Hassle-free pick up of unwanted but reusable goods.
We understand that some items are too difficult to transport. That is why we created our Outside Trader department. They not only pick up reusable goods, they also make deliveries for purchases made at our store.
Our Outside Trader Comes to You
The Outside Trader collects materials suitable for reuse and recycling. They pick up unwanted possessions from homes, agencies, storage units, and businesses.
Appointments may be made by telephone; the number to call is 510 841-SAVE, ext. 313 to reach their office. Callers should expect to leave a message in a voicemail box. A Trader will usually return the call within 24-48 hours, depending on the press of business. Calls are returned early in the morning or in the late afternoon.
Traders are employed by Urban Ore, and they drive Urban Ore trucks. They are out on the road six days a week responding to requests for pickups and deliveries. They are usually booked days in advance, but can sometimes work urgent requests into their schedule.
Their customary range is about 50 miles. They schedule pickups and deliveries by geographic area to make driving more efficient.
Compensation and Considerations
Traders have sales experience and know the company’s inventory needs and handling capabilities. They will try to profile the materials you want to part with. If they think a pickup will work for both parties, they will schedule an appointment. If they don’t, they can often suggest alternatives. Financial offers and final commitments are only made in-person.
At the pickup site, the Trader will look over what is available and make a decision on whether to offer free disposal or possibly to pay for some of the goods either by check or by trade credit. Traders are empowered to offer up to 10% of the expected sales price for an item by writing checks. They do not carry cash and do not pay in cash.
Alternatively they are empowered to offer up to 20% in trade credit for goods that meet the company’s needs. Trade credits are redeemable for merchandise at Urban Ore’s retail stores. Trade credits are written only once and, like money, cannot be replaced if lost or mislaid.
The Outside Trader will pay for certain items in good condition including:
- solid wood furniture
- solid wood cabinetry
- doors and windows
- clawfoot tubs
Many materials that Urban Ore picks up are not valuable enough to pay for. In this category are things that have high handling costs, such as:
- unsorted hardware
- household goods
- heavily soiled doors and windows
- unprocessed scrap
Since Urban Ore is not a nonprofit, we cannot issue a donation receipt for these kinds of materials. Our experience is that many customers want primarily to know that their unneeded items will find a new home rather than go to the landfill. We strive to achieve zero waste in all our operations, and if we can’t find a reuse market, we can often recycle.
We call this financial advantage ‘avoided cost’ because the competing disposal alternative is landfilling. Landfilling costs $115 per ton at Berkeley’s regional transfer station. Another useful term is ‘free disposal’, since the unwanted items are ‘disposed of’ just as in wasting but with a better outcome.
Urban Ore is very good at reuse and recycling. We estimate that of all the materials we elect to receive, only about 3% or less goes to landfill.
Items you purchase at Urban Ore may be delivered by the Outside Trader for a fee. For more information on deliveries click here.
Other Reuse and Recycling Opportunities
Many businesses offer nonwasting disposal for hundreds of different commodities. Urban Ore treats these businesses as allies. Together we are building a zero waste future. We also trade resources and services with many of these recyclers or reusers.
Our main competition is the landfill. For comprehensive regional information on other reuse and recycling venues, the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board has an excellent website at www.StopWaste.org. Our Traders know many of these businesses, and can often offer leads including phone numbers.
Equipment and Staff
Outside Traders use a 2007 Isuzu diesel truck with a 14 foot box and a lift gate that will handle up to one ton loads. The truck is equipped with a heavy duty appliance hand truck and professional mover’s dollies. All department staff are licensed, insured, and have clean driving records. Urban Ore’s Outside Traders value safety, punctuality, attention to detail, moving things carefully and accurately, and always strive to maximize customer satisfaction.