Scrap Sales - Business Idea question

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snowman

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Online Metals, metal express, etc....all seem to be catering to a group of people that don't mind paying for 4 feet when they only need 2 inches.

I was looking at the aluminum (all marked with alloy) I pulled today, and that which I left behind.

Do you look at online retailers? I'm thinking it would be really easy to set all the stock I buy from them up onto a basic retail page, charge a little more per pound to cover my end, then just have it set up where you can get random dimensional sizes. So, you need 3 inches of 1/4 x 1/2...well, now you can order someone elses drop of 12 1/4 long, for half of the new price per pound if you were ordering a ton of it, and still not feel guilted into buying 4 feet because a foot costs only a dollar cheaper than 4 because they charge a $5 cut fee.

Granted, the guilted 4 foot instead of 1 foot is nice, until you get the credit card bill!

 
B

Bogstandard

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Most model engineering suppliers in the UK, supply either in foot measures (or metric equivalents), or if expensive material, you can buy by the inch.

John
 

shred

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I've thought about that a little. I think the sticking point is somebody has to manage each and every piece separately that way, which eats you up with labor costs measuring and entering them, then picking the particular piece back out of the pile when somebody wants it. Ok in small quantities, but a nightmare in big volume.

One local new metal place keeps all the short sections in one bin and will save you the cut charge if they have one within a few inches of what you want.

On the flip side, I occasionally bug my CNC shop friend to offer 'drop packs' to hobbyists-- they can't afford the time to go sorting the drops, but could do a bulk-box.. say "20 pounds of 6061 Al (or brass or steel, whatever he's cutting), mostly 1" and 1.5" round, no pieces shorter than 3" or longer than 12"-- then all somebody has to do is pile up a box full and ship it. I think he'd get more than the scrap guy pays.

 

Tin Falcon

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the last time I looked hobbymetals site was down.
the problem with selling small pieces is time economics.
What is shop time worth . most estimates I would say in the neighborhood of $60 per hour so if you touch or move something and it takes only one minute that is a buck. If it takes five minutes to fetch a piece of bar stock cut a 6" piece return the stock to the rack and then pack and label the 6" piece that is why they charge to cut.
as hobbyists we do not alway count out time but as a business one has to.
Tin
 

ChooChooMike

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Sheeeesh ! I needed some 1/4" round brass stock, about 2 feet. Figured I'd probably screw it up, so decided to got with a 3' length to give myself some extra wiggle room. Local metal shop here in Los Angeles - buying by the foot, was something like $2-$3/foot plus a min cutting charge of $6. So total cost would have been $12-$15.

Guy behind the counter told me the whole 12' stock length was about $12 with 1st cut free. Me being slightly edumacated, went for the better deal :p So now I have lots of extra 1/4" brass round stock :D ;D
 

jack404

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I so know that feeling
i have bought from online metals to avoid the common issue here of haveing to by a minimum ammount

sometimes thats a 6 meter length!! ( 20" for our US friends)

For those in Australia and NZ may i suggest a quick email to this gent in Sydney

george vesely

vmp.pl@ @ @ @bigpond.com

( the extra @'s so the spambots dont work and he does not get flooded) he has a online store via Oztion.com.au

the Aussie version of ebay his trading name is "offcuts-galore"

i have found everything i need very cheaply and he ships all over at cost!! if its not on his store a quick email to him often see's him place it on his store and a email reponce to advise you of this

he even sent a 4" peice of 2 1/2" dia 2021 Alu to a friend in Canada who could not get less that a yard ( big saving i'm told)

I have 182 purchases from george and every one is spot on for my stock sizes i still buy lengths but for the "one off's" i look for george.

cheers

Jack
 

firebird

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Hi

We took a car down to the scrap yard to weigh in yesterday. It was loaded up to the roof with all the scrap we could find. Made £108.00 at the weigh in. 6 months ago it would have been nearer £200.00. The guy at the yard said scrap prices were due to fall again next month. Good news for us.

Cheers

Rich
 

tel

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Yeah Jack, I've been dealing with George V. for a few years now, and he's very good.
 

John S

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firebird said:
Hi

We took a car down to the scrap yard to weigh in yesterday. It was loaded up to the roof with all the scrap we could find. Made £108.00 at the weigh in. 6 months ago it would have been nearer £200.00. The guy at the yard said scrap prices were due to fall again next month. Good news for us.

Cheers

Rich
It should be but I'm not seeing any reduction in the price of new steel.
Last year I was paying £18 per 7 metre length of 40mm box section, last week same bar was £42.00.

We have thrown all the coal out the bath and now keep the brass in it because of the price. 3/8" round in 3 metre lengths was £9.20 now it's £27.00

At one time people would pop in and ask for a foot, you would probably charge them something like a pound for the coffee fund, now if you charge them a pound you are cutting your own throat.

Even if you have old stock you have to work on replacement prices.
 

tmuir

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I think about 3/4 of all my stock has come from offcuts galore and probably will place another order with him very soon.
Just can't beat his prices only resort to other suppliers when I need a particular size to finish a project and he hasn't got any and I can't wait.
 

jack404

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If you get stuck post a note here i bought 3/4 ton of offcuts from Lithgow ADI ( Lithgow small arms)

and another lot from a enginerring shop in SA so m ay have what you need , maybe not but a post costs bugger all and may save you a trip if george cant help..

PS anyone in Oz know where i can get .5 MM - .9MM spring steel sheet ??

thats had me stumped for a while ..

cheers

Jack
 

tel

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Your best chance might be one of the spring manufacturers, like;

http://www.austsprings.com.au/home.html

.. they've supplied me with small quantities in the past, tho' I did work for 'em many, many moons ago. Can't hurt to ask.
 

zeusrekning

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John Stevenson said:
It should be but I'm not seeing any reduction in the price of new steel.
What I'm hearing out there right now from my steel suppliers is that steel scrap is down from approx $800 a ton to $500+. But still up from the $200/ton range from a year ago. But what the mills are doing to adjust for this is , they are lowering there surcharges for the scrap price adjustment and raising there base prices. This is about the same other than price/ton for stainless. I do not buy much alum, or red metals at work so not familiar with the trends.

It is not much diffrent from gas prices. Scrap price is like the barrel price, the mills are the refineries. I was told that as prices go down the mill will shut a furnace line down for maintenance and there will be a reflective spike in prices just as there is when a refinery goes down.

Tim
 
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