Adopt a scrapper and paper tape punches.

From: Gary Oliver <>
Date: Mon Dec 6 03:03:40 1999

At 03:27 AM 12/5/99 -0500, wrote:
... snip

>The best answer is to make friends with a scrapper. Anyone who will pay twice
>the scrap value consistently will be a welcome customer. In the long run you
>may get systems set aside for you to look at. Ask for particular brands or
>items but don't become a pest. They need to know what you are looking for.
>Check on a regular basis. Don't ask them to call you unless you are willing
>to offer significant money. They are busy and you are not a major part of
>their business.

Be prepared for some educating.

I attempted such a thing at a local scrap yard here in Oregon and it was
pretty good at first. My interest at the time was in high-vacuum stuff
(large stainless tubing, couplings, valves, mass-flow controllers, etc.)
which generally have little value in the surplus market unless they are
"new" surplus.

At first prices were good (slightly above scrap.) But occasionally
things would show up (like valve controllers or vacuum gauges) and I'd
"bid" on these items. It became obvious that the owner was starting to
smell money as the prices started going up. Eventually he confided in me
that he really wanted to get about 50% of the list value of a piece of
equipment (based upon his catalog "database.") Bear in mind this old gear,
in many cases, had been left out in the rain for several days (or weeks) or
had sometimes been decommissioned by removing key components (such as
sensors.) Needless to say, I (and others) stopped buying - and guess what?
The stuff is getting scrapped again.

Basically I'm venting here - it was a very frustrating experience. And it
was more frustrating as there are FEW such places here in Oregon (at least
to my knowledge.)

On the other hand, there was Paxton <g>. Always fair and I got some good
deals. And what fun to prowl his warehouses... (Thanks, Paxton.)
Just putting in a shameless plug.

However, I basically agree with Paxton. I'm giving my local dealer a
few more months and I'll go back. It may be possible to start over and
create the relationship Paxton suggests.

And he's right about instructions. Give the dealer simple rules and
DO NOT expect them to call. You must poll often and learn the schedules
on when stuff arrives. My local guy hauls the big stuff in twice
a week (last I heard) and if you are there soon after it arrives
(and before the "disassemblers" get at it) better deals can be made.

Received on Mon Dec 06 1999 - 03:03:40 GMT

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