Thanks for joining us on our journey through the Eyes of the Scrapper Series. Below is Part 2 that is diving into the best ways you can maximize your profits and ensure you aren’t missing any important weights, prices, or money from your trip to the scrap yard.
It’s important to change some of the ways you do your scrap business. They are not hard changes or difficult to make, the fact is they are very easy and if you make them I guarantee you will start to put more money in your pocket and keep the yard owner from having a “night on the town” at your expense. Like how that sounds? I do! Here’s what you gotta do:
Weigh Your Material Before You Go
Always weigh your material prior to delivering it to the yard, ALWAYS! Why? Simple when the yard weighs your material and totals out the ticket how do you know if the weight they write on the ticket is the same weight as what you delivered? You don’t! How could you if you did not weight it in the first place before delivering it to the yard. Failure to weight your material before delivering it to the yard is like writing on your forehead in big red letters “I Have No Clue”. If you fail to weight your material before a trip to the yard then you deserve to be taken advantage of!
Write Down Your Tare Weights
Let the yard know in advance before they decide to cheat on the weights that you know what you have and how much it weighs. How? Simple, if your material is in buckets make sure you write the weight of the bucket in big red letters on the outside of the bucket. Something like “Bucket weighs 1.5 lbs” and make sure the person working the scales see it. If you are using a box, same applies. If using tubs or bins to carry your material, same applies. In other words, leave nothing open to chance.
Label Your Containers & Scrap
Whether using buckets, boxes, tubs, bins or any other type of container, take a piece of cardboard and write on it in big red letters a) what’s in that container, b) how much the material weighs, c) what the container weighs. Make the cardboard so it takes up most of the open space on top of your material in that container. that way it’s impossible for them not to see it. Something like, “#1 Copper, material weight 25 lbs, container weight 1lb”.
When that container is set on the scale before the scale operator has an opportunity to record the weight of your material, point out the cardboard, tell them the purpose of the cardboard and make sure you tell them that. “If you disagree with my material classification, my material weight or my container weight then let me know up front so I can pull that material and take it somewhere else” I guarantee you will get their attention. Guess what, you just took a washcloth and removed the big red words “I Have No Clue” from your forehead! Guaranteed!
Ask To See The Scale
Always demand to see the weights as the attendant is weighing the items. Most yards will try to turn the scales so you can not see the weight but it is your right to view the item weights as they weigh them. If you can’t see the weight on the scale tell them to turn the scale so you can see it. Do not be timid and afraid to ask them to turn the scales so you can see them! Some yards rely on that fear to manipulate the weights. If they refuse, pull your scrap and take it elsewhere.
Call Ahead for Pricing
ALWAYS call ahead to the yard you are going too and do a price check before you go there. Make sure to get the name of the person who quoted you the prices. Never got to any yard to sell scrap until you know what they are paying for the scrap you are selling that day! Let’s face it, how do you know if the price they write on your ticket is a fair price, the going rate for that material on that day if you don’t do a price check before you go there? YOU DON’T. How could you if you don’t check.
Suggested Reading: Finding The Best Scrap Yard
Check Your Ticket Before You Leave
When the attendant hands your ticket, before you leave the area of the scale, take the time to look the ticket over. Make sure the weights match up and make sure the price on your ticket matches the price you were quoted for that material. Don’t walk away before you do this! If there is a problem point it out to the person operating the scale immediately and tell them who quoted you the price earlier. Speak loud and clear so not only does the attendant hear you but the next few people in line also hear what you have to say.
Let me tell you, nothing rattles an attendant more then you making a fuss at the scales because they played with your weights or try to pay you less then the going rate for that material on that day and everyone behind you in line hears it. All of a sudden everyone in line is going to be on guard and looking for any foul play on the part of the attendant. His day just got really complicated!
Suggested Reading: 8 Tips To Avoid Scrap Yard Receipt Mistakes
Look, don’t be intimidated and let them do what they want. It’s your scrap, not theirs! Not until they pay for it and no one says you HAVE to sell it to them. And don’t let the attendant try and hurry you through. You don’t want to unnecessarily delay the process but you definitely don’t want the attendant to push your items through before you and they agree to the weight and classification. You have rights, demand they respect those rights.
Bottom line, take control of the process, do not let the yard control the process. If the yard is honest and upfront, they will not object; if they are looking to screw you they will yell like a hit dog!
It’s time too “man” (or “woman”) up! Realize that you share in the blame for how things are and how you are getting robbed over and over again each time you take a trip to the yard. Accept responsibility and don’t let it continue! If you take the time to make the 6 changes I recommend above it will stop! You will no longer be a victim, you will become a winner and you will profit from those changes. None of the changes, nothing I have recommended above takes any time to start doing, you just have to start doing them.