We get it. We really do. The scrap metal prices in 2015 have been nothing less than a really tragic story in the scrap industry. Over the last 8 months the steel market has dropped almost 70% and prices are at 7-year lows. It’s not like it’s just a small dip in the prices, but a plummet instead. With the iScrap App Team coming from the scrap industry and being involved with it on a day-to-day basis, we know how it feels and the frustration that builds up during these rough times.
Look Outside The Box With These Strategies
As we continue to watch the market and fill you, our audience, on the latest news and price shifts, we know that during these troubling time, that it can be tough to get something going. Especially for those that are relying on scrap metal for a part-time or even full-time income, your anger and impatience can take over your mood and outlook. We know how it feels. Unfortunately, we can’t predict exactly what the markets are going to do, we can provide you with some tools and ideas that may be able to help you get through the rough patch.
When you are scrapping a lot of ferrous metal on a regular basis, these times can cause you to actually lose money (from transportation, time spent, etc.) because your return on the material you are scrapping can be very minimal. There are some other ways you can still make money from scrap by altering your habits and sources.
Plan Your Route
Luckily, gas prices have been a lower in the last year, but still it can be helpful to plan your scrap pickup route before you head out. If you have pickups scheduled, perhaps you can alter the times you leave based on missing out on traffic or you can take the shorter distance to cut down on the mileage on your car. Also take a look at the iScrap App and find the closest scrap yard to your pick up locations, you can drop off your materials in between pickups, and have an empty truck for your next pickup. When you are on the road for a long period of time, keep in mind that school is in session so you want to avoid the school buses slowing you down and also the morning and afternoon commutes.
Cut Extra Expenses
When you are battling with difficult scrap prices, it is important to take a look at what expenses you have and if you can reduce any of them. For example, perhaps you can restructure your cell phone plan for less data per month. Also if you are one to stop to eat lunch or dinner at a convenience store or restaurant, perhaps you can try and buy some food at the grocery store and pack your lunch or dinner a few times a week. It could also be helpful to take a look at your home expenses, perhaps you don’t need to have that large TV channel package and can reduce your monthly bill.
Suggested Reading: 6 Ways To Cut Expenses When Scrap Prices Are Down
Resell Items Online
When you are looking through the items you are picking up for scrap, you may be able to resell some items online and get extra cash. Take a look at electronic items and plug them in to see if they work. If they do, you can probably find a market for them by selling them online on Ebay or Craigslist. If the item doesn’t work you can also check to see if there are any parts you can remove that you can resell online. This is especially true for computers, people are always looking for parts like motherboards or low-grade disc drives.
Find Other Odd Jobs
When scrap prices are down, it can be beneficial to have some additional skills you can use on the side. Whether that is carpentry, handyman, or demolition work, it can pay off to ask friends and family, or even people you pick up scrap from if they have a need for any small home improvement projects. It can pay off especially if you can get some scrap from the job too, like wire or copper. Keep your eyes open for those types of ads that may be running in your local newspapers, those connections could lead to scrap in the end. It may also pay off for you to run a small ad in the newspaper for your own scrap services to get your name out there.
Watch The Scrap Market
During these times, it’s even more important to stay updated on where the scrap prices are heading. Sometimes you may get lucky with a quick uptick in prices for a day or so. If you are holding onto materials, that can be a chance for you to unload and cash in your materials. Also if you see that the scrap market seems like it is going to drop again, you may be able to beat the prices and cash in with what you have before they drop more. You can also use the iScrap App to check the scrap prices and reported scrap prices in your area. You can also report your own prices so fellow scrappers in your area can keep track too. After all, we are a community, we mind well work together.
Remember that scrap prices are a cyclical part of the economy, while the prices may be down now, it is almost guaranteed that they will rise again. Making sure to have alternate plans during the times when the markets are down is important. Stay patient and stay busy.