Do You Know How Prices Are Determined?
- Cost of Transportation
- Current Commodity Marketing Prices
- Quantity of Material Being Handled
- Supply & Demand
Finding Scrap Prices Online
- iScrap App: You can use the iScrap App to report and view reported scrap prices in your area and at yards across the US & Canada. These user reported prices can help you determine what yards in your area are currently paying for scrap. You can also do a search in your area and find scrap yards that list their scrap prices online in the iScrap App. Premium iScrap App Members have the option to post their current prices. Be sure to check the last date it was updated or if they are using the national averages, in which they are not required to pay you that amount.
- scrap yard Website: Many scrap yards that have extensive websites update their prices online daily, weekly, or monthly. That way their customers can always be aware of what the relative prices are. It is always a good idea to jump on the phone to double check them.
- Forums: There are plenty of forums like the iScrap Metal Forum and other industry related forums that have conversations about current prices people are receiving. You can spark some conversation with others and ask them what kind of prices they are seeing. If they are in different regions it can give you some insight on the pricing patterns around the nation.
- Social Media: If you are looking to see what others online are getting for their scrap, check out some social media networks and ask your friends, colleagues, and locals for the current prices. They may have recently went to the yard and have some information to help you with. It is also a good idea to share a picture of the material you have and ask what others think it can be worth.
Negotiating Scrap Prices With Your Scrap Yard
- Know the Market: Knowing the current marketing conditions based on the seasons is important before you start to throw out pricing options for the materials you have. Remember during the winter months construction and demolition is slow, so the demand for materials is less so you may see steady run or dip in prices. But remember there are other factors like the market that can affect it too. An easy way to stay updated with market news is to check out the iScrap App’s Weekly What’s Updates for scrap news and prices.
- How Much Quantity & What Materials: When you are looking to negotiate with a scrap yard or junk yard for the first time, it is essential to get an inventory of your materials. If you are looking to make a weekly scrap trip, you may only be bringing in a small container of copper wire but if you have the ability to collect more and bring them several containers of copper wire after a month it is worth your time. So keep track of the higher commodity materials you collect and how much you collect on a regular basis. If you bring a larger quantity to the scrap yard they may be able to accommodate you with a higher price or tier pricing when you arrive.
- Try Working With Your Scrap Yard: Now we’re not saying stomp into your yard and demand higher prices, but now that you are mindful of the quantity of the materials you are collecting you can have a meaningful conversation with your scrap yard. Explain to them that you are bringing in X amount of material every week or month to their facility and you plan to continue this pattern. Perhaps they will be willing to work with you and give you tier pricing because you are a consistent customer. If you have never been to a scrap yard before and don’t have a working relationship, you won’t be received well if you demand higher prices immediately. Show your scrap yard what your business is worth to them and build a relationship. You could reap the price benefits in time!
- Check Other Scrap Yards: This method works when you have a large load of material like thousands of pounds of a high commodity item like copper, cable, brass, or stainless steel. If you are looking for a set price for a material you have, call a few yards. See what they are currently paying for the material and write the prices down. See who is paying more. Perhaps call one or two of the lower paying yards and see if they can work on a price with you. You may want to see if you regular scrap yard can price match or do better to continue the strong relationship you have with them.
Suggested Reading: How Do Scrap Yards Work?