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Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?

Offline MovieMan

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Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« on: June 08, 2012, 09:05:22 AM »
I am starting to wonder if there is a dwindling interest in the attending and buying of auctions and in a secondary interest in talking about them.

First the auctions:

I have to admit I haven't been going to too many auctions held by my area's big four auctioneers because of former crowds and prices, but in talking to other buyers in my area I am starting to hear that in general the crowds are diminishing.  The lesser known or less popular auctions I have been going to have borne this out (with super lockers still going high of course).

Secondly the talking about the auction scene here on the forum:

I'm thinking that Cobia would be the best one to do an analysis of the member stats shown in the stats area of the forum as he seems good at that.  A quick look shows (to me) some decline in the number of members, and a very unscientific look at the daily flow of messages here looks very DOWN to me.

Any thoughts on either or both of these observations...auction attendance...forum participation ?

Offline bwd111

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Re: Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2012, 09:49:58 AM »
Yes the crowds were diminishing, but with that promo of SW you like will bring the crowds out! The SW has been placing ads everywhere. I went to see MIB 3 last night and they ran the SW promo before the movie and behind the scence of SW and with a full house of 350-500 people per show thats a lot of people that could get the itch. I bet crowds will be back in a couple of weeks and younger and dumber crowds will follow or as they say I love to pay over retail crowds.

Re: Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 10:01:54 AM »
The other side is that many people may have bought lockers not knowing what they were doing and now are sitting on huge inventory. One never knows when the product moves. If these new buyers were expecting to hit it rich with one item like SW then they may be sitting on product not knowing what to do.

Offline Cobia

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Re: Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2012, 11:07:26 AM »
1. I won't be able to assess trends in local auction attendance until the first of July. Ive been out of town for a couple of weeks and no big auctions scheduled until the end of June aorund here.

2. Online trends & forums: Definitely the interest is dropping on forums, and there has been some noticeble downward trends in "storage auctions" across the net. Interest hit a low this past May, but the SW season 3 promos have peaked interest again, atleast on the internet. Remains to be seen if that translates into more newbies at the auctions.

My personal thought is the third seaon of SW California will peak some interest in newbies and even bring back some folks who tried it before to see if the prices have come down. I think we are still in for a little bit of ebb and flow due to folks who came out over the last two years cause of the TV shows, got burned, lost money, but come back out to see if the bidding comes down, as the bidding comes down, they win units, word gets out, more show back up, prices go back up again, more people lose money again, drop back out, prices go down again, etc, etc, etc. But all in all I just got a feeling that prices on units across the board are going to start trending downward. My prediction is we are going to start seeing auctions where those who have been doing this a while and recognize "hidden" value of the items showing are going to be able to start stealing really great units out from under the newbies, but at the same time there are still going to be many over-priced units being won.

In my local the first season of SW Texas seemed to have a much bigger influence on bringing people out to auctions then the first season of SW California, so I am not to concerned about the third season bringing a lot of folks out but who knows, we will just have to wait and see. Being in the South few people want to move a lot of furniture and other stuff in 90 degree plus heat, so this summer should still be good for getting the large packed out units with furniture. Will just have to see what happens when the weather turns nice again in the fall.

I think in our little forum here we are getting to "meat and potatoes" discussions and all the newbie questions have been asked and all the treasure stories have been told, and it turns out our treasure stories can't compete with Alan & Ton so unless you are a real storage auction buyer the interest in reading these posts is waning.

My .02  ;)

Re: Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2012, 03:01:18 PM »
Crowds have been down here in Southern AZ, but prices have not.
Don grabbed a locker two weeks ago and I landed one last week, but I've been too busy sorting and processing to take the time to jot a note.  Heck.....I have a buyer (from this board) for one of my paintings and I have yet to find a box......I promise bdm I will right after the weekend! ;)

I think here we've started to melt and enthusiasm tends to wither when the temps hit 106 degrees.
We're getting ready to hit the 'other' flea market as they have a night session.  I have NO idea what to expect as a seller there, but it's where 80% of our local auction buyers sell, so.....

Crowds this past week were pretty typical, with prices staying somewhat 'reasonable'.  Of course most of the lockers were trash, so...........

We've got a good one coming up next week that will tell the true tale of attendance/cost/interest~
will update if I have any 'free' time~ :-\


Re: Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2012, 05:17:18 PM »
Rockin.....don't worry about it. Get it done when you can. No hurry on this end!

I have also had very limited time in the last month or so to do much of anything. Our last daughter graduated from high school on Wednesday night, we flew the oldest in from Kansas so she could watch her sister and we have had nothing but kids in and out of here for the last 3 weeks!

I have managed to sneak in a couple of auctions but have not bought a unit....I think my brain was telling me that I would not have time to empty one out much less sort anything.

Hopefully things will settle down over the weekend and I can get back into the swing of it....just in time for our 106 degree heat! ;)

Offline Alias300

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Re: Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2012, 09:46:08 PM »
The crowds are down here but seems the actual buyers are the same. Seems like people aren't tagging along or people bringing friends/family.  I notice a lot less multiple people per car and less CARS and more trucks showing.
Prices are still really high.  I only try for the really small or really empty right now. Lack of an arm and lack of truck. But even those are pushing $300.

I really need a truck or at least a small trailer. Passed on a couple decent looking lockers two weeks ago cause couldn't justify renting a truck for what I saw.
And today an estate sale had some furniture priced to move. Beautiful antique pieces I'd love to have for myself.  But....no truck.
Think its time to at least go get a little $1000 POS......

Re: Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2012, 10:15:43 PM »
Looky loos deff less

Offline rulesforrebels

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Re: Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2012, 09:15:02 AM »
Very interesting topic movieman. I know I myself have been much less active in these forums in the past few months in addition to not going to many auctions either. I think this is for a variety of reasons.

1. There's only so much you can talk about with storage auctions. Sure you can discuss recent trends and new things goinng on in the auction scene such as people changing cleaning deposit rules, crowds, etc but really there's only so many tips and tricks type posts that people can make. I think we have kinda hashed out most topics on this site so the only worthwhile discussions that are left are more recent events or changes in the auction scene type posts.

2. The height of the storage auction craze is over. Sure the tv shows are still on but you don't have the crazy crowds and allthese new people interested. I think a lot of hte peoplegoing to auctions and on sites were newbies who quickly got burnt out or realized the business wasn't for them.

3. Even among the veterans and even though crowds have gone down the storage auction scene isn't what it used to be. I used to pick units up for $300 that I would turn around and make 3k-5k on pretty easily. That just doesn't happen anymore. Even with crowds down that $300 unit is now going to go for $1500 and though there's still money to be made storage auctions and reselling is hard work and to some of us it's just not worth it for the smaller profit margins.

Currently I'm doing the whole ecommerce thing have a few online stores and also doing the ebay powerseller thing reselling goods I buy rather than getting them at storage auctions. It's much easier and less time consuming than storage auctions and the profits are better. I wake up to orders or get them while I'm at work and all I have to do at the end of the day is go home pack up a few priority mail envelopes and swing by the post office on my way to work the next day.

I've been meaning to get back into going to auctions on a regular basis but have just been to busy lately

Re: Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 10:36:11 AM »
I can only answer the 2nd question regarding interest on my own personal behalf.  I suspect that there may be others out there with the same experiences.  I am still a little green at this and landed my first big locker back in Jan 2012.  My sales channels and experiences were not and continue to not be as strong as they need to be to efficiently dispose of the items at a profit.  All my time is vested in expanding these sales channels and like an A.D.D. riddled kid, new and shiney opportunities expose themselves that are easy to get sucked into.  For example, forever caring for and feeding the eBay and Craigslist beasts, going to antique auctions with the intent of selling but ending up buying as a new source for eBay selling.  Going to the Flea Markets as a vendor and catching the "bug".  It is an absolute blast being a vendor if your intent is to focus on building it up and engaging with the customers.  Then you discover a lot of that stuff from the locker doesn't sell as well as the stuff you find at yard sales, antique auctions and other sources.   And on the story goes........

So, in summary, I do still participate as a lurker on this forum and am siliently cheering on the successes of those posting their experiences.  But, I am personally investing the majority of my time building up the sales side of the equation and avoiding the storage locker accumulation side of the equation for the time being.  Just doesn't make sense to me to be out there taking lockers from others when I haven't properly disposed of the contents of those lockers that I have already obtained.

Hope this helps.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2012, 01:05:30 PM »


Hope this helps.

Your thoughts were well stated and I'm sure they apply to more than one person who reads these threads!  Thanks for the contribution.


Offline money4nothing

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Re: Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012, 07:39:09 AM »
I can only answer the 2nd question regarding interest on my own personal behalf.  I suspect that there may be others out there with the same experiences.  I am still a little green at this and landed my first big locker back in Jan 2012.  My sales channels and experiences were not and continue to not be as strong as they need to be to efficiently dispose of the items at a profit.     And on the story goes........

  Just doesn't make sense to me to be out there taking lockers from others when I haven't properly disposed of the contents of those lockers that I have already obtained.

Hope this helps.

Think we fall into this a little. Started strong with resell avenues, but things change and we need new and better ones. Then life kicks in.  Hoping to get out and sell this weekend. Been raining for two weeks.  :-\. Need the rain really bad but sure puts a damper on selling at open venue Flea market. Also we are coming into a slower sale season. Too hot and most visitors gone.

Got info from fellow buyer that crowds have really dropped from 6 months ago. He is 2 hour's from us in a very large metro area. So hopefully that means our crowds have dropped because most of the buyers were from his area (how we met him).  :o

Started limiting my contributions to the forum due to being out of the auctions and sales for a while. Don't want to be the all talk no action person.  ;).

Have to agree with Cobia "getting to the meat and potatoes" .

But with what we see as common sense in selling others may have not even thought of it. Love all the different inputs on the selling side have learned a lot here.

Offline Cobia

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Re: Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 08:18:29 AM »
Think we fall into this a little. Started strong with resell avenues, but things change and we need new and better ones. Then life kicks in.

I have to say what has surprised me the most is how fast the marketplace changes on the selling side. We have all had to deal with the changes at the storage auctions from the buying side, but for me anyway, it seems like just when I've got it figured as to what customers want, what they are willing to pay, best venue to sell something, the customers change thier buyer behavior and i mean other then typical seasonal changes. What worked last Spring, isn't working this Spring.

Last time at the Flea Market I couldn't sell DVDs for $2 a piece, had to sell for $1 to move them. When I first started I was getting $4-$5 a piece for them, last summer-fall I was selling them for $3 a piece. Now I can see maybe a slight change in price depending on how new the titles are, but going from $5 for used DVDs to $1 in 2 years is a huge change.

Offline money4nothing

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Re: Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 08:34:14 AM »
I have to say what has surprised me the most is how fast the marketplace changes on the selling side.

Yes the trends are hard to keep up with. Ours has really dropped. Granted for Fl this is the slow season, the Snow Birds (no offense just what we call them) leave. And we only get vacationers now.

Can't sell dressers that are usually fast and easy sells.

But in general all sales have slowed greatly. Going down to the thrift to pick up some more of our non selling items, and hopefully some cash from a few sells.

Think our slow sells are due to the local economy still really bad.

Offline Cobia

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Re: Dwindling interest in auctions and in talking about them ?
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2012, 12:19:16 PM »
In light of this thread I thought I would add a story that only storage auction pros would appreciate and I didn't think it was worth it's own thread...

So this weekend I decide it was time to go through all the plastic storage totes in my garage and match totes with lids, discard lids without totes, and totes without lids, and just plain nasty, broken totes. As I am doing this in the yard I notice a dead bird lying on the ground, don't think much of it just kick it in the bushes, then I find an empty tote full the feathers and poop. I guess sometime over winter/spring this poor fella got into my garage, fell into the bottom of a storage tote and couldn't fly out and thus starved or dehydrated. Sad I know.  :(

The funny thing is I never noticed the smell of a decaying bird in my garage!  :P

I guess that is one of the advantages I have doing storage auctions is I have a poor sense of smell so mold, mildew, rat feces, cat piss, garbage, rotting food, general human B.O. that come from units doesn't bother me.


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