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Would you resell your storage unit online?

Offline Travis

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Would you resell your storage unit online?
« on: January 29, 2014, 01:44:17 PM »
Travis: Hypothetically, lets say you bought a locker and you just wanted a few of the nice pieces of furniture but you didn't want to deal with the rest of the stuff in the unit. Would you consider reselling your storage unit online?


Alloro: Possibly, but I don't think it would be worth the hassle.


Travis: What hassle? Posting an ad online? Meeting the winner at the unit to collect your cash? If you sell the merchandise though traditional channels like Craigslist, you'll have to post dozens of ads and meet dozens of people. You could always have a garage sale, but that takes a lot of time and preparation and what happens if you have bad weather?


Alloro: For starters you have to work a deal with the storage unit property manager to keep the unit while waiting for someone to buy it. Then what if a buyer pulls out, or you go to meet them at the unit and wait around while they are a no-show. Then there's the possibility of the buyer coming back after you if things weren't as it seemed with the contents of the unit, or worse yet if something illegal were discovered inside. Finally on a profit note, selling the unit as a whole will often result in a lower profit margin than if it were sold off by the piece. I've made thousands off units that would've only gone for hundreds as a bulk sale.


Travis: Of course merchandise in bulk is going to sell for less than if you pieced it out. But lets say you could buy a unit, pull out the valuables and then resell the bulk items for what you paid for the locker, in my book that's a win. I realize that some people don't mind reselling the small insignificant items at garage sales and flea markets because that's their bread and butter. This is more for people that are looking for a quick flip.


Alloro: What make you think people are dumb enough to buy units with all of the valuable items removed and all of the junk left over? When I go to auctions I can pretty much tell the good units from the junk units, just like most everybody else can.

I'll assume you're not planning on staging units with empty boxes and a few good items in the front?


Travis: No, you've got this all wrong. There are plenty resellers out there that are looking for the common every day items. For example: trash bags full of clothing that some people donate - that's treasure for a clothing reseller who needs inventory. Clothing is just one example out of many. My point is, other resellers are looking for inventory. What you consider low-end unsellable merchandise, another person may need and have the resources to turn a profit on it.

Private sellers aren't going to be selling units with empty boxes because the winning bidder is going to inspect the merchandise and has the right of refusal if the contents of the units aren't the same as in the photos. Plus, there is a feedback system in place.


Alloro: You've just described selling on eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist. I'm just not seeing any big difference.


Travis: eBay has an auction style format but they charge a fee. Craigslist is free but doesn't offer an auction format. Amazon charges a fee and doesn't offer an auction format. Not only that, none of these sites are known for selling storage units. Perhaps private sellers will feel more comfortable on a site that is specifically for storage unit auctions.

Here is why I know this will work: 1. There are tenants that need to sell the contents of their units before they get behind on their rent and lose their unit. 2. There are people who are tired of paying rent on storage units full of stuff they haven't used in years. 3. There are people who buy storage units at auction and don't want to deal with the common every day items. 4. With an estimated 56,000 storage facilities in the U.S., the site would only need the involvement of a fraction of these facilities to be a success. If the facilities get on board the buyers will follow.


Cobia: I get what you are attempting to do and I am interested in using your new service. Like Travis said, storage units are filled with all kinds of stuff and some people like selling or are better selling certain items then others. I like the idea of accumulating all the items that have value and that are sellable, but don't sell well for me, and put them back in a storage unit with full disclosure of what the contents are and what they WON'T find, and auction it off.

I realize I could nickel & dime those items over a 6 month to a year period and make X amount of money, but I'm happy getting 40% of X or even 20% of X if it's all gone in a week!


Travis: This is a good example of how private sales work. Everything is spread out so it can easily be seen. I realize that all private sales aren't going to be this well organized, the seller obviously spent some time staging the unit. Now to a collector or reseller who is looking for this type of inventory, buying this unit could be a win. (Image removed)


bwd111: But you know all the stuff has been picked through through. I dont ever buy non-lien units. And that photo that you posted is in Utah, thought that looked familier. Bet it sells for 1600.00 after I bid 1450.00 for it .


Travis: Yeah, that unit looks like it has some potential. Definitely some mystery.


bwd111: Bet it sells for 2,000. These online auctions go for way over what they go for live.


Cobia: Maybe people are using online storage unit auctions to launder money and thats way they go so high?


bwd111: It seems like something is up! Why would people want to bid so high on a online auction compared to live auction? Is it due to credit cards can be used to buy units? Whatever it is I always have a great time running the bid up cause I know I will be outbid.


Travis: I think online storage auctions give people more time to think about the unit. Plus more time to research the value of the contents. But some units sell for ridiculous prices, well beyond what can be seen in the unit.


Re: Would you resell your storage unit online?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2014, 11:41:44 PM »
IF units are selling for more online (which I may doubt), it will only be a matter of time and you will see a significant decline in such sales, after the buyers start to learn that they are paying too much and losing money.

Offline Travis

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Re: Would you resell your storage unit online?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 08:55:24 PM »
IF units are selling for more online (which I may doubt), it will only be a matter of time and you will see a significant decline in such sales, after the buyers start to learn that they are paying too much and losing money.

I don't think we will see a decline in online auctions, but I do think that prices will eventually level out.


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