Maximizing Scrap Profits: Should You Sell to Multiple Yards?

As you become a more seasoned scrapper, you may hopefully realize your volume of material is picking up. While this is almost always good, it may come with a caveat. Your local yard may pay better for one type of material over another. We all know how optimizing profits is a top priority for scrappers. Still, one common question is whether it’s more beneficial to sell all scrap metal to one yard or diversify and sell to multiple yards. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of each approach based on insights from experienced scrappers in our community.

Selling to Multiple Yards: Pros and Cons

Pros of Selling to Multiple Scrap Yards

  1. Potentially Maximizing Profit: Some scrappers find that different yards offer better ferrous vs. non-ferrous metals prices. You can capitalize on higher prices for different materials by selling to multiple yards, thus maximizing your overall profit.
  2. Convenience and Customer Service: For some, proximity and customer service play a significant role. If you happen to be working a larger scrap job or are coming from out of town rather than holding onto materials, selling to a different yard may be a good alternative. You can also learn how yards differ and whether or not the yard you originally went to is decent. You’d be surprised how many great yards there are out there that few scrappers know about!
  3. Risk Management: Diversifying where you sell reduces dependency on a single yard. This can mitigate the risk of price fluctuations or yard policy changes.

Cons of Selling to Multiple Scrap Yards

  1. Time and Effort: Selling to multiple yards requires additional time and effort regarding transportation and coordination. For some scrappers, the incremental gain may not justify the added logistical complexity.
  2. Gas and Transportation Costs: Driving to multiple yards can add up quickly, especially considering rising fuel prices. Scrappers need to weigh these costs against potential gains.
  3. Loyalty and Relationship Building: Building a solid relationship with one yard over time may result in loyalty benefits, such as better prices or perks. Splitting business among multiple yards could dilute these benefits, especially if the yard has a weight requirement for loyalty pricing.
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03/13/2024 11:20 pm GMT

Do Scrappers Sell To Multiple Yards?

We asked our scrapper community on Reddit to see what they do. They employ various strategies, including:

  • Specialization: Some scrappers choose different yards based on their expertise in handling specific metals like copper, aluminum, or ferrous metals. If a yard only wants to deal with one metal, they’ll only deal with it when they have that. Conversely, some scrappers may only source one type of material (eg, only scrapping ferrous materials) as their local yard only accepts that type.
  • Convenience vs. Profit: Many scrappers travel to multiple yards to offload their materials. The decision often boils down to a trade-off between convenience and profit. While some prioritize proximity and ease of access, others are willing to travel further for better prices.
  • Market Competition: Some scrappers leverage competition among yards to negotiate better deals. Getting price quotes from multiple yards empowers them to make informed decisions.

Utilizing the iScrap App To Maximize Profit

Finding and comparing yards, their locations, and prices can be tedious. However, the iScrap App was designed to aid users in setting. While it is a free tool, it provides a comprehensive directory of scrap yards all over the US and Canada, allowing scrappers to:

  • Locate Nearby Yards: Enter your location in the app to find nearby scrap yards easily.
  • Compare Prices: Access current scrap metal prices to compare offers from different yards. Once your location is dialed in, you can select from a list of yards nearby and see which yard has the best user-reported prices.
  • Optimize Location: Choose yards strategically based on proximity to minimize transportation costs.

By leveraging the features of the iScrap App, scrappers can streamline their operations, maximize profits, and make informed decisions about where to sell their scrap metal.