Scrap Metal Prices: How They’re Determined?

Metal scrap has become the single most lucrative recycling initiative for both businesses and individuals alike.  But just how is your scrap metal measured in terms of worth?  Simply put, there are 4 major factors that are taken into account when determining the worth of scrap metal.  Keep these points in mind when considering cashin’ in:

  1. Metal Type

While the variations of recyclable metal types are fairly limited, it is always important to note each of their sub-categories. For example, copper isn’t simply priced as one fixed amount. Sub-categories like bare bright copper, copper #1-3 all fetch a separate sum.  In addition, it is important to note that different scrap dealers may classify the same piece of metal differently. Looking at a single piece, one may consider is a category 2 copper (Copper #2), while another may consider it copper #3. Familiarize yourself with local dealers and how they look at metals across the board.

  1. Geography

Generally, you will find the best prices at locations nearest you. One exception to that rule could be that you live in an area where scrap is more difficult to find. In this case, the scrap you sell will be perceived at a higher value. To ensure maximum profit, it is recommended that you use a local dealer in order to reduce shipping costs, thus lowering cost of investment.

  1. Quantity

Logically speaking, the more scrap you have in your possession, the more wiggle room you will have when negotiating price. When investing in scrap, try to purchase in bulk. This will reduce your price per pound. If you can hold off on piecing out your stash, negotiating with dealers will become easier as they too are interested in buying bulk amounts.

  1. Current Market Pricing

As with anything, the changing of the times is also a significant contributor of metal value. So much so that the price can fluctuate as often as a day to day basis.  To ensure the highest value, its recommended that you find a reputable source to check up on current pricing trends, and remember: buy low…. Sell high.

If you find yourself with some scrap material this year then contact us or stop by our Nitro facility.


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