Storage Auctions

For the newbies

For the newbies
« on: January 24, 2012, 07:16:10 AM »
As a seasoned vetran in this business i honestly tell you that yes you can make a lot of money doing this and you can make a good living but it is a lot of hard work and a painful road getting there.  There are not a lot of secrets outside of being cautious and putting your money in the right place.  I started with a couple hundred dollars and have made tens of thousands.  Here is the best advise i can give for someone to get started:

1 - Attend several auctions - study the people and pick out the veterans and watch them closely (they will never over pay)
2 - Only bid on what you can see and don't count on the wow factor (yes the shows are cool but also full of S***)
3 - SET A PRICE TO PAY (Never get caught up in the moment and never get a bidding war. A lot of people loose everything this way)
4 - Have an outlet to get rid of what you buy. (No matter how good the deal is if you don't have a buyer it is dead inventory)
5 - What sells in your area and what doesn't (scroll through craigslist and look at several flea markets)
6 - have a method to move it (start with a rental truck but make sure it is in the bid)

I see so many new faces everyday and only the same 5-10 people at all of the auctions.  The vetrans stick together and have deals between us of who buys what.  We are a tight group and regardless what anyone says we take in very few newbies and everyone has to prove themselves before they are taken seriously.

If you are serious then it will not be an easy road but in the end it will be worth it if you stick with it.  Happy Hunting.


Offline Cobia

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Re: For the newbies
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2012, 07:23:10 AM »
As a seasoned vetran in this business i honestly tell you that yes you can make a lot of money doing this and you can make a good living but it is a lot of hard work and a painful road getting there.  There are not a lot of secrets outside of being cautious and putting your money in the right place.  I started with a couple hundred dollars and have made tens of thousands.  Here is the best advise i can give for someone to get started:

1 - Attend several auctions - study the people and pick out the veterans and watch them closely (they will never over pay)
2 - Only bid on what you can see and don't count on the wow factor (yes the shows are cool but also full of S***)
3 - SET A PRICE TO PAY (Never get caught up in the moment and never get a bidding war. A lot of people loose everything this way)
4 - Have an outlet to get rid of what you buy. (No matter how good the deal is if you don't have a buyer it is dead inventory)
5 - What sells in your area and what doesn't (scroll through craigslist and look at several flea markets)
6 - have a method to move it (start with a rental truck but make sure it is in the bid)

I see so many new faces everyday and only the same 5-10 people at all of the auctions.  The vetrans stick together and have deals between us of who buys what.  We are a tight group and regardless what anyone says we take in very few newbies and everyone has to prove themselves before they are taken seriously.

If you are serious then it will not be an easy road but in the end it will be worth it if you stick with it.  Happy Hunting.



How has the TV shows over the past year to two years affected your profitability? Have you been able to adjust to the larger crowds? Do you have a lot of newbies winning most of the units in your area by overpaying? Just curious. Most of the vets in my area are struggling, some have dropped out, most seem to be trying to find other outlets for inventory like yard sales, auction houses, and wholesale auctions. I have the impression that none of these other outlets are anywhere near as profitable as the storage auctions were before the general public became aware of them.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: For the newbies
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2012, 07:52:52 AM »
How has the TV shows over the past year to two years affected your profitability? Have you been able to adjust to the larger crowds? Do you have a lot of newbies winning most of the units in your area by overpaying? Just curious. Most of the vets in my area are struggling, some have dropped out, most seem to be trying to find other outlets for inventory like yard sales, auction houses, and wholesale auctions. I have the impression that none of these other outlets are anywhere near as profitable as the storage auctions were before the general public became aware of them.

1) Shows have affected profits. A unit you could buy for $300 and make $700 profit now sells for $1,000
    and you hope for $200 to $500 profit.

2) Adjust to the crowds? Sometimes I don't even go to an auction if I feel the auctioneer will attract 100 + people.

3) Struggling? Yes, and adapting to new conditions but doing as you said...more single item buying, and looking
    at bulk buying from other venues.

4) Yes, the other venues are not as profitable as the "old" locker business, but if you can buy enough single
    items in the $10 area (each) and sell them for 5 to 10x that price you can do well, but finding ENOUGH
    single items to do well is a reach. Right now for me it is a supplement to getting the occasional good lkr.

Offline rulesforrebels

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Re: For the newbies
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2012, 12:14:24 PM »
Good points I think the best advice for newbies is its nothign like the tv show, the wow factor items or big ticket items are few and far between its much more of a grind getting rid of small household items and small dollar items with the occasional flat screen tv, motorcycle or nice piece of electronics or collectibles. Dont think you buy an item go to an expert and unload it for 3x what you paid for the locker. Expect to spend hours sorting through nasty crap, running around town to resale shops, listing itemss on craigslist meeting up with people to sell a $10 item, putting up ebay listings, taking pics, wasting weekends at flea markets. Money can be made and its a fun hustle and hobby but it is hard work.

Re: For the newbies
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2012, 03:48:09 PM »
I am definitely a newbie!  But we went in with our eyes wide open.  Hard work is not the only aspect of cleaning lockers.  The unit we bought was about 45 minutes away. We rented the locker for the rest of the month (cost of $10) and went a few days later to do the clean out. We loaded everything from the unit into the trailer and brought it home.

So...this is where I am. My house looks like a hoarders house. (and unfortunately a lot of our boxes were in a wet basement before being put into storage. The locker itself didn't smell but some of the boxes are horrible). So one more thing to be aware of. This unit was full of empty boxes (good thing recycling cardboard is free..but a pain to break down, not to mention I can't even re-use any of them for eBay). I am looking at everything with new eyes. Most things I would donate or just throw out, I need to try to re-sell (ok junk is junk and needs to be pitched, but my profit is going to come from vintage canning supplies and jars I normally wouldn't even look at). I can't throw anything out until I go through all the boxes (one piece of something in one box, another piece of it may be in another).

All in all, we are going to profit on it...but not by just going in, buying and reselling. Now comes the sorting, clean up, listing on eBay, possibly saving for a garage sale (can't have one now, its winter here). Taking crap to the dump (this lady even saved the styrofoam that meat comes on!).


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