Skip Hire Brokers – Who Are They & How Do They Work
Skip hire brokers like Top Skips, Network Waste, Selectaskip and Tuxebo provide customers with a nationwide skip hire service by brokering out the services of local skip companies. They exist because the skip hire market is very fragmented with lots of relatively small, local skip companies covering a limited geographic area operating out of one or two depots. This makes it hard work for national organizations that need skips at lots of sites all over the UK. So skip hire brokers (sometimes called waste management companies if they offer more than just skips) sit in the middle – creating a national solution virtually by subcontracting national contracts to local skip hire companies.
Skip brokers contract out the supply of skips to local skip hire operators. They focus on winning business, managing customer relationship, and making sure the local skip hire companies meet agreed service standards. Normally a skip hire broker will have at least two and sometimes more skip hire companies on its books for every region throughout the UK. They negotiate discounted rates with each supplier on the back of the promise of high volumes of orders. The benefit of a skip broker having more than one skip company in each region is that they have alternatives if one supplier does not have sufficient capacity and also they create a bit of healthy competition when it comes to prices. The skip hire broker earns their money by adding a commission to the local skip company’s rates. Levels of commission charged by skip brokers will vary according to individual contracts but somewhere between £15 – £40 + Vat is not unusual. The result is that the price charged to the underlying client by the skip hire broker will be more than if they dealt with the local skip company direct, but this is reasonable given the administrative savings delivered to the customer of only having one person to call for all of their national skip needs.
Pros and cons of a skip broker to a skip hire company
Working for a skip broker can be a great way of increasing sales fast if you are a skip hire company looking to build your business. Whilst the rates paid by skip hire brokers are lower than dealing with a customer directly, the extra volume of business is not to be sneezed at. The downside is that working for a skip broker is not the same as working directly for their clients. If a skip hire broker finds a cheaper skip company in your territory, you may suddenly be faced with a choice of losing a big chunk of your sales overnight or being forced to drop your rates substantially to retain business on which you have become reliant.
Pros and cons of skip hire brokers to a customer
As well as national coverage and multiple local suppliers (to ensure availability), skip hire brokers provides customers with the comfort that their skip company is properly compliant in terms of how it is getting rid of the waste, and considerations like waste carrier licenses, health and safety processes, and insurances. To that end skip brokers will (or should) vet all new suppliers thoroughly and also conduct annual reviews to ensure all paperwork and procedures are up to date with best practice and current legislation. For anyone who doesn’t require a nationwide solution, the other advantage of an online skip hire broker is their accessibility. Skip brokers like Topskips, SkippyHire and Yellowskips invest in online marketing and ensuring their websites are as customer friendly as possible. Local skip companies often lack the time or budget to do this. Obviously, the main disadvantage of using a skip broker is the added expense of their commission. Also, having a third party in between you and the skip company can sometimes create greater chances of poor communication.
Yellowskips, TopSkips, Skippyhire, Tuxebo
Top Skips, Yellowskips and SkippyHire are the three skip brokers that are the most active on the web.
Top Skips has been around for several years. It was founded by Mark Attwood who has since set up similar sites for other hire services like toilet hire and generator hire. TopSkips helped by its sister website Skip Hire Magazine has always been very focused on search engine optimisation and the consumer market. Mark started Top Skips having left a career in marketing. He came back to take over the family skip business but decided that becoming skip broker might be a lot easier than actually providing the skips himself. Top Skips was the first company to fully explore the online skip broker model.
Yellow skips came to the market much more recently. Yellowskips or Yellowskips.com Ltd is owned by Premier Waste, a Birmingham waste management and skip hire business of longstanding. The Yellow skips.com brand was created to differentiate itself from the rest of the business. You can order online with Yellowskips.com although the payment structure is split so you pay some to Yellowskips.com and some to the underlying skip provider when they deliver. This structure appears to be so that Yellowskips can avoid any liability claims if the skip company provides a poor service, which is understandable from Yellow skips’ perspective but might put off some customers.
Skippyhire.com or Skippy Hire is a very new site. Despite its ‘youth’ SkippyHire has jumped into top position on Google for the search term ‘skip hire’. Unlike Topskips and Yellow Skips and other well-established skip brokers like Network Waste and Selectaskip, Skippyhire doesn’t appear to come from a skip hire or waste management background. Its website is very short on information although Skippy Hire does appear to have a couple of sister sites including Van Insurance Cheap which is a trading name of Quotefeed Ltd. This suggests it’s probably more about generating leads from the web than it is about providing skips, but maybe SkippyHire will add a little more content to it’s About Us page soon.
Finally, there is Tuxebo which according to its website “helps connect people wanting to hire something with local hire providers. From tools and equipment to vehicles and people, Tuxebo quickly obtains up to 5 local quotes at the click of a button”. Tuxebo has been described as the eBay of services but perhaps a better way of describing what Tuxebo does is to say it conducts reverse auctions for hire services, including skip hire. The main problem with the Tuxebo model which should, in theory, deliver rates much lower than a traditional skip broker is time. Tuxebo takes a long time to get a quote. Once you’ve filled in your details to set up an account with Tuxebo, you then have to wait for an average of 20 minutes for Tuxebo to contact their suppliers with your request and for the quotes to be returned.
AnyJunk compared to the Top Skips, Yellowskips.com, Tuxebo, Skippy Hire and others
The main difference between AnyJunk and skip hire brokers are that we don’t provide skips! Plus the vast majority of what we do, we do direct rather than subcontract. That means we don’t add commission and our communication tends to be a whole lot better. We realise that sometimes people want a skip rather than a man & van clearance service, but before you rush off to order from a skip broker, why not at least give us a call first. You never know, you might save some money and we guarantee you’ll save a whole lot of hassle.
Visit our website, call 020 7819 9000 or email [email protected] to learn more.
Image credits: hapticflapjack