Hunting for scrap in your neighborhood can be fun, but it certainly isn’t easy. Between the difficulty of finding the scrap and the occasional awkwardness of asking if it’s okay to take the scrap, scrap hunters spend a lot more time searching for metal than they often do preparing and selling it.

While looking for the next great piece of scrap is part of the thrilling adventure of scrapping, sometimes you want an easier way. Maybe you’re looking to boost your scrap income to the next level, or maybe you’re new to scrap metal recycling and want an easier way to get some experience.

The answer can be searching on Craigslist for free scrap. Craigslist is a powerful tool that has changed a lot of local industries, but seems to have an exceptionally large impact on the scrap market. That being said, you need to know how to use it in order to reap the benefits.

Free Scrap Metal on Craigslist?

That’s right: there’s plenty of scrap that’s free for the taking on Craigslist. Most often, this is because people will have large pieces of scrap that they are unable to move themselves.

However, finding free scrap metal on Craigslist can be a real challenge. As any free items do, these things go quickly, so you want to be the first to make contact or go to a site after seeing an ad.

Checking the Craigslist “free” section at least once a day is a great way to get started. Simply look for anything that might be valuable, and that you have time to go and pick up. You can even set up Google Alerts or use Craigslist’s RSS feed function to let you know if certain items come up on Craigslist.

If you’re able to travel a bit, you can really boost your results by searching the Craigslist sites of nearby cities and towns as well as your own home base. While this adds some work and travel time, it greatly boosts the likelihood that you’ll find something worth picking up.

Taking Your Craigslist Use Up a Notch

While searching for free or extremely cheap scrap daily on Craigslist can provide a boost to your income or reduce your workload just a bit, it won’t completely overhaul your scrapping life.

However, you can also use Craigslist to create an even steadier stream of free scrap by thinking like a business owner. Because advertising on Craigslist is free, you can put up advertisements stating that you will come and pick up scrap—but the competition on the site can be stiff.

Here are a couple ways to get out ahead of other scrappers advertising free pick-up services on Craigslist:

  • Post great pictures on all of your advertisements: before and after photos of areas you’ve cleaned up work great.
  • Put up advertisements regularly, but don’t keep reusing the same text and photos over and over. Instead of spamming Craigslist, take a few minutes to differentiate each add before putting it up.

In addition to good advertising, though, simply offering a great service goes a long way. By always being punctual and friendly, and really doing your best work, you can generate positive word-of-mouth that will help your scrap enterprise more than any advertisement.