Sunday, December 26, 2010

Plans for buildings, cabins, homes, sheds, greenhouses and more with used lumber

Early on in the salvage and recycling business I made a good living getting free or very cheap building materials and lumber. You'll find more about deconstruction and lumber and building material and reuse here. And it's gone into in more details in the ebook, Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business Manual.

Now there is a whole bunch of plans that will help guide you in making various stuctures - cabins, homes, barns, greenhouses, etc. - with the lumber and building materials that you collect. Check out the Free Self-Sufficiency Building Plans
for Farm, Ranch & Homestead

Best of Luck,


Monday, December 13, 2010

Tons of Gold in Thrown Away and Obsolete Cell Phones

I mean it - literally TONS of gold in old cell phones and 99% of it has yet to be recovered.

Cell phone and PDA recycling and reuse is truly a little known opportunity with high potential. Very few are doing it and literally billions of dollars worth of gold and other valueable metals are in storage or in landfills. Read on for details.

A 2007 USGS report concludes that in 2005 there was $251,000,000 - yes two hundred and fifty one million dollars worth of gold in the 631,000,000 discarded or obsolete cell phones and this is based on a gold value of $362 per ounce. At today's prices this 20.9 metric tons of gold is worth over $1,000,000,000 - more than one billion dollars and many more cell phones have been retired or are obsolete and discarded.

Read more about the gold in cell phones

Learn How You Can Get Into the Business

Cell phone and PDA recycling and reuse is truly a little known opportunity with high potential.
Scott Andrews has been in the precious metals and electronics recycling business for over 30 years.
In fact, it was one of his early reports that inspired me to get into the business years ago. Cell
phone and PDA recycling is his latest and best opportunity so far.
Scott has really come up with something here that is certainly worth your time to look into.

Take a minute and check out Scott's report on how you can profit in the cell phone recycling business. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How to Find Salvage and Recycling Material

Recently a member emailed me asking for any tips for finding salvage and recycling material. He said that in his area all of the accounts were taken. My reply was that early on I had a couple of accounts with metal fabricators, but I found that having accounts just didn't work out. I found myself driving by opportunities and having to pass them up because I had a load and/or a schedule to keep. I realized that I was passing up things that would I could get for free or pennies on the dollar for material from accounts that, at best, I was doubling my money. So it wasn't long before I gave up the accounts.

I understand the desire to get accounts and have a regular dependable income, but, I wasn't ready to settle for a limited income in that way. If I was a different sort of person I could have hired people to do the accounts and build the business that way. But I'm not the managerial type and I knew that wouldn't work out. Once I took account of who I was and the way I operated I did much better.

I see opportunities almost every day in my travels around my home area. I live in a very rural area - a town of less than 500 people. Other towns are spaced out about 20-30 miles apart and none are more than a few thousand, but I see and find things all the time. Here's an example from the other day. A house was being torn down. If I had seen it a few days earlier, I most likely could have torn it down myself and made good money off of the used lumber and material. When I did get there all that was left was large timbers. Most were 4x12 and a couple of 6x14. I knew I could sell them easily for good money. But I also knew that they would save me a lot of money as the main timbers for a new shop I was building.

I went into town and checked at the barber shop and sure enough, the barber knew who owned it and put me in touch. I checked with the owner and he was more than happy to give me the timber if I would also haul off a boat (with 2 motors and trailer) and an old tractor. I jumped at it.

As I was hauling the old tractor down to a heavy equipment dealer. I saw a vacant old metal warehouse. It was about 30 feet by 60 feet long. I put my business card under the door with a note asking about the building. I continued on to the heavy equipment dealer and was happy to accept his offer of $800 for the tractor. On my way back to get the boat I got a call from the owner of the building and he said he wanted to remove the building.

The next day I hired a couple of guys for a week to take the building down. So in an afternoon I had found timbers for my new shop, a boat that with a little work I could use on our local lakes, a tractor that I sold that would cover all my expense of transportation and taking down the building, and a metal shop building to put atop my timbers. A very good day! I could have sold the timbers and building for a couple of thousand at least, but in this instance, I could use them myself.

So... keep your eyes open and get known in the towns in your area. Barbers and small shopkeepers often know what it going on. Leave cards and flyers anywhere and everywhere and you'll be amazed at your success down the road.

Good hunting,


Recycling Secrets

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How to Estimate Gold Plating Thickness and Content

Here's an excerpt from a very good article:

The board is made over-sized, in order to provide electrical connections to the areas of the board that require plating. When the plating has been done, the "picture frame" is trimmed off with a die.

We used to hire cheap labour to cut off the gold plated areas of the picture frames with tin snips - the good offset type - you can buy them left or right handed. This will reduce the volume and weight considerably and will make the pile much less bulky. I, myself, have filled many barrels with just the gold portions, using this method - it's not so bad - wear leather work gloves. We then stripped the gold in a cement mixer with cyanide/peroxide.

Even if you don't process this yourself, by trimming it, you are putting it into a state that can be sampled and assayed, before having it refined. This is much harder to do with the picture frames, since many of them are different. You might also have a separate barrel for pale looking gold pieces.

If it is true immersion gold, it's worth about $.04 to $.05/square inch, max. Immersion...

Download and Read the Entire Article

Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business Manual

Revisions to Gold Plate Removal Report

A very helpful member asked a good question. I found that I skipped through the process a bit too fast. So, if you downloaded the report before about 1:30 AM PST, download it again and you'll get the revised version. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Download Free Report: Recovering Gold from Plated Copper or Brass Substrate

You can now download the free report: Recovering Gold from Plated Copper or Brass Substrate HERE

If you are a member, go to the member website

If you would like to become a member go HERE

Thanks and Best,


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Learn How to Recover Gold from Electronic, Computer and Other Plated Objects

Hi - Just a note about an upcoming update to the members area. In a day or two you will be able to download information about how I reverse the plating process and remove gold from plated objects. It makes use of only one readily available chemical (NO cyanide or aqua regia) that can be used over and over again. I still highly recommend that you have a refiner do this for you, but I've had a lot of requests for this.

If you are not a member, you can become one by purchasing the Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business Manual.

Best regards,


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Home Based Salvage & Recycling Business Manual Feedback

Hi - I've received excellent feedback from folks who have purchased the eBook. I just want to remind all the purchasers that the eBook is just the beginning. Your purchase entitles you to a free one year membership to the members-only website. Over time I'll be publishing updates, news and resources there. Also, i'm always available to answer questions by email. If you haven't already done so, be sure to sign up for updates.

If you haven't purchased the eBook yet, Check it out.

Thanks to all


Update: AVG Antivirus 2011 No Longer Blocking Adsense

Hi - I checked my webpages with the AVG 2011 link scanner turned on today and all seemed well - adsense ads were showing. Later I received and email from AVG saying that they had performed a remote workaround and would fix it permanently in the next update. My hat is off to the folks at AVG engineering. They jumped on this quickly and provided a fix within hours.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How to Sidestep Bogus Internet Marketing Schemes and Create Real Value With Your Home Based Business


Mike Meuser

Given the present economy more and more people are turning to home-based businesses hoping to earn a fulltime income. The internet is full of marketing scams, schemes and ripoffs and folks often jump from one dissapointing opportunity to the next hoping it will be the one. In my home-based businesses I've found that rather than focus on opportunities where the primary focus is on making money, it works best to develop a strategy based on my skills, education, interests and, most important, my passion.

The internet is just full of online business scams, schemes and rip-offs. Just signup on one of the many home based business forums and you'll see what I mean when you get friends, emails, and replies to your posts. Many are there to take advantage of your desperation. The majority seem to be a bunch of amateurs who pose as professionals and try to sell you products and services guaranteeing that you will get rich like them yet they have never sold anything online except more online marketing schemes. Where does it end? Similar to the dotcom bomb and housing bomb, no real value is created. Very few will profit at the expense of the great majority. If you are lucky enough to actually make a living with one of these schemes, is this the way you want to do it? - At the expense of others? That's not the way I do business and I doubt if it is the way you really want to do it either.

How many people who have NO claim to internet fame except to sell internet marketing schemes to others will there be before the bubble bursts? I could see the dotcom bomb coming. I read reports saying that most of the top companies were only shuffling money amongst themselves - no real money was coming in. It was doomed to fail yet I would hear people say, "all I have to do is work at for a few years, take my stock options, cash in and retire." NOT! Some I know even cashed in their kids' college savings to buy dotcom stock! If it were only so easy! It wasn't, of course, and most lost a great deal while a few prospered.

Then along comes the real estate boom. Just like dotcom, everyone wanted a piece of the action before it was too late. As the percentage of people who could actually afford to buy a home dropped from 50%+ to less than 10% in some places, few connected the dots. I saw it coming but very few realized that when only a few can buy the inflated value homes, the bubble just has to burst - there's no one left to buy them. And, of course, as we all know, the bubble did burst. While a few got rich, the great majority suffered and will continue to suffer for a long time.

But, don't get me wrong, not all internet marketers are bad. If you step away from the bunch who sell internet marketing strategies to newbies who then in turn sell more internet marketing strategies to newbies and on and on, you find that there are some folks out there who sell amazing products and services. Before I elaborate on this let's talk about creating real value instead of furthering the get rich online marketing schemes that very few will actually benefit from. Here are two examples.

My website is devoted to helping people learn GIS mapping. I provide free software, map shapefiles, maps and resources. I also sell a few GIS map shapefiles that I have created. was online from 1996 through 2008 before I even thought about making money with the website. My passion drove me to create unique helpful content. In 2008 I began implementing adsense. Since then MapCruzin's revenue has risen from a few hundred dollars per month to several thousand. The ads are extremely well targeted to my audience. I have both a high click through rate on the ads and a high number of pageviews per visitor. This tells me that both my content and the ads are of real value.

I'm now writing an ebook about and how I earn a living from it NOT by selling "how to make big money selling online" products, but by providing unique content and real value to people making a living in the real world. It's easy to get drawn into the online-marketing-bubble, but if you do, in time your bubble will burst.

My other website, is devoted to helping people bootstrap (as in little or no startup cash) their way into the home based salvage and recycling business. I began in this business in the early 1980s doing deconstruction, metal recycling, electronic and telecommunication salvage and reuse. I've done quite well at this business and I now sell an ebook that chronicles my experience, the Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business Manual. The manual is full of real stories about how I bootstrapped my way into the business, provided real value to my community, while earning a very good living. This business is not for everyone - it is not passive income or some scheme that "guarantees" that all you have to do is work a couple of hours a day and sit back and watch the money come in - it takes hard work at times - but it can provide a good and growing income. You can check it out at,

It was only after years in the real business of home-based salvage and recycling that I became qualified to write and sell an online product that adds real value to the lives of the purchasers. Similarly, when I do write the ebook about my success monetizing, I am qualified to do it because I've spent years writing content, placing ads, blogging, tweeting and doing related things to increase the traffic to and revenue from the website while increasing its value to visitors. Both ebooks provide the purchaser with real value because they are both based on the real world experience of making a living with home-based businesses.

Earlier I mentioned that there are some really good and helpful folks online who can help you to create really excellent information products and market them earning a good living. One I have found that is particularly good is Dr.Mani Sivasubramanian. His excellent ebook, Think, Write and Retire is full of helpful information about developing your niche, writing and marketing your online informational product. More great folk who have inspired and helped me are listed here.

You too have experiences, knowledge, interests and passions that provide you with unique insights. We all tend to think, "well everybody knows that" when we think about what we know, but the truth is that most of the time, most other folks DON'T know what we know or how to do what we can do easily. Your unique insight is valuable and can be of great interest and help to others.

Avoid jumping from opportunity to opportunity. You will be better off if you stay away from things that only attract you because of the claims about money and focus on the real tools and information out there that will help you to capitalize on your unique skills, experience, education, passions and interests to develop a winning strategy.

The bottom line is to not spin your wheels and waste precious days, weeks, months and years of your life doing things that someone tells you will "make you rich." Spend your valuable time creating real value for others, creating real things that people in this world really need. If you do this, you will succeed in business.

You are free to share this article in any manner that you like with the following exceptions. You can email it, use it in presentations, print it, place it on blogs and websites, and otherwise use it only IF (1) you do not alter it in any manner and (2) you give credit to the author by linking back to and Thank you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How I Write eBooks and Earn a Fulltime Income with Adsense

Frequently I get emails from folks asking me how I get my ideas and write my ebooks. Others write to ask how I make money with adsense. I'm writing an ebook right now that covers both topics and more. In this new ebook I talk about how I developed my first ebook, Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business Manual and the website, Recycling Secrets, and blog, Recycling Secrets Blog that goes along with it.

I also talk about my other website, pays me a fulltime income that is totally provided by adsense income. I tell how I let my passion build the content and the traffic and about the various strategies I used to grow it from making a few hundred dollars per month a few years ago to several thousand dollars per month now. If you signup for updates I'll let you know when this new ebook is completed. Or just keep checking back. It shouldn't be long now.

In the meantime I thought I should share a few of the resources that I have used to grow my online home based business.
I hope they are as helpful to you as they have been to me.

Adsense is Back - I've bought quite a few adsense books and they've helped me grow my adsense income from a few hundred a month to several thousand per month in a few short years. Tony's book goes at the top of the stack. He is no "guru" - no guarantees, no hype - just good plain uncommonsense strategies that work to increase adsense revenues...More

How to Write your eBook in 7 Days - This is the information you need to make that breakthrough and finally finish your ebook. I had been thinking about mine and intending to write my first one for 20 years! (of course it wasn't originally going to be an ebook). This ebook was one of the few that really helped me get started and FINISH. Give it a try...More

Think, Write & RETIRE! - It took me quite awhile to get past writer's block and really dig into creating my ebooks. Mani offers a very straightforward approach to organizing, writing and marketing your ebooks. He is really good at helping you to develop your own unique ebooks based on your interests and passion...More

Blog Mastermind - Dont' let the title make you skip this one. Yaro is the real deal. He has learned the hard way how to create and grow blogs. He'll walk you through the same system that he has developed for himself - a system that earns him a substantial fulltime income...More

P.S. Yes, I do earn a commission from the sales of these. Thank you for looking and helping to support my work.

AVG Antivirus May Be Blocking Adsense Ads

Hi - Since many of you come to Recycling Secrets looking for information about home based businesses. Some of you may be using adsense on your websites so I thought I'd pass this along.

The other day I upgraded my AVG Antivirus program to the latest 2011 version. Today I was looking at my other website, and to my dismay my adsense ads were not appearing. This was very serious as my income from ads on the website allows me to continue to add valuable content to the website.

Fortunately I had only upgraded 2 of my computers. The third still had the older version of AVG Antivirus so I checked it. To my surprise my ads and ads on other websites were appearing just fine.

I went back to my original computer and checked other websites that I knew had adsense ads and they weren't appearing there either.

So, I looked through AVG 2011 to see if I can find the trouble. After a lot of time testing I finally discovered that turning off the AVG link scan solved the problem.

My big worry is that this is a new release of AVG and as people upgrade most will have the link scan enabled meaning that lots of webmasters like me will lose needed revenue until this is fixed.

So... check your websites and if you have the same problem I encourage you to contact Google Adsense and AVG Antivirus and encourage them to fix this quickly.


Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business Manual
Free GIS Software, Maps, Shapefiles, Tutorials and Resources for Geographers and Cartographers

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business Manual is available

Thanks for your patience. The Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business Manual is now available for immediate download.

Check it out here

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Home-Based Recycling and Salvage Business Manual to be Released

I bootstrapped my way into the salvage and recycling business in the early 1980s. I began with building deconstruction and scrap metals and then moved into electronics, computer and telecommunications scrap where I learned to recover gold and other precious metals.

Recycling and salvage is, in my opinion, the perfect home-based business. There is no better time to get into it than now. Compared to when I began in the business in the 1980s, inflation has about doubled - meaning it takes about $2 dollars now to purchase what you could for $1 in the 1980s (housing, cars and some other items have increased in price much more than 2X but on average this is true). Over this same period the prices that you can get for used material, equipment, precious, non-ferrous and ferrous metals has increased 4 to 10 times.

Also, over this same period of time more and more is imported. Many of these products are inferior and some have serious health and safety effects. This increases the value of used materials and equipment.

My Home-Based Recycling and Salvage Business Manual includes information about my experience in the following:

* Electronic, telecommunication and computer scrap metals and gold recover, and reuse

* Non ferrous metals recycling

* Ferrous metal recycling

* Recovering precious metals

* Salvage and recycling for alternative energy

* Building deconstruction and material reuse

* Construction equipment salvage and reuse

* Idustrial equipment salvage and reuse

* Farm and rural

* Commons sense decision making

* Bootstrapping your home-based business

* Learning from my successes and mistakes

* Good business in bad times

* Promotion and marketing

* How to be paid for your work before you ever start.

* How to get the equipment and tools you need.

* How to stay solvent and operate on a cash basis

* Use and misuse of internet cyber tools

The manual is in its final draft and I expect to have it edited and ready for download by July 25th.

Click here to enter your email address and I'll let you know when it is completed so that you can download it right away.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Recycling and Salvage Opportunities Increase as Economy Continues to Worsen

Recently I went to my favorite recycling yard to sell and give away some of my household recycleables. I was amazed to find that, due to budget tightening, the city was no longer helping to fund the center and they now had to charge $5 for each vehicle coming in. Thats a big DISincentive for recycling.

But... It increases your market if you are into recycleables. Folks no longer wishing to pay the $5 may be very interested in your picking them up for free. $5 won't seem like much to you if you are able to collect a large load from folks in your locale.

Also, while at the recycling center recently, I was in line next to a guy who was about to pay $9 to recycle his computer. I looked at it and told him that I'd take it for free. Turns out it was only a year old and terribly fragmented and full of viruses. It took me about 2 hours to clean it up and it works great - a one year old HP with all the bells and whistles.

Just think about how many folks in your town have computers that they'd like to get rid of. If your town is like mine, the line extends for miles when the center offers a free electronics drop off.

Why not save these folks a trip and others a fee and offer to pickup these computers from them. You can keep what you want and take a load of what you don't want to your center on a free day.

One last thing. I've noticed a couple of signs saying "free electronics recycling day cancelled." I'm betting that this too is because of the bad economy. So... it may be harder at the moment to get rid of what you don't want, but easier to get quality computers for reuse, recycling or salvage.

Good Luck

Visit for More

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Free How-To:: Gold from Electronic, Telecommunication & Computer Scrap

Free How-To: Gold from Electronic, Telecommunication & Computer Scrap

These reports chronicle my work in the recycling and salvage business. My only hope is that you will learn to prosper as I did and also learn from my mistakes. Best of Luck.

Part 1: To find the "gold" keep your eyes and ears open.

Part 2: Winning the Contract.

Part 3: Finding markets and getting the equipment you need.

Access the Electronic Gold Reports

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Make Money: Aluminum Recycling & Salvage - Winter Storms Bring Recycling Profits

Winter storms and extreme weather make a lot of aluminum available for recycling and reuse. Mobile home and trailer awnings are particularly susceptible to damage beyond repair. I found that many folks are very happy to just get the damaged material out their yards. Some will want to be paid a bit for the scrap.

I placed ads in freebie newspapers in the area and also posted signs on bulleting boards saying that I wanted damaged or unwanted used awnings and trailer skirting. I also contacted all the insurance companies in the area and left them a little handout saying the same. Nowadays, also postings on your local Craigslist and Freecycle makes sense.

Note that even though the awnings are damaged beyond repair in the eyes of those giving up the material, it doesn't mean that it's useless. Some of the larger parts of the frame are made of nice aluminum extrusions that are useful for other applications and easily resold for more than their scrap value. Same goes for some of the apparatus associated with the awnings.

This is NOT the sort of material that you want to take to the local recycler that normally deals in cans and plastics. My experience is that they will either not take it at all or offer you little or no money for it.

This is the sort of material that you want to hang onto until you have a trailer or pickup load. The best place to sell this scrap is to large metal salvage yards in big cities. But there's work to do before you haul it in or you'll get less than the best price. Sorting and cleaning is what it's all about.

There are different prices for different types of aluminum including...

Click here for complete article

This is part of an ongoing series documenting my experience in and thoughts about the future of the recycling and salvage business.

Visit and the Recycling Secrets Blog for more information about recycling, reuse and salvage.

Mike Meuser
2010 is our year!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Free Renewable Energy Maps and GIS Shapefiles

In an earlier post I made the statement that I thought that recycling and salvage for renewable alternative energy is becoming a growing niche in the business. Here are some mapping and GIS sources that I have collected that may help you think about this field.

Renewable energy potential maps show fuelwood harvested, solar radiation, wind resources and geothermal potential for regions of the U.S.

Renewable energy ArcGIS shapefiles U.S. Biomass Potential: Wind Density and Speed, Hydrogen Potential, Electric Transmission, and Solar Potential for the U.S. Also, International Wind Density and Speed. These are in GIS format. If you are new to GIS check out this introduction. You can make maps yourself using this data and free GIS software - learn with this free tutorial.

Renewable Energy Atlas of the West: A Guide to the Region's Resource Potential - The Renewable Energy Atlas of the West is designed as a resource for policy makers, advocates, landowners, developers and others interested in furthering the production of electricity from renewable wind, solar, geothermal and biomass energy resources. Utilizing state-of-the-art GIS technology.

Maps by country of power resources, minerals, metals, oil, infrastructure

International Nuclear Safety Center Interactive Web Maps - Interactive maps provided by the International Nuclear Safety Center. Beginning with the world map you can drill down to continents and countries. Clicking on a nuclear facility at any level provides access to specific database information. You can also view all of the interactive maps one a single page and begin your investigation there.

hurricanes making landfall in U.S.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Reminder Electronic Gold and Recycling Tips

Good Morning - It's been awhile since I've posted these links and some things have changed so I thought I'd repost some old and new links in case you missed them the first time around.

Also, I've recently been adding to Mike's Tips from the Field: Learn to profit in the home based recycling and salvage business.

Additions include:

High profits come from turning over your recycled and salvage material as quickly and as often as possible.

Learn how to bootstrap your home-based recycling business.

Home-Based Recycling Business Profits: Sell Used Tech Gadgets for Cash.

Home Based Recycling and Salvage 101: Bootsrap Yourself out of the Recession.

Recycling for Renewable and Alternative Energy: The next new big thing in recycling and salvage?

Soon I'll be writing more about recycling and salvage for the renewable and alternative energy fields, expanding to self-reliant systems for heating, cooling and alternative building materials. This IS the future for the home-based small recycling and salvage business.

I'll also be continuing my series on my work in the recycling and salvage fields. Once I finish up with the electronics and computer scrap, I'll bactrack a bit to my experience with metals, rural and farm salvage, and building deconstruction.

I hope that you'll stay with me. Lots to tell :)


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Recycling for Renewable and Alternative Energy: The next new big thing in recycling and salvage?

With the effects of climate change, peak oil, recession and financial crisis every growing, recycling and salvage for renewable and alternative energy will become increasingly important.

In my recycling and salvage of electronics and telecommunication work I found that there was a ready market for some quite used very large batteries. People with home power systems were willing to pay quite a bit for them and still save money over purchasing them new. These same folks were also looking for generators (alternators), meters, inverters, wire and many other electricity and wiring related items.

Renewable and alternative energy technology is ever-changing. As newer more efficient photovoltaic (PV) panels and complete roofing systems are created, older ones - that are still functional - will be replaced. Though these old ones may not be as efficient as the new, they certainly will have applications and be in demand for home and small business power. Also, as the new ones come to market, there will be heavy discounts on the old that you can take advantage of.

Over the next years the battery packs in hybrid cars will be replaced. I'm guessing that even if the entire pack - an assembly of several batteries - is "bad" there are some batteries in the pack that are good and the others may well be reconditionable. In the past I have found that around 3/4 of the batteries that are replaced can be reconditioned with a very slow 1 amp charge over several days. The manufacturers of the new "smart" chargers claim that they will recondition batteries and bring them back to near their original storage capacity. It is worth checking out... more.

Read entire article at

Home Based Recycling and Salvage 101: Bootsrap Yourself out of the Recession

I began in the recycling and salvage business in the early 1980s. Like today, but not as bad, there was a housing boom and bust that made making a living and maintaining a home difficult for many.

I was inspired to get into the recycling and salvage business after reading a little booklet titled, "Surplus and Salvage." I was amazed that everything I needed to improve my conditions and make a decent income were right in front of me - most everywhere I looked.

Without the insights in that little booklet I would have never dug myself out of the hole I was in. My hope is that this little article will help you see what is out there and how you might change your life for the better once you do.

Recycling and salvage is much more than collecting cans, cardboard, paper, etc. and taking them to a recycling center. This works, but to a very limited degree. For me, recycling and salvage takes some creativity.

In my mind, one of the reasons that our economy is failing is that "find a need and fill it" has become "create a need and fill it." Our economy is driven by greed and over-consumption instead of need. With enough money for advertising ANY need (e.g. desire) can be created. Recycling and salvage brings us back to a solid economic foundation based on need not greed.

In this work we are really operating at the ground level of needs and fulfillment. When I started out I first went from business to business and asked them, "what is it that you need?" Just a few days of doing this produced a long list of things that I should be on the lookout for. It included: old brass valves for rebuilding, auto parts for rebuilding, electric motors and generators for rebuilding, wooden shelving, steel shelving, desks, chairs, file cabinets, hand tools, power tools, plumbing supplies, glass ... The list went on and on.

So, now I had a list of things to keep my eye out for and ...

Read the entire article at

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Home-Based Recycling Business Profits: Sell Used Tech Gadgets for Cash

January 5, 2010

Update October 29, 2010: The new Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business Manual is available for download. Check here for more information


Used working and, in many cases, broken PDAs, SmartPhones, iPODs, Cell Phones, Desktop PCs, Laptops, Game Consoles, Video Games and other gadgets can be sold for cash. I haven't sold to any of these companies yet, but their reviews are good. When working with anyone new to you, it pays to be cautious and send them a small quantity first to see how it works out. It also pays to compare prices between the various buyers. This list is not exhaustive, but is representative of what is out there.

I'm sure that you'll think of more ideas, but this is one I thought of. This seems like the near perfect way to raise money for non-profits and yourself as well. You could approach non-profits and churches and tell them that you'd help them setup a fundraising drive to collect old cell phones and other gadgets. You could take care of the business end and split the profits with them.

Here are some of the online buyers of used gadgets that I am aware of:

Pace Butler buys cell phones. They say, "PaceButler Corporation contributes to the local and worldwide community by providing top quality products and service. We are dedicated to customer satisfaction through constant improvement of systems and procedures. When our customers profit, we profit, resulting in a win/win situation." buys cell phones, PDAs, iPODs, and SmartPhones. They say, "AX Micro Solutions founded, which is the world's leader in providing 3rd party repairs & service for PDA's, SmartPhones & iPOD units. We have helped individuals and corporations repair 1000's of Consumer Electronic Devices. We were getting many requests from customers to send us their used, old, broken or outdated Pda's, Cell Phones, iPOD's and smartphones. In the past we had no way of taking those units but that has changed. We have teamed up with several local and national corporations to recycle your Electronic items."

Capital Asset buys used desktop and laptop computers, working or not. They say, "Our aim, from day one, has been to offer our customers, whether a private party or a business , the fastest quality service as well as the best cash value . Quotes that our customers receive online instantly are a result of scrupulous research of the current market in the laptop retail industry and guarantee that you will get a competitive market value for your laptop." buys cell phones, PDAs desktops, camera lenses, projectors, LCD monitors, gaming consoles, laptops, digital cameras, GPS devices, satellite radios, streaming
media, home audio, calculators, movies, MP3
players, video games, camcorders, external
drives, Blu-Ray players. They say, "Gazelle believes that electronics recycling starts with reuse. After we buy electronics and gadgets, we evaluate their condition. When we receive items that are still in working condition, we extend their lives by removing all personal data from them, and selling the electronics through a variety of retail and wholesale outlets. Items without market value are recycled responsibly." buys cell pnones, MP3 player, apple accessories,
iPODs, digital cameras, ebook readers. The say, " is here to give you an eco-friendly avenue to get rid of electronics while pocketing some extra cash. We offer a fast, simple and green way to get money for your gadgets—free shipping included. We currently purchase cell phones, Apple iPods, iPhones, laptops and desktops, plus most smart phones and PDAs (Blackberry, Treo, Nokia, HTC, LG, Motorola, etc.) Zunes, MP3 players and game consoles (Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Wii). We don't care about the condition—we will take it broken or used. Get top dollar for your gadgets while keeping your eWaste out of the landfill!"

If you want to focus on cell phones, check this

Over a billion cell phones were sold in 2007. More in the last years. According to Park Associates there are over 4.5 billion cell phone users on the planet. If you are looking to focus on cell phone recycling, you might want to check out this guide by Scott Andrews. Scott has been in the precious metal recycling business for 30 years and his manuals helped me get started in the business back in the early 1980s. Check out Scott's Cell Phone Recycling Profit manual for high-profit recycling opportunities and insiders secrets to recycling cell phones. This manual is based on Scott Andrew's 30 years experience in the business.

by Michael Meuser

Update October 29, 2010: The new Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business Manual is available for download. Check here for more information

Michael Meuser bootstrapped his way into the salvage and recycling business in the early 1980s. He began with building deconstruction and scrap metals and then moved into electronics, computer and telecommunications scrap where he learned to recover gold and other precious metal. Michael tells his story, provides resources and offers his advice at his website,, and his blog, Recycling Secrets Blog. Also, you can follow Michael on Twitter.

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

High profits come from turning over your recycled and salvage material as quickly and as often as possible

by Michael Meuser,

When I first started out I wanted to hold on to the material I collected telling myself I was waiting for the best price. It took me awhile to realize that by doing this I was crippling my business and putting it at risk. If you are like I was, you have a limited amount of capital and most likely started out by bootstrapping your business. If you are, it makes the most sense to turn over what you have collected as quickly as possible.

Here's an example. Let's say you paid $500 for a pickup load of high grade computer boards this morning. Gold has been going up and down and now it's a bit down, but you paid the amount you paid based on the value of gold NOW. So, you have to decide if you are in the salvage/recycling business or if you are a speculating investor. A speculator might hold off, see how the market goes and try to sell high, but this doesn't work if you are in the business. In this business it makes most sense to process or sell the goods today or tomorrow - as soon as possible - to get back your $500 stake plus 10-20% profit or more and have your capital available to do it again and again as often as possible.

Here's another way to look at it. If you pay $500 for something and can sell it tomorrow for $550, you've made a 10% profit in one day. If you wait a week for a better price and sell it for $575, you've made a 15% profit in a week but much less than that per day. For the entire week, you have not had your $500 of capital to use to buy and sell more material. $50 every day or so is more than $75 in a week. The more often you turn over your material, the higher your profit will be no matter how marginally profitable some of the individual transactions look at the time.

One very real risk of hanging on to your material too long is that when you do finally sell it, you'll need some of your capital for everyday expenses leaving less to buy more material with. If you are not careful this will be the beginning of a short downhill slide to not having enough capital to do business and then you have to bootstrap all over again starting at the bottom.

I'm not saying that there aren't times when it makes sense to wait a bit. If you live far from a refiner or buyer, it makes sense to make the trip with a large load rather than a small one. So, you have to factor in the cost of transportation and the value of your time. Some things like electric motor and generator cores or valve cores are sold to remanufacturers who don't want to be bothered with very small lots.

Bottom line is that to be profitable and make the most of your capital and to help make it grow, turn over your material as quickly as you can given the value of your time, transportation and shipping costs, and buyer constraints. In this case, time really is money.

Mike Meuser

Visit for free home based recycling business resources and free how-to manual about recovering gold from electronic and computer scrap

Michael Meuser entered into the salvage and recycling business in the early 1980s. He began with building deconstruction and scrap metals and then moved into electronics, computer and telecommunications scrap where he learned to recover gold and other precious metal. Michael tells his story and offers his advice at his website,, and his blog, Recycling Secrets Blog. Also, you can follow Michael on Twitter.

Recycling Recovering & Refining Gold and Silver from Computer and Electronic Scrap

We've added some new videos about how to recycle, recover and refine Gold and Silver from computer and electronic scrap.

View the gold and silver videos

Visit for free how-to manual about gold and precious metal recovery from electronic and computer scrap based on my own experience in the business
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