“Is Your Weighing Scale Accurate?”

Tempering of Weighing scale

“Is your weighing scale accurate?” – A question that we’ve been receiving from our new customers on their first visit who have clearly been cheated from an unethical buyer. All weighing and measuring instruments for trade must be suitable for its intended purpose and be accurate , so as to prevent cheating and abide by professional ethics. If the weighing scales are deemed unsuitable, sellers will not get the value for their money and they will be subjected to unfair trade. 

For many of us who are not experts, it will be difficult to detect a weighing instrument which is defective or has been tampered prior. As such, it is useful to learn some basics that will help to indicate the worthiness of the instrument.

5 ways to check worthiness of the weighing instrument

1. Ask for certificate of calibration & where did they get the 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. 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.

3. Get recommendations from friends or online reviews

If it is your first time selling, it is best to seek advice from someone who has a positive experience to reduce your chances of heading to an unethical dealer. 

4. Is the price too good to be true?

Some buyers may offer a price that is higher than others to entice you to sell to them but shortchange you the weight. This brings us back to point number 1 and the last point.

5. Weigh your scrap before selling

The best form of awareness is to do your own homework. The most reliable method to check your buyer’s scale accuracy is to weigh your own items first before selling. Alternatively, you can start to sell with a small quantity first to access the buyer’s professionalism and ethics before selling more. 

Following a consultation with a weighing scale industry expert, an occurence of a difference of 1kg for 1 tonne, 2kg for 2 tonne and so forth, is acceptable. Anything else, you should advise the buyer to get their weighing scale examined. 

 

Tempering of Weighing scale

 

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.

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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