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Went to an auction today; only 2 units up for sale, about 20 people there.  First unit: 10x10, looked real good, saw a king bed, sectional sofa, a large dresser, nice hope chest looking piece, lots of stereo furniture, and lots of boxes.  I'm feeling like it's a $600 locker (based on similar looking lockers sales in the area)  bidding quickly got to $500, I bid $600, then it slowed down and started getting 50 and 25 raises.  regulars dropped out after $800, and it was 2 ladies left, one I've seen at one other sale (where she also overpaid for a locker) and a new lady that I've not seen before.  the first lady won the unit for $1075.  (a side note about this lady...she brings her little dog to the auctions...not one small enough to hold in your hand, but not all that big..I don't know the breed, but it's ugly and barks a lot.  I find it very annoying, and wonder if she thinks she's Paris Hilton...yes, I have a major pet peeve against people that bring their little dogs with them *everywhere* in stores etc.  this is FL people, it's hot! leave the dog at home where it can be comfortable!)
anyway, we go on to the second unit, a 5x5x4 unit.  showing some made in china tools, some paint buckets, rollers, paint pans, a children's tv/vcr combo, and a cardboard box with a leather jacket on top of it.  looked like a $200-$250 locker tops.  nope, same idiot with the dog bids against a guy and buys it at $575. 
Oddest lookey loo moment:  a couple brought their kids who were throwing a football back and forth while the auction was's a circus out there.

General Storage Auction Talk / Re: Scrap metal - is it worth it?
« on: June 30, 2011, 03:15:51 PM »
Yes, if you know what you're doing, scrap metal is absoltely worth it.  Trash night is popular around here with people driving around looking for people like you who are just throwing out one or two pieces, like a bed frame, etc.  For ferrous metal  (a magnet is your friend here)  the rate here is $11.62/cwt  (hundred pounds)  so that bed frame, bikes, refridgerators, appliances, etc, can add up quick.  Depending on if you're in an area with a deposit on your soda cans, aluminum is also a popular scrap metal item.  Here people throw out their cans in the recycling bins, since there's no deposit.  cans are worth .62/lb currently.  There's a local guy that drives a golf cart around and collects the aluminum cans every trash night.  Then of course there's copper, brass, computer scrap, electrical motors, etc.  Anything that has an electrical cord has copper wire in the cord.  If you're throwing out an old toaster, cut the cord off.  Most scrap metal places will buy a collection of cords off you at the aluminum price, but if you strip off the insulation so you have bare copper wire, then it's usually another .90/lb above that.  (do not burn the insulation's a hazard, and will change the color of the copper.  One scrap yard I've dealt with won't buy it if it's burned)
anyway, like emptying a storage unit, there's a lot of work in scrap, but there is some money to be made. 
Not long ago I bought a 10x15 unit that was full of scrap metal (along with plenty of other stuff):  chain link fence, old lawn mowers, bikes, etc.  Paid $200 for the unit, made a few trips to the scrap yard and made $260 in scrap.  Then I had all the non metal stuff to sell for profit.

Stories about Storage Auctions / Re: Got 2 on Friday
« on: June 27, 2011, 09:54:27 PM »
Wow...I always hear the vets say 'there's nothing in trash bags but trash' but I got down to a few trash bags that were in the $100 locker:  first few bags, yup trash.  then one of the last trash bags turned out to be full of vintage dresses and coats from the 60's!  There's a matching dress and coat that look oriental, and have a fancy tag sewn in them that say mandarin boutique with an address in hong kong, as well as some lilli ann stuff.  Was looking it up Ebay and seeing prices hitting around $75 on some of them.  Glad I was thourough with the trash bags!

New to Storage Auctions? / Re: Selling clothes
« on: June 27, 2011, 04:25:10 PM »
here's my system for clothes:  When sorting through the contents of a locker, any clothes that are new with tag get put in a bin to be listed on Ebay.  All other clothes get stored in boxes until the next yard sale.  As part of my advertising for my yard sale, I mention 'fill a bag with clothes for $2'  At the yard sale I spread a tarp on the ground, dump all the clothes on the tarp  (I don't bother being neat about it...after 2 people go through it, it will be a mess anyway) and put a box of grocery bags by the tarp.  At the end of the yard sale, all left over clothes get donated, then the cycle starts over again.  It has worked well for me, and I feel it's worth it even if I only get $20 in sales from it.  It also depends on the clothes, around here, it seems that childrens clothes get people going though the pile much more so then adult clothes.

The Treasure Chest / Re: what is this?
« on: June 26, 2011, 11:54:17 PM »
good luck tomorrow. Hope you find that locker you're looking for.  I love those ones filled with plastic totes and neatly stacked boxes too!  :D

The Treasure Chest / Re: what is this?
« on: June 26, 2011, 10:39:54 PM »
Sure looks like a throwing knife.  see these at this website: kinda looks like yours.  Are you a good knife thrower?

Stories about Storage Auctions / Re: Got 2 on Friday
« on: June 26, 2011, 08:26:03 PM »
Been going through boxes from the 2 units today, and have had some nice surprises.  More video games, which I mention only cause collecting video game stuff is my hobby.  Also found a couple zippos with a neat leather holster that goes on your belt, a sony MP3 player..gotta find a charger now to see if it works, a JVC video camera; complete with a tape inside of home made porn (really people, don't put your home made porn in a storage locker! lol)  I found some antique weller pottery, a Kron TV lamp from the 60's (siamese cats with a green lightbulb that makes the cats eye's glow green) and I'm most excited about a small jewlery box that has some assorted silver jewlery, a ring with a large stone that I'm not sure what it is, but tiny stones around it that I'm hoping are diamonds, and two stud earrings that I'm also hoping are real diamonds (they're mismatched, one is bigger then the other)  anyway, can't wait to take them to find out if they're worth anything.
If aynone has any tips for selling single diamond earrings, I'd appreciate hearing them.  Do you just sell them at a gold and silver place?

Edit:  oooh! Had to come back and update with something I just found: 2 small carved elephants. I'm cautiously optimistic that they may be ivory.  They're slightly off white, I an see grain in it, there's some light brown streaks in it, there's light cross hatching on the bottom of the feet, and I tried the pin test (yeah, saw it on the tv show, and also found the same test on and I could not push a red hot pin into it.  Now I just need to figure out where to go to confirm it and get an estimate.....

Stories about Storage Auctions / Re: Got 2 on Friday
« on: June 25, 2011, 08:02:47 AM »
One of the rooms up for auction, they told us that it was relinquished, not a lien.  We were told the tennant couldn't afford it, and relinquished the items to be sold.  It was a 10x10, but it was not very full, and 2 feet in from the door was a 46" LCD HDTV.  there was a patio set, a kids bike, not a lot of great stuff showing, but the 2 guys that I know as regular buyers went at it, and it sold for $450.  My concern was that if the person had that locker and knew they were going to give it up, wouldn't they have taken the TV if it worked?  Judging by the amount of empty space, it seemed like they must've taken other stuff out.  just seemed odd.
That locker was just down from one that I won, so during clean out, I wandered over and asked the guy that bought it how it looked.  He was disappointed, he said if the TV deosn't work it's looking like a total bust. 

Stories about Storage Auctions / Got 2 on Friday
« on: June 25, 2011, 07:57:34 AM »
Went to an auctioneer's advertised sale yesterday with 4 units.  about 20 people, 2 that I recognized as serious buyers.  Won the first locker, a 10x5 for $100.  It had lots of boxes, the back looked neatly stacked, the front was falling over, with a few garbage bags near the front.  Clearing it out revealed that it was probably an elderly woman, the boxes had her collections of cat figurines, and teddy bears.  She had some teddy bears that came in boxes labeled collectors edition.  Going to hAve to look them up.  There was also a box that held 24 of those acrylic cubes for displaying beanie babies....each one with a beanie bear in it with tag protectors and the whole works.  I recognize them from when my wife collected these things as ones that were very desirable back then, but I imagine they've tanked like all the others. 
The other unit I won was a 10x15, I call it the single mom apartment unit. Got it for $210.  couch and loveseat, table with chairs, patio set, crib, twin bed, some other kid stuff, toys, etc.  We could see a lot of boxes marke fragile.  Turned out to be mostly kitchen bowls, etc.  There was also some real wood furniture, a dresser, a coffee table, and two end tables.
I think I'll be able to make a little money.  I see lots of good yard sale items, and I usually do well at my yard sales.  I'll spend this week getting it sorted out and ready and do a fri-sat sale next week.

Went to an auction this morning in a neighboring town.  4 Units up for sale, 8 bidders, 1 couple that registered but never bid on anything, so 10 people all together.  same guy bought all 4 units.  He had a lot of money and didn't seem to care much about what was in the lockers.  He sat on the golf cart the manager was driving around and when they opeend the doors he just looked from there.  of the 4 units, there were 2 I would have liked to buy.  The first showed a round wooden pedastal table and lots of totes and boxes stacked up nicely.  there were 3 of us bidding on it, then it got up over $400 and I dropped out, cause I wasn't feeling good about the return on it at that price, the other two bid it up to $550, then as the auctioneer is winding it down with going twice, dude on the golf cart says 560, which causes the bidder to go 570, and again dude waits for going twice and says 580, and the guy who'd been bidding all along let it go.  It went the same way with all the auctions, dude on the cart would bid at the last second and if anyone continued the bid, he'd bid again, waiting for going twie each time.  I found it kind of annoying.
The other unit I was bidding on had two couches, one was a leather couch and we could see the end facing us reclined. It had a chest freezer, a ryobi table saw, and a large craftsman tool chest, and a computer laser printer.  Among the boxes and totes off to the side, I could see a clear one that had large hardcover books that looked old, but the way they were facing I could see any titles so it could have been nothing.  That unit went for $1160. (to the dude riding the golf cart)
fingers crossed that guy doesn't show up to the one tomorrow so I can get a locker.

Welcome to the Online Storage Auctions Forum / Re: Hi from SW Florida
« on: June 23, 2011, 10:07:41 AM »
Thanks Movieman, I thought it was my computer at first.

Welcome to the Online Storage Auctions Forum / Re: Hi from SW Florida
« on: June 23, 2011, 08:33:15 AM »
yeah, I was happy with that unit.  hmm...I just read my like chopped out half a paragraph and doesn't make any sense come when you get to the bottom of the window for typing it goes all flaky?  is that just my computer or something? does anyone even know what I'm talking about? ugh, I'll just make shorter posts.  lol


There are lots of auctions going on locally this week, two today, one tomorrow, and one friday.  I went to the first one this morning which was at a Uhaul location.  They had 2 units for auction, a 10x10, and a 5x5x4.  It was run by the employees of the location, which usually I like because there's usually smaller crowds and cheaper prices.  The crowd part was accurate. 6 bidders, 2 looky-loos (2 older ladies that were clearly influenced by the TV shows)  Anyway, as we're walking to the first unit (the 10x10) the woman running the auction announces that there is a minimum bid that they must get for this unit.  OK, never really heard them charging a minimum reserve bid before, but whatever.  She opens the door on the 10x10 and it's only about half full, neatly stacked cardboard boxes, some stuff on top that's open, looks like craft supplies, I see some fabric, and one side is piled with garbage bags that look like clothes/bedding.  Then she announces that the bidding must start at $700.   WHAT?! 
There were 2 other guys there besides myself that I consider auction regulars around here, and the three of us kind of looked at each other, then one guy asks 'where's the next unit?'  The 2 older ladies I mentioned earlier were like 'how do you know what's in there?'  needless to say, it was a 'no sale'  One kinda funny note, before she shut the door, the employee asked 'does anyone want to throw out any offer?'  I said 'yeah, 5 bucks' which she didn't seem to appreciate, and one of the 2 older ladies said to me 'but then you'd have to clean all that out of there?'  I just smiled and told her that's what I do.

So we go to the 5x5, again, minimum bid: $300.  The employee kept apologizing saying she was only doing what she was told to do, etc.  The 5x5 looked better, I could see a couple of computers, and I saw some newer Gi Joe toys which caught my interest.  One of the other regulars said he could offer $100, which I thought would have been fair for the room, but again it was turned down.  She did mention something about the bids being a percentage of what was owed, and what they wanted to recoup...but that just seems wrong, like get the stuff out at whatever cost and start renting it again to someone else.  At the end, they did tell us that they were looking into working with an auctioneer for future sales, so maybe they'll get it together later, but they didn't seem to know what they were doing at this one.
waste of time, hopefully the rest of the auctions this week will be better.

has anyone else run into this extreme minimum bid scenario? 

The first episode just aired here last night.  It was the worst auction show I've ever seen.  The auctioneer was crass and annoying...If auctioneers at storage auctions around here acted like that, I don't think I'd be going to many.  (excuse me, 'your balls itch'?  that's how you get good feelings about a locker?  I do not need to hear that from my auctioneer.  The whole line of pocket pool comments, etc...I thought what's next? maybe he'll break out the old 'put your hands in the air and wave 'em like you just don't care' routine.)
It just had a whole 'Jerry Springer' feel to staged fights, and why was there so many guys with 'staff' shirts there??  (lending to the Jerry Springer feel I guess)

Comments on the units from the show:  The toy locker:  ok, that is my kind of locker...I used to rent a storage unit for my own toy collection, and that's the kind of unit I wish I'd find now.  However....the comic book rack with books just sitting on it like it was in a store???  no, I'm sorry, any collector worth his salt would never do that.  those metal racks just destroy comics...gravity bends them over and the wire causes creases all over your book.  They were standing up pretty straight to have been in storage long enough for the unit to be delinquint.

oh and the guns and roses record with the original cover art...seriously?  She does not know what she's talking about.  pretty common can go to Ebay at any given time and find them easily for $30-$50.

I hate to be harsh on a new show, but dang...   I'll stick with storage wars, at least that's entertaining. :D

Welcome to the Online Storage Auctions Forum / Re: Hi from SW Florida
« on: June 22, 2011, 09:32:20 AM »
thanks for the welcomes!

Rollinradios:  The $5 locker turned out good, I made just over $400 selling the stuff from it.  It was at a PODS auction where there were only 6 bidders.  The front looked like trash, and the other bidders all walked away from it saying they weren't paying to haul away someone's trash.  There was broken wicker furniture, we could see a couple open boxes that had binders of paper, a few trash bags with broken stuff spilling out etc.  It was winding down, and the auctioneer was going to end it with no sale, and he said 'last chance, anyone even at $5' and I bid.  There was a guy with a big moving truck that bought all the other units, and I thought he might step over me and bid $10 once I bid the 5, but he didn't.  Anyway, the reason I went for it was I was looking towards the back, beyond the garbage.  I could see what I thought were 2 wooden hope chest type things (which it turns out they were, one was a Lane hope chest, but it had been damaged by the humidity and the inside drawer was broken) I could also see some plastic totes, and a couple items that were wrapped in moving blankets.  Since I have access to a dumpster, I was not worried about hauling all the trash in the front away, and I figured the $5 gamble to see that stuff in back was more then worth it.
Turns out the 2 chests I saw were hope chests like I thought, but they'd been in a POD stored in FL's humid conditions and were both in very bad shape.  I sold them to a lady that restores furniture for $30.  The 2 items that were wrapped in blankets turned out to be antique end tables, they had some wicker work on the lower shelf, and pull out extensions.  I sold those for $40 each at a yard sale.  Inside the hope chests were some electronics had sparked hope that there were other toys.  The pieces turned out to be from the Barbie Beach van, but were broken beyond salvage.  One other tote was completely filled with little mini fanny packs from the airline LTU, which looking them up on the internet I found had merged with Air Berlin.  They are red with the LTU logo in white, and have a blindfold for sleeping, a pair of socks, a shoe horn, and a little travel toothbrush.  I thought they were an unusual item to find, and put the tote out at the yard sale with a 10 cents price...sold 5 to a lady that collects airline stuff.  Still have a tote full.
anyway, I enjoyed the locker and was glad I gambled the $5.

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