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Messages - mrsmith

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Stories about Storage Auctions / Never in my life...
« on: September 11, 2012, 12:32:42 PM »
Tell me if you've ever heard of something similiar to this.

Went to an auction a week ago.  The owner of the facility decided to save money and auction off the units himself. There were very few people in attendance, so I figured I would get a few cheap units. It turned out to be a disaster.

First, the owner started each unit at $1,000.  He then painstakingly went down in increments of a hundred. The units were filled with junk, but it gets better, as he had already went into each unit the night before and wrote all of the contents down on a piece of paper, so when we were looking in the units he read it off. Rumor was that he let people in early to cherry pick the good items on a piece by piece basis. He wrote every bid on a piece of paper, which made the bidding process EXTREMELY slow.  And, of course, there was that one guy there bidding ridiculous amounts on garbage.

It gets better.

I did win one unit. The owner let everyone know beforehand that they discovered a gun in the unit and it was being held by the local police department to get checked out. I have purchased units before with guns, waited for them to get checked out, and done very well with that. I had no problem bidding up to $300 for a pistol and calling the rest of the unit a consolation prize. 

The guy blowing through his cash had spent $600 on a unit filled with tupperware, so I don't think he wanted to chance several hundred on a unit that no one knew if the gun could be taken or not. Needless to say I won the unit for $300.  This didn't go over very well with the storage facility owner, and it was a precursor to what happened two units later.

The last unit, well what ended up being the last unit, was a huge unit filled to the gills with stuff. The owner at this point had stopped reading from his list, as he figured out he was giving out too much info. (I was going to make a play for an earlier unit with a toolbox but he read that there were no tools in the box, duh!)  There was a baby grand piano, a ton of antique furniture, and probably enough merchandise to fill a few trailers. 

He started the bid at $4,000.

He then went to 2k, of course during this all he was ridiculing everyone in attendance, as he had done the entire auction. Saying things like, "Come on you know this stuff is worth more, sheesh" "You guys are even close to what this stuff is worth"  Well someone gave him an offer to open it at $1,000 (which I considered to be too much) and the owner says, "hold on I have to make a call" he then proceeds to pull out his cell phone, call someone, and then hang up.  He looks at the crowd and says,

"Yah we aren't going to sell this one today, you aren't even close to where this needs to be." 

People were a bit upset. There was no discussion of there being a reserve.  After this locker, he decided to stop the auction altogether and not sell the rest of the remaining lockers. 

Of course after the auction the guy that won like 5 lockers was cleaning out a locker next to mine. His dad says, "Yah, my son just got into this a few weeks ago. He's going to go bid. He bought this 20 foot trailer and he's just buying merchandise right now. He's going to start a store pretty soon. He's been researching this stuff for a few months now.  I ask, "Researching?" Yah, he's been watching those shows on television and digging around on the internet.  Oh....boy.....  He then proceeded to tell me what everything in my locker was worth.  He notices my shirt that has the name of my store on it and asks, "oh, you have a store, have you done this before?" I reply with, "Yes, we have two locations, and I've done this a time or two." That didnt' seem to stop him from throwing out advice on old jeans because he knew they were worth money from an episode he saw on storage wars.  Ugh.

Anyone ever deal with a storage facility owner like this one before?

General Storage Auction Talk / Re: Can't get rid of the!
« on: June 07, 2012, 01:43:37 PM »
I've talked with a lot of knowledgable antique dealers regarding the market. From what I've been told antiques tend to swing on a 20 year shift. As always, the good stuff will sell well, but we are in the middle of a downward shift.  You can see an upswing in "mantiques" due solely to the popularity of American Pickers, but glassware, furniture, etc is trending down and hard to move.

The question is, what moves into the position as the new collectible?  I tend to think it will be items people remember from their childhood, and for me that was Nintendo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc. If I were guessing, those will be the next set of vintage items that you want to begin collecting now.

I'm probably wrong, who can really guess?

To answer your question, as others have said. The item is worth what someone will pay for it. Experience will teach you when to back away.

General Storage Auction Talk / Re: Any ideas?
« on: June 07, 2012, 01:33:19 PM »
That would make a killer head board for a bed. Or hang it from the ceiling with some pendant lights. Get creative with it!

New to Storage Auctions? / Re: You buy a locker and then what...
« on: April 10, 2012, 08:03:58 AM »
If you want all the information in one easy step, click on the link below! I've compiled information from some of the best in the business and outline how you can turn trash into treasure.

The Lounge / Re: New American Pickers meets Amazing Race Show.
« on: January 31, 2012, 08:25:24 AM »
We made it to the final round of interviews!  We had our skype interview last week.  I think we nailed it, but who knows what our competition will be.

I'm hearing that the show will take place in Mississipi at a antique market.  I think it will be called something like Top Collector, or Top Picker, but I'm also hearing "Picked Off".

We should know in a couple weeks if we made the cut.

Fingers Crossed.  ;D

The Lounge / Re: New American Pickers meets Amazing Race Show.
« on: January 11, 2012, 08:07:37 AM »
That's actually a really interesting point you make Cobia.  I've been wondering the same myself.   How exactly will they determine who has gathered the most value?  Will it be by a "supposed" value like they show on most of the reality shows (some made up number), or will it go by the actual value, what the item sells for.

In the real world I live by the saying - "It's worth what someone is willing to pay for it"  So in that case, if I can buy a flat screen television for $40 well....

If it is some made up number, then those signs, collectibles, antiques might be what you want to go for.  Even though it's too early to start gameplanning, I've been thinking about one just the same.

As an example, I bought an antique barber's chair some time ago for $100. Sold it for $300 later.  I've made a tidier profit selling couches.  But couches aren't glamorous..

The Lounge / Re: New American Pickers meets Amazing Race Show.
« on: January 11, 2012, 07:14:25 AM »

Ok, so the show is going to be called Top Picker. Got the call yesterday that we made it to one of the final stages. We were accepted to do a Skype interview here in the next couple days.

I'll keep you updated as I find out more.

The Lounge / New American Pickers meets Amazing Race Show.
« on: January 09, 2012, 08:23:45 AM »
So I am perusing the Internet a month or two ago and I stumble across this article in Mississippi about how the producers of American Pickers (Cineplex) are having casting calls for contestants on a new show. 

The concept is that they find 4 groups of people (two to a group) and they put them in an unfamiliar city and have them pick items.  The group that finds the most value at the end of the show wins the $10,000 prize.

I thought, why not? They were looking for people down south but I thought it might be fun to throw my hat in the ring.

To make a long story short, we are in the final process of the interview stage!  After a couple phone calls from cineplex in New York, we are hoping to get the last interview via Skype with the producers in the next couple weeks.
Overall the whole process has been exciting.  I never really thought we would get this far along, it has been exciting to just think that we "could" have a chance.  Until then I'll be keeping my fingers crossed! ;)

General Storage Auction Talk / Re: iPad for research at remote locations
« on: December 13, 2011, 07:55:41 AM »
I'm not sure it works on the ipad (as I don't have one) but I know on the iphone you can download Amazon's app that works as a barcode scanner.

This little sucker is invaluable.  you simply point it at the barcode and amazon's site will pop up and tell you how much the item is going for. I use it regularly when going into goodwill.  Shoot the books, find one for 15 bucks, pay a couple dollars for it and profit. 

You HAVE to have a smart phone or mobile device now. I can't tell you how many times I have used mine as a navigational system (gps) to look up prices, or as a quick way to store data I want to save.

I better keep quiet or I'll give all my good tips away and no one will end up buying my book!  :P

I would burn them. Those things probably have more STD's than the Kardashian sisters.

Storage Auctions "In The News" / Re: storage wars texas
« on: December 07, 2011, 07:53:27 AM »
Just watched this show for the first time last night.  If you didn't realize that the people on these shows are paid actors creating a sitcom for entertainment, then I hope you do now. I believe that this show will be the death of storage auction shows.  It's too over the top.  It is an exact copycat of its predecessor. 

The worse they could have done was at least not tried to typecast the characters. I mean, you have basically the exact same roles with different looking people. 

How hard is it to come up with something original?

Reality Shows about Storage Auctions / Re: Auction Hunters is FAKE!!!
« on: December 07, 2011, 07:47:09 AM »
Lol, That gave me a good laugh this morning Cobia, thank you.  ;D

Garage Sales / Re: This is how we made money with Garage Sales.
« on: December 02, 2011, 08:14:06 AM »
Well that's definately one way to get rid of items in a hurry. In my opinion probably not the ideal filtering system. You have little time invested, but I can imagine the overhead involved--people you have working the sale with you, would eat up a lot of the profits you might make. Plus, if you rent 2 trucks, that's probably a few hundred right there.

In my filtering system I would run those items through an online auction first. They would make more money than a yard sale and you wouldn't have to tie up your money/time with other resources.

Donating is a great idea, but there is a cap and it's not hard to reach.  After you reach it it only accounts for a certain percentage towards your income if you are doing itemized deductions--a lot of people find they do better with the standard deduction.  Not that people only donate for the tax write off.  There is a common misnomer that people will be able to write off a huge amount at the end of the year when that's not entirely true.

I like your idea of thinking big, even if in these times (with storage units going for inflated prices)it might be extremely hard to do.  I hate to say it, but if you want to be successful in this business you have to diversify. You can longer count on one source for your product or one avenue to sell product. 

Reality Shows about Storage Auctions / Re: Auction Hunters is FAKE!!!
« on: December 02, 2011, 07:57:22 AM »
I feel sorry for the people that think this show is real!  Television is a copycat broadcast. Look at the formula they are using and how similiar it is to other shows. One big guy, one skinny guy. Search out the gold and find it.  I compare television reality shows to nfl football teams, one person finds a winning strategy and everyone else tries to emulate it.

The truth is buying and selling used items is hard work and generally not glamorous.  The producers found how exciting it can be at times, and ran with that. 

That's what drives me crazy about shows like this. They drive prices up all across the board. I go to yard sales and people inflate their prices because they saw it on tv.  The guy on Storage Wars the other night said he got a locker full of garbage for  a deal when he paid $850. 

In my opinion it has gotten worse this season because now they are trying to justify why they overspent.  Pricing old worn out items at a super inflated cost.  On that episode where brandi and jarod purchased the locker for $3000, Jarod priced the glassware at $200. What?! The receiver he priced at virtually brand new prices.

These actors over price their items because they can probably get those prices now that they are famous. That's fine for them, but frustrating for store owners. People come in all day trying to pawn their old tube tv's off on me for $50 because they saw an episode of xxx that said they could sell them for that much.

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