Tips For Getting The Most For Your Scrap Metal

Every industry has people and companies that are dishonest, and unfortunately the metal scrap business is no different. There are some people in our business who make their profit by deceiving or cheating scrap sellers.

Our goals at Tri-State Iron & Metal Co. are to ensure every customer is treated fairly and honestly, and to help educate scrap sellers on ways they can get the most value for their scrap.

Knowing what to look for, and how to judge a fair deal, protects you – and helps improve our industry!

There are a couple of the “tricks” that are most frequently used, and once you are aware of them, you can avoid getting ripped off.


If you can’t see your material being weighed, there may be a reason. Make sure you can see the scale and the readout to ensure that you are being given credit for the actual weight of your material.


Prices seem too good to be true? They might just be! Unscrupulous dealers can rig scales to under-report weights, it’s the oldest scam in the scrap business.  Scales for trade are required to be certified.  Ask to see the certification for the scale. If they can’t provide it, there may be a reason.  Alternatively, weigh your smaller items on your bathroom scale at home to check that you are being paid for all your material.


There are many different grades of copper, brass, aluminum, and other metals.

The value of Copper No. 1 is much higher than Copper No. 2 – and if you don’t know the difference, you may be getting taken advantage of.  Ask questions on how they are grading your material.  If you don’t like the answers, it’s best to beware of the deal being offered.

Also watch out for scrap yards that only buy items as a few categories. Don’t let your high value material and low value material be bought together for the lower price.

At TSIMCO, we want you to have the most positive experience possible, and have made every attempt to create an environment that is safe, honest and trustworthy.