Selling scrap metal can be a fun way to make a bit of extra cash in your spare time. However, before you start this money-making hobby, you may need a few supplies. Here's a look at seven of the essentials you'll need.
A small magnet can help you figure out what type of metal you have. A magnet cannot decisively tell you what metal you have, but it can tell you whether the metal is ferrous or not. If the magnet sticks to the metal, it is ferrous. If the magnet slides off, the metal is not ferrous.
Ferrous metal is any metal that has iron in it. You can remember this by the fact that the abbreviation for iron on the periodic table is "Fe". Some examples of ferrous metals are cast iron and steel, and as a general rule of thumb, ferrous metals are not worth as much as nonferrous metals.
Nonferrous metals are all metals that don't have iron in them. This may include aluminum and copper as well as precious metals such as gold and silver.
2. License or Permit
In some states or cities, you need a license or permit to collect scrap metal. For instance, New York State has this requirement. These requirements are generally to prevent people from stealing metal and selling it to scrap yards.
Generally, you pay a nominal fee for the license, and you update it once a year. Check the laws in your area to see if this is a requirement.
3. Pickup or Trailer
To move the scrap metal, you will need a pickup or a trailer. A utility van or even a minivan with the seats removed can also work, as long as you don't mind it getting dirty. If you don't have a vehicle like this, you may need to arrange for scrap metal pickup.
4. Source for Metal
Once you've finished cleaning out the scrap metal from your home, you will need to set up a few potential sources for your future scrap metal needs. You may want to scour the free section of Craigslist for leads, or you may prefer to set up a connection with a business that has a lot of unwanted scrap metal.
For example, a demolition company may be willing to give you old scrap metal, especially if you're willing to extract it from the property yourself. Plumbers are also an option to consider. Don't be afraid to reach out to local businesses. The worst they can do is say no.
To get scrap metal from inside a building that's going to be demolished or even to remove scrap metal from old electronics, you may need some tools. You may want wire cutters, screw drivers, hammers, and pliers to get started. Expect to add to this list as you actually get into the process.
Even with tools to help, your hands may get beat up during this process. To protect them, consider investing in some heavy-duty gloves. Ideally, you want welder's gloves or metal-working gloves.
Don't use general work gloves or gardening gloves. You need a sturdy material that can resist cuts from sharp shards of metal.
When you've got a lead on scrap metal, you don't want to get lost on the way there. That wastes your time and prevents you from picking up more scrap metal. So that you can navigate to strange places easily, you may want a GPS system. This could be a GPS that's built into your car or at the very least an app for your phone.
To learn more about selling scrap metal, check out websites like http://www.scrapmetalprocessors.com/.