Tuesday, May 24, 2011

5 Common Mistakes You Can Make When Scrapping Metal

Scrap metal is seeing record breaking prices, and scrap yards are bound to hang onto as much money as they can.  We here at iScrap App want you to get as much money as you can for your scrap metals.  That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 5 common mistakes made by scrappers that can cost you money:

Not properly preparing your materials
Scrap yard owners don’t mind when you save a few minutes by bringing your wire in with the insulation still on it.  That’s because they don’t have to pay you as much for the copper wire when it’s not stripped! Get the most out of your copper wire by taking the extra time and stripping it!  For common questions on how to scrap certain materials, we’re created the iScrap Video Series.  If you don’t see a how to video on a certain material email us at info@iscrapapp.com, and we’ll get one made for you!

Going to a yard with a bad reputation or customer service
Just like scrap, you’ve got to weed out the bad stuff from the good stuff that’s going to make you money.  You have to weed out the scrap yards you deal with to those that appreciate your business and don’t take advantage of you!  Not all scrap yard owners are alike (of course everyone listed on the iScrap App are iScrap approved!), so you may have to do a little digging before you can find the local yard owner whom you want to continue to sell your scrap.

Mislead by different grades of materials
Copper comes in many grades, here are the most common:
#1 Bare Bright Wire
#1 Copper Tubing/Flashing
#2 Copper Tubing/Wire
#3 Roofing Copper
Insulated Copper Wire

When you’re new to scrapping, you may think you have a load of the good stuff until you get to the yard and find out what you thought was #1 Bare Bright Wire is only Insulated Copper Cable (many variations) because you didn’t strip it.  That’s a big difference in price per pound!  Even if you’re a veteran around the scrap yard who usually recycles copper wire, say you land a nice load of Insulated Cable only to find out you really got your hands on Data Wire.  You’re going to feel the difference when you get paid!  Make sure you find out what material you have and how your yard likes it prepared before you get to the yard!

Make sure you separate all of your metal BEFORE you get to the yard
Many scrap yards will not let people do separating at the door, because the yard will make less money.  You’ll also tie up their labor and could hold up other customers. Make sure that you have your materials separated the best that you can in preparation of bring it to the scrap yards.
If you don’t sort your scrap then the scrap yard owner will classify all of your scrap as the least valuable in the load.  Think about it – if you have a ton of #1 Bare Bright Wire with a few strips of #2 Copper Tubing/Wire mixed in then you can easily be paid the price for #2 Copper Tubing for the whole load.  That price difference can really add up – just think about it!

Not knowing the price you’ll be paid for your material
Before you take your materials to your chosen scrap yard, call ahead to get their prices.  Just by calling a few of your local scrap yards, you can find the best possible price for your materials.  As we mentioned before, don’t let pricing be your only criteria for selecting a scrap yard.  (You never know they might be making up for a higher price with a scale that is a little off.) It’s hard to put a value on the customer service you get at well run yard!