How Much Is Scrap Metal Worth, and What Affects Metal Scrap Prices?

Everybody wishes they could find a bunch of extra money sitting around the house. While that rarely happens, those who have scrap metal laying around might be able to easily turn that metal into extra cash.

However, the world of scrap metal can often be confusing. Most of the time, first-timers don’t understand how to determine the value of their spare metal or distinguish between what is and what isn’t worth the effort to scrap.

That’s where we come in. Are you interested in turning scrap metal into cash? Keep reading to discover how much the scrap is worth, what affects the prices, and so much more!

What determines the price of scrap metal?

If you are interested in making a profit off your old scrap metal, you must first identify what you have. Some metals are worth more, and some are worth less (more on this later), so the kind of metal you have in hand may dramatically affect how much it is worth.

Once you have identified the metal, though, you can discover its approximate value by checking the commodities market. There, different metals like copper or steel are bought and sold each day. This exchange determines the fair market value that the scrapyard will offer you for your metal.

How often do scrap metal prices change?

Unfortunately, scrap metal prices fluctuate daily. So let’s say you bring in your scrap metal in the morning and get one offer from your scrapyard. If you return later that same day, you might get a different offer—even though it’s for the same metal.

What causes these fluctuations in value? Some of this is a simple matter of supply and demand. In other words, the value of certain metals on the market may determine how much other metals are worth.

On top of that, since scrap metal is a global commodity, things like military conflict and natural disasters may affect the supply chain, further affecting the value of your metal. Even if you live nowhere close to the area in question, these global disruptions may influence your local prices.

What metal is worth the most?

If you are interested in turning scrap metal into spare cash, the question of “which metal is worth the most” becomes very important. For example, palladium is one of the most valuable metals in the world (it is a whopping 15 times rarer than platinum), but most people don’t just have spare palladium sitting around the house.

For the typical person, copper is the most valuable base metal you would normally take to the scrap yard. You may not think you have a lot of copper, but you could discover some in unexpected places, including the wiring of old appliances you are no longer using.

What metal is worth the least?

Generally speaking, iron is the least valuable metal that people typically bring to the scrapyard. It is simply worth less than other metals, especially if it’s dirty (you would be surprised by how many people bring dirty metal to the yard).

There are some exceptions, though. For example, cast iron is typically worth a bit more. However, since things like cast iron pots and pans are often handed down from one generation to the next, you might be understandably hesitant to scrap them for money.

What are common households items that are valuable?

Anything made of aluminum in your home may be more valuable than you think. While most people think “soda cans” when they think of aluminum, you likely have more of this metal sitting around the house and even outside than you realize. For example, old computer parts, siding, fences, and various pots and pans may be made of aluminum, and all of them are worth checking to see if they are valuable.

On top of those listed items, any old appliances like old air conditioners you have may also turn out to be valuable—not only for the metal of the appliance itself but for that copper wiring inside.

How can you get the most from your scrap?

One way to get more value from your scrap metal is to separate it ahead of time. This takes a bit of extra work on your part, but once you know what you have, it becomes easier to check the market value, like we talked about before. If you get lucky, you’ll be able to sell your scrap when it’s at its most valuable!

Keep in mind, too, that scrapyard staff is always here to answer your questions and generally help you out. If you find the process of selling your scrap metal intimidating, the professional staff will do everything they can to both give you peace of mind and get the most bang for your buck.

Get the Most for Your Scrap Metal Today!

Now you know what scrap metal is worth and what affects the price, but do you know who can help you get the most for your scrap?

Here at Scrap It, we won’t rest until you get both the best offer and the best customer service. To see what we can do for you, all you have to do is contact us today!