Storage Auctions

What signs do you look for that would indicate a locker has hidden value?

Offline Travis

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I have heard the old theories that a well organized unit indicates that it may have better quality merchandise but some of the best lockers I have ever bought looked like trash from the door.

What signs do you look for that would indicate a locker has hidden value?

Offline jrossjr79

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I actually just go for it all. I value the unit from what I can see, and gamble on the rest. If it is nicely boxed stacked and the like or I see certain hand written words on the boxes I gamble more on. But I like going for the trashed out units as well cause I get them cheaper, and sometimes it pays off well. A trashed out unit has gained me more of a profit margin, cause the value is completely hidden. In a well organized unit EVERYONE pretty much sees what I can see, which causes the bidding to go way up, especially with people that dont know what they are doing and treasure hunters.

I noticed a messy unit can still go up, but alot of people still tend to stay away from them and bid low if anything at all.

Offline MovieMan

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I think jrossjr79 has an approach that works and I tried it for awhile but decided it wasn't for me.
I was just getting too much trash for the possible valuables I found. By the time I calculated effort, time, return, the bulk of the ones I could get cheap just didn't work out for me, so I just decided to back off on units I liked that were going too high. Eventually some degree of normalcy will return, but for now if I can get a lkr or two that will give me a 20% to 30% return instead of the 100% return I would like I will settle for that.

I think jrossjr79 has an approach that works and I tried it for awhile but decided it wasn't for me.
I was just getting too much trash for the possible valuables I found. By the time I calculated effort, time, return, the bulk of the ones I could get cheap just didn't work out for me, so I just decided to back off on units I liked that were going too high. Eventually some degree of normalcy will return, but for now if I can get a lkr or two that will give me a 20% to 30% return instead of the 100% return I would like I will settle for that.


I think just about sums it up, until everything gets back to normal (if it ever does) you just have to settle for making less on most lockers and hope you hit a grand slam every now and again!

Offline jrossjr79

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I think just about sums it up, until everything gets back to normal (if it ever does) you just have to settle for making less on most lockers and hope you hit a grand slam every now and again!

Its a numbers game, the more you buy, the better off you can be on an average. That is unless what is going on now for the most of us, PRICES WAY TO HIGH FOR WHAT IS IN THERE. And you keep getting crap units. Then it can be a total loss, and pray that you at least break even.

BTW, IMO, all lkrs have hidden value, question is is that value worth anything :)

Offline rulesforrebels

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I dont think you can really nail it down to one thing. I've had luck with nice organized units where everyting was in totes, electronics in origional boxes, etc. The whole if its taken care of its probably nice stuff thing does hold true.

In the same token sometimes the dirty, stuffed, unorganized units are great as well. Maybe grandpa got put into a nursing home and his niece, nephew, kids, etc just threw everything into storage and didnt bother to find his coin collection, silver, etc.

Offline Travis

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Alright, good answers so far. Let me rephrase the question. What types of storage units get you excited? (Not that kind of excited Movieman.)

Me personally, I like volume. I love 30 foot lockers stacked to the ceiling. I also love nice furniture or antique units.

I love the climate controlled 5x10 or 10x10 units with boxes and totes. Huge units with furniture has never done it for me.

Offline jrossjr79

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mmm, the ones that excite me large rooms, mostly nicely stacked brand new boxes, totes, not alot of furniture.

Offline MovieMan

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I like any size locker that has good looking (not beat up) boxes and totes, preferably with no large furniture.
In other words, easy pickins...and at a good price.

Now that's a DREAM....(no not THAT kind of dream Travis).

Of course, those kind of lockers go for the following prices in my area:

5x10....................$350 (or so)
10x10..................$650 to $750
10x15..................$650 to $900
10x20...................$750 to $1000

That's why I haven't been buying many lately. If the boxes and totes parts hold true, not much
actually SHOWING....more of a huge gamble than anything else. I liked these even as a gamble when
they were half that price for the size shown above....I would have taken that gamble.


Offline Cobia

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I try to look for items in the lockers that tells me the owner has ecletic taste or disposable income. A good sign for me in my area is artwork, vases, unusual fashion sense, unique furniture, or any hobby related items EXCEPT for tools and or hunting/fishing/camping supplies. A door goes up on a unit in my area and you see a fishing pole or a gun case or a tent, you can forget about getting it for less than $500! Most of the lockers in my area are Wal-Mart chic, so if I see some unique things that can't be bought at Wal-Mart in a locker, my radar starts to go up.

Offline Travis

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Movieman, those look like pre-storage auction reality shows prices. 

Offline MovieMan

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Movieman, those look like pre-storage auction reality shows prices. 

Well, it's certainly true that each of those categories could sell for $250 to $400 more than I stated.

I paid $1200 for a 10 x 10 a month or so ago and I'll be lucky to break even, but I needed some new
items...and it had the benefit of showing a lot of newbies that I mean business. It doesn't matter to me that
some of them thought I was nuts.  Right after I got that one I got a 10 x 10 for $325....when they saw who was bidding they stopped. Average those two out and I'm coming out OK.


Offline Travis

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So what your saying is that your wallet was saved by luck from the problem your pride got you into?

Offline MovieMan

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So what your saying is that your wallet was saved by luck from the problem your pride got you into?

Well, what I am ACTUALLY saying is that the second locker saved me because I didn't read the first lkr correctly.

The 1885 Gustav Becker clock I show in the What's It Worth thread came from the $1200 lkr, but unfortunately it was the most valuable piece in there and there were no more antiques worth very much.

It's a gamble, but the Gustav is going to take a big chunk off the $1200 (hopefully) and the other items will help too, then the profit from the $325 lkr can take care of more and maybe even make some money.



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