Basics: Your First Trip To A Scrap Yard & What To Expect

Learn About Materials & Prices (use the iScrap App)

So you heard that you could make extra money with scrapping? Great- now what….that is where tools and guides like the iScrap App come in handy. Over the years, many people have said that learning about scrap is one of the hardest things they have had to do because few scrap yards are willing to teach them or help them out. By learning about the basics like non-ferrous vs. ferrous materials and how to use a magnet, you will be able to begin the process of learning scrap and learning how to make more money with it. 

Prepare Your Material

Think about a big cake and think about how you would serve it? You probably will not take the whole cake and give it to someone hoping that they will be happy, but you would cut it into manageable pieces and serve it to your guests. The same concept applies to scrap. Preparing materials by size or material grade makes the materials more valuable to you and to the scrap yards you will sell to. We have said for many years that the more work you do for the scrap yard in advance, the more money you will make. Cutting to manageable-sized pieces, cleaning the steel off of the materials, or sorting it properly will contribute to all of the ways to make more money with it. 

Call Ahead or Visit Online

Using the iScrap App to learn about prices will always help, and if your scrap yard is a member of the iScrap family, you will get more information from them. But knowing before you go may be worth the phone call. Over the years, we have heard stories about people showing up, and the scrap yards are closed to the vacation, facility maintenance, scale issues, health problems, or inventory analysis. These are all real internal problems for scrap yards, and not many of them actively post online to let you know. So…call ahead or go online to get more information on hours or open times.

Know The Laws

Each state or province has its own laws when it comes to scrapping. While many of these states/provinces have tried to make the scrap yards responsible by taking ID, tracking tickets, or pictures- there are always ways to know before going. Using the iScrap Apps Scrap Metal Law Guide will give you access to your local laws, and you may even see that your state does not allow individuals to sell certain items without a business registration. In advance, these are important things to know so you do not waste your time or get upset when the scrap yards turn you away. 

Follow The Signs in the Yard (Safety, trucks, etc.)

Safety should be the number one priority for you and your scrap yard. Yards should have clear to read signs and directional maps on where to back in and where to dump out, and if there are different lanes to be in. Knowing the yard’s layout and asking if there is a good or a bad spot for you to park will always give you the ability to stay alert and safe. (Just an idea…wear a vest or brightly colored shirt, so you stick out more). 

Check Weights & Receipts

Now that you learned about scrap, learned about laws, and figured out how to prepare your scrap for sale, it all comes down to the payout. Cha-ching! Knowing how to read your receipts will prove to be one of the most important things you can do, and we always recommend reading the receipts before you leave the yard. Once you leave, your chances of having a problem fixed lessens every minute that you are away. Take the extra 5 minutes to go over your ticket (maybe more or less time depending on the number of materials that you sell) and see what the gross/tare/net weights were as well as learning about material categories and pricing. 

Ask the Scrap Yard Questions

If your yard does not want to answer your questions, it is time to find a new yard. Nowadays, in the digital transparency world that we live and scrap in, you deserve to know if you did something wrong or if you could do something better for the next trip to the yard. Maybe you got paid a mixed price on #1/2 Copper Tubing, and a simple question may help you learn how you can sort your scrap better for the next trip. These things will help you learn not only what to do but also what not to do for your next trip. These are the things and questions that will help you continue to make more money with your scrap. 


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