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How to Sell?

Who Buys Old Car Batteries: 9 Best Places to Sell

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Written by: Michael Becker
Last Updated:

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Quick Answer:

You have many different options for selling your old car battery, including local scrap yards, recycling centers and online marketplaces such as eBay Motors or Facebook Marketplace.

Nonetheless, it’s advisable to explore various outlets to determine which one potentially offers the highest payout.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The value of the battery depends on its quality, current scrap metal prices, and local demand.
  2. You can expect to get $10-$15 per battery.
  3. Selling car batteries in bulk will get you higher profits.

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Do Old Car Batteries Have Any Value?

Old car batteries are valuable primarily because of the recoverable materials they contain, such as lead, cobalt, and nickel.

These metals can be repurposed to manufacture new batteries and other products. For example, over 70% of the weight of a lead-acid battery is reusable lead.

The value of a car battery varies depending on several factors:

  • Metal Content
  • Battery Condition and Type
  • Weight
  • Market Prices
  • Local Demand and Recycling Policies

Expect to earn $5 to $15 per battery. The more batteries you sell, the more a purchaser will pay per battery.

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9 Best Places to Sell Old Car Batteries:

1. eBay Motors

eBay Motors Summary

  • Sell 20+ types of vehicle and car parts
  • Low listing fees starting from just $19
  • List a car for sale in under 10 minutes
  • 2 selling options – fixed price or auction

eBay Motors specializes in automotive parts and provides a broad platform for individuals looking to sell car batteries to a wider, more targeted audience.

It’s an excellent option for sellers who are looking to reach enthusiasts and buyers specifically searching for automotive components.

  • Average Payout: Can range from $5 to $10 for a battery with a charge
  • How to Sell: List the battery with details on its condition and shipping options.
  • Advantages: Wide reach to a targeted audience looking for car parts.
  • Disadvantages: Fees associated with listing and selling; shipping can be cumbersome.

2. Craigslist

Craigslist Summary

  • Posts are anonymous
  • Quick and easy listing in a matter of minutes
  • Little to no seller fees, most auctions are free
  • Sell within your local area

Craigslist remains a staple for local classifieds and serves as a straightforward platform for selling used car batteries directly to consumers.

It offers the simplicity and directness of a community bulletin board with the wide reach of digital access.

  • Average Payout: Similar to eBay, can vary from $5 to $10
  • How to Sell: Post an ad with clear photos and descriptions; communicate with buyers to finalize the sale.
  • Advantages: No selling fees; full control over the selling process.
  • Disadvantages: Potential safety risks; may encounter non-serious buyers.

3. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace has emerged as a popular platform for selling items locally, including car batteries.

It offers a user-friendly interface and the ability to reach a vast network of potential buyers in your community, which can lead to a faster and more profitable sale.

  • Average Payout: Varies widely, potentially up to $15 for batteries with a good charge
  • How to Sell: List your item with pictures and details; respond to inquiries and arrange meet-ups.
  • Advantages: Potentially higher prices; reach a large local audience.
  • Disadvantages: Dealing with no-shows or hagglers; safety concerns with meet-ups.

4. Scrap Yards

Scrap yards are also among the list of places that buy old car batteries. They play a vital role in the recycling industry by purchasing old car batteries primarily for the valuable lead they contain.

They offer a practical option for those looking to make a little money from their old batteries, with the added benefit that selling to these yards helps conserve natural resources.

  • Average Payout: $5 to $8 for car batteries, more for truck batteries
  • How to Sell: Drive to the scrapyard with your batteries, where they will be weighed and priced.
  • Advantages: Payment is often immediate, and you can sell in bulk.
  • Disadvantages: Prices fluctuate with the metal market and may require personal transport of heavy batteries.
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5. Recycling Centers

Recycling centers are the environmental stewards of car battery disposal, ensuring that hazardous materials are managed responsibly.

By selling your old car batteries to these centers, you’re not only potentially earning money but also contributing to a greener planet.

  • Average Payout: Varies based on the metal rates
  • How to Sell: Drop off your battery at the center; they handle the rest.
  • Advantages: Environmentally responsible; ensures proper handling of hazardous materials.
  • Disadvantages: Not all centers offer payment; rates can be lower than scrapyards.

6. Local Auto Parts Stores

Local auto parts stores not only provide new batteries but also offer a buyback program for your old ones, making them a convenient choice for quick sales.

These stores facilitate an eco-friendly cycle by recycling the batteries they collect, and in return, they provide customers with a core charge refund, which acts as an incentive to recycle.

  • Average Payout: Up to $12 per battery
  • How to Sell: Bring your old battery to the store. They may test it before offering a buyback price.
  • Advantages: Convenient and quick; stores are widely accessible, and the process is straightforward.
  • Disadvantages: Stores may offer store credit instead of cash.
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7. Auto Repair Shops

Auto repair shops are a potential local market for used car batteries, often seeking functional batteries for resale or refurbishment.

These shops can offer a viable option for sellers looking to avoid the complexities of online sales or private transactions.

  • Average Payout: Between $10 and $15 depending on condition
  • How to Sell: Inquire if the shop buys used batteries and bring yours in for assessment.
  • Advantages: Quick and professional transactions.
  • Disadvantages: Not all shops buy used batteries; they may offer lower prices due to middleman status.

8. Yard Sale

Yard sales are a quintessential method for selling a variety of personal items, including old car batteries.

This informal selling method allows for face-to-face negotiation and the chance to sell to neighbors and passersby without the need for online listings.

  • Average Payout: You set the price, often around $5-$10
  • How to Sell: Display the battery with a price tag during your yard sale.
  • Advantages: No middleman; you keep all profits.
  • Disadvantages: Limited to local traffic; weather-dependent; may not sell.

9. Pawn Shops

Pawn shops can be a quick solution for those looking to sell their car batteries with little to no wait time.

While they may not offer top dollar, they provide immediate cash and a hassle-free selling experience for urgently needed funds.

  • Average Payout: Typically offers the lowest price, possibly under $10
  • How to Sell: Bring the battery to the pawn shop for an immediate offer.
  • Advantages: Instant cash; minimal effort required.
  • Disadvantages: It is likely the lowest payout; not all pawn shops accept car batteries.
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How to Get the Most Cash when Selling Old Car Batteries?

Maximizing earnings from selling old car batteries involves a few key steps to ensure you’re getting the best possible return on your used items.

  1. Check current metal prices: the market value of the materials contained in car batteries, such as lead, is crucial as this can fluctuate based on global commodity prices. timing of your sale to coincide with high demand periods in the recycling market can also increase your payout.
  2. Preparation: It’s recommended to clean and possibly test the batteries before sale to demonstrate their value more effectively to potential buyers.
  3. Research: Exploring multiple selling avenues, including local scrap yards, online marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist, and specialized automotive forums, can help you find the most competitive prices.
  4. Selling in bulk: gathering a significant number of batteries to sell at once may attract more serious buyers and better prices due to the larger volume.

When Should You Replace Old Car Battery?

On average, a car battery should last between 3 and 5 years. However, a car battery’s lifespan varies depending on several factors, including the type of vehicle, driving habits, and climate.

Key signs indicating car battery might need replacement:

  • Problems when starting the car: a slow cranking engine or a delay in engine start-up often signals a weakening battery.
  • Regular jump starts: while occasional jumps are normal, regular occurrences suggest the need for a new battery.
  • Issues with electrical components: dim headlights, malfunctioning radios, windows, or air conditioning units may indicate a battery losing its charge.
  • Bloated battery case: this often results from excessive heat, leading to the battery expanding
  • Warning light: light signals a potential issue with the battery.
  • Corroded connectors: a white, ash-like substance on the battery’s metal parts indicates corrosion, which can negatively affect the battery’s performance.
  • Battery leaks: battery acid leakage around the terminals can lead to corrosion, resulting in a non-start car.
  • Old age: batteries over three years old might fail even without showing typical signs of wear.

The Process of Recycling Old Car Batteries

According to Earth911, old car batteries are one of the most recycled products in the U.S., with a 98% to 99% recycling rate.

The process of recycling car batteries involves several steps:

  1. Sorting: Lead-acid batteries are separated from other types, like alkaline and lithium-ion, due to their different components and recycling needs.
  2. Breaking Down: Batteries are then broken into smaller pieces using machinery such as a hammer mill. This helps separate the acid from the lead and plastic components.
  3. Component Separation: The broken battery pieces are placed in a vat of water where the lead and other metals sink while the plastic floats. These materials are then collected separately for further processing.
  4. Acid Treatment: The battery acid is either neutralized into water, which is treated and tested to meet clean water standards before being released, or it’s converted into sodium sulfate, which is used in manufacturing.
  5. Plastic Recycling: The recovered plastic is cleaned, dried, and sent to a plastic recycling facility, where it’s melted into pellets to be used in making new battery cases.
  6. Lead Processing: The lead is smelted in a furnace and purified to be used in producing new batteries.
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Michael Becker


About the author:

Michael Becker is a car enthusiast and expert who has been working in the automotive industry for over 15 years. He started his career as a salesperson at a local dealership, where he learned the ins and outs of the car market. Then he moved on to flipping cars for a profit.

Michael has also helped many of his relatives and friends to sell their cars, using his knowledge and skills to get them the best deals. He will guide you through the process and help you avoid the common pitfalls.

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