How many of you go to the same yard every time you go to sell your scrap? Do you see the same scale manager, same yard workers, maybe even the owner, every time you go? If you’re seeing the same people day in and day out, you won’t have any other experience to compare that visit. So my question for you is: How do you know you’re getting treated right?
Experiment with Local Yards
Call us crazy, but we’re going to suggest something to you here. Maybe… you should try a new yard. Now you’re probably saying, “If I’m happy at my current yard, why would I go to another?” It’s only a suggestion, but it goes back to what we said above. How do you know you’re being treated fairly if you’ve stuck with the same yard for years? By trying a new yard, you’ll be able to tell the differences almost immediately. Maybe even try two new yards! Two things could come from this:
- You come back to find that each experience is the same, therefore learning that all the yards near you are similar, you can base your decisions on the most consistent or highest price buyer.
- You find that the new yard treated you much more poorly or even better than your usual yard if it’s the latter, congrats! You found a new yard 🎉 If it’s for worse, you know you have seen an excellent yard to stick with.
Scrap Yard Hierarchy
The scale manager is the first person you should be going to with a problem, i.e., material discrepancy or receipt mistakes. If you’re frequenting the same yard, we always like to suggest you form a good relationship with your scale master (which is bound to happen unless you get on their wrong side). Ask them basic questions like:
- Why did they buy that metal that way?
- What can I do to make more money next time?
And if they’re a decent scale manager, they’ll tell you. However, if they are rude or standoffish to you when you ask these simple questions, you might be getting the short end of the stick, a.k.a. they do not want to be transparent with you. Next in line…
If your issue persists and the scale manager is unable/unwilling to help, it may be time to escalate to upper management or even the yard owner. This is all dependent on the size of the yard; however, speaking to the owner of a smaller scrap yard is typically not an unreasonable request. But wanting to talk to someone who owns several locations is going to be another story. In this case, don’t expect to have a direct line to the owner, but there is sure to be someone higher up the bar you can speak to if asked politely.
Our Suggestion For You
Go to your scrap yard. Look around; you can usually tell a lot about a yard by simply observing. How are they sorting, processing, or shipping their material? Maybe it will spark some questions. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. In the end, the only way to make more money with your scrap is when you learn more about it.