Skip to Content

10 Best Salvage Business ideas You Can Start Today

Salvage is definitely not a new concept in this age. In fact, items that can be salvaged and repurposed range as far and wide as a person’s imagination. Note that a business can recycle metals such as steel, copper, and iron. Or even everyday goods such as clothes, furniture, and kitchenware.

Recycling without a doubt is good for the environment especially since it keeps items out of landfills and oceans and puts them back to use.

You can easily start a salvage business that helps to reduce the demand for the production of products, which is a process that adds more strain to the environment. So whether your business is remaking old furniture, or amassing metal scraps for recycling, it helps the climate.

Owing to the economic pendulum of the past few years, consumers are always searching for well-priced deals, and gradually they are becoming comfortable with acquiring previously-owned cars, houses, and other second-hand items. Have it in mind that the salvage business model is based on acquiring stock or products either for free or at cheap prices.

Owing to that, the profit you will make can be quite larger than other businesses because your business expenses are low. However, note the amount you can make will depend on how far you go with your refurbishing and repurposing.

Best Salvage Business ideas

  1. Auto Salvage Yard

Have it in mind that auto salvage yards are in high demand in this age by consumers eager to save cash on car repair and restoration projects, and if you believe today’s salvage yards are just junkyard by a different name, then you have so much to learn about the modern salvage industry.

Salvage yards are known to pay anywhere from $50 to $1,000+ for old vehicles that are no longer fit for service. These vehicles are either sold for scrap or stripped and sold for parts.

Since part sales are known to be quite profitable than the sale of scrap, it is crucial to stay on top of your parts inventory. To do that, modern salvage yards tend to leverage technology, often using advanced inventory management and tracking solutions.

  1. Architectural Salvage Centre

This is a warehouse that buys and sells building parts salvaged from demolished or remodeled structures. Note that you might find a marble fireplace mantel rescued from a law library or a chandelier from the reading room. These centers might also have filigreed doorknobs, kitchen cabinets, bathroom fixtures, ceramic tile, old bricks, door moldings, solid oak doors, and antique radiators like the ones shown here.

Most often, these items cost less than their modern-day equivalents, and in almost every case, the product quality is unmatched by today’s materials.

Architectural salvage rights are more or less governed by property and contract law and insurance company agreements. In the United States, unless stipulated by contract or historic designation, personal property is more or less taken care of locally and personally.

  1. Unclaimed Airport Luggage

If after an extended period of time a passenger does not claim their missing luggage and the airline fails to reunite the bags with their rightful owners, the lost can be sold to businesses that in turn repurpose or remake them to sell to customers.

These businesses are known to have an agreement to purchase unclaimed items from several airlines to “re-purpose” and re-sell. You will find everything from name-brand clothing and sporting equipment to expensive jewelry and electronics.

Devices like iPads and laptops are erased and wiped clean of personal data before being put on the market. In the same vein, clothing and other personal effects are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized too. You can also find novelties like a suit of armor or a live rattlesnake.

  1. Reclaimed Wood Business

In this modern age, this is one of the best salvage businesses to start. However, to succeed, you will need to always come up with designs that don’t exist, look amazing, and that you can easily make time and again to fulfill continuous orders.

You will also need an extensive understanding of the latest design trends to help you design something exciting, unique, and desirable. Agreeably, selling locally is going to be great for you, your customer, and the environment so it is always ideal to focus 50 percent of your marketing in and around where you live.

Consider listing your items in free places like Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree. Selling nationally is also going to make up a substantial percentage of your sales but you will have to factor in higher costs to cover your shipping. Platforms such as Etsy, eBay, Folksy, and NuMonday are all worth considering.

  1. Scrap Metal Processing Centre

According to detailed reports, about 56 million tons of scrap iron, steel, and copper are processed annually, and this makes a scrap metal processing center a very profitable business if you are situated in a highly industrialized area.

To start and run this business effectively, you will need to invest in trucks to move the scrap metal, scales for measuring the weight on the trucks and cranes, and other equipment for sorting and processing pieces by metal content. Note that selling the scrap metal to a foundry or mill is the final step in the process, and that is where you generate business revenue.

  1. Junk Cleanup Services

You can also start a business that offers cleanup and recycling services for individuals looking to get rid of household goods, appliances, and personal goods made from metal. You will have to extensively market your business and explain to customers how your services can help keep metal out of landfills.

You can choose to charge by the truckload for dropped-off items and then sort the goods into materials you can sell to metal brokers, scrap processing facilities, or foundries. Howbeit, note that you will need machinery to process the goods, such as compactors and crushing machines, and a vehicle to transport the materials to buyers.

Also note that you can offer cleanup and hauling services to construction companies that have to remove telephone wire, locks, doorknobs, pipes, roadbed bars, and steel building parts from sites where upgrades are being made to buildings and residences. Have it in mind that these materials are valuable to metal processors who use recycled materials.

  1. Become a Metal Broker

A scrap metal broker is known to facilitate the sale of scrap metal between a seller and a buyer. The job of a metal broker requires someone who loves a fast-moving environment and is a team player, but can also work alone. A scrap metal broker needs to know where to acquire the metal and who wants to buy it.

To succeed in this business, you need to carry out your research to locate the best prices on scrap metal, so you can offer your customers a bargain. Even though there are no federal licensing or certification requirements for scrap metal brokers, a good number of states require a permit to accept metal from the general public to reduce theft, particularly of copper pipes and auto parts.

  1. Furniture Upcycling Business

Note that one of the most exciting things about a furniture upcycling business is that you can start it very cheaply. For instance, it is very possible to open such a business for $2,000 or less. Have it in mind that part of upcycling can be simple refurbishment, and part of it is re-styling.

New covers, new coats of paint, and other new changes can make something old and worn down into something chic and modern.

This business is ideal for veterans of yard sales and thrift shops—basically, anyone with a sharp eye for locating surprising cheap items. This business is also ideal for individuals with an eye for style and design. Finally, it’s ideal for people with sales experience, as the job may warrant a lot of individual interaction with a variety of customers.

  1. Metal Recycling Company

In this sort of business, you may be collecting metal from construction sites, demolition companies, homeowners, and small businesses before you sort and sell them.

Have it in mind that a full-service metal recycler collects large quantities of scrap from small scrap yards, junkyards, and municipal collection points and breaks down each item into varying materials, and prepares them for shipment to a manufacturer.

However, note that this business requires extensive acreage, machinery, and hardworking employees. On a small scale, this business is ideal for individuals who enjoy collecting and assembling cast-off materials, love getting their hands dirty, and enjoy negotiating with scrap yards for the best price.

On a large scale, an individual with an interest in making use of every piece of material along with keen business acumen will be able to start and successfully manage a large business with a network of contacts looking to buy and sell quantities of valuable scrap.

  1. Textile Recycling Business

Have it in mind that a textile recycling business revolves around the process of recycling used or unwanted textiles so that the raw material can somehow be recovered. Note that from here, you can then sell these materials to make a sizable income, resupplying the fashion industry in the process.

In this modern world, you have every chance of turning this eco-friendly initiative into a lucrative business model, while also reducing the number of fabrics that end up in landfills.

Nevertheless, for your textile recycling business to be sustainable, you need a steady supply of unwanted textiles. Owing to that, you will need the help of your local community, making it as easy as possible for them to discard unwanted clothing.

One way of doing this is by seeking permission to mount textile banks in car parks or along high streets. In the ad, you will need to factor into your decision how much it will cost to have these discarded clothing transported back to your business.