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Buying and selling lead-acid batteries

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  1. #1
    Mick started this thread.
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    Buying and selling lead-acid batteries

    This fits neatly for those who buy cars & trucks.

    This obviously won’t suited be for everyone, but if you are in the right circumstances it can be very profitable. Buying and selling lead-acid batteries to manufacturers makes up about half of my yearly income and involves way less work than metals. It also takes up less storage room. There is a bigger profit margin. You will generally be the only one in a specific area selling to that manufacturer so you can develop a captive market. You can successfully compete directly with scrap yards since you‘ll likely have the same buyer.



    Contact a battery MANUFACTURER not a retailer (such as an auto parts store). Each manufacturer actually makes several brands.

    There are some down sides, however. Batteries are heavy. A car/light truck battery weighs an average 34.5 pounds. You will need to be able to be able to transport heavy loads (I‘ve bought over 100 batteries at one place). Most buyers will only buy in bulk (my buyer’s minimum is three pallets or 144 batteries). You will need to be able to move heavy pallet loads to get them to/on the truck from the manufacturer (I use a 40 hp tractor with forks. Many use a forklift). You will have a significant amount of money tied up. It can take several weeks to get a check when you do sell (mine is six weeks - but it’s never been late). You should check local zoning before starting this. Check county and state DEP/EPA regulations. You will be tempted to sell the batteries locally as many will be good. If you sell (or advertise for sale) JUST ONE battery that you have bought for other than personal use, you become a Retailer and subject to a whole separate set of (very stringent) rules and laws. The fatal downfall that I haven’t found a way to combat is the retailer that pays the State “core charge” for junk batteries. I lost one of my biggest suppliers (an auto junk yard) to an auto parts store. The State’s core charge was more than I got from the manufacturer. So, mainly I concentrate on small shops further from metropolitan/urban areas. I can actually pay less per battery to make up for more travel-related expense.
    People may laugh at me, but that's ok. I laugh all the way to the bank.

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    If you don't mind answering how much do you usually get for your batteries?

    Also how much do you usually pay people?
    Last edited by JvSwag; 12-18-2010 at 07:14 PM.

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    Mick started this thread.
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    Changes all the time with the lead market. The last shipment in November was (I think) $7.75 or .22/lb. I try to pay 50% of what I expect. Right now, I'm paying $4 for Car & Lt Trk batteries. Larger batteries are prorated by type.

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    Car batteries usually weigh about 35 pounds then right? So how long does it usually take for you to get all those batteries?

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    Mick started this thread.
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    Yes, Exide uses 34.5 pounds. Like anything else, it just all depends on how aggressive I am in looking for batteries to buy.

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    With exide how long did it take for you to get on with them? Was the application process lengthy? I looked at their website probably a week or so ago but didn't have any dead battery sources...

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    Mick started this thread.
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    Very easy. Just faxed them the business cert from the city with the Business name and EIN (or your SSAN). There was no application. But this was the local Exide branch for this area. Your area may be different.

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    Oh okay awesome.

    Is there a place where I can actually store the batteries? I live in the suburbs in a subdivision so I don't really have a place where I can put them.

  10. #9
    Kris Kringle
    in your garage

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    You could ask a friend with a yard or some type of garage/storage space about storing them on his/her land.

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    alright thanks alot you guys for the tips. I really appreciate it. I'm just starting up in the recycling industry and I thought batteries would be the best way to go rather than doing aluminum cans and what not.

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    Mick, on your business license what kind of business did you register? Just curious because here to register as a recycler has many process and requires alot of insurance. Also you say Exide has a local branch? Did you apply on their site and the local contact get in touch with you or did you find the local person and contact them?

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    Mick started this thread.
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    There are no "business license" requirements as such in this state for a small operation in scrap metal (unless you deal with cars/vehicles, then you'll need a junk yard license). I have Commercial Auto insurance but when an insurance agent checked for General Liability as a recycler, she was unable to locate any company which would issue a policy for a small operation in this state (basically what you're saying). I initially called the Exide regional office and got directed to the local person for Maine. I don't remember an application, I just sent a registration form with the company name. The "type" of business was never an issue (it was actually initially a freight brokerage which is no longer operating as a freight brokerage). I've changed what I do under that name several times and the only real issue is when I file taxes. Then, they want to list what I actually do. I have listed several unrelated activities at once using the same business name.

    Re: "business license" - unless you "store" materials, in which case you would be classified as a "junkyard".
    Last edited by Mick; 12-28-2010 at 11:25 AM. Reason: Added note

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    so do you know about forklift batteries? I might have a chance to get some, but do you know what kinda money that would bring in?
    Thanks

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    Mick started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    so do you know about forklift batteries? I might have a chance to get some, but do you know what kinda money that would bring in?
    Thanks
    Be careful. Last ones I was offered, I'd pay something like a penny a pound. I've never gotten any and don't want to. Call your scrap yard or other buyer before you buy and ask about forkilift batteries.

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    Okay cool thanks

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    Forklift batteries are in high demand as are all lead batteries. Currently I am paying 30¢ per pound for lead-acid steel-cased forklift batteries to the general public. Truckload volumes I can pay aroung 40¢/lb picked up. Watch out for absolyte batteries. They contain cadmium and currently I am paying up to 20¢/lb for them. If mixed with lead-acids and sent to a smelter expect a $1/lb charge for disposal. Jim

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    About a year ago I had considered doing something like this. I called the local exide branch and talked to someone there. They would only accept tractor trailer loads and were paying a penny or 2 less than my local scrap yard. The tractor trailer load thing is not possible for me and I'm not going to drive 60 miles to the exide branch for less money. So I gave up on this. Maybe I need to check it out again??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick View Post
    Changes all the time with the lead market. The last shipment in November was (I think) $7.75 or .22/lb. I try to pay 50% of what I expect. Right now, I'm paying $4 for Car & Lt Trk batteries. Larger batteries are prorated by type.
    To my door I can pay around 30cents a pound. that will almost be $400 more over what you are getting now and my turn around will be less than 3days.
    My company name was Easy Recycle but has since been closed
    My Name Stephan Harz
    My YouTube page

  22. #20
    Mick started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyrecycle View Post
    To my door I can pay around 30cents a pound. that will almost be $400 more over what you are getting now and my turn around will be less than 3days.
    That was a year and a half ago. Besides, they picked up. How much to get 1500 pounds of hazardous waste placarded product from Maine to Texas?


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