Everybody Is Dumping Digital Cameras . . . Can You Cash in on the Gold They Contain?

If you have visited the Statue of Liberty or another tourist destination lately, you have noticed that hardly anybody is using digital cameras these days. Five years ago you would have seen all those tourists taking snapshots with small cameras made by Olympus, Sony, and other companies. Today, nearly all those pix are being shot using smartphones.

There are many reasons why. Since people are carrying smartphones anyway, why bother to bring a digital camera along? The quality of pictures that smartphones can take has increased dramatically. Pictures taken on smartphones can be instantly posted to social media or sent to friends. Plus, smartphones are ideal for taking selfies. Until people get tired of selfies, which won’t happen any day soon, smartphones seem destined to remain the amateur photographer’s tool of choice.

The Great Digital Camera Free-Fall

According to a recent post on StarkInsider.com, sales of digital cameras in January 2018 were 18% lower than they had been in January 2017. That’s a big drop.

But the real question is, what is happening to all the digital cameras that were so popular only a year or two ago? We don’t know for sure, but we suspect that hundreds of thousands of those digital cameras are sitting unused in dresser drawers, glove compartments, and all kinds of other places.

Don’t all those cameras contain gold that can be recycled? Yes, they do. The printed circuit boards they used contain small quantities of gold that can be recycled profitably. You pull out the printed circuit board and send it to Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, we extract the gold, and send you a check.

How Do You Get Your Hands on Old Digital Cameras?

That is the big question. Because digital cameras contain very small quantities of gold, you have to get hundreds of them or more to profit. But the good news is that there are ways to get that many cameras now that fewer people are using them . . .

  • Start a business buying old digital cameras. Run ads in local newspapers saying, “We Buy Old Digital Cameras,” put up signs in your local supermarkets, or conduct a used-camera drive at a school or your place of worship. Just be sure to pay very little for the cameras you buy. Your ability to profit depends on spending no more than a dollar or two for each unit you collect.
  • Buy batches of old digital cameras from single sources. Some high schools and community colleges might be disposing of digital cameras that were used in photography classes. Hospitals and medical offices could be getting rid of digital cameras that they used in their treatment areas and labs. Car insurance companies could be selling off the digital cameras that were previously used by of claims estimators who went to estimate the destruction done to damaged cars. (Now, those adjusters are using their phones, just like everybody else.)

What Other Metals to Digital Cameras Contain?

Not too many. There are trace amounts of silver in the flat displays on the back of cameras, but not much. There are non-precious metals too, like copper. But if you want to get value from recycling cameras, go for the gold that is found in circuit boards.

To get your camera-recycling enterprise started right, call our precious metals recycling consultants at 800-426-2344. The next selfie you take could be one of you holding a check you got from Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners by recycling old digital cameras.

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