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How to Avoid Scrap Metal Recycling Yard Scams
Most junkyards in Florida won’t try to cheat you, but scams do happen. If you aren’t prepared, you could be losing out on hundreds of dollars. Luckily, with a little bit of forethought, you should be able to avoid most scams and know whether or not you’re getting a fair deal. It’s surprisingly easy, but it does take a little bit of time to get ahead of the scam artists.
Call the junkyard and ask them for a quote. Tell them the make and model of the vehicle, as well as the year, whether or not it runs, and if it’s complete. Complete simply means that the engine, tires, transmission, etc., are all still with the vehicle. The junkyard should be able to give you an initial quote over the phone.
This probably sounds normal, but there is a catch. Are they willing to pick up the vehicle, or do they need you to tow it to them? This is how a well-known scam proceeds. If they can’t or won’t arrange to tow the vehicle themselves, you’re left paying for the tow. This already costs you, but you may believe the quoted price more than makes up the difference. However, once you deliver the vehicle, they tell you it’s smaller than they thought or that it’s in worse condition.
After this assessment, they’ll try to haggle with you about the price. You may end up only being offered 50-60% of the original quote. Since you already had to pay for the tow, they assume they have you cornered. After all, you’d have to pay again to bring it back home.
A reputable junkyard generally offers to tow the vehicle themselves, and it’s a free service. You don’t have to pay out-of-pocket for the tow. Whatever quote they initially gave you over the phone, they should also be willing to honor in person. Always get a name. Better yet, check and see if they’ll email you a copy of the quote. It’s always best to get something in writing. If you want to feel even safer, you can print out the email and bring it with you.
There’s no uniform price for a junk vehicle. The two biggest factors are the amount of steel and aluminum. The average car has around 2,000 pounds of steel, whereas the average truck has around 3,000 pounds. The majority of vehicles have roughly 300 pounds of aluminum as well. As you can probably guess, vans and some SUVs tend to be at the higher end of the range.
The thing to remember is that the value of steel and aluminum changes, just like copper, silver, and gold change in value. This is true of all commodities. While they may be willing to honor their original quote, it won’t be good forever. A month later, the value could change drastically, and the quote will have to be adjusted as well. Technically, scrap metal prices change daily, weekly, and monthly. Of course, the junkyard might be happy to honor the initial quote, provided that they can pick up the vehicle or it can be delivered the same weekend or before the end of the week. Be sure to check and get a date along with the quote.
Not all junkyards in Florida are looking to scam you. The vast majority of them do an honest business, but it’s worth being informed. Contact U Pull N Save at 239-337-7300 for a free quote. If the vehicle needs to be towed, that service is free as well.