View Full Version : What's a good price for drops?

02-12-2005, 09:40 AM
A good friend let me tag along on one of his metal procurement missions downtown yesterday. He introduced me to the feller that he buys drops from so's I can go on my own next time I need something.

There were racks and racks of mostly 6061 alum., CRS and stainless of all sizes. It's a fab. co. with huge floor space, giant shears, presses, benders, bandsaws, CNC laser cutters, etc. all over the place. Man, I'd love to spend a day there as a "fly on the wall" just watching what goes on. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Anyway, we walked around to the various bins picking up handfulls of alum. drops (1/2" & 3/4" rounds & squares, 1/2" x 1 1/2", 3", 4" & 6" flats, and a stick of 1/2" square CRS, etc.) Our "tour guide" said "It's $2.50 a pound for alum. and less for the CRS" (I forget exactly how much for it) He threw all the alum. on the scale, picked off a couple short pcs. and said "Here, these are on the house," jiggled the scale around and said "It's about 38 lbs., lets round it off to 35, times $2.50 is about $88.00....how 'bout $75.00 and we'll call it even." Cash was exchanged, no receipts.

We stopped by my workshop and cut up the longer stuff (some of the smaller sizes were 8 ft. long) and I ended up with about 30 lbs....I can make me some chips now!

Seemed like a very fair deal to me for brand new material; what do you guys think? I'm thinking I need to see if he's a drinkin' man and if so, carry him a bottle next time!

02-12-2005, 11:14 AM
A six-pack of his favorite often goes a long way...used to buy drop and ends at a little place, cash only, no receipt.

Aluminum prices are running about $3.25/#, so you're getting a good price on that.

Steel is only about $.90/#, so you might try to negotiate on that.

You're also saving money since there's no cut charge, which can run $2.50 - $5.00/cut.
Most of these places sell dumpsters-full of their scrap to big recyclers, who pay only pennies on the dollar, so they'd much rather sell to you. As you buy more, and become a familiar face, your price will probably get better.

Barry Milton

02-12-2005, 11:32 AM
I would say that is a fair price. By weight/price, I figure my metals vendor is getting about $2.75/# for aluminum (new). A "good" price for drops may depend on several factors. Region, availiability, and current scrap value could influence the price they want. I would suspect that the source of drops would like to get more than sold for scrap prices. Drops or useable "scrap" is hard to find in my immediate area. A local scrapyard near myself will allow hunting, only on Saturdays though. I was talking to him one day and learned that scrap does not stay in his yard long. Two to three days at most. Scrap (anything useable, anyway), of greater value i.e. brass, copper, aluminum is hard to find in his yard. Structural steel, next to "cubed" appliances, is the most abundant item in his yard. The scrap comes in, is weighed, and if not sorted, gets sorted, and readied for shipment. From that point in time it is hands off. If you have a source for drops/scrap for less than current market prices for new material, as long as you can identify the alloy or trust they are telling you the truth about what the alloy (if it matters) is, and you feel you are not getting ripped off, the price they want is a "good" price.

[This message has been edited by ERBenoit (edited 02-12-2005).]

02-12-2005, 02:18 PM
Alum drops around here in PA $1.25/#, Stainless $1.25/#, Steel $0.25/#, Plastic $1.00/#. Most all the Alum still has marking on it 6061, 7050, steel is hit or miss on whatca get, some might be marked some might not be.

Anything else you find laying around the scrapyard is based on what the guy feels like charging that day. I find it works alot better if you take a large box of parts (ie cutters, drills and general mechanical things) to him, you get a better deal for your money than if you just take up one item http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Michael Az
02-12-2005, 03:12 PM
I got some nice 6061 aluminum drops in Phoenix not long ago for $2.00 a lb. They had about any size you would want. So the next time you go take a dozen donouts with you.

02-12-2005, 03:58 PM
Ahhh, the Donut Gambit....forgot all about that one! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

02-12-2005, 06:59 PM
Soooo....What "Downtown" would this be? ;-)