Skip hire brokers like Top Skips, Yellowskips, Love Skip Hire, and SkippyHire provide a one-stop shop for hiring skips anywhere in the UK. The skip hire industry is highly fragmented with no national operators, so skip brokers such as Top Skips fill the gap by doing all the leg work of finding local skip companies for you and then brokering these services on for a mark-up. Skip brokers solve the problem that larger businesses face of having to manage and pay lots of local skip companies directly and the challenge for individual customers who don’t use skips regularly but want to find a professional local skip company without spending all day ringing around.
Skip brokers subcontract the provision and collection of skips to a local skip hire operator. Their focus is managing the relationship with their client and ensuring the local skip hire companies deliver a good service. Typically they will have two or three preferred skip hire companies for every region across the UK and agree discounted rates with each of them to reflect the high volume of business they can bring. Having more than one skip hire company per region on their books allows them to keep some pressure on service levels and rates. The skip hire broker then adds a mark up or commission to the skip company’s rates when he invoices his customer to cover his costs and make a profit. Arrangements vary depending on the size of the skip, the competitiveness of the local skip hire market, and the volume of business but a typical skip broker mark up is between £20 and £40 plus VAT.
In addition to providing a one-stop national solution for skip hire, skip hire brokers also offer customers peace of mind that the skip company they are using is properly licensed and insured to carry waste and also suitably reliable. Skip brokers build their reputation not just on price but also on service and compliance, so it is in their interests to ensure their preferred skip companies are fully compliant and able to deliver a reliable service. As such, a good skip broker will always undertake a thorough vetting process of new suppliers before taking them on and require annual evidence of key documents like insurance and waste carrier license. For customers not requiring a national solution, in addition to the compliance point, probably the biggest attraction of an online skip hire broker is their accessibility. Skip brokers like Top Skips and Yellowskips invest a lot of time in online marketing and making sure their website is up to date and customer friendly, considerations that many of the smaller skip hire companies don’t have the time or budget for. The disadvantages of using a skip broker are they are more expensive than dealing with the skip hire company direct because of their mark-up and the miscommunication that can sometimes occur from adding another link in the chain between customer and service provider.
If you are a skip hire company looking for more business then skip hire brokers can be a great way of increasing demand. Although the rates they pay will not be as high as you could expect from a customer that comes to you directly, the amount of extra business may outweigh this disadvantage. Skip hire brokers, through their vetting processes, may also prove helpful in ensuring you tick all the appropriate and up to date regulatory boxes which, given waste and vehicle legislation is changing all the time, can sometimes be hard to keep up with. Other than rates, the major risk with skip brokers is that you are never actually contracting with the skip brokers’ underlying clients. This means that, if for whatever reason a skip hire broker decides to stop using you (for example they find a cheaper skip provider that covers your region), a significant part of your revenue could disappear overnight. This latter point is the criticism most often levelled at skip hire brokers by skip companies who have built up considerable income with a broker only to be squeezed on price at the annual price review and end up forced to except much lower margins to avoid losing the sales on which they have become overly reliant.
Top Skips, Yellowskips and SkippyHire are three skip brokers that are some of the most active in online marketing.
Top Skips is run by Mark Attwood who also operates a number of other online brokers for services like toilet hire and generator hire. Top Skips is supported by its sister site Skip Hire Magazine, the self-proclaimed Voice of the Skip Hire Industry. We understand that Mark started Top Skips when he took over his father’s skip company, having spent time in the marketing sector. We’re not sure if Top Skip’s original skip operation is still going, but it would nice if it was. Either way, Top Skips is to be admired for effectively starting the whole online skip broker model.
Yellow skips or Yellowskips.com Ltd to use its full name is owned by the people behind Premier Waste, a Birmingham waste management companies. They created the separate Yellow skips.com brand for their skip broker business. The Yellowskips.com site is more contemporary than Top Skips’ website (and the ordering process more online). From a user perspective, however, the slight confusion is that customers pay Yellowskips part of the cost and then pay the remainder of the price to the actual skip company that delivers the skip. The reason for this appears to be for Yellowskips to avoid any liability if the skip provider fails to deliver on time, but we thought that was one of the key reasons people use a skip broker.
Skippyhire.com came pretty much out of nowhere in 2011 and depending on what Google is doing either ranks top or not at all! SkippyHire or Skippy Hire (it calls itself a few different names) doesn’t appear to have its own skip hire operation, although the website talks about the Skippyhire team having several years experience in the waste industry. In fact, other than that, the Skippyhire site is pretty short on information and essentially is just one big call to action to ring the Skippy Hire sales line. Interestingly Skippy Hire has sister site called Van Insurance Cheap (bet you can’t guess what they do!) which is a trading name of Quotefeed Ltd which is owned by Kenneth Howard.
We are not a skip broker, we are a price comparison site. This means we do not limit ourselves to just one or two skip operators in every region and we also do not charge commission on skips ordered through our site. The fact is no skips are actually ordered through our site, all we do is provide people with contact details and prices of local skip companies. We never contract with the individual or organisation hiring the skip – we leave you to deal with them direct. Sites like Top Skips, Yellowskips.com, and Skippyhire charge a mark-up and limit themselves to only one or two suppliers in each region. This means that Yellowskips.com, SkippyHire.com and Top Skips will always be more expensive.
If you are a skip hire company that is looking to increase demand and would like to try our service out, please click here and follow our ‘Interested in becoming a supplier?’ link.