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Next step?

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  1. #1
    ParkerFlyer4 started this thread.
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    Next step?

    I'm an e-scrapper for about 10 years now. (Most everything i learned, I learned here)
    I feel like I've reached the top of my game as far as a part time job.
    I've got a steady supply of old computers and parts coming in. And i land a few big jobs every now and then. Nothing too serious, but I'm always hustling.

    If you are where I am, we are all just middle men. We buy from consumers, and sell to refiners/re-sellers.
    Obviously, the next step would be to cut out the middle man in some way.



    My question is this:
    What's the next step? What's the next big purchase?
    I've bought a trailer, and expanded my shop.
    Thanks.


  2. #2
    mikeinreco's Avatar
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    I feel your pain pretty much same situation.....when u figure it out let me know...

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    maybe find more consumers to buy from and make it full time?

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    Short if free cellphone recycling in shops. I dont see a dissapearing of 'the middle man'.
    Doing what you are doing and keep building up contact's is about it unless you become a broker & exporting containers of escrap.
    Diversify into 'direct to refiners'. You really have to know what you are doing there. Known returns & bonds,
    Maybe contracting to bigger business and with 'Data destruction services'

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  8. #5
    ParkerFlyer4 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eesakiwi View Post
    Short if free cellphone recycling in shops. I dont see a dissapearing of 'the middle man'.
    Doing what you are doing and keep building up contact's is about it unless you become a broker & exporting containers of escrap.
    Diversify into 'direct to refiners'. You really have to know what you are doing there. Known returns & bonds,
    Maybe contracting to bigger business and with 'Data destruction services'
    If this is the route I head in. Im thinking I would need some kind of grinder/shredder. To maximize full containers.

    Edit.
    I do deal with multiple business and will continue to get more. (When there is time)
    I also do data destruction.
    Thanks
    Last edited by ParkerFlyer4; 10-16-2019 at 09:55 PM.

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  10. #6
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    One way of looking at this would be to ask if you're making more money with your side gig than your regular job.

    If so ... it's time to make the change.

    If not ... stay with what you've got.

    Just an opinion but the long term picture for ewaste doesn't look all that promising. It seems to be more work for less return. The manufacturers have gotten pretty good at doing more with less. It could come to a point where there's little or nothing to be salvaged ?

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  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    One way of looking at this would be to ask if you're making more money with your side gig than your regular job.

    If so ... it's time to make the change.

    If not ... stay with what you've got.

    Just an opinion but the long term picture for ewaste doesn't look all that promising. It seems to be more work for less return. The manufacturers have gotten pretty good at doing more with less. It could come to a point where there's little or nothing to be salvaged ?
    Same as everything else. The end of the process will be the entire computer and its' intergrated electronics will be made of plastic.

  13. #8
    ParkerFlyer4 started this thread.
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    True. But, until that happens..... I'm still in business

  14. #9
    ParkerFlyer4 started this thread.
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    I make more money at my full time job. But, that's mostly because I haven't put a 'full time' effort into computers.

    I'm mostly looking to hear experiences from you guys who share my situation, and did well with computers. And possibly turned it into a full time gig.

    Without actually going full time, yet. I want to expand to the next step. Just fishing for ideas on what that next step might be.
    If it's a granulated/shredder. Which kinds work best for a semi small recycler? Reasonable price. Or made from home.

    I've dug into self refining, but I'm going to try to avoid that, for now at least.

    For me, money is not the main reason I'm into computers. I have plenty of extra money. So, over the years I've accumulated a lot of high grade components. I only sell the larger items that take up too much space. Still haven't got a real plan on what I'm going to do with everything I've saved..... probably get into refining a few years from now.

    Sorry for rambling on!! Just sharing a little of my story, hoping to continue the discussion.

  15. #10
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    For whatever it's worth: I've been into ewaste for for around six or seven years now. I had a ten year plan when i first started out. I figured i would get the process all smoothed out and ready to go by the time i retired. That way i would have a supplemental income in my golden years.

    Things certainly have changed in that time.

    Somebody once compared urban mining to regular gold mining where you process tons soil to recover ounces of pm's. That comparison doesn't seem to be too far off the mark.

    Think about it ... how many pounds of electronics do you currently have to process to get a few ounces of circuit boards ? How many tons of circuit boards do you have to process to get recoverable amounts of PM's ?

    It seems like a rather daunting task to me. Especially considering that the yields per ton should continue to drop year over year.

    They say timing is everything.
    I bet you could made money hand over fist if you had jumped in during the 70's or 80's. The opportunity was ripe. Jeez ... those old 386 & 486 processors were pretty rich in gold.

    It seems like it's awfully slim pickin's these days. Maybe it's not the time to jump in ? Too late ... that opportunity has passed ?

    Personally , i wouldn't invest myself in something that looks like it's past it's peak and is now on the downhill slide.

    Instead ... i think i would look forward to emerging technologies. Everybody says "no way" & " it will never happen". With that said: I think that there's a fair chance ,that at least half the vehicles on the road thirty years from now will be all electric.

    How would a forward thinking scrapper position himself to exploit that opportunity ?

  16. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    For whatever it's worth: I've been into ewaste for for around six or seven years now. I had a ten year plan when i first started out. I figured i would get the process all smoothed out and ready to go by the time i retired. That way i would have a supplemental income in my golden years.

    Things certainly have changed in that time.

    Somebody once compared urban mining to regular gold mining where you process tons soil to recover ounces of pm's. That comparison doesn't seem to be too far off the mark.

    Think about it ... how many pounds of electronics do you currently have to process to get a few ounces of circuit boards ? How many tons of circuit boards do you have to process to get recoverable amounts of PM's ?

    It seems like a rather daunting task to me. Especially considering that the yields per ton should continue to drop year over year.

    They say timing is everything.
    I bet you could made money hand over fist if you had jumped in during the 70's or 80's. The opportunity was ripe. Jeez ... those old 386 & 486 processors were pretty rich in gold.

    It seems like it's awfully slim pickin's these days. Maybe it's not the time to jump in ? Too late ... that opportunity has passed ?

    Personally , i wouldn't invest myself in something that looks like it's past it's peak and is now on the downhill slide.

    Instead ... i think i would look forward to emerging technologies. Everybody says "no way" & " it will never happen". With that said: I think that there's a fair chance ,that at least half the vehicles on the road thirty years from now will be all electric.

    How would a forward thinking scrapper position himself to exploit that opportunity ?
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  18. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    For whatever it's worth: I've been into ewaste for for around six or seven years now. I had a ten year plan when i first started out. I figured i would get the process all smoothed out and ready to go by the time i retired. That way i would have a supplemental income in my golden years.

    Things certainly have changed in that time.

    Somebody once compared urban mining to regular gold mining where you process tons soil to recover ounces of pm's. That comparison doesn't seem to be too far off the mark.

    Think about it ... how many pounds of electronics do you currently have to process to get a few ounces of circuit boards ? How many tons of circuit boards do you have to process to get recoverable amounts of PM's ?

    It seems like a rather daunting task to me. Especially considering that the yields per ton should continue to drop year over year.

    They say timing is everything.
    I bet you could made money hand over fist if you had jumped in during the 70's or 80's. The opportunity was ripe. Jeez ... those old 386 & 486 processors were pretty rich in gold.

    It seems like it's awfully slim pickin's these days. Maybe it's not the time to jump in ? Too late ... that opportunity has passed ?

    Personally , i wouldn't invest myself in something that looks like it's past it's peak and is now on the downhill slide.

    Instead ... i think i would look forward to emerging technologies. Everybody says "no way" & " it will never happen". With that said: I think that there's a fair chance ,that at least half the vehicles on the road thirty years from now will be all electric.

    How would a forward thinking scrapper position himself to exploit that opportunity ?
    going off what he said but with a twist, maybe instead of looking into things that are new and coming maybe look into things that are old and dead. what I mean by that is look at everything thats no longer being bought by china. things that could be processed safely in country but are currently being exported to pollute the soils of foreign nations. maybe its worth it maybe its not but thats what i'm currently looking into. instead of complaining about a down market maybe nows the time to use that to your advantage. if getting a mill is in your thoughts already maybe look into feeding that mill with CRT tubes. i'm sure it wouldn't be cheap to set up, but people are already paying to get rid of them. I'm not entirely sure how to get the lead out of the glass, but the world needs someone to step up and set something up for that. theres some other things as well the world needs as well like plastic recyclers who actually make stuff from the plastic. weather it be new plastic or couch cushions/polyester the world needs some more processors set up doing that. and i know its not the most productive set up but something like this would help the worlds plastic problems as well.

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  20. #13
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    I think it would be helpful to have some kind of subsidies if you wanted to get into old and dead. It might come in the form of government subsidies, end of life fees collected, or perhaps just charge by the pound.

    I believe they've got the CRT processing mostly licked. The last time i checked ... there was a plant running 24/7 here in Maine. That opportunity is still on the crest of the wave. There are still plenty of CRT's left to process.

    The thing that is problematic is all of the different flat screens that are entering the waste stream. That could be an opportunity if you could figure out a way of making it profitable to do.

  21. #14
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    I was you.

    Part time.

    Now I am full time, an have been for a good long while.

    Sadly, I doubt my road to full time would help you.

    1. I live on a sandbar.
    2. I don't need a lot of customers to be full time, and make a profit I am happy with.
    3. I like to roll the dice. I gambled on going full time, it worked for me.
    4. I lack the mass amounts of competition most everyone else deals with in their area.
    5. No cell phone recycle machines on my sandbar that I'm aware of. Closest is two hours away in Va.


    You say you have steady clients. You've been here a good long while, have learned, and contributed, and still learn something when you visit like a lot of us. Your ready to go full time whenever you wanna roll those dice, an place your bet.

    Big thing about going full time, an Hills kinda touched on it, is....you never know if the gravy train will end, or prices will drop further. I was lucky, I went full time back when things were still going for a good chunk of pocket jingle. That's a fear I didn't have when I started. I've done well, I'm not rich, but I ain't broke an bankrupt either. Will things change for me? Eventually yes. This is one instance where I'm glad change comes slow to my sandbar. Folks around here still like to toss things my way, an I take most of it with a smile, unless it's a tube tv. I'm likely to charge you a pickup/drop off fee for a tube tv. To much hassle, to much stress dealing with getting rid of it all.

    You were asked about which you make more at....the part-time gig, or the full time. My question is....an forgive me if you've mentioned it before, are you married? If so would your other half be supportive of you giving up your current full time gig for your part time? If your single...then ignore that question. Haha!

    In short.....do it, or don't. Only you can decide if the risk vs reward is worth it. It may seem like an easy thing to say, but then again...I took my own advice.

    I wish you luck either way, full time or staying part time.

    Edit: I forgot to add....I still mainly focus on ewaste. Now an then I'll do a clean out(Sheds, old buildings, etc) an deal with good old metal. I have no plans to venture into new things. I'll stick with old, it's made me good money. I have no desire to be a buyer, nor do I wanna deal with refineries, so I'm no help in deciding what else to focus on.

    Sirscrapalot - "Mary's mother sent her to the store to get nine large cans of beans. Mary could only carry two cans at a time. How many trips to the store did Mary have to make?" ... What kind of a family would only feed the children beans?" - Klinger taking a test...for you young people, that's a Mash reference.
    Last edited by Sirscrapalot; 10-18-2019 at 01:14 AM.

  22. #15
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    Membership have a short memory, CRT's are shipped to the lead smelter located in Trail BC, the leaded glass is used as part of the flux formula any lead in the glass gets absorbed into the melt.

    https://www.teck.com/operations/canada/operations/trail-operations-5672/


    Last edited by blackgold12; 10-18-2019 at 02:37 AM.


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