Many people today are using scrap metal collection and selling to make money. If you want to get into the scrap metal business either to make extra money on the side or turn it into your main source of income, it is important that you know how to sell. You don’t want to let dealers take advantage of you and buy your scrap at a lower cost than you actually deserve. It is important to know a few common scrapping mistakes and how to avoid them.
Not Preparing Your Materials Properly
Scrap yards do not have any policies regarding preparing your materials. They actually hope that you don’t prepare the metal before you get there. For example, if you are bringing in copper or aluminum wire, and it is not stripped, they won’t have to pay you as much. You should use wire stripper or some other tool to strip the wire first so that you can get the biggest return.
Separate Your Materials Before You Get to the Scrap Yard
It is important that you separate all of your scrap metal before you get to the yard. Most scrap yards won’t allow you to separate your scrap when you get there. One reason is that it will cost them more money if they do. Another reason is that you will be preventing other customers from getting in the door to sell their scrap. Separating your scrap ahead of time can make you more money. For example, if you have a ton of cheaper copper with a few pieces of the more expensive kind mixed all in together, and it isn’t separated, the scrap yard will only pay you the minimum.
Selling to a Scrap Yard With a Bad Reputation
Before you start selling your scrap, you want to make sure that you are working with a yard with a good reputation. It is best to work with someone who will answer all of your questions. If you ask a particular yard how they want to buy the materials and how they want them separated, they should give you a precise answer. If they give you the runaround, they are doing this so you can arrive with scrap that is not properly prepared and separated, so that they can pay you less. You should call around to find the most reputable scrap yards who are willing to pay top dollar.
Find Out the Going Rates
Before you decide on a scrap yard, you should call around to several to find out what the going rate is for the scrap that you are going to be selling. If you don’t want to call around, you can download the iScrap app to check the recently reported rates. You should not let pricing be your only criterion when choosing a scrap yard, but it should certainly be a consideration.
Know Your Grades of Copper
You may look at your copper scrap haul and think that you are going to make a great deal of money because your pile is so big. This is a mistake. If you want to know what to expect from your haul, you need to know that copper comes in different grades and some are better than others. The most common copper grades in order from least expensive to most expensive include:
- #1 Bare Bright Wire
- #1 Copper Tubing/Flashing
- #2 Copper Tubing/Wire
- #3 Roofing Copper
Insulated Copper Wire
Scrapping for money either be a huge boost in your income or a nightmare. If you avoid the most commonly made mistakes, it can be a very profitable venture.