Storage Auctions

Bought my First locker the other day

Offline Jesterc333

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Bought my First locker the other day
« on: June 29, 2012, 05:36:07 PM »
Well I have my first question as a noobie at this. I bought a locker the other day that only had a Retro 80's round bamboo dining set that the chairs were in rough shape and one chair missing no glass for the top, but the central piece that held the glass was in like new shape. And there was one used car tire and a rear projection TV. When they opened the locker most everyone when they saw what was in it they just walked away toward the next lkr up for auction. The auctioneer asked if someone would give him 10 bucks for the lkr, no-one answered so i said i'd give her 5 and then she said sold. And ppl were actually laughing at me. Well you know what. The Huge 55inch JVC Rear projection theatre size TV that everyone thought was junk or below them was sold on CL not 5 hrs after i left the auction for $35 bucks and those chairs that were so rough well the whole frame of the chairs added up to 30lbs of aluminum worth 0.60 per pds oh yea the tire fit someone car cause i sold it to a used tire shop for $5 bucks. And I sold the table center piece for 10 buck a thrift store because they had more chairs than tables. All in all i spents a total of about 2 hrs of actual work selling this and i paid $5. So let's tally $35+$18+$10=$63-$5=$58 You Vets have lost sight of the golden rule. A DOLLAR IS A DOLLAR IS A DOLLAR!! Never pass up a sure thing just because its not a jam packed locker.

Offline Jesterc333

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Re: Bought my First locker the other day
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 05:40:03 PM »
My question is why would all those ppl pass on these items just because they weren't super high end? Doesn't everyone want to make all the money they can. They obviously were sellable. Or am I missing something?

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Bought my First locker the other day
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 05:58:08 PM »
Well, you ask a few questions...I'll try to answer them.

IMO...

You have bought one locker so far and you did fine. You paid yourself about $25 an hour and that's fine.
There were some gas expenses but we don't know what those amounted too...maybe not much, but something.

Once you have bought between 10 and 25 lockers you will have a better idea about this business. Maybe the $50 profit per locker will work for you, and if it amounts to a $25 per hour return, that's great.

BUT, it will take a while to win those lockers, they won't all pay as well (some may pay better) and you'll start accounting for expenses like gasoline as well as your time. Depending on locations that could add up. Also, remember that there will be some auctions where you won't buy anything and you still will have paid for gas and you still will have used your time. Your pay per hour on those occasions....a negative amount which will come out of your wallet.

Not everyone is in this business for the same reasons. Sure, people like making money, but there is often more to it than that...anticipation of making a good score for one, and excitement when a big score is made is another.

If I was just in it for the money I would sell 4 or 5 days a week instead of the one day a week I do sell. I would be buying more (indiscriminately ?) and selling more and making more trips to the dump. So, hard to answer that aspect.
Do what works for you.

Anyway, welcome to our world and enjoy it.


Offline Jesterc333

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Re: Bought my First locker the other day
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 06:09:43 PM »
Well that make alot of sense. I didn't even put the emotional aspect of auction buying into the equation. Maybe i'll enjoy it more if a make it a little more fun. Thank Movieman.

Offline Alias300

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Re: Bought my First locker the other day
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 11:39:27 PM »
I personally would have passed.

Like movieman said, people are there for different reasons.

I'm there for personal use stuff at auction as my first goal. When the door goes up thats what I scan for.
Shouldnt be but I'm always looking to upgrade my personal belongings.
After that I scan for resale items.  Primary outlets for vintage kitchen wares and tools (both vintage and modern).  After that....long list, but point is I have a market.  I go down list.  Perhaps I already have saturated my contacts or have stockpiled inventory in particular items so I'll pass on more.

I also have limitations.  Ive had multiple shoulder surgeries in last 2yrs.  I stay away from larger items.
I currently have no truck. I have very limited storage.  And in past few weeks I've made some high dollar "investments". High profit margin but will take a while to refurbish and limited market so will have to sit on item a while.  Buying/selling is my only sorce of income untill Fall.  So really watching funds.

So....
Your locker. Great for you. And I'm always on look out for those quick turn over. I like your attitude. Grind it out.  $58 is better that going home empty handed.

Fo me, tho.  I'd need to  grab help and at least pay for thier lunch. Rent truck or borrow and throw some gas in it.   Won't even talk about sellability cause already that $58 is gone. 

Welcome and good luck!









Offline money4nothing

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Re: Bought my First locker the other day
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2012, 07:12:42 AM »

Sounds good to me  Jesterc333.  We bought one for $23.23 most everyone walked away from. Had a fall-partical board table with 6 chairs. Sold for $75 after a quick recover on the chairs using an old sheet. An antique corduroy chair sold for $35 (got priced wrong at the thrift  ::) ). Then some odds and ends made for a nice return per locker. 

But as Movieman pointed out when you add in all the expenses, can go in the other direction.

And as Alias said depends on what your situation is when you are at the auction.

We would pass on a locker like that right now no market for the stuff.

We did have a few looks at the next stop because we were loaded. Could see the wheels turning in there heads. Looking at the chairs (metal)..

Also we may have gotten it for $5, but another couple wanted it.

Most noobies are after the hunt of the WOW factor. So they just don't get it when you buy a locker. We bought one that I guy came up to me and said what is in there. He did not realize it was my husband bidding on it. It was also a What you see is what you get. No boxes no trash. Our truck was empty by the time we got home. 

So it is what you can get out of it, and how much work you want to put into it.

Welcome aboard and good luck.

Re: Bought my First locker the other day
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2012, 01:54:21 PM »
You took a gamble and won - that is great.  Buying lockers all depends on what you want to do.  As you have read from the other three it can be your primary job, a way to "upgrade", or an adventure.  I myself do it as a hobby and to spend time with my oldest daughter.  I also have purchased a number of very cheap units that people laugh at me.  Last one was a 10x10 size unit with some trash and a old fridge in it.  I paid $5.  Since I had already purchased another unit at this location, have a trailer, and a appliance dolly the fridge to me was $15-20 in scrap even if not working.  Now I would not have purchased the unit if it was the only unit I was getting at the location.  Coming back to the location with trailer, clean-out, etc. just wasn't worth my time/effort.

Recently - I can make more money buying/picking yard sale items and re-selling at my buddies thrift store / ebay then I do on a average locker purchase.  My daughter however, is making a killing (2-3x money) on under $50 units she has purchased.

For me as long as I can break even +/- $20 on a unit I'm happy.  Most people think I'm nuts.  I like to rummage / dig / explore in stuff for that mystery.  I also use all of this to teach my kids.  My oldest has gone from just attending the auctions, to helping at some auctions, and being able to bid at one facility herself.  She even scared off a newbie on her 2nd locker purchase and struck gold...litteraly (jealous daddy....)

Offline Cobia

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Re: Bought my First locker the other day
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2012, 05:24:44 PM »
You seemed to be referencing why regulars would pass on this unit, and others have already touched on this and I will add my prospective to it.

It's called opportunity cost. I'm not gonna use up space in my trailer for an obviously marginal unit when there are other units yet to be auctioned. I am not going to buy a unit that is not worth the fuel costs to hook up a trailer and come back and get it.

Now if I have already won atleast one unit at that location, and this is the last or next to last unit, and the price is right, sure it might bid on it.

You might be asking "why not just show up to the auctions towing your trailer so you don't have to go back and get it?"

2 reasons: 1. I don't want all the regulars to know what kind of resources I have. 2. I don't want the noobies "birddoging" me. They see me or you pulling a big trailer or driving a box truck, they might just wait and bid on everything I do figuring I know what I'm doing and know which units are good.

Most of us have had those "I bought a unit for $1 and made $43.72!" But once you start doing this for a while, trust me, you will let somebody else have those.

Offline Jesterc333

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Re: Bought my First locker the other day
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2012, 12:57:03 PM »
Thanks to everyone for you're input. The auction circuit i have here is hit and miss early on in the month but the last weeks in every month i have around 24-34 different auctions to go to within 10 miles of my house. So if i see a lkr worth the investment visible from the door with some other junk i can't see i'll go for her and see what you guys are talking about treasure hunting. But I cannot bring myself to gamble my money on anything but a solid return. I'll chime in regardless if i find the Cortez treasure or just rat poop and porn. :o

Offline Jesterc333

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Re: Bought my First locker the other day
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2012, 12:42:24 PM »
Well it's time to go and see. Tomorrow I'm going on a caravan with 9 facilities and just under 65 lockers up for auction. It'll be a lot to take in, but I'll do my best to use what I've learned on this forum to keep myself upright and level. I'll let you all know on the "storage finds" section how I do. Plus I won't be able to hurt myself to bad. I'm only taking 500 bucks so no temptation to overspend... ;) Any last minute pointers????

Offline money4nothing

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Re: Bought my First locker the other day
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2012, 01:31:34 PM »
Any last minute pointers????

Don't get in a bidding war !!!!   ;)    My biggest one is don't buy what you can't sell.

Good luck, 65 lockers is a lot..... Take a lunch and plenty to drink.


Looking forward to your post of your adventure.

Offline Cobia

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Re: Bought my First locker the other day
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2012, 07:59:59 AM »
For me, sales are starting to stagnate. From furniture to household goods. The only thing moving are those unique one-off items that randomly show up in units are still selling pretty good on Ebay, Oh, and textbooks are selling good right now, everything else? Blah!

Like Money said, try to make sure you are pretty confident you can sell what you are bidding on. Being new, I guess you are in the research phase, but I would still be carefull about paying alot for any unit right now.

Sure, prices are starting to come down on the units, but the quality of stuff in the units seems to be dropping, and overall sales/customers have dropped too.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Bought my First locker the other day
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2012, 09:48:35 AM »


Sure, prices are starting to come down on the units, but the quality of stuff in the units seems to be dropping, and overall sales/customers have dropped too.

As we have both said in one or two other threads in the last week this certainly seems to be the case (at least for some of us).

Your other comment that one of a kind, single items are going well is right on for me and lends even more reason to keep "picking" what we know works. I am leaning more and more toward that and only going to auctions where I think I might get a good deal or a good lkr, though finding the latter is always a crap shoot with good ones even coming up at crap locations now and again.



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