I am looking for where I can buy some old salvaged internal webcams from old laptops. No matter what I put in the search engine, all I get are external webcams. Does anyone know where I can find them?

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    "Shopping" questions are strongly discourage in Stack Exchange communities.
    – Bob Brown
    Feb 29 '20 at 0:35

I think your question is an interesting one, if only because it prompts us all to wonder, "Where does all that junk go?" In your case, you're interested in salvaging one particular component - the camera. The salvage business is an old one, and can be lucrative. Its basis is extracting something of value from... junk; junk being something that is free, low in cost, or perhaps even generates revenue from its removal.

Perhaps you should consider televisions in addition to laptops. Some of them have webcams built in... which I think is sort of creepy, but maybe that's 'cause of the things I've done in front of televisions :)

Finally to your question - I don't have a direct answer, but here are some thoughts/ideas:

  • The US Federal government, and many state and local governments have laws and regulations that seek to control e-waste.

  • This has spawned an industry that removes and (somehow) "disposes" of excess computers, televisions and other e-waste. Computer recycling rates a Wikipedia page.

  • An example of a business in this industry is Junk King. This Junk King blog post offers details on dealing with e-waste TVs mostly, and offers such gems of wisdom as, "Mercury is a toxic metal filled with mercury." :)

  • Finding businesses that collect old PCs and cameras would seem a reasonable first step. You could search for electronic salvage yards in your area. Reading blog posts and comments from salvage artists like this one will provide useful insights on sources.

All of the above suggests that there are numerous potential sources for internal webcams. I'll stop here. If you've gotten the idea that you have some pick-and-shovel work ahead of you to locate your webcams, I think you are on the right track. Good luck!

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