Negotiate the Best Scrap Yard Prices

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Negotiating the Best Scrap Yard Prices

The easiest way to change the salvage value of your scrap metal will be to somehow manipulate any of the 4 different parameters that determine scrap yard prices to your advantage. Although, the easiest thing to do is visit Scrap Mart Metals because we already offer some of the highest prices in the St. Louis area.

But, if you insist – here are three simple techniques to getting better pricing.

Play the quantity:

Every scrapper has encountered this scenario: You call up the scrap yard to check on the price of a certain type of metal; their first and only question “How much do you have?” When you buy/sell in bulk, you get better pricing, and the scrap yard is no exception. Instead of selling scrap metal by the bucketful, try the barrel-full. Save more, get more – pretty simple.

When you call up the scrap yard to ask what they pay for a specific metal, they will be much more receptive to your price requests if they know you will be bringing in a large quantity.

This mentality can be applied to all metals; save up your shred metal and sell it by the trailer-full, or even dumpster-full. This type of price advantage is easiest to work out if you have a secure area to store your scrap metal.

Play the market:

All things being equal, scrap metal prices will drop slightly in the summer and increase slightly in the winter. This is especially true in areas that have very cold winters that impede recyclers and scrappers from collecting and salvaging. You can use this to your advantage if you can hold onto your metal for a few months before selling, you will most likely see a rise in prices in the winter. This typically only works in scrap metal markets where there is not much volatility, meaning the price is not constantly jumping and falling without reason. The best way to keep up with metal spot prices is to check out Kitco spot price feeds.

 Play the scrap yard:

Every scrap yard is willing to compete for your business, especially if your business is consistent. If you are business or just a guy with a hobby, sometimes you can squeeze your scrap metal yards for better prices if you are consistently bringing in large quantities of scrap metal. Start off by becoming a steady customer at a scrap yard that has proven itself to be of a high-caliber. The better the scrap yard, the better they treat their customers. Be sure to introduce yourself to the owner, and always save your scrap yard price tickets! Total up how much metal you bring in per week, per month, per year, etc, and how much material that is for them.

Once you have developed a consistent and steady relationship with the scrap yard, and their workers, sit down with the owner (or acting manager) and have a frank and polite conversation with him or her. If they are not at all receptive of your request to have higher prices, that is not the end of the world. You can bring the same tickets to another scrap yard and show them how much material you are willing to bring them if they can give you better (“special”) pricing.

The idea is not to be aggressive, but to be frank and open: They need to understand that you will bring your business to the scrap yard that can give you the best prices. The worst case scenario is that you end up still getting the same prices you were getting before. The best case is that you make more money per load just for asking.