Top 15 Questions To Ask Before Your First Trip To The Scrap Yard

Your first trip to the scrap yard can be a bit daunting. Maybe you’ve been reading up and researching in the Scrap Metal Recycling Group, and have heard some not-so-great stories from people visiting their yards. First off, don’t worry; we have you covered. Not all yards are the same, but these questions should be the first ones you ask at any new yard.

Before Going To The Yard

Call! These questions are best to address before even stepping into your vehicle.

  • What are your hours? This one’s essential. Scrap yard workers hate it when customers show up 5 minutes before closing, and you’ll probably get a worse deal because of it.
  • What’s the best time to come to your yard?
  • What materials do you buy & where can I find the list?
  • What materials are prohibited/do you not take? Plenty of yards do not accept certain materials (i.e., cars, aluminum cans, certain appliances). It’s best to ask beforehand so you don’t waste your time and energy hauling something they won’t take down to the yard.
  • How will I be paid? Typically, it is by cash or check, but knowing beforehand is a good idea.
  • What do I need to sell to you? Any identification?
  • What do you classify as Bare Bright, #1 Copper, #2 Copper, #3 Copper, etc.? This is a good practice to adopt before sorting your materials. Sorting according to the yard’s standards will ultimately make you more money. 
  • Should I strip all my wires or just certain types?
  • Are you running any coupons or monthly specials?
  • How often are your scales certified and calibrated?
  • Can I see my scale ticket before cashing out?
  • How often do you update prices?

Suggested Reading: Factors of Scrap Metal Pricing

At The Yard

  • Do you have tiered pricing the more I come?
  • Is there any way I can better separate my material?
  • How can I make more money next time? It’s probably the most critical question to ask the scale manager.