How to Sell Circuit Boards for Scrap
By Elton Dunn
You can sell the circuit boards in your computer and other electronic equipment to electronic recyclers or metal refineries. Printed circuit boards contain gold and copper. Recyclers can reuse some elements of the circuit board directly or melt down the entire board to harvest precious metals. Find recyclers through local government offices or Internet searches and then learn their requirements for accepting recycled boards and the prices they will pay, which vary greatly.
Call your local department of public works, sanitation or energy to see if they can recommend a circuit board buyer in your area. If your town recommends a company, there's a high chance that it's a reputable company that pays a fair market price. Call any recommended buyers to determine what price they are paying for circuit boards.
Use the Internet to locate metal refineries and electronics recyclers near you. Create a list that includes the name, address and preferred contact method (phone, e-mail or personal visit) for each potential buyer.
Call the electronics recyclers. Ask what parts they take and how much they pay for circuit boards. Ask whether they buy used computers that are still assembled or whether you first need to remove the circuit boards. You may be able to sell other computer parts too, including older ones.
Call the metal refineries on your list to determine if they are buying circuit boards and at what price. Not all metal refineries take circuit boards.
Check the daily metal prices at the Precious Metals Refined website using their "Markets at a Glance" tab, which shows day-to-day changes in metal prices for the current month. Research past metal pricing to find out whether now is a good time to sell to a metal refinery. Consider monitoring metal prices for one month before selling your circuit boards.
Search outside your community if you can't find a buyer nearby. Discuss the shipping policy for buyers not in your area. Who pays for shipping? When do you receive payment? Will it be a check, a deposit to a Web-based service or some other type of exchange?
Choose a buyer based on the range of prices you've discovered and the ease of concluding the sale. You may prefer to accept a slightly lower rate for your circuit boards than waiting for a higher payment to be mailed to you.
A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.