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SJF's Material Handling Blog

Steel Price Update

Two new updates for April –

Sideways US scrap pricing anticipated for March

After volatile price swings over the last four months, some US scrap buyers and sellers are anticipating sideways pricing in March.

With steady mill demand for scrap from February to March expected and without threat of weather disrupting scrap flows, market participants tell Steel Business Briefing scrap pricing is likely to remain flat in March compared to February.

US scrap lobby expresses concern over Russian restrictions

The American Scrap Coalition sent a letter to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk to bring attention to recently announced actions by the Russian government that will continue to inhibit the flow of steel scrap from the country.

“The purpose of this letter is to bring to your attention recent administrative measures by the Russian Federation that would restrict international trade in steel scrap,” the coalition wrote in a note reviewed by Steel Business Briefing. “These measures could deny the United States the benefits of commitments Russia has made in connection with its accession to the WTO.”

9 Tips to Cut Return Costs

Unfortunately, it happens from time to time. You inspect your newly acquired material handling equipment and find that it has been damaged, probably during shipping. It won’t do the job and it’s not worth what you paid for it. It will have to be returned.

Of course, this means a delay in getting your new material handling system up and running. It means fights with the supplier and the trucking company over who is responsible for the problem and who is going to pay to get the damaged shipment off your premises. In short, this is going to cost you time – and maybe money – that you don’t have to spare.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can reduce the chances of finding yourself in this situation, and reducing the time and money it will cost you if you do. Some of them are policies you can adopt in your organization. Some of them are things you can insist on from your supplier. Let’s start with you.

Customer policies

Inspect the merchandise carefully before you buy.

If you can’t go to the supplier’s location yourself, ask for photographs. Define an acceptable level of dents and scratches for used equipment, and decide whether or not there are any flaws that would compromise the performance of the equipment. Keep a record of the state of the equipment at the time of purchase, so that you can prove that any other damage took place after you signed the contract.

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Update to SJF Mobile Site

SJF Mobile Website UpdateSJF has recently updated their Mobile website.

These new additions include:

∙ Adding direct links into our online store
∙ Adding an additional guide on forklift trucks

This new guide can help users identify a forklift and the benefits and drawbacks of that type of lift truck directly from their mobile device.  The guide is linked from the ‘Resources & Guides’ section of the SJF mobile website – which can be accessed either by visiting sjf.com on a mobile device.

Please feel free to share your opinions of and ideas for our mobile website in the comments section below.

SJF Road Crew- Purchasing from Coast to Coast

 

The previous two weeks once again saw truckloads of new equipment coming into the yard here at SJF.  It started with Dave Kieper and Sam Sterner taking down conveyor previously sold by us.  One advantage to buying used is the high chance of selling the equipment right back when changing the facility!  In and out in two days only, and there is now over 150′ of great shape used Ermanco Lineshaft conveyor in stock here in Winsted.

 

Wire baskets have been a hot commodity upstairs in the Sales room lately at SJF, so we could not pass up the opportunity to purchase over 900 barely used collapsible wire baskets from California late last week.  These should be arriving here in Minnesota any day now.

If ever given the opportunity to purchase some great shape, heavy duty beams, we never pass it up.

 

These Keystone style beams recently came in from the East coast.  We even hired a different crew out there to do the banding and loading work for this purchase, and couldn’t be any happier with the results.  All in all it was a great buy working with great people.

 

This pallet flow rail came through and had us drooling here at SJF.  It looks like the rail is new and never used.  We jumped on this immediately and had it sent straight here all the way from South Carolina.

 

This carousel is almost an exact match to that we purchased last week.  Located right here in the Twin Cities, we couldn’t say no.  This carousel is in absolutely pristine condition, and we look forward to receiving it in early March.

 

Auction Buying Demystified ( part 3 )

An Insider’s Guide to the parlor tricks auctions use to separate you & your money.

In my previous two articles on auction buying secrets, I have exposed the common ways that auction houses get the pigeons to part with their money and actually buy (some of) the junk they are selling. In part three, I’ll discuss some common practices that I have come to rely on that usually drastically increase my chances at paying less and getting more.

Tip #1: The Devil is in the Details

Every auction starts and ends with paperwork. 99% of all of the people at the auction never read the fine print at the bottom of the terms and conditions of bidding at registration time. These terms will lay out ALL of the costs that will be associated with bidding on and purchasing items at this particular auction. Extra expenses that most auctions include that will be tacked on over and above your winning bid prices can include but are not necessary limited to:

  • Sales tax (This can be an additional 3 to 13%.)
  • Buyers premium (Often 10% to 15% or more)
  • Removal fees
  • Loading fees
  • Security Fees

Many of the details that will affect what you can afford to bid will be determined by what is in those terms and conditions. It’s vital that you think through these details before you even bid as they can greatly increase the cost of the equipment to much more than it’s worth.

Points to think about:

  • Is the equipment being auctioned still standing/installed?
    • If so, Who will be responsible for the removal?
    • If it’s you, the buyer, what will it cost to get it removed?
  • Is there a deadline for removal?
    • If so – what are the penalties or consequences if it’s not removed within before the deadline?
    • Will you lose ownership of the material?
    • Will you be fined?
    • Will it be removed for you at an exorbitant expense that you will be responsible for?
  • Can you remove it yourself or must you use a pre-designated removal crew?
    • If so – what will they charge?
    • Do they have to be certified? Union?
  • When, with whom, and how will you remove and/or load the equipment?
    • What expenses will that entail?

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SJF Road Crew Report – January Ends in a Auction Buying Bonanza

SJF Pallet Rack Storage Building #3

SJF Pallet Rack Storage Building #3

Over 50 Loads of Pallet Racking Arrived at SJF in January

Over 50 Loads of Racking Arrived at SJF in January

The last week saw large quantities of rack come in through SJF.  One look down our receiving isle will show the evidence, we are full of pallet racking.  Recent purchases came from several auctions and sources spanning the entire  U.S.

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Auction Buying Demystified (part2)

An Insider’s guide to the parlor tricks auctions use to separate you &  your money.

In part 1, I reviewed the 4 very simple auction facts that most insiders don’t want you to know.

They are:

  1. Auctions are designed to sell stuff. All. The. Stuff. Good, bad and even really bad stuff.
  2. Auctions are designed to sell items for more, not less, than it’s really worth.
  3. Auctions are designed to confuse you into making bad decisions and mistakes.
  4. Auctions are designed to get as much of your money as fast as possible with no possibility that you can ever get it back. (This is all done completely transparently and 100% legally.)

In part 2, I’ll expose these top 4 auction secrets that net more and more pigeons every day. Here’s the good news. After you read this article, you’ll trade in your pigeon wings to some other sucker standing next to you who didn’t read it.

Let’s start with the basics…

(1) Auctions are designed to sell stuff. All the stuff. The good, bad and even really bad, stuff.

All the Stuff

All the Stuff.

The main purpose of any action is to sell all the stuff. This includes all the good stuff, but what we’re concerned with here is all the bad stuff (I’m talking about the broken, manufacturer is out of business stuff). The next priority is to get the most money possible for the stuff on sale. The more bidders bidding the better the chances that the seller will obtain higher bids.

All auctions are comprised of good and bad stuff. The good stuff is purposely dispersed evenly among all the bad stuff (filler) to keep as many people engaged for as long as possible. Unfortunately for you, they don’t have tags or any sign saying what’s good and what’s bad. Mixing the good and bad stuff together assures a steady stream of bidders from the beginning to the very end of the auction.

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Auction Buying Demystified

An Insiders guide to buying the jewels while avoiding the junk at  auctions.

Everyone likes a deal right? There’s always that chance that you’ll get something for nothing. You too can pay pennies on the dollar for prime merchandise. No other place gives the little guy the buying power of the professional than an auction…right?

Not unless you believe in fairy tales! 

I’ve been buying used material handling equipment at auctions for over 30 years. Over that period of time I have purchased literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment. The art is to find, bid for and buy the hidden jewels amongst a wide variety of worthless junk. I am about to share some of my best personal insights and advice on how to avoid ending up with the junk and avoid the parlor tricks designed to get you to overpay for the good stuff.

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