Storage Auctions

Hello from California

Offline MikeMilez

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Hello from California
« on: February 20, 2015, 05:57:51 PM »
Hello everyone, I've been doing storage auctions for roughly 10 years. 8 of those years were as a side hobby, and two years as a full fledged LLC. To make a long story short, when the economy tanked, I lost my full-time career job and had to take action fast. Since I was already doing so well with storage auctions as a hobby, I took out a loan against my retirement and started my own storage auction business.

Within a short time, I was making over six grand per month consistently for an entire year. Then I made a huge mistake and closed my original warehouse in exchange for a retail location with more overhead, less space, and zoning restrictions that led me to change business models and lose my loyal customers. This eventually led to filing bankruptcyÖ ouch!

I learned a lot along the way - what I did right, and what I did wrong, and I'm currently putting it all together into a book. I know there's already a ton of books on Amazon, but from what I've read, most of them aren't that great and donít provide real sound advice about starting a legitimate business. Itís my goal to address as many of these issues as possible to take someone from hobbyist to professional, while balancing the needs of newbies and seasoned pros.

At this time, I have no definite release date. The book is mostly done. Iím just working on some finishing touches and learning exactly how to self publish on Amazon Kindle. However, I always love a good challenge and know itíll be worth it if I can help at least one person. I would like to get this book out to as many people for free as possible, but Iím not going to post a link in here because I tried once already and the post was deleted. Iím sure it came off as spammy which I didnít intend.

If you have any questions, post them here and Iíll do my best to get back to everyone. Also, to be clear, I donít pretend to be some super storage auction guru. This is just my experience, what I have learned, what I know that works, and what I know that doesnít work. Iím definitely not rich, and in fact, Iím presently quite poor. This book is just a personal passion that I have been working on for the last 6 months.

I hope I can be of help to anyone on the forum. I donít mind answering questions about my personal life or my business. Everything is a learning experience, good and bad!

Offline Cobia

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Re: Hello from California
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2015, 06:13:24 PM »
Interesting, your experience in the business seems very similar to mine. A lot of trail and error, and keeping pace with seasonal changes, and longer term trends.

Offline MikeMilez

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Re: Hello from California
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2015, 06:29:56 PM »
Interesting, your experience in the business seems very similar to mine. A lot of trail and error, and keeping pace with seasonal changes, and longer term trends.

I didn't have a problem keeping pace, I had a problem with wanting to expand too quickly. Having a 5000 sq ft warehouse, and then a 2000 sq foot retail store split between 2 of us was just not cutting it. I made the dumb decision to close the warehouse and focus on the new retail store. Except, there was zoning in place that didn't allow thrift stores, so we focused on antiques and collectibles. We lost a majority of our previous customers and had a hard time finding new ones. This, with waaaay more overhead depleted me of all of my savings. Instead of $0.25 per sq ft at the warehouse, I was paying $1 per sq ft AND bringing in less money. We rode it out for a year hoping we could build up the newer business model, but it failed miserably and I filed bankruptcy.

Offline Travis

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Re: Hello from California
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2015, 07:51:30 PM »
Mike, welcome to the forum. I don't recall ever seeing a link to your site in the past. Anyway, I don't mind you plugging your book as long as you're a regular contributor on the forum...which I see you've been pretty active today.  ;)

Good luck with the book. If you need any guidance with self-publishing, I'm no expert, but I've been through the process. I also have some extra ISBNs that I can give you a discount on. You'll need the ISBNs if you want to sell hard copies on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or if you plan on sending a copy to the Library of Congress. If you just want to sell ebooks through CreateSpace, you don't need them, but the hard copies are an extra source of revenue.

Offline MikeMilez

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Re: Hello from California
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2015, 08:34:45 PM »
I had made a post in the General area titled free e-book offer or something like that, and then it was gone. Maybe I never fully submitted it, but either way, I still felt like maybe I was being to spammy anyway, by just coming into the community and promoting myself only. I have been studying a lot of product launch marketing stuff online and sometimes I get caught up in that mentality instead of remembering I'm just a regular dude and not some hype expert, haha.

When I was neck deep in running the business I never had much free time to participate in online communities like this one, so I kind of feel like the new kid on the block around here, even though I have tons of experience. Anyway, I don't want to ramble on.

As far as the ISBN's go, I'm not sure if I need them just yet, but I'll definitely keep that in mind. I plan on doing Kindle and CreateSpace, but if you can tell me what would be better I'm all ears!

Oh.. and for those interested, you can sign up at the following address to get notified when the book will be available for free:

http://StorageAuctionAuthority.com

...also, sorry if it seems gimmicky. Like I said, I've been studying a lot of marketing and product launch information lately!

Offline Travis

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Re: Hello from California
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2015, 09:18:35 PM »
As far as the ISBN's go, I'm not sure if I need them just yet, but I'll definitely keep that in mind. I plan on doing Kindle and CreateSpace, but if you can tell me what would be better I'm all ears!

You probably will want the ISBNs after you do your research. There are a lot of advantages. Kindle & CreateSpace are good, but there are a lot of other outlets besides Amazon. Google Play is a must. The royalties vary from one site to the next. Also, a friend of mine owns StorageAuctioneBook.com and I might be able to get you a deal on it. I was thinking about buying it for my book, but I've got the luxury of promoting my book on this site, so I don't really need it. Why I haven't yet, Lord only knows...oh yeah, I have no free time.

Offline MikeMilez

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Re: Hello from California
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2015, 09:55:43 PM »
Thanks for the offer, but I already have my domain. Is your book online? If so, what's it called and where is it? Maybe I own a copy. I bought some back in 2012 but I think they were all from Glendon Cameron. Also, how much is an ISBN?

Offline Travis

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Re: Hello from California
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2015, 10:19:26 PM »
Thanks for the offer, but I already have my domain. Is your book online? If so, what's it called and where is it? Maybe I own a copy. I bought some back in 2012 but I think they were all from Glendon Cameron. Also, how much is an ISBN?

It's called The Storage Auction Pro and it's free to Amazon Prime members. It's about 150 pages. I've been meaning to update it, but haven't had the time with everything else that's going on. I'm thinking of writing a small new ebook and including some specialized knowledge that isn't available in any other book about storage auctions.

ISBN's cost $125 each or $295 for 10. The problem is, you need a different ISBN for every version you put out. For example, if you wanted to publish an ebook, a paperback and a hardback, you would need three different ISBN's.

Offline MikeMilez

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Re: Hello from California
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2015, 12:26:23 AM »
I've been trying to figure out how many sales a book gets based on it's Amazon Best Sellers rank. If you don't mind, how many sales do you get per month? I'm guessing that since things have died down it would be lucky to get 1 or 2 sales per month, but maybe I'm wrong.

Offline alloro

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Re: Hello from California
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2015, 10:36:03 AM »
I had made a post in the General area titled free e-book offer or something like that, and then it was gone. Maybe I never fully submitted it, but either way, I still felt like maybe I was being to spammy anyway, by just coming into the community and promoting myself only.

I moved it to our review pile for that very reason. Any advertising here has to be approved and endorsed by Travis first since he owns the site.

Offline Travis

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Re: Hello from California
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2015, 12:08:22 PM »
Since he's not really a competitor and he's contributing to the forum, I'm okay with a couple of links being dropped. As long as it doesn't get out of hand. 

Offline Henry

Re: Hello from California
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2015, 02:29:51 AM »
Welcome to the forum.  Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.  Iím sure there are a lot of people here that will be able to learn from them.  Good luck and keep bidding!


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