“Is Your Weighing Scale Accurate?”

Tempering of Weighing scale

“Is your weighing scale accurate?” – A question that we’ve been getting from our new customers on their first visit after experiencing unpleasant business transactions elsewhere.

All weighing and measuring instruments used for trade must be suitable for its intended purpose and be accurate. Or else, sellers will not get value for their money.

However, for many of us who are not experts, it will be difficult to detect a weighing instrument which is defective or has been tampered with. So it is important for us to learn about the basic features which are found in the weighing instrument that will indicate worthiness of the instrument.

Using Electronic Devices to Influence the Weights

There are electronic devices that manipulate the reading of the weight. A fraudster controls the readings using remote control.  While this method is sophisticated, it is also hard to detect as these control chips are installed inside the weighing scale.

Based on an article by South China Morning Post, these rigged scales are linked to a remote-control device that can change the way they weigh items, shifting them to a ‘non-standard conversion weighing mode’ that produces short weights. With the remote controls in their pockets, traders can swiftly change between the  standard and non-standard weighing modes on the machines.


Example of a small remote to manipulate the weighing scale

Case study example

For example, it was reported in India that a merchant grew suspicious of his buyer when he repeatedly put his hand inside his pocket whenever they place their goods on the weighing scale. He was eventually exposed when the merchant weighed his own goods before bringing down to the buyer and found out that he has been cheating on the weight figures.

Weighing scale cheating has greatly affected fair trade settlement, and has brought huge losses to relevant enterprises and individuals. We sincerely hope that our peers in load cell controller manufacturing industry will actively participate in preventing cheating and strictly abide by professional ethics, so as to make a contribution to fair trade

5 simple methods from SHP Metal on how to prevent getting cheated

  1. Ask for certificate of calibration & where did they get their scale from

    At Sin Hong Poh Metal Trading, we calibrate our weighing scale every year to make sure that it is accurate and able to meet the industry standard. There is a list of authorised verifiers in Enterprise Singapore where companies can request to get their scale calibrated . To protect your profits, always ask for certificate of calibration. In addition, you can check with the buyer where did they get their weighing scale from to make sure that its approved by Enterprise Singapore.

  2. Get recommendations from friends.

    If its your first time selling, it’s best to seek advice from someone who has done it before to reduce your chances of heading to an unscrupulous dealer.

  3. Sell at a place where the scale is read out to you 

    Always, always, always avoid places where you are unable to visually see the readings of the scale.

  4. Is the price too good to be true?

    There is a base price for every type of metals. When you are being offered a price that is too good to be true, chances are the buyer is cutting short on the weight to recover from his high offer. Information on the current metal prices can be easily retrieved from the internet or specific apps, always ask around for more comparisons before committing on your sale.


    Having said that, it might not be true for some of the rare cases. It could be just your lucky day to meet someone who knows what he is buying. However, as an additional layer of protection , it is wiser to weigh your materials before heading down to sell, which brings us to our last point.

  5. Weigh your scrap before heading down

    One of the easiest method to check if your buyer’s scale is accurate is to weigh your items first before bringing down. Just to be safe, you can start selling with a small quantity first and then gradually increasing once your are more familiar with the buyer. If you are unable to weight all of it, you can always weigh one item and then multiply by the number of it.

    According to our recent conversation with one of the weighing scale industry professionals, an occurrence of a difference of 1kg for 1 tonne of product , 2kg for 2 tonne and so forth is common. Anything more or less , you should advise the buyer to get their weighing scale serviced and checked by an authorized verifier. 

We hope the tips are useful and if you have any questions, please drop us a message or text us via whatsapp! 

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