Sterling silver jewelry, handmade beaded jewelry, and accessories
Where do I find scrap metal?
This is probably the hardest obstacle for anyone trying to break into the scrap metal industry. After all, no matter how much knowledge you have in your head, you don't get paid until there is metal on your truck. Well, today you're in luck because I'm going to disclose some of the methods I personally use.
It's Not Who You Are, It's Who You Know
What's true in most of life is true in the scrap metal business. The more people who know your name, the more metal you will get, period. One of the best ways to do this is to get some business cards made up. If you have a business name, great, but if not, you can still just make some cards with your name and a brief description of what you do and what you pick up. You can get them made up at a local store like FedEx/Kinko's or another local printing business, or you can also order them online from a site like uprinting.com. Once those are made, start handing them out to everyone you can. Give one to anyone you talk to about metal, leave some at your local businesses like laundromats, just get them out there
Metal Is EVERYWHERE
I mean this in the most literal sense. Every industry, and every person on the earth uses metal in one way or another. A few years ago, the hunt for metal was a bit easier. The scrap metal prices at the time were much lower, and as a result many automotive garages had trouble giving away their bulkier items like exhaust pipes or hoods and fenders. Today, however, prices on those metals are about 5x higher than they were, so while people may have not bothered to spend a couple hours cashing in $20 worth of metal, you can be certain those same people will gladly spend the time today and make a quick $100. I know I will.
Stop #1 - Your local automotive shops
So, garages can be a great place to begin searching for scrap metal since they generate scrap every week. Of course, this isn't a secret, so be prepared for some competition. In this business, money talks, and if you can offer to pay for some of the metal, you will have much more success. When I go to a garage, I usually pay for the more valuable items like rotors, non-ferrous metals like aluminum (radiators, transmissions, etc... ) and catalytic converters. One quick warning about converters, if you aren't familiar with the markets and grading of converters, do not buy them. There is good money to be made on converters, but It is very easy to lose money on them, and there is no way to easily tell the value of one. Weight and size are not indicators of a converter value. Even guys that have been doing this for years occasionally end up eating a $30 or $40 loss on a cat because they made a bad call scrap metal pick up.
When you get to a garage, go around back and mention to the first person (mechanic) you see that you're interested in buying metal, and they should be able to direct you to their supervisor or whoever is in charge. You will need to speak professionally and concisely. When the supervisor (or whoever you were directed to) hears the words, "scrap metal" you will most likely be immediately turned down. (If not, then great, you just landed your first client!) If this happens, just casually mention one item you wanted to buy and how much you're paying. For example, I might say something to the effect of, "Oh, okay, I was just asking because I'm paying a dollar a piece for rotors." I've seen this statement change a lot of minds, and most of my accounts were landed after someone told me no. However, if they are still not interested in your services, politely thank them for their time and take your leave. If they are on the fence just ask to leave a card with them. They may not ever call you, but then again they may, so it's worth dropping a card.