4 Factors Choosing The Right Scrap Yard

How do you choose a scrap yard?

Over the years, we have spoken to many scrappers, and we have tried to figure out how they think, what they look for in scrapping, and where they sell material. Believe it or not- one of the most important things that we have heard back from them is not their desire for the highest prices (not that that hurts), but more along the lines of consistency. Consistent yards that can always be fair and transparent seem to be the type of companies that scrappers choose to deal with. This gives them the ability to know who they are working with and how the deals will go down. 

How Often Do You Go?

Many scrappers are not going to their yards 3-4 times a week (some may be doing that or more….but let’s talk about averages) to sell scrap. Knowing what a scrap yard is going to do for purchasing makes scrappers secure in going to the same place repeatedly. Having things like prices posted along with the scrap yards always answering questions and teaching customers will make both parties that much smarter and have a higher chance to work together for a long time. 

Scrappers may visit a few other yards to sell different materials, but here are some factors to look into and think about before you travel to the yard next:

How Far Is It?

One of the biggest factors on where scrappers sell to is their distance to their homes or jobs. Many people like to work with local scrap yards to support locals and because it is so much easier to get to and from the yards. Sometimes traveling is inconvenient- but may be worthwhile if you are selling a lot of material or a high value. 

What Are Their Prices?

Prices matter- anyone who tells you otherwise is not being truthful. There are some yards that we see prices reported from that are paying customers half of what other yards are paying out. What does that mean? Well, it seems like you should look into the different prices that your yard(s) are paying out to make sure that you are being treated correctly when you sell. While getting the highest price may be the only important thing to you- you should know that many scrap yards will reward customers who sell to them for long periods of time….which brings us to: 

Do They Have Special Pricing Tiers?

It is always nice being treated special, and many scrap yards have programs that reward you with more money for your tickets. While many yards do not have loyalty programs per se, they do have special tier prices that you may be entitled to receive.

For example, many yards will take care of their consistent customers that produce copper – like electricians and plumbers. So they may be able to give them an extra $0.05-0.15 per lb on different non-ferrous items, and those extra dollars not only add up over time- but they also give the customers a little extra, and that goes a long way.

Some yards have loyalty cards (like getting a card stamped for 10 sandwiches and the 11th is free), and they hand these out to encourage customers to come in more. These may result in a raffle entry, cash prize, or a special price sheet for a year or more. 

Also, it depends on what metals you’re selling…

Many yards special in 1-2 types of material, and their pricing will reflect exactly that. 


Yard A is mostly indoor and purchases non-ferrous metals like copper, brass, and aluminum much higher than other yards in the area. This allows them to get aggressive on non-ferrous purchasing, but they may not take items like steel or iron due to their lack of infrastructure in their outside yards. These yards may not buy steel or iron at all but may be able to point you in the right direction for you to sell to. 

Yard B is a fully outdoor facility and specializes in steel and iron purchasing. This yard has torch burners for large pieces of steel and machines like grapples, shears, and loggers. These heavy-duty pieces of equipment will give Yard B the ability to pay more for steel and iron products, but they may lack in prices for non-ferrous. Knowing what they have, low copper and brass prices may have you making two pit stops- and that is not a bad thing. 

How Do You Want To Be Treated?

One of the biggest complaints about scrap yards is that they are just trying to make money and not educate or teach their customers. Any good business will teach you things to look for and show you how to sort your metal(s) on-site to help you make more money with your scrap.

Are you comfortable going to your local yard, or are you looking to show up and feel like family. Unfortunately, many of the larger multi-yard companies have a hard time executing the comfort level. It is important to know that your level of comfort is fundamental when selling scrap. 

You will know when yards care just by doing things like…

…Check The Web

Updating prices. Do your scrap yards not only list prices online but also update these prices? Does your scrap yard provide informative videos along with guides or handouts to show you what to do and how to do it? The online world may not be where scrap yards live, but the online world will be able to show you how companies react to things like reviews and transparency overall. Reviews on platforms like Google or Facebook will give you insight by reading another person’s opinion of the scrap yard and also will give you further insight into their operations. 

While there may not be a perfect answer on where and who you sell your scrap to, there are a few things to know going into the learning period of finding the right yard for you. Let us know what factors turn you on or off to different scrap yards so we can research ways to help you make more money with your scrap. 

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