You might find it surprising that someone could successfully start a business selling scrap metal and old junk, but if planned correctly, selling scrap metal and junk could be a very lucrative business venture. The most effective strategy is to start out with a low-end scrapping business before expanding into the more complicated aspects and scaled activities of the scrap metal business. Whether you want to get into metal recycling, waste metal recycling, scrap yard selling or any other form of scrap metal business, you can run your own business after accumulating enough scrap metal and ensuring safety precautions are strictly enforced.
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Research the market and determine whether there is any need for scrap metal or junk metal in the area where you want to open your business. Think about reaching out to businesses that use scrap metal like plumbers, landscapers, electricians and mechanics. These types of businesses and individuals will be your target market.
Accumulate pieces of junk metal and scraps. This should include old, unwanted pieces of metal that normally come from building supplies, old vehicle parts and other scrap. You can ask your neighbours if they have any unwanted pieces or contact local businesses to find out if they need to discard of any unwanted scrap metal. Lots of scrap metal and junk is given away free by people or businesses who have no need for it but you can also buy scrap metal as well.
Acquire the appropriate equipment and vehicles for your business. Any heavy machinery such as delivery trucks, tractors, cranes or other equipment will be needed to move scrap metal in and out of the scrap yard. Get appropriate financing if needed to acquire the equipment you need.
Secure a holding area or a property lot to store all your metal and junk scraps. Depending on the size and location of your scrap yard, you may or may not decide to open the yard to open visitors so they can browse and shop for available scrap pieces. Other ways of providing scrap metal include taking orders by phone or online for specific pieces and delivering it straight to the customer or allowing them to come pick it up.
Segregate your scrap metal and junk in your lot by piles, quality and recyclable parts. If your scrap metal yard or lot grows in size, buyers may bid on specific piles like an auction where the highest bidder gets to take the pile.
Price your scrap metal appropriately. Conduct research on the types of scrap metal most commonly sold by scrap metal businesses to compare prices. Scrap metal is always measured by weight rather than by piece or item, which is why you will need a heavy-duty weight scale for weighing small and large pieces of metal and junk.
Hire staff with experience working in labour-intensive environments with machinery and activities related to heavy lifting. Train your staff appropriately on the sale procedures and types of scrap metal and junk you will be offering for sale.
Advertise the scrap metal business by offering flyers to prospective customers and through classified ads in local newspapers. Set up a website and eCommerce system if you wish to take orders online.
Open your scrap metal business and offer sale discounts or auction bids on the first day or first week of launch. This will help to create buzz around your local area and draw people in that could potentially develop into long-term customers for your business.
Tips and warnings
- Scrap metal yards possess dangerous risks of injury for employees and customers. Develop appropriate health and safety procedures that protect all individuals involved in the business, while also complying with state laws and regulations.
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