Sunday, October 31, 2010

How to Find Salvage and Recycling Material

Recently a member emailed me asking for any tips for finding salvage and recycling material. He said that in his area all of the accounts were taken. My reply was that early on I had a couple of accounts with metal fabricators, but I found that having accounts just didn't work out. I found myself driving by opportunities and having to pass them up because I had a load and/or a schedule to keep. I realized that I was passing up things that would I could get for free or pennies on the dollar for material from accounts that, at best, I was doubling my money. So it wasn't long before I gave up the accounts.

I understand the desire to get accounts and have a regular dependable income, but, I wasn't ready to settle for a limited income in that way. If I was a different sort of person I could have hired people to do the accounts and build the business that way. But I'm not the managerial type and I knew that wouldn't work out. Once I took account of who I was and the way I operated I did much better.

I see opportunities almost every day in my travels around my home area. I live in a very rural area - a town of less than 500 people. Other towns are spaced out about 20-30 miles apart and none are more than a few thousand, but I see and find things all the time. Here's an example from the other day. A house was being torn down. If I had seen it a few days earlier, I most likely could have torn it down myself and made good money off of the used lumber and material. When I did get there all that was left was large timbers. Most were 4x12 and a couple of 6x14. I knew I could sell them easily for good money. But I also knew that they would save me a lot of money as the main timbers for a new shop I was building.

I went into town and checked at the barber shop and sure enough, the barber knew who owned it and put me in touch. I checked with the owner and he was more than happy to give me the timber if I would also haul off a boat (with 2 motors and trailer) and an old tractor. I jumped at it.

As I was hauling the old tractor down to a heavy equipment dealer. I saw a vacant old metal warehouse. It was about 30 feet by 60 feet long. I put my business card under the door with a note asking about the building. I continued on to the heavy equipment dealer and was happy to accept his offer of $800 for the tractor. On my way back to get the boat I got a call from the owner of the building and he said he wanted to remove the building.

The next day I hired a couple of guys for a week to take the building down. So in an afternoon I had found timbers for my new shop, a boat that with a little work I could use on our local lakes, a tractor that I sold that would cover all my expense of transportation and taking down the building, and a metal shop building to put atop my timbers. A very good day! I could have sold the timbers and building for a couple of thousand at least, but in this instance, I could use them myself.

So... keep your eyes open and get known in the towns in your area. Barbers and small shopkeepers often know what it going on. Leave cards and flyers anywhere and everywhere and you'll be amazed at your success down the road.

Good hunting,


Recycling Secrets

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