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Scrap Car Spotlight 2.1

Welcome back to yet another installment of our Scrap Car Spotlight series of interviews with the best in the auto recycling and damaged vehicle removal business. As you recall, Cleveland Scrap Cars is a cash for junk cars buyer that offers fast damaged vehicle removal. If you want to sell your old car for cash, simply call us for a junk car quote. The junk car quote will include complimentary wrecked and/or damaged vehicle removal.

Our next industry expert is Brent Adkins of Queen City Pick-A-Part, which is located in Clarksville, TN. Clarksville is a town of approximately 130,000 that is part of Montgomery County, which is in the north region of the state and borders Kentucky. Here is our conversation with Mr. Adkins:

What are some of the primary functions you handle in managing Queen City PAP?

I handle the day-to-day functions of QCPAP. We are set up differently from most yards, so I do not handle any of the vehicle purchasing.

What are some changes in the auto recycling industry recently that you have noticed?

More and more people are driving older vehicles. To this, they are wanting to repair their vehicles at a lower cost than taking their vehicle to the dealership.  The best way to do this is to buy recycled components.  More people also feel they can make small repairs themselves saving on labor charges.

Is there any marketing initiative(s) that you have used lately that was very successful?

We have tried a few different marketing plans and none seem to work as well as “word of mouth.” We have used TV, radio, print, billboards, and social media.  Social media is slowly catching on and we are starting to see people looking to Facebook to ask questions and also to see any monthly specials we are running.

The “self-serve”/”U-Pull It” business model has risen in popularity lately. With your experience, what are the main advantages or drawbacks with it?

The advantage is that we don’t have to supply or rent tools. People must bring their own.  We pulled them for a short time and ended up with a shop full of stuff people never came to pick up.  By pulling the items themselves, people buy only what they need.  You lose a sale or two occasionally because people don’t have tools or the time to pull it themselves, but the lost sales don’t add up to as much as the labor involved with pulling the items and then letting them sit on the shop floor.

How does Queen City PAP track its inventory of used auto components?

We don’t track individual items. We use CRUSH to track our vehicle inventory. We don’t inventory components only the year, make, and model of the vehicles on the yard.

Do you recall times when the per-ton scrap price has fallen this much? How and when do you anticipate a rebound?

I have never seen the prices this low, for this long. I don’t see a rebound to amount to anything until at least June.  Warm weather tends to help scrap prices come back.  So for now, it is just a wait and see game.

With low scrap prices, what are you typically paying for older scrap vehicles in TN currently?

$100-$200/ton depending on the condition. Most of the yards in Tennessee are paying $50-$80/ton.  We are overpaying so we get those vehicles.  By having more and better vehicles, we are able to have the components most people are looking for.

What are the different ways that you obtain late-model (2005+) vehicles?

Auto auctions and insurance auctions

I noticed that you are open 7 days a week. Does this cause scheduling problems or often result in overtime pay?

No problems with scheduling or overtime. I have 2 groups of employees.  One group is customer service only.  They are the only full-time employees.  The other group is the labor group.  They are all part-time employees working less than 30 hours a week.

I saw that you advertised refurbished batteries. How are they refurbished? Is this process done in-house?

We buy all of our refurbished batteries from Interstate. They have a program where they refurbish them and sell them as such.

We certainly would like to thank Brent for his time and insight into his business. A few key points that I found particularly interesting were:

  • I did not realize that such a high percentage of “call ahead” orders would end up as being “no-shows”
  • They do not inventory the individual components, just the vehicle description
  • He expressed some optimism stating that scrap prices should slightly improve during the summer months.

We certainly encourage you to visit their website at http://www.qcpickapart.com/.

Do you need cash for junk cars?

Call (216) 282-JUNK for a junk car quote today!