Becky Berube, President of United Catalyst Converters (UCC), based in the US, discusses the importance of selling Nissan Infinity converters on assay rather than by the piece. She explains that the price of a converter can vary widely depending on its serial number and the current market price of precious metals. By selling on assay, converters are guaranteed to be worth their true value.
Take this Nissan Infinity G37 3.7 L with two “elbow” converters with a serial number or marking on the lower flange, with or without a heat shield. How much would you sell this converter to your buyer?
Exhaust System Architecture
You have a left-side converter and a right-side converter, both with center O2 sensors. This is a two-converter exhaust system.
Question: When you look inside each catalytic converter, does it have one ceramic biscuit or two? Or is it one ceramic biscuit and one metallic substrate?
Answer: The rounded section contains one ceramic biscuit, and the oval section contains one metallic substrate.
Is the price you’re getting determined by both the ceramic and metallic parts of the converter? How do you know?
Serial Number or Markings
What are the markings on the converter? 8Y7, AC3, EJ8R1, 1ETP4, EJ4F5, and on and on the numbers go, many not found in converter look-up apps. On the prices we could find today, prices were all over the board, from $5 to $60 each, with the following PGM prices: Platinum, $955, Palladium, $1,200, and Rhodium, $3,600. Not many of the unique serial numbers are in online catalog applications.
In our converter testing laboratory, we tested 14 unique Nissan Infinity elbow converters, and on the PGM markets above, the converters yielded prices between $45 to $170 each, with an average price of $100. In a separate test, we ran nine identical converters, and that sample yielded $114 each.
These prices are for the ceramic portion only! The nearly 3-pound metallic substrate adds an additional $40 per unit.
Selling By-the-Piece: Physical Sale or by Auction
What price are you getting if you sell these Nissan Infinity converters by the piece? For which serial number? Is the price you receive based on the converter’s ceramic and metallic portions? Very hard to know the answers to these questions. Do you think someone might try to buy a $170 converter that looks identical to a $6 converter for less than it’s worth, especially if it cannot be found in a converter look-up app?
Selling on Assay
If you sell these Nissan Infinity converters on assay with a reputable processor, you will receive what the converter is worth, whether that is $45 or $170. And if that processor is transparent and gives you credit for the 3-pound metallic converter inside, you will get an additional $40. The bottom line, with two converters on these Nissan Infinity vehicles, you are looking at $160 to $420 in converters at today’s markets. Be very careful if you are using an app to include the price of the converters when buying the vehicle. You can see from this example how wide the spread can be. Don’t let an app get you upside down.
United Catalyst’s United Ecosystem powered the data for this case study. If you would like to learn more about our program, please reach out to request a demo.
To learn more or to stay informed on these topics, you can subscribe to the UCC daily e-newsletter or get Platinum Group Metal prices texted twice daily to your phone, TEXT “Daily” to 844-713-PGMs (7467). You can also call or email us at email@example.com.
Becky Berube serves the recycling community as President of United Catalyst Corporation, is a Member of the Automotive Recycling Association’s Educational Programming Committee and is a Past President of the International Precious Metals Institute.