It must have been a while since you worked in that shop. The EV market has really caused a huge boom in rare earth metals and catalytic converters have become a huge source for them. The new replacement ones you get from rockauto and such don't have those elements in them anymore, since the costs for those elements have skyrocketed. The older OEM cats are the ones that are worth a small fortune to recyclers, especially foreign ones. The price varies day-to-day and is based on serial number. Here's a current listing of values based on type of cat. https://rrcats.com/catalytic-converter-scrap-prices/ You'll notice that aftermarket cats are basically worth nothing as well as crappy old pellet cats.