Plastic Scrap Jungle
Iâ€™ve been sitting here for about 5 minutes now thinking of the correct word or phrase to describe the plastic scrap market. To me, the plastic scrap market can be summed up into 5 words, â€œitâ€™s a jungle out hereâ€!
Recycled Plastic dot Com is a medium for trading plastic scrap worldwide, however, before getting into any deals, you need to use your head. If you are not comfortable with anything a buyer or seller says, stop and walk away. By the way, we are not responsible for the advertisements listed or the transactions you conduct!
Classic Plastic Scrap Scam
Last week, I contacted a potential supplier in Malaysia that processes 3000-5000 metric tons of PET flakes a month. After looking at the pictures, specifications, and pricing in the email, I give the export manager a call in hopes to work out a deal. After speaking with him for 3 minutes, I decided to end the conversation – this company is definitely a scam.
Why? The company requires 40% deposit and 60% upon papers (the bill of lading, b/l). For those that do not know, the b/l is issued 1-2 days after the container line leaves the port of departure. Therefore, paying the remainder of the amount sounds reasonable since the goods are well on its way. Do not be fooled, the shipper of the container has the right to change consignee and can even re-route the container after it has set sail.
During the conversation, the export manager also suggested he could send me samples of the goods and guarantee what I receive be exactly the same. Standard loading pictures will also be emailed to me for assurance. Standard loading pictures are:
- Picture of empty container
- Picture of half filled container
- Picture of full container with 1 door closed (container number showing)
- Picture of the seal with numbers showing
I donâ€™t know who came up with the whole system, however, to me, these pictures do not prove anything. How hard would it be if I loaded the container and unloaded again? How hard would it be to photoshop the numbers? Especially in our digital age, pictures cannot prove anything. What if they ship me a container full of junk? I would find out a month after it was shipped. By then, the scammer would have changed phone numbers and moved on to the next pry.
Be a Smart Plastic Trader
With all these uncertainties, I asked the export manager if I could make a factory visit. If I find their operation and quality of goods satisfactory to my needs, I would pay 100% cash upon loading. In the future, after building a good relationship, I would feel comfortable sending a wire transfer. The export manger refused my offer saying it was against their company policies. He also suggested that in order to see the factory, I needed to first pay the 40% deposit. Do people actually fall for this?
Another issue with the deal is that the quoted price is significantly lower than market value. If this were a legitimate deal, I would have made a pretty penny or two. To conclude, I want to emphasize the need to be extremely careful when working on plastic scrap. Never send money to anyone unless you feel comfortable doing so. If youâ€™re unsure of something, you can always contact me using the contact form or send me an email at andrew[@]recycledplastic.com.
If you have any information on scamming companies, add a comment below telling us the name, company, and how the scam is conducted. Thank you!