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To Pay or not to Pay for Ewaste ....

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  1. #1
    aph started this thread.
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    Cool To Pay or not to Pay for Ewaste ....

    Hi ya'll,
    I know some of you pay for certain items and others don't.

    I am just wondering what the general consensus is on paying for ewaste you pickup vs just offering a free pickup.

    I don't think there are any serious recyclers in town here except one large recycler.
    They offer free pickups and pay a measly amount if you drop it off at their warehouse.



    I don't think they pay for larger pickups either, but I am not 100% sure.
    I am very carefully picking their managers brain. Don't want to give away too much info on what I am up to by asking too specific questions.

    I am pretty sure we could get PLENTY of residential pickups and the occasional commercial.

    But these guys have been around a few years and massively advertise mainly to commercial customers.

    Not trying to put them out of business, but I wouldn't mind getting some more commercial/larger pickups and establish ourselves as another player in the area.

    FYI our city has 103,000 households, the entire county (within 35 minute drive) about 250-300,000 households.

    Neighboring counties still within 1 hour drive one way have prob another 500,000 or more households.

    Thanks a bunch!
    Martin
    Time is Money - Crunch the Numbers - It's a Numbers Game!


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    Ecycle Atlanta's Avatar
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    I'm in a high-volume market in Atlanta. There are plenty of competitors doing the free pickup thing here, and I was determined to differentiate my company from theirs in a number of ways. One way was to actually pay for pickups of equipment. This was not an easy decision as it was going to have a direct impact on my bottom line. Combined with exceptional customer service including prompt return calls, clean appearance and quick pickups, it was a huge winner for us. We have increased in acquisitions and sales each month over the last 2 years. Surely there were some jobs done at a loss, but when I look at the aggregate sum it was a good recipe for success. Keep in mind I transitioned fast from picking up small loads of equipment from residences, thrift stores, etc., and focused almost entirely on corporations. If possible, make an investment in your first impression as it could make or break a deal. My first expenses were logo/business cards and polo shirts with the logo. Next came a bigger investment with a good website. Not long after I ditched the pickup and went with rental trucks, and then my own Sprinter van. You have to measure your investment based on ability to pay, but these things will help you land the bigger accounts. Dont overpay for your product either, and offset some costs by offering fee based services like data destruction and de-installation. The big scrap yards cant compete with a hands-on owner giving personal attention to their project.

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  4. #3
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    For me (a small part-timer) I get the occasional call for free metal scrap or computer related pickups but the larger truckloads I've had to pay a smaller amount. You have to pay to play.
    P & M Recycling - Specializing in E-Waste Recycling.
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    aph started this thread.
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    Thanks shendog
    you pretty much mirrored my ideas.
    I used to pick up appliances and resold them a couple of years ago.
    MANY free pickup offers around.
    So I offered $10 and got PLENTY!

    Many friends told me I am wasting money, I could get them for free.

    I recently went to offer free and the volume is definitely DOWN!

    I also pay a friend $10 each and he delivers, so I am still at the $10 with less time involved.

    I get plenty of them, and I make a good living.

    But it is time to step up the game.

    I plan on being a BIG player eventually. Not HUGE with 100,000 sq ft, but def. bigger than a garage and a few storage units.

    The one big player in town pays very little. He grew fast and with prices down his overhead is killing him.

    I could def. pay the SAME and offer free pickup or a little more if people deliver to me.

    I just don't want to end up HAVING to pay when I could get enough for free.

    Just food for thought. Thanks again for the input.

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    in general, if you are after the residential market, I ry to have them come to me. I do the ewaste recycling events in conjunction with he schools and it is pretty successful. Granted make sure you are SPECIFIC about things like taking TV's or not.

    The rest are corporate accounts and my main one is just happy someone will take all the stuff (I take EVERYTHING, even plastic etc to make their life easier). Any others will be trial and error if just starting out....otherwise you can start with free and then always go to pay, but not the other way around.
    PROFIT is made when you BUY/ACQUIRE NOT when you sell

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    Quote Originally Posted by shendog View Post
    I'm in a high-volume market in Atlanta. There are plenty of competitors doing the free pickup thing here, and I was determined to differentiate my company from theirs in a number of ways. One way was to actually pay for pickups of equipment. This was not an easy decision as it was going to have a direct impact on my bottom line. Combined with exceptional customer service including prompt return calls, clean appearance and quick pickups, it was a huge winner for us. We have increased in acquisitions and sales each month over the last 2 years. Surely there were some jobs done at a loss, but when I look at the aggregate sum it was a good recipe for success. Keep in mind I transitioned fast from picking up small loads of equipment from residences, thrift stores, etc., and focused almost entirely on corporations. If possible, make an investment in your first impression as it could make or break a deal. My first expenses were logo/business cards and polo shirts with the logo. Next came a bigger investment with a good website. Not long after I ditched the pickup and went with rental trucks, and then my own Sprinter van. You have to measure your investment based on ability to pay, but these things will help you land the bigger accounts. Dont overpay for your product either, and offset some costs by offering fee based services like data destruction and de-installation. The big scrap yards cant compete with a hands-on owner giving personal attention to their project.
    I know this is asking a bunch, but I was wondering if you would share some of your advice in ways to market to corporations. Or, are you just walking in and offering your services?

    I'm in the same position right now. Trying to decide whether to accept residential drop offs or go for bigger customers only.

    I can see that both avenues will work. For me though, I see residential as more crap product (printers, scanners, radios, etc). I think that is what really has me on the fence and not moving forward right now.

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    When I started I was all over the place, accepting anything and everything...and got a LOT of junk. But I consider it all good because it forced me to focus on what my goal would be and also gave me the experience to know what is profitable and what takes up too much time. As a disclaimer, I would say that every market has different variables and therefore different results. The other thing is that every person is different. I make no judgement on how anyone determines to run their business, as some people are content to haul scrap metal for beer money or wont stop until they make a million $ in a fiscal year. Therefore this insight may not be for you, and others might know better ways to do it.

    To make it relatively short, I would start with what I posted earlier. Work on appearances for all facets of your business. This includes personal, online, print, vehicles, etc. You dont have to be a polished sales person, just be genuine and appealing to the people you are dealing with. Most corporate environments require employees to have khakis and polo at a minimum...you should present yourself in accordance with what they see on a daily basis. No jeans and ripped tshirt and no 3 piece suits. Anyway, to get to your point, you need to have a good profile online. Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, checks out people/businesses on the web (how many people saw my avatar and googled Ecycle Atlanta?). Invest in a website! Once that is done, work on SEO's (google that too). Now you need to start getting your name out there...here are some tips that I did:

    Join local Chamber of Commerce and get involved
    Team up with a charitable organization to do a ewaste drive (I worked with Arbor Day foundation and local firefighters group). Its easier than it seems
    Give our business cards to EVERYONE. I also printed up a 3-fold brochure professionally done and give them out like candy.
    Facebook page for your company. it helps with the SEO's. Keep it updated with new posts as much as possible

    I hardly ever do pure cold calling on businesses as most are inaccessible to get into right off the street. When I go to pickup at a business I always leave extra cards and ask them to give to neighboring businesses, or I walk around and hand out using the old standby "I was doing some work for your neighbor next door..."

    Sell as much locally as more than scrap. This is probably the best thing I can impart. We have great buyers here on SMF, but it pays to have local buyers of equipment. When I first started I googled all of the computer stores within a certain radius and went to each one to get their old computers (the only time cold calling works, for me anyway). I still have most as customers that not only sell me their old stuff, but buy from me anything from memory, drives, whole computers, etc. They also have a huge network of customers, including businesses, that will most certainly have escrap eventually. I have a couple local shops that have been instrumental in my growth locally by email blasting notifications when I did recycling drives for the Arbor Day foundation. These blasts hit about 2k customers locally. You cant beat free advertising.

    I could probably drone on all day about other things, but these are the first things that come to mind.

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    I will also say that this forum was an avenue to meet different people, and one in specific, from whom I gained a ton of information (and still do to this day!). It gets old to say, but read read read the forum and dont be afraid to ask too

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    To Pay or not to Pay for Ewaste ....

    aph, seriously follow shendogs advice, I could not have expressed it any better, in business,.... image and first impressions will build you

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    It depends on the area. Out here, I actually charge for residential pickups. I have to- our towns are 30 miles apart. Running any vehicle a round trip of 60 miles for 3 desktops and a printer isn't worth it. Now, for businesses and schools, that's another story. If they want you to jump through hoops, smile and do it! It'll be worth it!
    More than Scrap Value Shipment Tips: http://www.scrapmetalforum.com/scrap...tml#post242349

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    shendog - thank you for your info.

    matador - kinda of like real estate business, location, location and again location.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shendog View Post
    I'm in a high-volume market in Atlanta. There are plenty of competitors doing the free pickup thing here, and I was determined to differentiate my company from theirs in a number of ways. One way was to actually pay for pickups of equipment. This was not an easy decision as it was going to have a direct impact on my bottom line. Combined with exceptional customer service including prompt return calls, clean appearance and quick pickups, it was a huge winner for us. We have increased in acquisitions and sales each month over the last 2 years. Surely there were some jobs done at a loss, but when I look at the aggregate sum it was a good recipe for success. Keep in mind I transitioned fast from picking up small loads of equipment from residences, thrift stores, etc., and focused almost entirely on corporations. If possible, make an investment in your first impression as it could make or break a deal. My first expenses were logo/business cards and polo shirts with the logo. Next came a bigger investment with a good website. Not long after I ditched the pickup and went with rental trucks, and then my own Sprinter van. You have to measure your investment based on ability to pay, but these things will help you land the bigger accounts. Dont overpay for your product either, and offset some costs by offering fee based services like data destruction and de-installation. The big scrap yards cant compete with a hands-on owner giving personal attention to their project.
    Shendog: VERY well put and articulated! Well Done Sir!
    I'm so into scrapping.. When my Steel Toe Boots Wear out, I cut the Steel out of them and recycle the Toe!

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