Salvage Yard Etiquette for the New Parts Picker
Salvage yard parts are a great way to save some money and pick-a-part salvage yards are a great place to start. If you are new to picking parts in a salvage yard, learn some basic background and etiquette to make the trip a better experience for you and those who come after you. Here are a few things you should know about salvage yard etiquette.
Do Your Research First
One of the most important things to know about salvage yards is that they are organized in such a way to make it easier for people to find parts they need. If you go into the yard without knowing what you need and start taking parts off cars then not using them, that makes it harder for others to find the part they need.
If the customers that came in before you randomly took off parts they didn't need then laid them aside somewhere, your search would be very frustrating. Try and remember the golden rule and do only what you would like done to you.
If you do take off a part you don't need, set it in a spot near where it belongs on the car so it is easy to find. The next person who looks for it will appreciate your efforts, and you might even be the unsung hero for pulling the part for them.
Expect to Pay an Entrance Fee
When you go to a pick and pull salvage yard, you will almost always have to pay a small entrance fee. The fee may be a dollar or two, but the money helps cover the loss that the operator has from parts that are snuck out or stolen from the yard.
The fee may seem unfair to some, but it is the best way for the salvage operator to protect their interests and it discourages people who are intending to steal parts from entering.
Leave the Yard As You Found It
The state of the yard affects a lot of people, not just you. In some salvage yards, people pull off parts that they need but damage other parts because they don't know how to get the part off properly. If you are not sure how to remove a part, look up some tips on your phone or at home before you leave for the yard.
Don't break glass, smash tail lights or headlights out just for fun, and don't intentionally break things. The mess you leave behind is part of why the salvage yard charges a fee to get in, and if another customer sees you do it, they could turn you into the owner who could charge you a fee or refer you to the police for vandalism.