How To Make More Money With Copper Wire

Posted: November 24, 2020

We have been able to make many videos on how to make more money sorting and separating different types of wires, but explaining it with words can often help to make even more sense.

How Scrap Copper Wire Prices Are Determined

The basic way that wire gets priced is based on how much copper, aluminum, steel, or whatever type of wire that it is, is contained in the recovery. Scrap yards price out there wire based on the different levels of recovery that you can get.

Do scrap metal math…

If there is a 10-pound piece of insulated copper wire, but when you get rid of the plastic on it and there is only 3 pounds of copper inside of it, that means that it is only 30% of the weight…and each scrap yard has their pricing equations to figure that out.

Other factors that go into the wire prices can be:

  • Labor Rate to Recover Copper/Aluminum/Steel
  • Demand for material
  • The coating on copper (tin or silver coating are two of the most common).
  • Enamel – some copper has a plastic-type coating to help fight the heavy electrical current going through it.
  • Location – This matters because many people might be too far away from major copper refiners or mills and the travel will decrease pricing

Top Money Making Tips on Copper Wire

One thing that you can do to become a smarter scraper is to buy a small scale that can measure ounces. Then you can take a small piece of wire and weight it before and after you strip it to see how much copper is really inside of it.


Right off the bat, if you find that it is too inconvenient or much too hard to get the copper out at all you should stop right there and sell that wire as-is. Copper wire that you find to be easy to strip with a simple razor blade might be one that makes more sense to weigh before and afterward.

Once you have the percentage of copper vs. plastic you will be able to educate yourself a little more before selling your scrap or figuring out whether to strip or not too strip is the best option.

On our website, we have been able to have multiple pictures and descriptions of different wires that are out there, but there are always new ones popping up. Different companies require a special wire for their applications, so it is always worth doing your homework to figure out what you have and what you will be able to get for it.


Contact Rockaway Recycling for more money-making tips: