The phrase, "one man's junk is another man's treasure," has never been more true than in the scrap metal industry. Bits of copper and even tin can bring in a pretty penny for those who know where to find them in bulk and understand how to evaluate them properly. Most Americans have no idea what goes on in the industrial recycling plants across the country, but many of them bring in the majority of their profit through these metals. Platinum scrap value, for example, can be quite shocking.

If you are considering getting into the high stakes world of scrap metal, there are a few things that you should know before getting started. The values of each metal are different, and while some may be up one week, they can be way down the next. True, dealing in scrap metal may be a little less risky than trading in the stock market, but when your income is based on the market value of metal, it really isn't that different sometimes.

Getting To Know Metal

Just like entering into the stock market, you wouldn't dump your entire portfolio into one company with blind faith; you would research and do your due diligence to determine the best investments to bring the highest payoff. Dealing with metal requires the same research and education, especially if you want to work with metals that have seen consistency rather than a sudden rise in the past month, without any real value in the months previous.

Whether you're looking at platinum scrap value, or copper scrap value, you will need to be knowledgeable about the metals you are collecting and selling for income. There is a strong demand for certain scraps which can be used in electronics, while other metals are useless as scraps, and could lose value after being melted and reformed.

Tools And Dealers

Metal should always be measured by weight, and often are weighed in terms of alloy. There are special instruments which can be utilized during these measurements so that you are as close as possible to an accurate result. This number will then be measured against the current market value, the condition of the metal you have, the mill or plant you are selling to, and a number of other factors to determine the price.

Talking to other dealers can help you better understand the metal industry and how scrap metal in particular is traded and sold. You may find that some dealers are getting more for their metal than you are, and this could be based on personal relationships with their clients, rather than the value of all metals being traded. Platinum scrap value tends to be higher than others, but the rate you sell it for can still be less than somebody who has been in the field a long time and has connections with numerous buyers.

You can find the value of just about any scrap metal online, and this is the best way to search. Although there are probably hundreds of books on the subject floating around the internet, these books are useless if you want to know what the value is today, rather than last year. Values can fluctuate hourly, so in order to be in the know, you have to work hard and stay on top of these changes.