E-waste is a growing market, and plenty of scrappers want to get in. However, beyond your own old electronics, e-waste can be hard to find. Also, many scrappers don’t yet know how to make the most money from each piece of e-waste. Here are some helpful tips to help you take your e-waste scrapping game to the next level!
As more and more electronics are manufactured every year, the supply of e-waste increases. However, it’s not always easy to find. As demand increases while manufacturers find new ways to convert e-waste into usable material, it’s likely to become even harder to find viable sources of e-waste.
That being said, there are of course good places to find e-waste. Yard sales and flea markets can occasionally provide good hauls, so if you already check there for other scrap materials, it’s worth looking over old electronics too. Particularly at garage sales, if you wait till the end of the day, some sellers will be willing to let things go for free.
There are even better places, though. Connecting with local businesses, government institutions, and charities can help. When these places upgrade their computer systems, a lot of e-waste is produced—and you may be able to keep it if you offer to haul it all away for free. Just be sure to ask permission, and not to be too pushy.
Of course, Craigslist can be great for finding free and cheap sources of e-waste. EBay can be as well. While many other scrappable materials aren’t worth the shipping cost of buying them online, purchasing a “for parts” laptop or game system for a few dollars could turn into a nice profit if you have the time to take it apart and clean it for scrap.
As with any scrappable material, the best way to find e-waste is to always be on the lookout. With experience, you may find your own consistent sources of e-waste—and you’ll become able to spot the pieces that are worth the effort of collecting, dismantling, and cleaning with ease.
How to Make the Most of E-Waste
Just as with any other scrap, separating components is a big part of making the most of e-waste. Instead of bringing in an old printer or desktop computer tower on its own, dismantling it just a bit can bring in a lot more value.
For example, simply cutting the cords and selling them as copper wire will net you more cash. Each cord only weighs a few pounds at most—but that means that ten or twenty cords can be a decent haul.
Separating different types of e-waste from one another will also net you more cash. For example, did you know that different colors of motherboards—the complex inner processing parts of computers—are worth different amounts of money? You should always separate green motherboards from those of other colors!
Of course, if you have older but still working computers, reselling some of the parts may be better than scrapping them. RAM (Random Access Memory) sticks from computers made in the past 10 years or so, as long as they’re still usable, can be sold as extra parts for people to upgrade or repair their computers.
Good luck with your quest for e-waste, and may it be a profitable one for you!