Refrigerant Buyback Pricing: How Does It Work?

Refrigerant Buyback Experts
The expert team at Refrigerant Finders answers top questions we get regarding how our Refrigerant Buyback Pricing works.

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Refrigerant Buyback Pricing: How Does it Work?


How much is R12 worth? How are refrigerant buyback prices set? What is the price per pound for my old Freon? These are probably the three most common questions we get at Refrigerant Finders. Thankfully, we have answers. Our expert team is available online or by phone, every day, to give you the best price for your R12 refrigerant and to arrange a convenient pick up or drop off.


Where Can I Sell R12 Refrigerant?


A very frequent question people ask us is whether it is legal to sell R12 refrigerant. The answer is yes – but not to just anybody. It is only possible to sell Freon, R-12 or any other CFC to EPA-certified technicians, like the experts at Refrigerant Finders. This is to ensure that the compressed gas is handled safely and protected against leaks to the atmosphere.


It is your responsibility to ensure that the purchaser on the other end has an EPA certification that allows them to buy your old refrigerant. If you sell to someone who does not have an EPA license, you become liable, not the person who bought it.


This means that you should ask anyone who’d like to buy your R12 refrigerant to show a copy of their certification. They are produced in business card sizes, making it simple for buyers to carry and show. Below is an example of an EPA certification:


epa certification


Be cautious if you are trying to sell R12 Freon on auction sites like eBay, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. If you do not arrange a way to see a copy of the EPA certification from the person selecting “Buy Now” on your eBay Freon for sale listing, or “reply” on your R-12 for sale post on Craigslist, you could be in store for a stressful situation.


Where Can I Find R-12 Refrigerant?


For those seeking R-12 Freon or wondering “where do I find R12 refrigerant?”, the answer is less clear. CFC-12, like all ozone depleting refrigerants, including R-11 or R-114, is no longer manufactured as new. It will not be sold on your neighborhood auto shop shelves or at national chains like Pep Boys, Auto Zone, Jiffy Lube, or Midas. It is not available at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart or Costco. Additionally, it may not be available from a technician if you call Johnstone Supply, Trane or Carrier to come service your home air conditioning unit.


The best places to look for Freon is in the secondary market. Online marketplaces like Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace can be good places to look. But make sure you know what you are doing. It’s already been stated that a buyer on one of those sites needs an EPA license. It is also true that there are rules for sending R12 refrigerantcans of r12 refrigerant in the mail.


The United States DOT requires lots of labels and specific hazardous material papers attached to your box if you are shipping Freon. R12 refrigerant should only be sent via mail if you work with an experienced company like Refrigerant Finders and utilize the Mail-In Program. Refrigerant Finders sends you a pre-labeled box with all the necessary paperwork, meaning all you need to do is sign a form and drop your cylinder in the box – no headache, and nothing to worry about.


Swap meets and flea markets and garage sales can also be great places to find refrigerants like R12 and R11 and R500. People frequently find old cylinders and cans in their garages or basements, and will look to sell them to car enthusiasts, technicians, hobbyists, and HVAC repairmen.


How Do I Know if A Refrigerant Cylinder or Can is R-12 Freon?


Freon is only one brand of R-12 refrigerant gas, and there are many others so don’t look solely for the word “freon”. (We have a great blog on Freon, and why all R12 is not Freon, if you are interested in learning more.) The most important item to look for is the chemical name of the refrigerant, which should be printed somewhere on the cylinder or can. This table shows a list of  chemical names for the various types of refrigerants:


chemical name table of refrigerants


You can find even more information on the Refrigerant Finders website, including a list of the top brands of R12 refrigerant, such as National, Genetron, Sercon, Racone and Forane.


How Much is R12 Freon Worth?


The price of R-12 refrigerant is certainly not what it used to be. In 1950, you could buy it in a 145-pound cylinder for $47.85. In the late 1980s, before new production was phased out under the Montreal Protocol, a 30 pound cylinder of R12 refrigerant for sale would cost $15 at your local auto shop. Once the ban on production went into effect in the 1990s, that price jumped. It was estimated that the price per pound for R12 in 1995 was close to $7.50.


The price today, of course, is very different. How much R12 is worth or the buyback price per pound for old Freon will depend on a number of different variables, including:


  • Is it virgin or reclaimed refrigerant?
  • Is it in disposable containers or recovery tanks?
  • Do you need it removed from a chiller?
  • Is it R-12 or a different CFC, like R-11 or R-113 or R-114?
  • How much do you have?


The answer to each of these questions will determine the price of the refrigerant you have, and the amount Refrigerant Finders is able to pay for the refrigerant you wish to sell.


Refrigerant Finders will often pay more for 100% pure or “virgin” R12 Freon. But we still pay top dollar for recovered or reclaimed R12 refrigerant. We will even purchase low-purity or dirty R-12 – as well as very mixed R12 Freon gas. It is important to remember Refrigerant Finders pays by the pound. We pay for the portion of refrigerant in a cylinder or tank that is R12, not the part that is oil, HCFCs or HFCs that are sometimes mixed with R-12. (All of our technicians travel with a handheld analyzer that can instantly test what is inside of a refrigerant cylinder.)


Refrigerant Finders buys disposable containers and recovery tanks. We buy cans, half ton cylinders and everything in between. We also purchase drums of R11, sealed or unsealed, and drums of R113 as well. If you have R12 refrigerant in a chiller, we can supply you with recovery tanks to use.


Refrigerant Finders pays various amounts for different types of refrigerant gas. The price for R12 will be higher than the price for R11 or R113. This equates to the amount available in the market, as well as the equipment still in use throughout the country that rely on these old CFCs.


For the most accurate information, and a specific price for your R12 refrigerant, call our experts today at 312-291-9169 or contact us through our website.


How Does the Refrigerant Finders Buyback Program Work?


With Refrigerant Finders, you can be sure that you are getting the best price per pound for your R12 refrigerant and that your transaction will be easy, convenient, and legal.



Refrigerant Buyback Process


  • Step One: Call our expert team at 312-291-9169 or contact us online to get a quote.
  • Step Two: Decide on a purchase method. We make it very easy. We can come to you, we can send a pre-labeled paid for box, or you can drop it off to us if you are in the Chicago area.

  • Step Three: Choose how you want to get paid – PayPal, Zelle,, electronic check, or good old-fashioned cash.


Have more questions? Visit our How It Works page to learn more about our convenient purchasing options.

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