If you set up an alert on eBay for the key term “silver scrap,” you’ll stay aware of all kinds of interesting silver items that come up for sale.
But if you set up that alert, you will also become aware of trends that can be both interesting and potentially profitable. Just recently, our alerts told us an interesting story…
Lots of dental practices are closing
And as they close, many are selling all kinds of old equipment and supplies on eBay. Some of the stuff they’re liquidating won’t interest people who like to buy and recycle precious metals. (There isn’t any silver or gold in an old dentist’s chair or in a machine that mixes up various dental compounds, for example.)
But why are more and more dental offices closing? We don’t know for certain, but we do have some theories. One is that we have come to a point in history when many older, baby-boomer-age dentists (born between 1946 and 1964) are retiring and closing their practices. Another is that we are entering a time when smaller independent dentists are confronting increasing competition from dental franchises like Aspen Dental and Floss Dental Clinic. Even though dental-care franchises have yet to make big inroads in North America, they are already hugely successful in the United Kingdom and India. Perhaps smaller American dentists have seen the proverbial “handwriting on the wall” and are liquidating their businesses now.
Where Can You Find Listings of Dental Practices that Are for Sale or Closing?
Some sources of information include:
- Agents at commercial real estate companies, who will be happy to tell you about businesses that are for sale in your area.
- Newspaper listings of auctions where company assets and equipment are being sold.
- Newspaper listings of businesses that are being sold in your area.
- Online directories of businesses for sale, including BizBuySell.com.
Where Can You Find Silver in Smaller Dental Offices that Are Shutting their Doors?
In years past, gold was used extensively to make dental fittings such as fillings, caps and bridges. Silver was more rarely used, for the simple reason that silver tarnishes, while gold does not.
We have noticed that it is relatively difficult to find scrap gold in dentists’ offices that are closing, probably because those dentists are savvy enough to capture and sell gold items, not sell them at bargain prices.
Silver, however, is another matter. Where can you find silver to buy, and then recycle using a qualified precious metals recycler like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners?
Here’s the answer…
You will find it in older x-ray supplies
Classic, pre-digital x-ray technologies relied on the extensive use of silver, just as film photography did. Here are some places where you can find silver in dental practices that are closing:
- In silver recovery columns – These are devices that were used to reclaim silver from used chemicals that were used to develop x-rays. Silver recovery columns were also used in a lot of industries, including printing plants, independent x-ray labs, dental labs, and film-processing operations.
- In x-ray negatives – A large stack of old developed x-rays can yield a quantity of recyclable silver. Call us to learn more.
- In undeveloped x-ray films – They too contain silver.
- In quantities of chemicals that were used to develop x-rays – A large quantity of them, recycled in our labs, can result in a good return on the money you paid to buy them from a closing dental operation.
Want to Know More? Call 800-426-2344
Our expert recycling consultants are waiting to answer your questions about getting more money for every scrap of precious metal you recycle. Call us at 800-426-2344 to learn more.
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