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It Pays to Shop Around

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  1. #1
    recyclersteve started this thread.
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    It Pays to Shop Around

    I turned in 85# of insulated #2 copper wire (soft wire) last week and got 25 cents a pound for it. Frankly, this was disappointing- recently I got 40-45 cents/lb. With all the work snipping ends and removing impediments, it was a lot of work for little money. This is in an area where there are 3-4 yards nearby and the one I dealt with offered the best pricing.

    Fast forward to today. I checked another part of town that is ~8-10 miles further away. I was in line with a guy behind me who appeared to be homeless (he had a grocery cart with clothing on it and no vehicle). When I was at the cashier, he was again right behind me. He asked how much I got- I told him I got $47 and he said he got about double that with just what was in his shopping cart. I drive an SUV.

    I was curious and we struck up a conversation. He said he once made $5k in a week, which sounded beyond believable. He said he knew of a business and when their fiscal year ended they threw out a bunch of brass. I wonder if he struck up a deal with someone else to use their truck or something. Who knows.

    I asked about other places he goes and the prices he gets and he referred me to a couple that were out of my way, but offered much better prices than what I've gotten.



    Here is the whopper... I found a place that will give me 70 cents a pound for the soft insulated #2 wire that I was getting 25 cents a pound for. AND THERE IS NO NEED TO STRIP OFF THE ENDS/PLUGS! Almost triple the money and I will save hundreds of hours of labor and my poor aching hands. I am absolutely floored that I got such a deal.

    If I hadn't struck up a conversation with the homeless guy, this may have never happened. I wish I had bought him dinner. I may never see him again. Oh well...

    My dad says things happen for a reason. Perhaps the time spent snipping with little return was to get me to appreciate how good scrapping can be. I thought I appreciated it before. Now I really do!!!

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  3. #2
    jimicrk's Avatar
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    It pays to shop around.

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  5. #3
    recyclersteve started this thread.
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    Well I am humbled. It didn't work out nearly as well as I thought. First, when I went back to the place that quoted 70 cents/lb.
    (type 2 insulated copper wire- NO NEED TO SNIP THE ENDS) they said they ran out of cash and were turning people away. I pushed back and said that if I were to come back the next day I at least wanted to know what they would pay. I had someone come to my car and quote 15 cents/lb. (vs. 70 cents!) for type 2 insulated wire without snipping the ends. I reminded him that he (the same guy) quoted me 70 cents on Friday evening. He said, "But prices change due to market conditions." I replied that they don't go from 70 to 15 just like that.

    After leaving (not pleased- I might add) it occurred to me that he had a very thick accent. Maybe he was trying to say 17 instead of 70 and the price went from 17 to 15 over the weekend (instead of from 70 to 15). I was still disappointed and upset. I didn't want to drive home and have to come back the next day.

    So I went to another couple of scrapping places a few miles away. The second one quoted 28 cents for some of the (type 2 insulated with no ends snipped) wire and 45 cents for the other. The wire didn't have just ends that would need to be snipped but also inline boxes as well. So this was an average of 36.5 cents/lb. without any snipping needed. As I figured that the ends and all the inline boxes that needed to be cut out could add 10-20% to the weight, this was really equal to 40-44 cents/lb. at the old place (which only paid 25 cents/lb. even with all the snipping work I did).

    So it was a no brainer for me to take this price. I just had the number 70 in my head, so I was somewhat disappointed. But my hands are rejoicing. And my wife is thinking the back yard is looking much better than it did just recently. So I guess that is all that is important.

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    RLS0812's Avatar
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    #3 wire in my area is $0.25 /lb

    I have never heard anyone quote $0.70 /lb for that kind of wire.

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    jimicrk's Avatar
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    I'm getting .53 lb for #2 insulated with ends on. Earlier this year it was up to .62 lb.

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RLS0812 View Post
    #3 wire in my area is $0.25 /lb

    I have never heard anyone quote $0.70 /lb for that kind of wire.
    I remember it as high as $1.05. this was when "Comex" was above $4 in the earlier 2000's.

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  11. #7
    APA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recyclersteve View Post

    Fast forward to today. I checked another part of town that is ~8-10 miles further away. I was in line with a guy behind me who appeared to be homeless (he had a grocery cart with clothing on it and no vehicle). When I was at the cashier, he was again right behind me. He asked how much I got- I told him I got $47 and he said he got about double that with just what was in his shopping cart. I drive an SUV.

    I was curious and we struck up a conversation. He said he once made $5k in a week, which sounded beyond believable. He said he knew of a business and when their fiscal year ended they threw out a bunch of brass. I wonder if he struck up a deal with someone else to use their truck or something. Who knows.

    If there was $5,000 worth of free brass somewhere, I would do whatever it took to get it.

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  13. #8
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    Not to brag but i can still get .93 for #2 (60%) insulated. The scale guy always asks if the ends are cut and tape and zip ties removed and then he gives me #1 wire price for it. It was at 1.20 for #2 ins and 1.80 for #1 ins earlyer in the year. I guess its my reputation i have at that yard that gets the higher tear since all my stuff is always clean.

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  15. #9
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    Reminders me of a CRT story. Back in the days when they were everywhere I was breaking them down as were most people here, I got a quote from a place that they buy them for $.10! I posted on here that this would be great and a good opportunity to make some easy cash. So I loaded up a 48 inch beast heavy as hell and went to see how it would go as no one would buy them. I go to the place and guy says drop off TV in the pile there, I then bring some other stuff to the scale. I am wondering why they did not have me weigh the beast, I ask at the pay window and he says TV's are $.10 each not per pound! Lesson learned it was too good to be true....
    Better than the dump!

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