WesBell Electronics
Wire and Cable Blog

Category: copper pricing

Copper Cable Scam – Theives Out For Easy Money

Copper has become a hot commodity on the market because it’s easy to steal and it can turn into cash quicker than almost anything else out there right now. When someone robs a jewelery store they need to figure out how to turn the stolen jewelery into cash and a pawn shop comes to mind as the easiest and fastest way to do that. Copper, on the other hand, is much easier to deal with if you happen to be a thief for a living.

After breaking into a home to stealing the copper pipes and wiring you can bring it straight to a metal scrap yard to receive fresh green cash for the amount of pounds you have without having to prove that it’s even yours to begin with. They’ll weigh the amount you have and offer you an amount of money for it. After they buy it from you they’ll peal off any insulation and melt down the copper to sell it back to manufacturers of copper materials.

With that small amount of crook knowledge you’ll understand this scam slightly better. People are placing orders online with a fake credit card to get their hands on some copper wire or copper piping before the credit card company figures out that it’s fake. If the copper wire gets to their location before the credit card company picks up on it then it’s too late. The copper will be at the scrap yard the same day.

A few simple triggers that this could be happening to you are that the “ship to” address is different than the credit card billing address. That doesn’t mean it’s a scam but it’s a sign to look into it a little bit more. The second thing you can do is talk to the credit card company to see if there’s been any irregular activity on this particular card and have them contact the card owner to be sure it’s not a scam.

The hard thing about it is the fact that a new customer is calling to place a large order which will get any sales person happy enough to probably over look such a scam. Just be sure to always have it in the back of your mind because it’s definitely happening to people like you and me.

Please call if you have any questions about copper wire and cable.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400 

When Should I Buy Copper Electrical Wire?

If you have time wait before buying your copper electrical wire it might be wise to do some research first because you could save a lot of money. The price of copper goes up and down every day just like stocks or real estate which means buying at the right time saves you money.

In October 2011 copper has taken a downward turn for the first time in over a year. Since distributors and manufactures of copper wire seem to increase pricing very quickly as copper rises, consumers expect the same when copper is dropping in price. That seems like the fair way to handle it, but in this money hungry world everyone wants to get there hands on every last dime they can.

You can really start to understand your copper wire distributor during these times because it’s an easy way to find out if they’re being honest or not. We get a lot of phone calls from our website asking for pricing and we’ve heard comments from them saying their current distributor isn’t lowering their pricing at all even though copper has dropped over a $1.00 per pound.

Two things can happen from that scenario depending on the price we give them. The first thing that could happen is we could give them a much lower price and prove to them that their current wire and cable distributor is taking advantage of them. The second thing that could happen is we might give them the same pricing they’re currently getting which means the manufacturers probably haven’t lowered their pricing yet either.

So When Should You Buy Your Copper Electrical Wire?

No one can tell you exactly when to buy copper because it might lower tomorrow and give you a better price. On the other hand copper could go up which might raise your price so when is the right time? The key is to research a little bit more, make more phone calls and figure out who’s honest about their pricing and gives you the best price every time.

If time is an issue then you don’t have much of a choice about how much you’ll pay for the type of wire or cable you need because you’ll probably get similar pricing with each distributor you call. Quantity is also a good way to get distributors and manufacturers to lower their pricing because a bigger order is much more enticing to them.

We can do all of the extras for free here at WesBell. We cut electrical wire to any length you need without minimums, offer free shipping on orders over $250 and ship from the tax free state of New Hampshire saving you money on things besides just the cost of copper wire.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Copper Pricing Is Going Down?!

Over the last few days, near the end of September 2011, copper has been volatile to say the least. It’s been from $4.00/lb down to $3.20/lb and today it’s back up to $3.50/lb. We can’t predict what’s going to happen to copper over the next week, month or year but we can help you understand the pricing as it is today.

When copper goes up it seems like pricing changes very fast so it’s important to check competition to keep everyone honest before buying any type of copper electrical wire. However, when copper is going down it doesn’t seem to adjust as fast because of how far into the process the copper already is.

If copper drops $1.00 per pound in one day I highly doubt manufacturers or distributors are going to immediately start selling all of their wire and cable at a loss. Copper is bought by the manufacture, then spends about 4-5 weeks in manufacuring to be sold to a distributor who stocks and sells it in smaller quantity.

That’s about 6 weeks worth of time for that particular copper wire to change pricing up and down nevermind one day. So now that copper has taken a down turn how long will it take to really adjust to the new pricing? Probably slightly less than the 6 week cycle because the manufacturers want to rid of their current stock before charging lower pricing for what they have.

Buying a stock on the NYSE low and selling high is the same thought process for a distributor who buys copper and sells it over time. They like to buy low and sell high whenever possible but predicting that process is impossible. Offering your customer the lowest price all the time is a great thing to be able to do, but it’s not always that easy.

In the business world, companies like Home Depot get better pricing on plywood than a small contractor because their volume is so much higher. In the wire and cable world the big guys get better tear pricing, however if they buy at $4.00 copper and the small business buys at $3.00 copper then they can compete much easier.

Always check around for the best price when dealing with any commodity because companies buy at different times so you’ll never know who might have the best pricing.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Copper Wire Being Stolen and People Are Actually Dying

People are stealing copper wire like actual dollar bills lying on the ground but they’re starting to get caught more and more. This news show discusses the amount of people stealing copper wire in order to turn it into cash at a local metals scrap yard.

They researched it and found that it’s costing tax payers over $50,000 per year to replace the amount of copper wire that’s being stolen. The problem is that the stolen electrical wire will be scrapped for about 1/5 the replacement cost for the company or person that needs to buy it and install it all over again. So for every $100 stolen it costs %500 to replace.

Copper items currently being stolen include copper roofs, copper wire from businesses, copper wire and piping from local homes, outdoor wiring along the side of buildings and even copper scrap piles businesses hold on to in order to legally scrap for cash themselves.

Even the uneducated folks are attempting to cut into live wires and being electrocuted to death. That creates an even bigger problem for the business because it shorts the connection which means it will cost an arm and a leg to replace the electrical unit and wiring that was damaged in the process plus the installation costs to do so.

This could be the cause of the 2011 economy, because of all the Americans without jobs, or it could simply be money hungry people looking for the quick buck. Either way businesses and police are cracking down on these wire and cable thieves with video surveillence and news castings to display those who were caught in the act.

Hopefully this will make the copper crooks think twice before attempting their next “job”. In the video it says that copper scrap yards are paying up to $1.15/lb for copper scrap but that’s quite low. Copper is currently at $4.00 per pound and scrap yards offer about 75% which gives them roughly $3.00 per pound of copper wire.

We know this as a wire and cable distributor because we actually have scrap yards knocking on our door for the waste that we incur each month. With all the short lengths, scraped insulation and accidents that happen with our wire and cable we end up having a large scrap pile each month.

Maybe it’s the uneducated people taking whatever they can get for it as quick as possible. It seems that once it’s out of their hands and melted down at the scrap yard there isn’t much anyone can do unless there’s a video of them stealing it.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Stealing Copper Electrical Wire For Scrap Money

Copper, as a commodity, has been rising for the past few years and people have been noticing the amount of money it’s actually worth. Copper is one of the precious metals out there along with gold, silver and aluminum. So there are scrap yards that will take the metals you have for cash to melt them down and sell them back to manufacturers for a profit.

The keyword there was “cash“. The word cash makes it very appealing to thieves because there’s no paper trail of what happened. So if you steal, and scrap, some copper wire for cash then there isn’t much that can be done by the law unless they catch you in the act. It only gets more clever from there..

Right now, there are plenty of stories of people going into vacant homes to steal the copper wire and piping in order to bring it to the scrap yard for cash. Copper is currently at $3.92/lb in September of 2011 which means stealing about 100 lbs of it could get you about $300 in cash that day with no trace.

Part of the problem is all of the foreclosures on the real estate market because the homes are vacant for awhile. Thieves are on the look out for these homes to probably steal a lot more than just the copper wire. Some of the copper thieves have actually been caught dead with wire clippers around a live electrical wire! That tells me that they were crooks long before they decided to start getting into the electrical business.

If you’re an electrician be very careful with electrical wire because people are on the look out. A 50 lb spool is a $150 worth of money just waiting to be grabbed by someone. Keep your wire locked up in a garage while you’re in for the night instead of leaving it on the job site. Also keep all of your waste, like you save your change, so that you can bring it to the scrap yard yourself.

Another way around it would be to buy the exact amount of copper wire you need for each job. We cut exact lengths on all of our THHN wire, Romex, UFB cable and welding cable so that you have limited waste on each job. It’s much easier to calculate profit knowing all of your costs up front.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400