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| A Day in the Life of a Scrapper
  1. #21
    hills's Avatar
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    It's normal to have highs and lows anyway. Winter was the slow season for me. Sometimes i would go for two or three months with little or nothing coming in for money from my carpentry business. I would fill in by hiring on with the town as a snow plow truck driver. It all worked out nicely. I would jump in a truck when things slowed down around the first of November. The carpentry work would pick up just as the snow plowing was playing out in the early spring.

    The main thing is don't let yourself get discouraged when things slow down. You just never know .... a week from now you may have more work than you know what to do with.

    If you're going year after year and see yourself slowly losing ground .... that's the time to start thinking about doing something else. There's no sense in holding on for so long that you eventually go broke.



  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeinreco View Post
    Lol....I'm 45 and into this scrapping/selling stuff almost 12 years 7 days a week....will be hard to re-adjust to any regular job and in this bussiness sometimes I can make as much in a day as some poor SOB would make in a week working for the man.....at this point the grind is killing me....money is slow to come in due to low volume of calls....I have probably handed out 1000's of bussiness cards....have a "website" that generates calls....do gov't auctions etc.....not much more I could do other than quit or go all in and open up my own scrap yard (I definitely don't want to do that).....for now I will continue to grind out the ewaste I have and take pickups that are easy or profitable
    There are different angles on things Mike. I remember as a kid ... most cities and towns had a skilled tradesman called a shoe maker. This was a gent that used to repair shoes. Maine had a thriving shoe manufacturing industry that employed thousands of people. The thing is that the world changed in the early 1970's. More and more .... shoes were manufactured in foreign countries that had cheap labor. Shoes became so cheap that people didn't bother to repair them anymore. They just threw them away and bought a new pair for low money. Shoe repair and shoe manufacturing in America went the way of the dinosaur.

    I saw a lot of changes in the construction trades over the decades. Toward the end of it .... it became very difficult for the little one or two man operations to operate profitably. Most of the work shifted to the larger operations with at least 10 men on the payroll.

    Gawd knows .... there's an abundance of work right now but a fulla would have a very hard time doing small " handyman " jobs profitably. Truck expense is a killer. It's senseless to put in a ten hour day with only three or four billable hours.

    That's the thing ... see ? You have to look at your own operation from time to time and ask yourself if the world is changing around you. I'm not saying one way or another really. That's something you have to decide for yourself.

    If you find yourself doing more of the same .... harder ?

    That's the trap that a lot of older CEO's of major companies fall into in a changing world. Instead of adapting to the changes ... they try even harder.

    Anyhow ... just shootin' the breeze and talking about different ideas here. You know your own situation better than anyone else ever could.

  3. #23
    CopperMiner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    T most cities and towns had a skilled tradesman called a shoe maker. This was a gent that used to repair shoes.
    True. Shoe maker is a dying breed. They're getting harder and harder to find, but they still have plenty of job ready for the skilled ones.

    Same as appliance or small engine repairmen. Programmed obsolescence make things to be replaced instead of repaired. Sometime you don't have choice to replace as was the case with my mower earlier this week, but sometime just getting a cheap part would do the job. The problem is less and less people are selling second hand parts (and used appliance too) and it is getting impossible to get a OEM from the manufacturer. They're now expecting people to buy another item instead of a single part.
    NEW TO SCRAPPING? READ THIS: Build up your horde of magnetic and non-magnetic metals in two piles until you have a better understanding of the business. Read old threads about non-magnetic metals and ewaste (and how to sort them), but don't forget that they generally have absolutely no tolerance for contamination (screw / iron / foreign material). Magnetic material has low value and is mostly always steel / shred / short iron.

  4. #24
    mikeinreco started this thread.
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    Lol...I guess I am getting old I remember my dad having a pair of shoes repaired....must have been early 80's and that was probably last time he ever did it

  5. #25
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    Mike I think it's time to look at your process before you throw the towel. I've been exactly where you are but from a different circumstance. I had saturation issues with ebay, people copying the fringe item sales I had been so successful on, which is to be expected. Later on, I shrunk it down, got everything paid down and reevaluated process. That meant taking copper and board processing more seriously. If there are more people doing what we do, then in my mind it's better to focus on buying, increase your intake, even if it reduces margin. You will ALWAYS find what people missed. I get more commodores and tandy computers now than I ever did seeking them out specifically. I stopped buying the MTSV stuff from all except my long time customers, instead I buy scrap higher than everyone else and make it work. In exchange for my own downstreams I tighten up my processing so much that they know EXACTLY what they get from me. I ask for premium price, and deliver a gaylord of material they don't need to touch. Works for both of us. For me, copper is the future, even if the price goes down I'm prepared to sit on it for years at a time, pay my overhead and stockpile the "profit".
    WI ITAD LLC, IT Liquidation Services, we remarket, buy and sell scrap electronics No customer too large or small!

  6. #26
    mikeinreco started this thread.
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    My "process" is an absolute disaster..........I was getting so much in last year I just had to keep on renting storage units to keep up with the volume.......Got up to 4 units at one time three 10x20 and one 10x30.......this gets expensive.....I am now down to a 10x20 and a 10x15 plus I'm processing some stuff in a shed behind my house (I can get away with some but I live in city)........Also I have one car garage filled with stuff I am trying to sell on ebay (ebay sales have been good until the last week or two and have just dropped to nothing)......So basically I have 4 different locations stuff is stored.......I am able to work out of the storage units and have a work bench set up there......AHHHHHH I don't even wanna think about it......Somehow I have pushed 1000's of dollars worth of scrap and resale out the door every month for years.......I have already stated that I don't wanna get a stand alone building or run a scrap yard by myself but I would be willing to partner with the right person.....I have quite a bit of capital saved but its all in cash and is losing value daily........Oh well.......tomorrow I'm gonna smoke some meat and might try to sort some metals while the meat cooks........I have about decided just to continue on and let the good times roll and slowly go broke!



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