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  1. #1
    gnxblk01 started this thread.
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    Hello Everyone!

    Hello everyone. I recently just discovered this forum and had no idea there was a forum for scrap metal. I have been browsing for a while and it definitely seems like you guys are a very knowledgeable group.

    I'm a 40 year old male who is currently living in Pennsylvania and I'm pretty much a gear head and shade tree mechanic as they come. I grew up around cars/hot rods and have been working on cars, and spent plenty of time in various junkyards for years.

    For actual income I have a cleaning business but for the past few years I have been wanting to start another business on the side that I would enjoy that hopefully involved cars and or something more industrial. Also with this pandemic I saw how the scrap yards were still open for business and I feel that the scrap yards are the last areas in this country that have been untouched from all the political correctness.

    That said, a little background, about 15 years ago I use to live in California and I use to drive tow trucks for a vehicle donation program. I helped a man build his business from the ground up after he left his boss who had the same business and became wealthy but his greed and shady business moves caused him problems.

    Anyways, we use to advertise in a print newspaper and people would call us to donate their old/unwanted car. We would then resell them to the public on our lot if in decent condition, but if not, we would capture what we could like the gas and then haul the cars to the scrap yard and get money for them. We either sold the car AS IS or we junked it out. We could have up to 40 cars at a time and if we needed money we would just junk them out and get that check.

    We paid $0 for those junk cars because the individual would get a receipt from us that they could use as a tax deduction. Sometimes we got decent running cars that had no issues that we could turn around and sell for a few thousand dollars. Mostly cars were junk but we would get something like a 1996 Nissan 300xz that needed a paint job badly.

    We were based in Los Angeles and we would pick up cars as far as San Diego and San Francisco. We never took a loss because we got cars for $0, but the overhead of having to rent a huge industrial property, taxes, and maintenance of 3 old tow trucks is where the money went. We also got free labor as we worked with the Courts to provide a job/community service for men comming out of prison. Those men worked for us for free and those men got community service credit. We never had any problems and many of those men and young guys were very talented. One guy worked for us as a mechanic use to be the actual mechanic at Ford Racing in the 1990s and was hands on in the development of the 1993 Mustang Cobra and Cobra R. Another guy was a factory rider for Kawasaki.



    I have no interest in building something like that up. It's hard long brutal work (12 hours days) and in Pennsylvania I see that companies are paying $$ for old junk cars. Don't know how that make a profit.

    I'm looking for something I can do from home. Around where I live I have literally found catalytic converters on the gound in the street and took them to scrap yards and walked away with 120$ cash in my pocket no questions asked.

    Would love to make an extra 500$-1k a month scraping in my neck of the woods. Seems like catalytic converters and brass is the only worthy metal to scrap. Aside from that going to the junkyard and pulling parts to sell on ebay might also be an option.

    Looking for some advice as to what to scrap in 2021 when living out of an apartment. Thanks.
    Last edited by gnxblk01; 09-10-2021 at 09:27 PM.

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  3. #2
    DiamondN's Avatar
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    Welcome to the SMF from Indiana. Cat converters are good money when you can get them. I usually only get them when scrapping a vehicle. Import 'cats' normally sell for more than domestic ones. I've never got much for yellow brass, but 'red' brass will pay you nicely. Copper would be my choice, when working out of an apartment. Good Luck...

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  5. #3
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    Spend more time reading through the old threads. The more you get educated the more opportunities you will discover. Depending on your situation CU, brass etc might be best but remember steel is heavy and if you get enough quickly enough and turn it over quickly then the profit is there.

    An example I learned from: A member told about going to "safety house" company that sells/services fire extinguishers and picked the extinguishers that were too old to re=certify. Reading that I went out looking for the same type of companies in my are. I found one and collected up a pickup truck load of them. Half steel and the other half of them were AL. I though oh boy I made out with those AL ones. I wasn't happy about the steel ones but they were part of the deal.

    You've likely figured out what took me a little time to, although the steel ones paid less per pound than the AL ones the steel weighed so much more making the value was nearly equal. Many more ideas in the old threads. 73, Mike
    "Profit begins when you buy NOT when you sell." {quote passed down to me from a wise man}

    Now go beat the copper out of something, Miked

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  7. #4
    gnxblk01 started this thread.
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    Thanks for the reply guys! I will definitely be reading this forum. It's also quite possible that I will look into getting a truck so I can place ads and pick up junk/donated cars.

    That said so far I'm at a huge apartment complex and by the dumpsters they throw away so much metal scrap and air-conditioning units. Guess I will start keeping my eye on anything with brass.

    One last question. Let's say I have a bucket of brass how do I get the best price for it? Do I just call around to different scrap yards?

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  9. #5
    gnxblk01 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiamondN View Post
    Welcome to the SMF from Indiana. Cat converters are good money when you can get them. I usually only get them when scrapping a vehicle. Import 'cats' normally sell for more than domestic ones. I've never got much for yellow brass, but 'red' brass will pay you nicely. Copper would be my choice, when working out of an apartment. Good Luck...
    Catalytic converters are great easy money. Unfortunately where I live (Philadelphia Pennsylvania) has a major heroin problem so there are lots of catalytic converters that are being stolen. There are rings of people who go around and steal cats 24/7.

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  11. #6
    gnxblk01 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by miked View Post
    Spend more time reading through the old threads. The more you get educated the more opportunities you will discover. Depending on your situation CU, brass etc might be best but remember steel is heavy and if you get enough quickly enough and turn it over quickly then the profit is there.

    An example I learned from: A member told about going to "safety house" company that sells/services fire extinguishers and picked the extinguishers that were too old to re=certify. Reading that I went out looking for the same type of companies in my are. I found one and collected up a pickup truck load of them. Half steel and the other half of them were AL. I though oh boy I made out with those AL ones. I wasn't happy about the steel ones but they were part of the deal.

    You've likely figured out what took me a little time to, although the steel ones paid less per pound than the AL ones the steel weighed so much more making the value was nearly equal. Many more ideas in the old threads. 73, Mike
    I wish I had a truck even though I have 3 cars. Unfortunately there was a major storm in our area that caused so much devastation. As of right now I know areas where restaurants have left huge heavy stainless steel kitchen appliances right out on the curb. There is about 1000lbs of steel right now sitting on the curb that is ruined due to flood damage and much more.

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  13. #7
    CopperMiner's Avatar
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    Do you have a trailer?

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    Newbie also. I'm in Northern New Jersey. I've been making on average about $280 a week. Nothing to replace a full time job, but nice extra spending or vacation money. I have an old F-150 that I take around on a nightly basis to the surrounding neighborhoods. It works out that I can hit garbage night for one or two towns every night. Will usually get at least a full load if not two in about 2 hours of driving around. If I get a full load early, I'll drive home and dump it behind the house. In the morning, I'll drive the loads to a local scrap yard which is right down the road. I've been pulling electric motors, small engines, cutting cords, and setting aside aluminum, copper, brass etc. I accumulate these and generally will take the 'specialty' items in once a week. I've been setting aside any reasonable yard equipment and reselling it on FB Marketplace. Can't beat getting $40 or $50 for a lawnmower you found on the street. It can take up space, so not sure how much you can do in an apartment. It also certainly helps to have a truck. Watch FB Marketplace for free stuff and curb alerts. Be forewarned that it can get addicting. My next step I think, is to try and connect with local contractors or businesses to establish a more consistent stream.

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