Storage Auctions

How do YOU scan price a unit?

How do YOU scan price a unit?
« on: December 31, 2011, 08:53:22 PM »
I'd just like to get an idea of what everybody scan prices a unit for. I know things vary a lot depending on where you live, what you can move ect. but just throw some numbers at me. This is the price you'd be willing to pay for the locker, not what you think you could get for it.
For example:
Misc. boxes: $2 per box
Mattreses: $10 per mattress
Furniture: $10 per piece
Washer or Drier: $15

and anything else one typically finds in a unit.

Re: How do YOU scan price a unit?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2012, 12:26:13 AM »
Its usually by research and years of experience in selling things.  

When I was selling bmx bikes, I got to a point where I was selling parts at market prices.  I also did little bit of everything.

Dryers, Washers, dish washers, and wholly appliances.

I also sold silver, gold,  and materials.  

I have made a rule of the thumb. -  if you dont know how much you ll sell it for, then dont touch it till you get a price background on it.  


In texas,  Washers and dryers usually goes for 50-75 a pc.  but you dont know if its working or not.  

Usually in storage, always count the items to be broken or incomplete.  

for example.

an auctioneer opens a door and you see 4 sets of washer and dryers.  

Now you quickly think in your head.  okay, i can sell each set for 150 (matching set) thats $600.00  

but you dont know if it works or not.  keep in mind to keep your bid around 200.00 and stop there.  

you have to give yourself maybe 150.00 in parts/labor to repair all of them.  

thats 350.00 in appliances and repairs.

You ll make 250.00 if you hold your ground and dont let them lowball you.  




like i said,  you have to have some experience in selling more than one item.  

My family has been in the auctioneer business (storage and car auctions) all of their lives and they introduced me into this life when I was 6.  

2 months ago, i just decided to jump heads in and go for it.  If you can see my signature, I think im doing good - So far  (knock on wood) 




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Re: How do YOU scan price a unit?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2012, 06:52:49 AM »
You really have to know your market area.

Washer Dryers no sell for us. Not sure why but a burden if we see them.

Cheap particle board furniture a Plus we sell the crap out of it. Higher end not so much.

So you have to know what you can sell. No body wants the lockers we want so a win for us.

Went to an auction and there was something hidden in a small locker three bidders saw it. (we did not) Locker went for $180. My husband and I were like what did we miss. I asked the winner what she saw she said a washer dryer she can not keep them in her store. Would not have effected our bid if we saw it.

So as you scan the locker know what you can sell and for about how much.  We bought one that had cheep furniture in it for $75 sold it for $185 in about two weeks time. Everyone at auction was like what do you want that for? No boxes, no trash WYSWYG. knew we could sell it. Still ask our retail seller about things that sell and for how much. She tells us so we don't lose our butts.

On a side note we are still learning with each new locker find something we have no clue what it is worth so research and then knowledge. Sometimes you can see stuff and not win the locker but have something to research and learn.

Todd has a good background in what he knows. Like us we are pretty good with furniture and antiques (collectors) Know little about the smalls but learning.

Good luck

Re: How do YOU scan price a unit?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2012, 09:57:56 AM »
Thanks for your input guys, I really appreciate it. I live in a military town so we have a lot of the bigger items (furniture, large appliances act) floating around the market and they can be a bit tough to sell. Although anything leather seems to fly, so leather couches are the exception. I've been doing a lot of reselling on craigslist / ebay / amazon, so lockers for me is just a way to find stuff in bulk (and cheap!). I've figured that I want to assume the worst. If I see the side of a mattress, assume it's stained, if i see a tv, assume it's broken, ect. The only thing that makes me nervous is that I'm used to being able to pick things, know they work, know their condition and whatnot so the values in my head for are for working items, not potentially broken things. I guess I should just go down to the local scrap yard and see what the value of some of the more common things are.

Re: How do YOU scan price a unit?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2012, 10:52:12 AM »
wait. wait.  dont go down to the scrap yard because they price it lower than anything to make it move. 

trust me, I always go to my local scrap yard to pick up bmx bikes.  Out of 4 years, I paid maybe 100.00 and made 4k. 

if you want to check prices, check ebay first.  If its not there, go into the front page, you ll see advanced, click on that and put what your looking for and find a box that says completed auction, check that.  Sometimes you ll get your idea of value.

if still cant find it,  go into google and type it up, on the left side, under everthing, click on image,  match up the pic with yours and if you find it, then click on the picture, sometimes it will take you to the site and show you what has been sold for. 


dont be scared of the internet,  its your best friend. 

Offline money4nothing

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Re: How do YOU scan price a unit?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2012, 10:59:45 AM »
The only thing that makes me nervous is that I'm used to being able to pick things, know they work, know their condition and whatnot so the values in my head for are for working items, not potentially broken things.

My husband says auction buying is like a pig and a poke. Never know what you are really getting. We have been doing yard sales and estate sales due to the inflated prices at the auctions.  He likes that you can touch it and see it work  at yards... LOL


Re: How do YOU scan price a unit?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2012, 12:09:23 PM »
wait. wait.  dont go down to the scrap yard because they price it lower than anything to make it move. 

trust me, I always go to my local scrap yard to pick up bmx bikes.  Out of 4 years, I paid maybe 100.00 and made 4k. 

if you want to check prices, check ebay first.  If its not there, go into the front page, you ll see advanced, click on that and put what your looking for and find a box that says completed auction, check that.  Sometimes you ll get your idea of value.

if still cant find it,  go into google and type it up, on the left side, under everthing, click on image,  match up the pic with yours and if you find it, then click on the picture, sometimes it will take you to the site and show you what has been sold for. 


dont be scared of the internet,  its your best friend. 
Thanks for the advice. I do primarily use the internet to find prices (Ebay, amazon or a specialty store) and you're right, it's a great way to go. It's amazing how often people have things and have no idea what it's worth. Research is half the fun for me. I was referring to larger items like washers/driers, mattresses etc. for the scrap yard price.

Re: How do YOU scan price a unit?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2012, 08:39:30 PM »
oh pardon me.  ;D


tell you the truth, im learning about antique furniture and beds.  I m going to come across a bunch of them from here on out.

I have a good solid background but still a little rough around the edges (clueless when it comes to antiques and furniture)  I have to learn what and how to spot good stuff from the bad. 

this forum is awesome to bounce ideas around. 


Welcome to this forum!

Re: How do YOU scan price a unit?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2012, 08:25:00 AM »
Thank you :)
I'm kind of clueless about antique furniture as well. I know if something has a lot of carving or clawed feet that it's probably a good bet, as well as if it's made of solid wood, but sometimes the good veneers still get me. (I guess that's their job :P ) I'm thinking the best way to learn about these things is to head down to one of my local antique shops when the owner is feeling chatty and I've got a little spare change to buy something small. It certainly wouldn't hurt to build a bit of a relationship with them as well since I'll probably need an outlet for any large pieces I come across.

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Re: How do YOU scan price a unit?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2012, 06:40:43 AM »
Can help on the antique furniture don't count my self as an expert but know more about it than all the other stuff in units. LOL

We are all learning.

We visit antique shops all the time (now my husband might take more time looking at the smalls there) See stuff, that much for that!!!! But good information to know.

Re: How do YOU scan price a unit?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2012, 08:36:29 AM »
The key to sizing up a unit is a good eye, quick thinking, and some luck.  Depending on the crowd you may only have 30 secs - 2 mins to look at a unit before you are asked to move or the bidding starts.  For me when the door is open the first thing I do is take a deep sniff to see if the room smells and what type of smells.  I also start looking at the whole picture, and then try and look inside box holes, under furniture, etc.

Now as a general rule I'll bid up to $50 if I see one thing I like.  Even if the rest of the unit looks like trash.  These are gamble units and I've made decent returns on them.  Many times people don't bid on them since they think it's all trash and you can pick one up for $5 or $10.

In my local area, my general rule of thumb is the following:
Scrap metal - $13.75 100# - current shred price at local yard
Bed frame rails - $10 (sell for 10 - 20 easy)
If can see CDs/DVDs - quick count * $2  (sell for $2 - $3 at flea)
Matresses / TVs - ($20) - cost me $20 per trailer load to dump.  TVs I can get some scrap value out of but the plastic/tubes go to dump.  Matresses and broken furniture goes to the dump.
Computers - $5 (escrap price is good when collect large amounts)
Totes - $3 (can sell them at flea)
Boxes Cloths - $5 (can't sell cloths often, but good tax write-off)
Washer/Dryer - $15 (scrap metal value if don't work.  Or can sell to someone that repairs/re-sells)
Other appliances - $15 (same as above)


Re: How do YOU scan price a unit?
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2012, 04:26:14 PM »
If you have decent but cheap furniture you can't move, call a Real-Estate Agent. The only ones still in business are doing property management and they probably know some family that needs what you have.
They can usually come pick it up too! This saves you the dump fee and gas.

Re: How do YOU scan price a unit?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2012, 08:33:27 PM »
Thanks for the feedback guys :) I had never thought of smelling the unit! But I guess if it smells like moldy cheese it's probably going to contain some really funky stuff that I won't really want to clean out (plus some of the items may have gotten wet which would be terrible) .
I also has never thought of contacting realtors, great tip. Thanks!



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