Selling used car batteries for cash is a fairly easy way for people to make some extra cash quickly. Find out more about this business opportunity here.
Click, click, click. Uh-oh. Your car isn’t starting and it’s been making a persistent clicking noise for a while now. What’s worse is that when it is on, your radio and windshield wipers don’t work very well. According to Honda, these could be the tell-tale signs that your car’s battery is on its last legs.
Once you get a new car battery, you might be tempted to let your old one collect dust in the garage under some boxes. You might even want to put it on the curb with the garbage. However, there’s a third option, which I’ll be sharing with you today.
Why Should You Sell a Used Car Battery?
The alternative to storing away or throwing out your broken car battery is selling it. You might be wondering, “Who’d buy a damaged car battery and why?”
As far as the ‘who’ goes, it’s not a mad scientist if that’s what you’re thinking. There are plenty of workshops and individuals who are willing to pay top dollar for an old, or even dead, battery. Before you scroll down to the list of buyers, however, it might be useful to learn why you shouldn’t simply toss out your used battery and be done with it.
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Most cars use lead-acid batteries. They’re cheap to manufacture and can store a considerable amount of energy. These are the same type of batteries used in forklifts, golf carts, trucks, and some lawnmowers.
Unfortunately, there’s a catch. When your battery starts to die, whether it’s from not driving enough or other reasons, it will over discharge and possibly leak sulfuric acid. Since sulfuric acid is extremely toxic to the environment (as well as people) dumping it in a landfill will contaminate the soil and groundwater.
Fortunately, lead batteries are almost entirely recyclable. Selling yours to a local auto parts store ensures that it will be safely recycled.
How Much Can You Make by Recycling a Car Battery?
The short answer: anywhere from $5 upwards.
The long answer is that there isn’t a flat-rate – which can be either good or bad. How much you earn per battery will depend on who you sell it to and the market price at the time of the sale.
At some parts stores, you’ll get back your core charge at the very least. A core charge is the deposit you put down when you purchase a new battery.
This fee is meant to encourage recycling and is mandatory in 30 states – but legal in all 50 – so there’s a good chance that your local auto parts store is part of the program.
If you choose to sell your car battery at a scrap yard instead, you could make a few more bucks – but more on that later.
Who Buys Used Car Batteries?
Want to find places that offer car battery recycling for cash? Here’s a list of places you can find buyers for your used car battery.
1. The Auto Parts Store
One of the fastest and easiest ways to sell your old car batteries is by going to your local auto parts store. If you’re not sure where to go, national brands like Advanced Auto Parts, Napa, AutoZone, and O’Reilly have thousands of branches across the United States and it should be easy to find one close to you.
If you bought your battery at one of these stores, remember to get back your core charge, which is between $5 and $12.
It’s also important to keep in mind that some stores aren’t obligated to pay you for your batteries even if they can recycle them. They might, however, offer you store credit that’s equal to the amount of the core charge.
If you’d prefer cash, it would save a bunch of time if you call ahead and ask about the store’s policies before making the trip.
2. Scrap Yards
Believe it or not, there’s an entire market dedicated to scrap metal, and the prices fluctuate based on supply and demand. So how does this work?
Unlike an auto parts store, your local scrap yards buy scrap metal per pound or ton at the market price. The heavier your battery is, the more you’ll earn. Batteries in small cars usually weigh between 10 and 20 pounds while a standard car can carry a battery between 40 and 60 pounds. If the market price for a battery is $0.50 per pound, then you can get up to $30 per battery you recycle.
To make the most of it, you can opt to collect discarded batteries from friends and family and sell them in bulk. If you have a lawnmower you no longer use, you can also carry the batter along with you to the local scrap yards.
Walmart really wants you to bring your old heavy beat-up battery to the Customer Service Desk. Some Walmart stores have programs in place where they will buy your own battery.
The Customer Service Desk is where Walmart does refunds and where they will give you a core refund on your old battery. I also strongly recommend putting the old battery in a shopping cart when entering.
They’ll give you a few dollars towards a new battery that you can purchase at Walmart. You can call your local Walmart to see if they participate in this program.
4. Facebook Marketplace
Another easy way to find a buyer for your used battery is by posting an ad on Facebook Marketplace. You could, of course, sell it on eBay or Amazon, but for logistical reasons, it would be much easier to find a local buyer who can pay and pick up the battery within the same day.
Selling to individuals also gives you the option of setting the price tag you want to set. If you want to figure out what a fair price is, you can perform a Google search to check how much used car batteries are going for in your area.
Last but not least, posting good pictures and a vibrant description will help your chances of making a quick sale.
5. iScrap App
iScrap is a mobile app that simplifies the process of finding buyers for car parts. Once you enter your location into the app, it will show you a list of scrap yards near you.
The platform goes a step further and lets you know which types of scrap metal the yards are looking for and how much they’re willing to pay for it. In case you want to talk to the yard directly, their numbers are listed.
Honestly, the iScrap app has a ton more useful features that can’t be fully described in this article. To give you an idea of what else you can get on there: iScrap offers pickup services, provides updated market prices, and lets you get a quote for your car (if you’re looking to sell).
6. Metal Recycling Centers
A metal recycling center is similar to a scrap yard. The major difference is that while a scrap yard buys metal in order to flip and sell it at a higher price, a metal recycling center doesn’t.
What this means for you is that you’ll actually get paid more for your battery at a recycling center.
Craigslist is a modern-day yellow pages for anything from kitchen appliances to motorcycles. You can use this platform to advertise your used car batteries at a
competitive price. This option is best to use if your car battery is on the newer side and doesn’t have any defects.
If you browse through your local Craigslist, odds are you’ll find car batteries being sold for hundreds of dollars.
But be warned! Craigslist buyers aren’t known for being the most trustworthy people. To keep safe while selling on Craigslist, sign up with a proxy email and make sure to meet the buyer in a public area.
There’s more to staying safe online than those two tips, however, so it’d be best to read up on this comprehensive list to learn more.
8. Local Auto Repair Shop
The good thing about selling your old car batteries to a repair shop is that you can take in a dead battery, too. A lot of repair shops like to recondition dead batteries so they can resell them at a discount to their customers.
However, this won’t work if there’s something deeply wrong with your car battery. A repair shop will want it to be defect-free.
9. Local Pawn Shop
Another option for selling your junk batteries is at local pawn shops in your area. It won’t hurt to call some pawn shops near you and see if they take used car batteries.
Selling to a used pawn shop may not yield you the highest profit, as you would if you sold it on Craigslist or eBay, but you can get cash fast on the same day.
If you need cash now and have a salvage junk car, including your car battery to sell, contact your nearest Pull-A-Part location to get a free purchase quote, free tow from your driveway, and fast cash.
This option works if you have an old clunker in your yard that you want to get rid of while getting paid for the scrap metal as well.
11. Newspaper Classifieds
You can also list your batteries for sale in your newspaper classifieds section. Some people buy and sell batteries as a side hustle and you may be able to find an interested buyer this way. Many local newspapers allow you to submit listings for free.
Another option is seeing if any scrappers have an advertisement up in the paper. You can give them a call and offer your used batteries for sale.
12. United Battery
The United Battery is well-known for its Cash for Junk Batteries Program. Anyone with both industrial batteries and automotive batteries can receive a cash reward from them.
The website does not have prices or details, but the caller can call them for information and pay details. The program is only available in Portland and Longview, but you can check in your area to see if it’s available.
Selling Batteries for Cash
There are several reasons you might be considering selling your junk batteries. You could be getting tired of hearing that clicking noise your engine makes, looking to switch to a lithium-ion battery instead, or need to get rid of a dead battery that’s been hanging around the house for too long.
Whatever your reason, you now know of 12 different places you can get paid for your old batteries and how you can go about it.
More ideas to earn money besides selling batteries for cash
If you are looking for more ways to make money, here are some of my favorite ideas: