Storage Auctions

My First Storage Auction ... Now I'm Hooked! NEED ADVICE FOR NEXT TIME!

So, I decided to take the fam to a storage unit auction down the road last wed. or thur.  It was on a whim, kind of, but I just had to.  I'm a sucker for the shows.  My goal was to at least *bid* one time on something.  I was not planning on buying anything.  Mainly because:

1)  I'm a newbie, and didn't expect to buy a unit until my 3-5th time.
2)  We have limited garage space
3)  How the heck are we going to transport it?  That would be a lot of work. 

So anyway, there were 11 units up for auction, or so, and 20 people there.  It looked like there were not many newbies, so I thought I could learn quite a bit. 

The auctioneer had a cowboy hat on, which was a plus, and a fast talker.  That alone was enough for me to go  :D :D

On our way, we saw a lady selling some things out of her unit, so my wife and I split off for a few minutes to see what she had.  My wife has a good eye for kiddo things, so she went ahead and made a deal with a lady.  She spent $80 with her, and it looks like we'll pull $250 profit out of it all!

Well, the next to last locker, I saw some things that I liked, and it was like a switch turned on from "I don't stand a chance...I'm just a rookie" to "Anything below $450 and this is MINE!" 

Well, I got it for $375!!!! ;D

It took 2 trips to bring it all home, and it was exhilarating.  I was careful, because I was told by someone that out of every 100 units you buy, generally, 99 are junk. 

Well, this one was an awesome starter!  35 new Pampered Chef items, 29 new interior decorating items, tons of various kitchen things, some jewelry, 13 purses/bags (Coach, BeBe, and even some fake LV / Chanel), lots of toys, etc.  Heck, even about $50 cash! 

It took a lot ... and I mean a LOT of work to process through it all.  I think my wife came close to pulling an all nighter going through things, and I had spent a few days just listing all the stuff. 

As it sits now, we have pretty much everything listed online (or 99% at least?) and are $116 away from being in the black with the unit, and have toooonsss to go.  Conservatively speaking, I'd say we have $600 cash profit, when all is said and done. 

Now, for the questions: 

- I asked before, but WHERE TO SELL QUICKLY?  I read the faq ... is there anything else people recommend?  I typically list things concurrently on both craig's list and ebay.  Things never seem to sell as fast as I want them to!

- What is your method of sorting / processing / listing it all?  It was almost as if we had to shut down life for a day to get situated.  Don't get me wrong, it was a flat out BLAST for us, but holy smokes - time consuming!  I think next time, we are going to have several piles:  Trash | Recycle | Goodwill | Research | List

- Any other pointers??? 

Offline Travis

  • *****
  • 5484
  • Every storage unit he buys yields treasure.
    • View Profile
    • AuctionsTX.com
    • Email
Re: My First Storage Auction ... Now I'm Hooked! NEED ADVICE FOR NEXT TIME!
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2012, 10:16:46 AM »
Yep, the auctions are exciting and digging through the unit the first time is exciting. Now comes the part they don't show on TV, the countless hours of sorting, researching, pricing, moving, cleaning, photographing, listing and selling every item.  :-[ 

Offline Cobia

  • ******
  • 1144
    • View Profile
Re: My First Storage Auction ... Now I'm Hooked! NEED ADVICE FOR NEXT TIME!
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2012, 01:42:50 PM »
Advice, decide now what your goals for buying storage units are. There is no easy way to upscale the business without having a lot of capital to invest.

The quickest ways to move inventory?

Option #1: Take all the furniture and large items to a local auction house, round up all the small quality stuff and sell them for birdseed to other re-sellers at the local flea market, everything else take to charity & list for free on Craigslist.
Pros: Everything gone in a week. Cons: You just eliminated most if not all your profit potential.

Option #2: Hire a staff of employees to help clean out units, load, unload, sort, sell, list, etc.
Pros: Should increase your ability to process units so you can buy more. Cons: Many items will be lost to damage and theft, employee salaries will eat up your profits, you will become a human resource manager instead of a re-seller, treasure hunter, hobbyist, etc. (unless you got a bunch of trustworthy, dependable friends & family that will work for minimum wage)

Option #3: Get your hands on a wad of money ($250,000?) and buy or lease an old shopping center anchor, about the size of a grocery store or Wal-Mart, fill 40% with clothes racks, 30% with tables, the rest empty space for large items (still gonna need some employees for this operation) and open up 6 days a week.
Pros: You have plenty of space to dump everything from the units, little time needed for sorting, so you can get out there a buy more units! You will be selling everything dirt cheap 6 days a week. Cons: The employee thing again! It's gonna take you a while to get your capital investment back. Your gonna let a lot of nice things go for cheap cause you don't have time to research and segregate items out to sell at higher prices or in different markets (unless you hire someone for that too.)

Option #4: One unit at a time, until you've done it enough to move up to 2 or 3 or 4 at a time, slowly growing your business, adding an employee here and there along the way, buying/leasing more space, etc.

Wait and see how you feel after spending $375 on some poopers that take the same amount of time but actually lose you money a couple of times and then see if this is something you really want to do.

Offline Travis

  • *****
  • 5484
  • Every storage unit he buys yields treasure.
    • View Profile
    • AuctionsTX.com
    • Email
Re: My First Storage Auction ... Now I'm Hooked! NEED ADVICE FOR NEXT TIME!
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2012, 01:54:47 PM »
Having a garage sale or renting a booth at the flea market will help you get rid of the insignificant items. The leftovers can be donated for a tax deduction. Everything valuable can go on Craigslist.

Offline rulesforrebels

  • ******
  • 1276
  • FreeStorageAuctionLists.com
    • Yahoo Instant Messenger - rulesforrebels
    • View Profile
    • Free Storage Auction Lists
    • Email
Re: My First Storage Auction ... Now I'm Hooked! NEED ADVICE FOR NEXT TIME!
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 11:21:45 AM »
Glad you had a good time at the auction. As to your questions I started out storing stuff in my garage never brought anything in my house too scared of bedbugs, roaches, mice, rats, etc so even garage probably isn't a fantastic idea but better than house. If you plan on doing this long term maybe put up a storage shed in the backyard. Personally I rent a unit I keep my stuff in or in really large units will just take over the unit for a month or two until I unload my stuff.

As for transporting items Home Depot actually rents trucks for $24.95 for few hours. That's not only way cheaper than uhaul but its also a much quicker checkout process vs sitting in uhaul for 45 minutes filling out paperwork to get your truck.

some storage facilities have their own box truck or rent  box trucks, if you get in good with the storage facility manager they will normally let you use their truck for free, I normally bring them a subway sandwhich or something when I go to auctions so works as a little bribe/relationship builder.

Also Here's a great book to help storage auction newbies only $2.99 for all the info you need to get started. http://www.amazon.com/Make-Money-Storage-Auctions-ebook/dp/B00A0245Z4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356628478&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+make+money+with+storage+unit+auctions is a good book for beginnerrs with everything you need to know to make money buying units.


xx
What advice would you give newcomers to the storage auction business?

Started by Travis

7 Replies
2954 Views
Last post May 30, 2014, 04:08:29 PM
by bakerben
xx
Wife is hooked

Started by parksleyman

1 Replies
1222 Views
Last post December 21, 2012, 09:23:27 AM
by Travis
xx
first auction need advice please

Started by terrorbow

9 Replies
3571 Views
Last post July 31, 2011, 06:32:24 PM
by ChefJ
xx
Won my first auction, looking for advice

Started by vinnysc

12 Replies
3869 Views
Last post December 21, 2014, 11:46:01 AM
by Travis