Storage Auctions

You buy a locker and then what...

You buy a locker and then what...
« on: November 27, 2011, 05:32:03 PM »
What do you do with the stuff you bought? Suppose you have typical house hold items, washer/ dryer, and clothes? Do most of you own resale shops? Sell at flea markets? ebay or craigslist?

Offline Drew

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Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2011, 06:02:27 PM »
Thats what a lot of this forum is all about!! How to sell the stuff! Browse around and youll be able to find a lot of helpful info!  ;)

Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2011, 10:14:00 PM »
Thanks, again, Drew.

I will take your advice and continue looking around. I will also continue to ask questions.

Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2011, 11:16:18 PM »
All the above and the dump.

Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2011, 08:14:09 AM »
Then you work long hours to sort, research, clean, restore, and sell what you can so that you can go back for more.  Some people have stores and such.  Many of us like myself do it part-time and work out of the garage / house.  Others, do it full time and do booths at the flea or swap meets.  Or they do numerous yard sales.  It all just depends on your situation.

Before you buy your first locker you best know what you are going to do with the stuff.  Keep it, burn it, sell it, trash it, or whatever it may be.

Buying a unit is easy.

Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2011, 08:13:46 PM »
At risk of stating what others may consider obvious, it appears to me the way to be success in this venture is:
1. Have a plan on how to get rid of your stuff... highest return down to least expensive way to get rid of.
2. Have a place to work out of.
3. Once I'm solid on #1 and #2, it's a numbers game.

If I've got it all wrong or all right or somewhere in between, please feel free to chime in.

Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2011, 08:49:56 PM »
You really do need to go to an auction and experience it before you even consider buying a unit.  I went to about 8 before I actually bid and another 10 before I finally won a unit.  I was too timid in the beginning and more than a bit nervous about gambling large sums. 

Go to the auctions.  When they open the door, quickly (and quietly) evaluate what you see.  Do the 'mental' bid that MovieMan suggested (it's not only fun but a great way to gauge the crowd and your knowledge of auctions) and enjoy yourself. 

It may all seem quite 'exciting' after watching folks on TV find numerous treasures, but I'll tell ya right now.....it's hard, dirty work.

As far the rest of your questions, from my personal experience:
We live on just over an acre, so we have plenty of room to store items, both large & small (there is an amazing amount of little, but valuable items).
We spend every Saturday at a local swap meet (flea market).
All furniture and large items are listed on craigslist.  We sell out of our home and have never had an issue or a weirdo or problem.  We are very rural and I weed out folks before giving out our address.
We make sure that everything is in proper working order or note that in ad or sales pitch~we like our reputation.
I often go to an antique fair with some of the higher end, older items.
We have numerous contacts within our community and what we can't move, but is still in usable condition, we can usually find somebody who can benefit from it.

The only way you can really learn the business is to experience it, but again......you must first attend a live auction and I would suggest that you do so as merely a spectator.  Talk to the people.  Most are willing to talk.....but take what they say with a grain of salt.....because I've heard some serious tall-tales from our local buyers~

Good luck.......

Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 08:42:50 PM »
You really do need to go to an auction and experience it before you even consider buying a unit.  I went to
As far the rest of your questions, from my personal experience:
We live on just over an acre, so we have plenty of room to store items, both large & small (there is an amazing amount of little, but valuable items).
We spend every Saturday at a local swap meet (flea market).
All furniture and large items are listed on craigslist.  We sell out of our home and have never had an issue or a weirdo or problem.  We are very rural and I weed out folks before giving out our address.


I too have a pretty big property and an empty basement and attic, plenty of room to stuff treasures from storage unit auction. I how ever have little interest in going the flea market route. I really can't see myself selling a used toaster oven at a flea market on my weekends. I was wonder if anyone gives there low end crap for someone else to sell (for a small percentage) and keep the more valuable items to sell on Ebay or Criag's list. Maybe I'm not humble enough to be a serious storage unit buyer, I still have a full time job (at least for now) that pays pretty well.

Offline Alias

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Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2012, 10:19:36 PM »
I am that guy. Not the kitchen wares type stuff.
I just have buyers and contacts. People bring me what they have and I either buy low, with full disclosure that they could get more elsewhere, or I take on consignment of sorts.

More towards ur question, the "low end crap" you speak of is some peoples bread and butter. Quick ad on CL and, for the right price, plenty of people are willing to take it off your hands.

Don't understand the "humble" remark?  I just don't enjoy selling at flea's.  Don't look down on people that do.

Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2012, 11:13:34 PM »


More towards ur question, the "low end crap" you speak of is some peoples bread and butter. Quick ad on CL and, for the right price, plenty of people are willing to take it off your hands.

I don't know, from my experience selling on Ebay, I really can't be bothered to write a custom ad, figure out postage, pack and ship a $5 or $10 dollar item. after Ebay takes there cut, I'm making next to nothing. If I'm going to that kind of effort, I want to make at least $40 or $50 on the transaction to bother.

Perhaps I got the wrong impression of this website. I assumed that the regulars were making a living at buying and selling at the storage unit auctions, but sales results from another tread makes me think otherwise. Profit of a few thousand dollars is definitely a hobby, you need to be clearing 30 or 40k at least to make a living at this.       

Don't understand the "humble" remark?  I just don't enjoy selling at flea's.  Don't look down on people that do.

Don't get me wrong, I actually like going to flea markets sometimes, but I think you have to be somewhat humble to sit out in the hot sun weekend after weekend selling items for a few dollars each. It's just not me. Now if I was unemployed, it would be something I'd be a lot more open to.

 

Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 04:37:20 AM »
Honestly,  If you don't want to move "low end crap", or make ads on craigslist or ebay, or do the fleas, THIS IS NOT FOR YOU.   

There is usually not enough big ticket items to discard the "CRAP".

You have to make every penny you can to be really successful in this business. 

Just my opinion

Offline Cobia

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Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2012, 07:36:48 AM »
TechGromit,

UGA*FAN beat me to it! If you don't see yourself selling at flea markets and can't find the time and energy the list items on Ebay, then don't bother getting into storage auctions. It will be a big waste of your time and money. To be successful in this business it is a labor of love.

You must LOVE the flea market.
You must LOVE Ebay.
You must LOVE Craigslist.
You must LOVE finding other venues for selling your merchandise.

Don't get me wrong, all of these things can be a pain in the a$$, but like a marriage, to be successful, you gotta LOVE it!

Oh also,

You must LOVE moving heavy items in the blazing heat or freezing cold.
You must LOVE digging/sorting through other peoples household garbage.
and other things.

As far as finding someone to sell your stuff for you at the flea market I have tried it and so far have been unsuccessful. It's amazing how many people lack the motivation to actually "work" for a living. You will find a lot of people who will want to take the good stuff of your hands for free or next to nothing and leave you with the $1 items. Depending upon the type of units you get and the contents, those $1-$3 flea market items can end up being 20% - 40% or more in some cases, of your total sales from the unit. So the idea of just giving them away, or throwing them away, is going to really choke your profitability.

I do know others who despise the flea market and they take their would be "flea market" inventory to auction houses that do box lot auctions. Not all auction houses do box lots, and I have seen some where if you take all your "flea market" inventory to th auction house you will get "raked over the coals" by how low it all sells for. This method is really only good for high volume buyers who can afford the really low profit margins on sending  the "flea inventory" to the auction house.

Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 08:42:02 AM »
I too have a pretty big property and an empty basement and attic, plenty of room to stuff treasures from storage unit auction. I how ever have little interest in going the flea market route. I really can't see myself selling a used toaster oven at a flea market on my weekends. I was wonder if anyone gives there low end crap for someone else to sell (for a small percentage) and keep the more valuable items to sell on Ebay or Criag's list. Maybe I'm not humble enough to be a serious storage unit buyer, I still have a full time job (at least for now) that pays pretty well.


Well 'low-end crap' is the bread and butter of this business.  What's the magic $$ amount? 
It's really quite simple~we sell what people buy.  From microwaves to diamond rings, from coffee mugs to vintage art, from phone chargers to AC units.  We sell what we can, donate or dump what we can't and we make a pretty good living doing so.  We also work our fingers to the bone, hit the sheets exhausted and get up and do it all over again.  best part is we don't have somebody in our ear telling us how to do it.  It certainly isn't glamorous, but it pays the bills, provides a service and is, quite often, fun.

And I DO love the swap meet.  I enjoy my fellow vendors and my customers are great!!  Plus I've made some incredible contacts being humble sitting in the sun.  by the way~I have one hell of a tan and it's only April~

Congrats on your full-time job..........try to hold on to it, because in this economy.............
There but for the grace and all~

Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2012, 12:51:00 PM »
There are people that do this full time and that is the income they make.  It can range from 20k a year to 50k a year.  All depends on how hard you work, your ability to sell, and some luck.  Now if you have noticed those people have moved from full time storage auction buying to picking.  The reason being the profit margin on units has shrunk in the last 2 years thanks to the shows.

People on here fall into 3 broad categories:
 *  Full timers (either retired people that do it for extra income, thrift store owners buying inventory, or perm flea market/swap meet vendors buying inventory)

 *  Hobbiest / Part timers - people like myself who have full-time jobs, or part-time jobs, or housewives, etc.  They sell most of the items at flea market, CL, and ebay.

 *  Newbies / Fly-by-nighters - people that see the show, think it's fun and easy, and jump in feet first.  Then they find out about all the work, how hard it can be to sell, etc.  Most of these people only last a month - three max before they burn out.

I myself have a very good full time job.  I do this as a hobby and to spend time with my oldest.  I have fun at the flea market meeting new people, BSing with the vendors and other storage auction people, etc.  Making money is just a bonus.  The time I spend with my oldest who loves both buying and selling is just priceless.  Long as she wants to spend time with old dad, I will drag my butt out of bed and spend 6 - 8 hours at the flea selling.

You can make money on CL and Ebay if you have the right items.  You will have to be very selective in your unit purchase.  No matter how selective you are however you will soon gather a ton of $5 and under items.  These you either donate, trash, or sell.  Most of us do that at the flea.  The box lot auctions is a way to get rid of it and make some cash like others have said.  Just be willing to take what you get.  People at the auctions are looking for items that they can re-sell for profit.

Other option is to offer these lots to your fellow auction buyers.  Those that do like to hit the flea and stuff.  Figure 25-30% return, maybe 50% but still not what you could make selling it yourself.

Offline Alias

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Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 12:53:45 PM »

Perhaps I got the wrong impression of this website. I assumed that the regulars were making a living at buying and selling at the storage unit auctions, but sales results from another tread makes me think otherwise. Profit of a few thousand dollars is definitely a hobby, you need to be clearing 30 or 40k at least to make a living at this.       



 
[/quote]

You CAN but for the "risk vs reward" there are better business options.
If you do I'd scope out industrial lockers rather than your average personal lockers.
They go for a lot more, harder to find and contents are usually I s very niche' market so selling options are limited.

 I have a job, pays well and I love what I do. But one, I want to give my family more than what my salary can provide. Two, I'm not a come home and watch tv type. I gotta keep moving.

I'm a grinder. Don't put all my eggs in one basket thing.
If something is only bringing in $200/month but you have 10 things going.....it adds up.

Go sit at a flea and make $200? That's $800 at the end of the month. To do what?
Socialize. Spend time with kids. Actually TALK to kids. Teaching kids about an honest dollar, money, business. There's a lot more to it than the money.  At least that's what I see. 90% of sellers are cool and it's because this is their view. 10% are in it just for the money and they are always angry, condescending, know-it-all, *ssholes......



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