When Scrap Prices Drop, Hoarding Goes Up

low scrap prices

Like any industry, scrap metal recycling fluctuates based on market conditions and supply and demand. Recently the prices in the scrap industry have seen a bit of a downfall compared to last year at this time. In 2015, we are seeing 10-year lows for steel and iron prices. During these times, many scrappers (and scrap yards) are storing their scrap and waiting out until prices begin to recover.

Often time scrappers, plumbers, electricians, and others who may have scrap deal with these difficult market conditions by holding onto their scrap. While it may not always pay off to hold onto scrap, many people do and don’t always make sure to do it the smart way. It’s really a preference if you want to store your scrap during the low markets, it could be risky if the prices continue to drop or it could pay off if the prices go up.

Secure Your Scrap Even During Low Market Times:

While holding onto material isn’t always the right choice, especially if prices continue to drop or you don’t have the room, here are some tips to secure your scrap before you make the next big move to the scrap yard.

  • Store Securely: Place your scrap in a shed, garage, basement, enclosed vehicle, etc. to make sure it is locked when you are holding it. For higher priced items like copper and brass, you want to be sure there is no chance for it to be compromised.
  • Don’t Tell Anyone: Although you may trust people, don’t tell too many that you have a large amount of scrap because they may be coming around when those prices go back up or tell someone else you don’t know that you have it. Remember when desperate times arise, some people will go to desperate measures to get their hands on some extra cash.
  • metal scrapBe Ready to Move Fast: If you are patiently waiting for prices to go up to cash in, be sure your scrap is prepared and separated correctly. Prices may only be up for a few days and you may have limited time to bring it before the next drop happens. Having your items separated into containers and ready to load into your truck can be helpful with this.
  • Prepare Your Scrap AND Yourself: We always mention separating and preparing your scrap before heading to the yard; so have it prepared at your place of storage so you can pack it easily when prices jump. Also prepare yourself because you may have to wait a long time until prices come back up and they may not return where they once were.
  • Use Time Wisely: You may have some extra time on your hands while waiting for prices to return to higher amounts. You can also use the time to track where the current scrap prices and markets are. You can use that time to check out more scrapping tips like our YouTube Videos or our iScrap Metal Forums.

What To Do While Markets Are Down:

  • Keep An Eye On Markets: Lucky for you, the iScrap App has weekly scrap price updates that keep you in the loop about the market and the current prices. We have prices that are posted for you every week so you can keep updated on the current situation in the scrap metal markets.
  • Report Your PricesIf you are shopping around for prices, you have the opportunity to report and view prices reported by other scrappers on the iScrap App. This can be helpful if you are looking to get the current prices for your area and want to browse local yards’ prices. You may see a reported price is higher at one location compared to another.
  • Be Patient: Sometimes the markets are just fluctuating due to the season or the time of year. Be sure to take all of that into account when you are hoarding you metals until the prices go up.

Although prices may be down, don’t forget what go up must come down. So let’s just hope that something goes back up soon. Although many people may think that prices are down, they still are VERY high based on historical trends. Don’t forget to download the iScrap App to find the nearest scrap yard to you and see what kind of prices they have.

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