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Topics - Fantasia

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Stories about Storage Auctions / My adventures from the beginning
« on: May 22, 2013, 08:34:34 AM »
I am not a writer. I am not funny, and I am not flowery. But, I will tell you what I have done so far, and you can all offer your comments.

Started by doing my research. Basically, I wanted to know what NOT to do at an auction. Storage treasure, storage auction forums, all the regular auction websites, articles, youtube videos, etc. Fought my way through all the pay for the listings services. Decided to purchase one for a week long trial. (This was a good idea) Spent hours looking for public notices. All of this to get ready to go the first time.

So, I go to my first auction on Thursday May 16th. It is a Public Storage South Austin Caravan. I join at the 2nd location so that I could miss some traffic. Actually, I didn't miss traffic, the traffic caused me to be late! Anyway, lesson #1 for me, I am not ready to go shopping far from home. I had no intention of buying this day...but brought cash with me just in case. Lockers were all going for far more than I thought they were worth, so I was shocked. However, there were a couple that seemed closer to reasonable. I would have bid on one that went for $140 but it was early, and I wanted to see a few more before throwing my money in the ring. By the end of the day, I think I regretted not buying that one.

As the day wore on, the caravan got smaller. People left for all their various reasons, and I met a lot of nice people, and a lot of real a$$ buckets. I do not understand wanting to be an a$$. It does nobody any good, and it isn't going to run me off, because you aren't important enough for me to care if you want to be an a$$. I will focus on the nice people, and we will do better, and live happier.

At the end of the day, we had to make a drive out to Bee Caves for one unit, and most of the people did not go. I think about 8 of us were there, someone made an opening bid of $100, I made my first bid of $150, and I purchased a 5x10 for $150. Remaining folks looked at me like I was nuts, and of course I doubted my decision. "Oh crap, What did I do?" Oh well, I knew I saw what I saw, and I had to go to my daughters softball so I paid the man in the front, got my codes, and off I went. Mistake #2...leaving without getting a better idea of what was in there. I did NOT sleep well that night, I was like a kid the day before Christmas! While this anticipation was fun, I was tired the next day.

So, the next day I enlisted the assistance of a couple of family members, and we took the trailer down to dig for golden fortunes and the rainstorm of cash that was sure to come down on us!  :) Seriously, I did not have any out of line expectations. I am a weird cat in this age, I decided to get into doing this, before I watched the shows! I have friends who have done it for years, and I pretty much knew what to expect. We spent the day pulling stuff out. Found a WWII Frequency Meter that was a surprise. I found the birth certificate of the lady's son. This was obviously a single Mom. Found the Son's Parole paperwork. Found a large stack of 70's and 80's baseball cards, got all excited. Furniture was in worse shape than I expected, but there was a really nice dresser hidden in the rubble. It turned out better than I expected once I did a little rejuvenation on it. It is now in my bedroom at home and was worth the $150 to me alone. There was a jogging stroller which I thought would be worth more, oops. Of course the baseball cards were worthless. However, that was the golden era of baseball for me, as those were my little league years, and all my heroes were in there. Ricky Henderson, Dave Kingman, Nolan Ryan, Darryl Strawberry...none of the really sought after rookie cards, but still nice stuff, and some in great shape. So I was surprised by a lot of stuff I pulled out, the condition of things was worse than I thought, and I began to wonder if I had just let the end of the day get to me. No, I made an assessment, and I went with it. Turns out I was wrong on my assessments for a couple of things. No big deal, because the ones I over valued were outweighed by what I undervalued.

By the time I pulled the wood out, and did a little work on it, I knew my money was to be made in the wood. Three were a couple of really beat up pieces from the early 1900's that needed new drawer bottoms, and the frame needed to be reglued. There was another little desk that needed a leg reattached. And I still had to find out about this frequency meter thingy. No time to worry too much now as my neighborhood garage sale is the next morning! I got to work.

After a long night, I was ready to go in the morning. The driveway was full of someone else's garbage and priced accordingly. I started a free pile for people to pick through. I priced as much as I could. I looked up things I thought might have value. I pulled aside things I knew needed to go on ebay. I wheeled and dealed, and worked my tail off until about 1:00. In the end, I sold $470 worth of storage stuff. I still have a desk ($50), a dresser (keeping it), and about $100 worth of ebay stuff to sell. Plus, I have jogging stroller on CL for $50. It will sell eventually or else I will turn it into a sporting clays cart and keep it. Maybe I should make it into a cart and sell it. That could be another side line of business for me. Now, I just have to pack all this crap up, and move it to my storage unit. Man I am tired.

The "Other" Job / I sell Life Insurance
« on: May 22, 2013, 07:48:26 AM »
I am an independent life insurance agent so I can find the right policy for you. I found insurance for an overweight, smoking, high blood pressure, helicopter pilot once! Seriously, he flew a helicopter for a living and that is not something the insurance companies want to see.

So, if you want to look into life insurance, please PM me. I have 13 years of experience.


General Storage Auction Talk / Staged?
« on: May 21, 2013, 07:06:15 AM »
The more I look at this, the more I think it is staged. What do you think?

The Lounge / Austin, Tx area old wood furniture
« on: May 20, 2013, 08:47:16 AM »
I am interested in the broken old stuff that nobody wants, so that I can fix it up and restore or re-purpose it. Solid wood only, no particle board, and no glass (ie. no mirrors or glass table tops). I am fine with broken drawers, cracked tops, busted or missing knobs, pulls, or handle. The older the better. It can be pretty rickety. Let's work together, and you will get to know what I can or cannot use pretty quickly. I will make it worth your while either with cash, or reduced dump fees, or reduced space in your trailer and storage unit.

Am I allowed to post a phone number on here? My email is jpaulirwin at gmail if you want to email me.



General Storage Auction Talk / How to get it moved
« on: May 19, 2013, 09:35:35 PM »
I have searched because I am sure this has been gone over a million times, but I can't find the right thread. What do you guys do to get the lockers contents moved? Do you hire a moving company? Do you hire a couple of teens from the neighborhood? Do you just do it yourself? I am looking, as we all are, for the least expensive option, but I am willing to spend a little money so that I don't have to move my stuff in 100+ Texas summer heat.


New to Storage Auctions? / Do's and Don'ts for taking pics
« on: May 16, 2013, 12:54:50 AM »
What are the rules and etiquette for taking pictures of a unit before or during a sale? What about after it sold to someone else?


Not to make it sound like a bad thing  :o
Cedar Park, TX
Broke my cherry today in a series of storage locations, and finally picked up the last locker when I was the only one interested in the nicer antiques. I guess they didn't know what was there. I saw $300 as my max bid, because I knew I could get that for what I saw, and ended up buying it for $ I am very happy. Will go back tomorrow to load up and dig through. Anyway, I found most of the people to be nice, and the experience was pretty much what I thought it would be. Of course, I have been doing my homework too. Anyway, my name is Paul, I like antiques, especially Shaker and Colonial items that are medium sized. Bowls, crock pots, decorative items, etc would be my main staple. I don't want junk, I like the items that sell for $50-$100 each. It is somewhere between the flea market and thrift store guys I faced today, and the high end auction people looking for formal mahogany china cabinets. Hope to see you all out there!

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