Not Properly Preparing Your Materials
Scrap yards will never encourage you to strip your copper wire when you bring it in. That’s because they don’t have to pay you as much for the copper wire when it’s not stripped!
Suggested Reading: Strip Your Copper
Get the most out of your copper wire by taking the extra time and stripping it! You can buy a simple wire stripper or a more sophisticated one for larger loads to strip you copper and aluminum insulated wire. This can make you double or triple the money when scrapping it with your yard. If you are looking for some other basic tips for prepping your metals for the yard, we have some basic guidelines to help you.
Going To A Scrap Yard With Bad Reputation
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, 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.
Suggested Reading: How To Find A The Best Scrap Yard
Some scrap yard may be transparent about how they buy materials and how they want them separated for the best money. While other scrap yards may not give you a clear cut answer when you ask them questions. It’s important to know how to pick a good scrap yard so you can make the most money when you bring your scrap in.
Being Misled By Different Scrap Metal Grades
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.
Suggested Reading: Types of Stainless Steel Scrap
Another material that is important to have an idea about is stainless steel. A common metal that you will come across it’s important to know there are different kinds and grades of stainless steel. Stainless steel has Nickel inside, the different grades are determined by the amount of nickel content inside. Ask your scrap yard about how they identify their stainless steel grades.
Like we mentioned above, when you are starting out you may not know the difference between copper grades. 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
Be Sure To Separate Your Materials Before Your Trip To The Scrap 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. Having materials separated before going to a scrap yard is important. 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!
Know The Price You Are Going To Get Paid
Before you take your materials to your chosen scrap yard, call ahead to get their prices or check the iScrap App National Prices on the app or on the web. 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!
When asking for prices, as the scrap yard if they will honor the price if you come that day. If you are not going that day to the scrap yard, you can’t expect a yard to honor a price every time. Because scrap prices can change quickly and often, prices can be different since you got your quote. So be prepared to call on your way in for a current price.
Suggested Reading: Finding the Best Scrap Prices
When you are getting ready to bring your scrap metal into your local scrap yards, it’s important to know what prices and service you will get at your local scrap yard. When scrappers are loading up their materials to go to a scrap yard, it’s good to have metals separated and prepared. If you don’t feel comfortable with a scrap yard’s services, you can always pack back up and go to a different location you can find on the iScrap App.