Should You Save or Cash In Your Scrap Metal?

For years we have had customers and iScrappers asking if we recommend saving materials…it’s an easy answer. No, we don’t. Saving things is another form of gambling and gambling on things that are controlled by the world economic environment is a TOUGH thing to be able to do.

Saving materials is always a tough thing to do because there are so many questions to go with it.

  • Do you have the space?
  • Can you afford to save it? 
  • Can you afford not to save it?
  • Is it secure?

There are so many multiple right answers that you have to figure out what is best for you and your situation. We have heard stories about guys saving their copper for years for retirement, we hear stories about people cashing it in as quickly as they get it. The right answer is only what works for you – so let’s go over a few of the “right answers.”

Should I Save & Store My Scrap Metal?

Our answer is always no. Historically, scrap prices are constantly moving. We don’t suggest storing your scrap metal for a number of reasons including, theft, security, the risk of losing money, and also running out of room to store it. If you like to take a gamble on the value of your scrap metal then you should hold onto your scrap and wait for higher prices, knowing there is no guarantee.

Should I Sell My Scrap Metal?

We almost always say yes you should sell your scrap metal. Generally, we don’t suggest holding onto the material for reasons stated above, but also it’s a safer play. Most scrappers that have a lot of material don’t have the secure space to save it. We always use the example, it’s better to cash in your scrap so you can use the money to make more money.

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I’m Holding Scrap, Where Do I Put It?

Do you have a big garage? A house in the middle of the woods? A secured vault the size of a house to store your material? Obviously, the last one is probably a joke, but at the same time why have your material be vulnerable if you cannot protect it? We have read so many stories online about the police being called to homes where people have had their scrap stolen. Having anything stolen is never a good feeling, and if you don’t have a secure place to store your scrap sometimes it’s not worth storing it.

I’m Cashing In, What Do I Do With It?

Well, that is not an offer but a question because so many people have different answers. Some can afford for their scrap to be earmarked for vacations or something special while others rely on the scrap to be part of paying their bills or even their main living.

Figuring out what to do, where to go, and how quickly to sell you materials all depends on financial situations also. We know that scrap prices vary and you have to figure out when is the best time for you and where to go that will pay you the best for your hard work. 

Markets Down? Hold, Maybe…?

We never advocate holding materials, but that does not mean that we can’t talk about it. If you look at historical copper prices or averages over the last 5 years and copper is 30-50% below the five-year averages, maybe you should hold onto higher priced items. 

We talked to one scrapper that was fortunate enough to not to sell his copper pipe and bare bright wire; by holding it for three years he figured that he made about $5,660 more than if he had sold as he collected it. So figuring out what is best for you, well that is purely your call. 

Fort Knox or Fort Scrap?

Do you really have a great place to store materials that you never ever ever ever have to worry about anyone knowing about it? Do you have cameras and lasers guarding it? Do you have a scrap yard dog (or cat) that can safeguard your materials? Most of the time the answer is no because if you do you probably are on a different playing ground than most scrappers. But if you do have stored you may want to really think about who you tell about your scrap and all of the hard work that went into it. 

Let us know what you think and how you feel about the different market scenarios and to save or not to save. 

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