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Topics - MovieMan

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West / Central California
« on: January 30, 2011, 05:35:49 PM »
Looks like as of late January, 2011 I'm the only Californian doing any posting in these forums (that I've seen anyway) so thought I might as well start a thread. Maybe it will encourage "lurkers" to join in.

I buy auction units from Tracy, CA north to Sacramento, CA and in between.

Anybody else willing to chime in ?

This is a cut and paste from a response I gave in another forum, but I think it might deserve its own thread in case the new and old want to respond to this phenomenon.


Newbies will be run up and that's a fact. Been going on for years, not just since the tv shows.
Logic is to have them spend their money, get a lesson in economics and move on. It's a business not a charity organization of like minded entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, look at this side of bidding someone up. Sometimes the person trying to take the other person for a ride will get STUCK with the unit when the other bidder stops bidding. You have to know how to read people...know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.

I saw an experienced buyer do this just the other day. He winked at me when he bid $400 for a locker that I would have paid $200 for. His face quickly changed when the other guy stopped and my friend got his $400 lkr. I offered him $200 for it but he decided to tough it out. I have seen people cut their losses though and this is yet another way of making money.

By the way, experienced bidders will do this to other experienced bidders. Some bidders are hogs who want to get every locker; if this is the case some of the other old timers will make them pay for the privelege. Once again, it's a business not a tea party.

Here's something that happens once in a while and I'm sure  many of you have seen it, and if you are a newbie who hangs around for a year or more, you will too.

There are basically (I think) 2 categories of these folks...the two general groups would be:

1. The weeper

2. The antagonist

The weeper is self-expanatory and can be seen at the auction, just after the auction, or when YOU contact them about getting stuff back. I prefer this to having the property manager do it because there are SOME items I would want to sell back to them. Most property managers are smart enough NOT to give your number to the former lkr owner.

The antagonist takes several forms too, but here is one example: (feel free to add your own)

We were well into the auction with a locked front gate preventing anyone but code owners from coming in. However, a former lkr owner came in when a legit owner came through the gate and on foot she tracked the crowd down. About 100 feet from us a property mgr got a hold of her and grabbed her top. She backed out of it and her huge form came running toward us in semi nude state. It was a scary sight. They gradually got her out of there.

Reality Shows about Storage Auctions / Auction Hunters Vs. Storage Wars !
« on: January 30, 2011, 10:40:04 AM »
We've all read multiple posts about these two shows and their affect on our business, but here's a topic to post anything ELSE you think about those shows (OK, you can vent on the affect too !).

To start it off, here's what I know about their future.
Auction Hunters started with 8 episodes and has signed for 20 more with no date on the new season starting.
Storage Wars still running (as of Jan, 2011) new episodes, so they may have started with a traditional 13 epidodes and already running on another 13 new ones or so.

One possible topic here is your feelings on which show is more "real" (if that's possible).

And for the producers, how about a match between the two shows main characters...the two guys take on the four guys !

Flea Markets / Flea Market Revenue ?
« on: January 30, 2011, 10:22:02 AM »
Been selling at fleas for 7 years now. My town has 4 and 3 I have sold at.

One is the best of the three and has a higher income buyer base. Other two are better for getting rid of lower end items if you have the ability to have different loads for different crowds.

My question here is not how much (in dollars) you actually sell (or net) at fleas, but what the trend has been for you the last few years if you are an old-timer.

I found that in 2010 my sales were down about $200 a month over 2009, but my record-keeping mixes both flea and ebay, craig sales, so it's not totally categorized.

Of course, so much depends on WHAT you have to sell at any given time too.  Any thoughts ?

I've seen several examples of this, and generally these are good lockers. They cared enough to keep paying and paying, but finally circumstances just overcame them.

I tracked a locker for two years once. This guy's locker came up every 3 months and he paid it off everytime for 2 years. Needless to say I was interested. He had spent something like $10,000 on this locker and its companion across the hall. He had the 2 lockers a total of 5 years I think it was (defaulting in the last 2).

Finally, he truly defaulted and I got the best of the two lockers. Two parts to the rest of the story.

Part 1:  I paid $700 and have so far sold $1700 out of the locker with maybe another $300 or so left.

Part 2:  The stuff was pretty ordinary with some exceptions (extra good) but no crap to take to the dump.

My question is why would this guy pay 10 grand for stuff he could have replaced for 2 or 3 grand. Doesn't make sense does it.

The Treasure Chest / Anyone else buy an abandoned house contents ?
« on: January 27, 2011, 09:00:36 PM »
A year ago I bought the entire contents of a 3 bedroom house....the contents were still IN the house!

These people had even left the dog in the yard, but neighbors fortunately had rescued it.  There is a lot to this story including the fact that one day at the flea market a fellow came up to look at the 3 saddles I had taken from the garage. I thought he was acting a bit odd.  A few days later he showed up at the house as I was emptying it. He didn't cause trouble and I sold back to him a few higher end objects.

I kept the 5' big screen but sold all the associated audio equipment, Wii game etc along with about 200 snow globes, even a half cord of firewood !

I took out 5 computers and kept one of those for myself. All worked. Got the passwords from the old owner when I sold him some of his own goods.

Anyone else have a similar experience ?

The Treasure Chest / Safes and what they contain
« on: January 26, 2011, 01:36:48 PM »
In 7 years I've gotten about that many safes and here are some clues about them according to my experience. Your finds may be different.

5 of the 7 were empty. The little (typewriter size) cases usually have some important papers in them, but are often empty. Sometimes anxious parents keep their sex toys in safes.

1 good safe (about 2' by 18" by 18" I had the bottom torched and then broke out the concrete lining to get inside.
This one had about $375 in jewelry and coins.

2nd good safe was smaller and had about $200 in jewelry and coins.

Note: both good safes were in the back of their lockers buried under other goods. Little safes up front are almost always empty.

The Treasure Chest / Best Finds
« on: January 26, 2011, 01:25:31 PM »
Been doing this for 7 years....this a note to the newbies who might be looking for major scores in each locker they buy.

Best finds in that time:

Honda Quad 350....sold for $2600.
6 guns...sold all but the last one I got

40 cases of chainsaw at a gov auction (paid $400, sold for $4000)

13 28' extension ladders at a failed broadband company
26 New Lineman's belts (same as ladder locker)
More later as I think about it.


Hey there....

Just found this site and thought I would drop in. I have been buying lockers for 7 years so I have some
under my belt...good and bad.

Have been reading here a bit before getting verified and seems like experiences are similar around the country.

One suggestion I have is that when posting in ANY of the forums that the poster somehow indicate what state at least they are in...maybe city too if not a concern for the poster for any reason.

Haven't checked yet, but my guess is a signature line is available here and that would be a good place to put
your would pop up in any post you did.

Anyway, happy bidding (and good luck with the lockers you get) !

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