a trip to the scrap yard anyway.

Car parts

Car parts are one of the easiest things to identify. It doesn’t matter if you have an entire old vehicle or just spare parts like used rotors or brakes — they can all be recycled. When it comes to selling car parts or cars, it’s best to avoid the traditional scrap metal recycling facility. Instead, you should sell this used metal to a junkyard or automotive recycling facility like All Truck & Car. They’ll pay you a higher price for the used metal than the price you’d get at a scrap recycling facility.

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junk scrap


Selling your junk scrap metal isn’t very difficult. Once you understand the different types of metals and how to identify them, you can start searching your home. Depending on how much time you want to invest, you may want to opt for finding metals that will bring you in the highest paycheck. Typically, copper and brass products will pay well. Products like aluminum and stainless steel won’t net as much.

Organize yourself with containers

Before you get your scrapping efforts underway, invest some time in rounding up a few containers. This will make it a breeze to keep your metals organized as they accumulate, sorting them out so you can easily identify what you have.


If you make the mistake of keeping your metals in the same container, the scrap recycling facility will likely pay you per pound according to the lowest-value metal. 


For example, let’s say you have a container devoted to both copper and aluminum that you take to your local scrap recycling facility. They’ll identify that aluminum is in the container. Once they weigh the poundage of the metals, they’ll pay you the going rate of aluminum per pound — not the going rate of copper. 


That’s a big difference in your payday, as aluminum has a significantly lower value than copper does. Instead, keep these two metals in separate containers so you never have to worry about not getting paid the right rate for your scrap metal.


As a homeowner, you likely have a lot of scrap metal that you don’t even know about. This metal might be in the form of appliances, old piping, or even soda cans. By learning how to identify the various metals, you can take them to your local scrap metal recycling facility and earn some extra cash to enjoy.