You may be eligible to earn some serious bucks if there is some scrap metal lying around your backyard doing nothing other than taking up precious space. If you make a trip before selling your scrap and do your complete homework, there is more for you than the usual for your efforts.
First off, you need to know what kind of metal do scrap yards buy?
Scrap yards usually buy metals that are used in industries like automobiles, steel, and other mechanical works. It includes copper, aluminum, zinc, nickel, lead, iron, steel, stainless steel, and brass. Still, all junkyards won’t buy everything that comes in their way. They all have certain limitations and areas of business.
There are also scrap yards that buy almost every broken thing that is past its functional lifespan like home appliances, electronic equipment, old cars, trucks, motorbikes, boats & yachts, airplanes, etc. If something can be sold, they’ll be ready to buy it, at their own price.
If you are wondering what they would do with those ‘useless’ things, they tear apart larger appliances and sell useful parts to brokers. Scrap vehicles and their parts may be sold to brokers or to the mechanics in need of spare parts.
This industry is much bigger than what most people think it is. That’s the reason those who deal in it earn lucrative profits over selling broken and malfunctioning goods and articles.
Below are some practical tips that will enable you to get more money off your old car if you decide to sell it to your nearby junkyard for quick cash:
Know The Value Of Your “Old Car”
There is simply no way you can earn top dollar for your scrap car if you don’t have any idea what it’s worth. What seems to you a heap of old rusted metal can be a gold mine to others. So, it’s important to do a bit of study and research and arrive at an educated guess about how much money you can get from your old car. It’s perfectly fine not to know the exact amount. But if you reach the neighborhood of the actual value, you will have enough knowledge to haggle your way to the best deal. Now, the scrap yard dealers are no kids but knowledge will give your power, and knowing the real value of your stuff will prevent you from settling for less.
The best way to find the value of your old car is to browse through the internet and see what people are demanding and offering. For instance, you can search “old sedan car value” or “old car scrap value” and there will be several results for you to sample.
Make sure you go through at least ten search results so that you can end up with consistent information. It won’t take much time but you will be armed with a weapon that will come in handy at the negotiation table.
Check Local Prices
In an area where there are many dealers under a small radius, it’s best to make calls around to check metal prices before taking all the metal (in this case, your old car) to a junkyard. If you don’t know the exact location of a scrap yard, find them by searching online for “metal scrap yard near me” or doing other relevant queries.
Scrap dealers don’t spit out the exact quote for the merchandise but they surely will give you a minimal figure on how much they pay per pound for which kind of metal. When you make calls to several dealers, it will be enough for you to know which one offers the best money.
Here is a pro tip: the size of a scrap yard does not necessarily mean it will give the best value for your old car. Bigger yards are not supposed to be better all the time. You may find a small-time dealer to earn top dollar.
More Scrap Means More Negotiating Power
If it’s possible logistically, try to haul all your scrap to the scrap yard in one trip. Most places do not have any limit of intake per day or month. It means they can take as much as they like until the deal is sweet for them.
Hauling your old car to a junkyard will put you in an advantageous position where you can hustle and make the dealer give up to your demands. If you have some more back at home, let the dealer know. This little trick will get you even more money. Scrap dealers love large volumes because it reduces logistical costs and they could yield more metal in less time. The bottom line is, the more you bring in, the more power you will have to get the best value.
Split Your Metal
It’s best to split your metal according to their value and nature before hauling it all to the scrap yard. If you have metal with some type of casing on it, you should remove it before trying to sell it. It’s important on two fronts.
The first and foremost is that if the dealer had to separate the metals, he’d use this extra work as an excuse to pay you less for your scrap. It’s the general rule of thumb.
The second and more important thing is the variation in the value of different metals. In bulk, a slight difference can yield significant money. Split the metal and negotiate for the price of each kind. That’s the trick.
Get A Truck Or Rent One
Hauling a lot of metal is not an easy task. It surely does not go into little cardboard boxes. If you don’t have a truck to take your old car to a scrap dealer, here is what you can do without sweating much.
Number one is to check around your circle of friends and family and see if someone has a truck and he or she is willing to loan it to you for a day. In return, as a token of goodwill, you can offer to wash it or get the interior vacuumed on your way back to them.
If this does not work out for some reason, you can always look around and rent a truck. Many movers offer regular trucks for hauling goods and articles and the rentals run as low as 20 bucks a day for in-town use.
Beware Of Suspicious Moves
This scrap yard business is not like a modern enterprise procuring articles or raw material and demands a market-oriented price for their goods. There are not many odds to find an honest and trustworthy scrap yard dealer who would be upfront with you and offer you the real value for your old car. Maybe, you already know that. The world we live in, we need to constantly look out for our potential interests in order to materialize them.
Laws and regulations to conduct business in the scrap industry vary from state to state. At the very least, they are obligated by law to secure a license before starting their shop. This is regular permission granted by competent authorities to all kinds of businesses which allows them to operate in an area after fulfilling certain criteria. Usually, there is a fee to be paid to acquire such a license and get registered with the state.
Depending on your state laws and locality, there is a chance that a special scrap metal license had to be issued in order to transact business legally.
To avoid any inconvenience, it’s best to contact your state and find out if any special permit is needed or you can ask the scrap yard dealers to show you all the legal paperwork.
Dealing with illegal business can land you in serious trouble. So, be sure before taking your old car to a scrap yard.
Dishonest and shady scrap dealers will do everything in their power to confuse you. The main motive behind this misdirection is to pay you as little as possible for your metal (or in this case, your old car). If you are having a hard time determining what’s best for you, a scrap dealer is not the right person to ask for guidance, because it will be the surest way to get ripped off.
Another trick that almost all scrap dealers have up their sleeves is to scam you of your precious metal by rushing through the deal. They will try to close the deal without answering any question you might have in your mind. They come off as “take it or leave it” guys and offer an upfront price without telling you why.
A fair dealer will ask you if you have any doubts or second thoughts about your scrap and give all the information you need. He won’t try to rush through the deal and show eagerness of ripping you off. He will offer you a price after discussing the properties of your scrap and explain why he is doing so.
Towing Cost & Quotes
When a scrap dealer provides you a quote for your old car you need to sell, make sure to ask whether the cost of towing is included in the quote or not. A standard practice in the market involves no hidden charges or fees, which means the scrap dealer needs to be upfront and covers the towing fee in the quote. In your own interest, be sure to ask specifically about the inclusion of the towing fee in the quote.
The best way to get a fair deal for your car from a scrap dealer is to call multiple shops and compare prices before hauling your car to a dealer. Honest dealers are mostly fair in their dealings and cover all the expenses in their quotes. You will find many scrap dealers in your area when you search online for “scrap yards near me”. Call a couple of dealers that are at the top of the search results to get the best price for your car.
Shady Tow Truck Drivers
Many big scrap dealers have their own fleet of trucks and other trailers for hassle-free transportation. It helps them in cutting logistical costs. But, not all own their own trucks, and some work in partnership with local independent truckers and pay them a fee for each vehicle they pick up.
A potential scam bell rings when a scrap dealer agrees to pay you a certain amount and you agree to progress the deal. When the tow truck operator shows up at your door, he’d say that your car is pure junk and does not yield what the scrap dealer is offering you. The tow truck dealer may have his eyes set on the difference if you succumb to his coercion.
The other potential way to scam you is when the scrap dealer agrees to get the towing costs from the deal but the tow truck operator asks you to pay him upfront. He might want to get a double-dip or he could be working with the scrap dealer to rip you off.
If you suspect any activity that does not correspond with what you have agreed to do with the scrap dealer, call him right away and clear things out before paying the tow truck operator or handing him your old car.
Even when a vehicle cannot be driven, you need to transfer the title from your name to the scrap dealer. In addition to this, you need to contact immediately your local department of motor vehicles and cancel the registration. If you carry on with your idea of selling your old vehicle for cash, still, you will be liable for it.
Before the tow truck operator loads up your old car on the flatbed, make sure to remove all your personal effects. It includes registration and tags of your vehicle and other paperwork.
When a scrap dealer offers you that he’ll take care of all the paperwork, steer clear of such claims. Potentially, it could be a setup for a scam where they take your car and then charge for storing your vehicle on their lot. If you resist and try to fight your case, they will send your old car to a collections agency, which will hurt your credit score.
It’s not worth it to take unnecessary risks while selling scrap to a dealer. Before closing the deal, make sure you double-check all the points. To avoid surprises in the future, everything should be done 100% correctly.
Last but not least, don’t take a bow when you are negotiating to sell your old car (or scrap). This is the surest way to get the best price. Never accept what dealers offer you upfront, even if it exceeds your expectations. They are professional hustlers and do bidding for their own interest all day long. Ask for more whenever you think that you are underpaid. This is truer when you have a lot of metal to sell.
There is no guarantee if you will be offered a better price, but it does not cost much to ask for more.
While negotiating, dealers will set traps in your way. To get the best value for your old car, you need to best those traps and get to the top.
Following are certain ways a dealer lure you into accepting an inferior deal:
Your Car Is Worthless
One of the most common tricks that dealers use every day to pay less for more is by telling the client that their scrap does not worth anything. This could apply to your old car, appliances, and old raw metal. After devaluing your metal, he’ll offer you to take off of your hands, as if he is doing you a big favor as a friend.
It may sound a great idea to get rid of useless junk without going through the trouble. But in reality, it’s completely the opposite. Most junk cars are still worth more than what an average scrap dealer would offer you. Mostly, they are salvaged for parts and sold off to brokers. That’s why dealers increase their marginal profits by purchasing scrap on the discounted prices.
Average car owners, such as yourself, would be amazed to know how much you can earn by selling the parts of your old car. In the worst-case scenario, a dealer would sell the engine, transmission, and wheels. The engine can be sold for individual parts, even if it does not run at all.
Like a gold mine, the dealer would try to sell everything your old car has to earn extra payday. For example, you would not think there is anything worth selling from the interior of your car, but a dealer could sell interior liners, seats, door handles, and windshield wiper motors. The main premise here is this: If it is part of your car and anyone wants to pay to get it, he would sell it to that buyer for extra profit.
If someone tells you that your old car does not have much value in the scrap market, tell him that you would check with other dealers and see what they offer. That’s a clean trick and apparently non-hazardous. When a prospective dealer finds out that you are going to some other dealer for a quote, don’t be surprised if a dealer suddenly offers you something more. Still, be sure to get quotes anyways.
Paying Less Than The Agreed Price
Haggling with scrap dealers for the right price and then getting the right price are two different things. Many times, a scrap dealer offers you a price and then will try to pay you less once he has the car in his possession. One of the excuses for such a move is that after checking the car in-person, there are many flaws in it and it is not worth the original quote. Sometimes, it’s too late to turn back, especially if you’ve had your old car towed to the lot.
There are two safe ways to counter or prevent such moves from scrap dealers:
First, you need to disclose everything about your car to the prospective dealer before taking your car to the scrap yard. Take pictures from all angles and of all things and be completely honest with the dealer, even if it's been sitting in your yard for the last two decades and has been infested by vermin. Full disclosure is in your best interest to get the top dollar for your car.
Second, you need to receive the complete payment of your car before signing over the title to the name of the scrap dealer. If possible, receive the full amount even before taking your old car to the lot.
You won’t have many options other than agreeing to their demands once you have towed your vehicle to the dealer’s yard. It will be too late and like many people, you would not want to take the scrap back to your home, where it took years to clean out.
Another thing to keep in mind while you are busy drafting a contract. Never agree to turn over your vehicle to the dealer with the promise of future payments. There are many instances when these promises never materialize. It is pretty easy for a scrap dealer to say that he paid you all the money upfront, and you are trying to get more money out of him by playing the victim card. If the situation gets worse and comes to a place where it’s your word against his, there's not much hope for you.
Every year, many people discard things which they find worthless for a meager price. That’s the main reason why scrap dealers make a lot of money off of “useless junk”. If you are not clear about what your appliance is worth, ask around a couple of scrap dealers before discarding it in a landfill. There is no way you can be sure unless you ask.
Your old car may be worth something, and it may be in your interest to find out what your “junk” is actually worth.