Storage Auctions

My first unit(s)

Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2011, 01:39:12 PM »
This is not always true. Some things are worth a good researching over. This is including some toys. Some toys that alot of people look at and say, oh, its only worth 50 cents to maybe $5. Then turn out it be worth some real money.

For example I was talking with RN yesterday about a doll I have, and he said he learned about them at the same time he learned of "Little Miss No Name Dolls". These I never heard of, so I decided to google them. Alot of those dolls go for about $55 and up. Some are as high as $375. Well looking at the pictures of different No Name Dolls, I realized something. I saw three of these dolls at an estate sale a few months back. They were selling them for $5 each. I past on them cause I figured I would not make any money off of them, damn was I wrong. So sometimes the research on what you have can make or break you.

However Ryante, I did a little research on this item as well as the company. Sorry to have to tell you, but you did not strike gold with this toy. Toss it in the $1 pile at your next sale.

Its a bummer that its a cheapy. I might just list it to see what happens. Just like you said, someone might have had one of these as a kid and go.. "Oh my god! I had one of these!" and buy it.

Its so true about things are as valuable as people are willing to pay for them. My mother picked up a set of Bolero (sp) vintage cups at a garage sale for free, seven of them. These types of things that people would just throw out. We listed them at .99 and they sold for $26.

You never know.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2011, 02:14:25 PM »


You never know.

I'm not really trying to rain on any one's optimism parade, BUT, I hear "you never know" so many times I just have to comment on it. People (most often beginners) make this remark at just about every auction I go to.

The fact is (in my experience) that most of the time "you do know".  "You do know" (or should) that most of the lockers will not be BIG money makers.

"You do know" that truly rare items will not be in any given locker; sure, they'll be in SOME LOCKER, somewhere, but the odds of any given person getting them are very low indeed.  The $500K pirate treasure was in one locker out of hundreds of thousands sold over the years as an example.

****

Regarding toys and the like:  Yes, there are people who want to relive their childhood or get a replacement soup toureen like grandma used to have and eBay is certainly the place to find those folks.

Here's an example of an old Captain Marvel keepsake. The poor captain never did make it big like Superman, but he is still trying.

Take a look at these two pins from 1948:

The first one listed below is for sale for right at $90 (buy it now)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1948-Captain-Marvel-Club-Shazam-pin-bock-button-SCARCE-/380385101049?pt=US_Comic_Books&hash=item5890b804f9

The 2nd one is taking bids and with a few days left is at $10.50. Be interesting to see how it finishes.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-NEAR-MINT-CAPTAIN-MARVEL-CLUB-SHAZAM-PIN-PINBACK-FAWCETT-PUBLICATIONS-/190602734342?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c60ceeb06

Both pins are in the same apparent condition.

****

Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2011, 05:57:21 PM »
Well I do say "you never know" a few times each month.  With me it's not thinking I'm going to find the next gold bar in a unit but for what will this unit hold in addition to what I see.  I'm getting better in figurining it out just based on expierence.  Prices still amaze me sometimes.  My latest unit from a silent auction I won on $26 and has paid for itself and made me 3x the profit so far.  Thus I remarked the other day that sometimes you just never know.  These type units I've already classified as the bread and butter units.  Units with no really wow factor but that have solid items that sale well.

Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2011, 06:39:35 PM »
No, "You never know" is the motto of storage units.

You never know if you're getting a bum unit or a good unit. Especially one with trashed out boxes.

I've uncovered hundreds of dollars in hard to find coffee mugs instead of giving them away.

We just uncovered a ziploc bag full of Saint Yves Opium perfumed dusting powder too. Good thing we didn't throw those out just because they're "smalls" either. They're $25 a pop.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2011, 07:24:40 PM »

I've uncovered hundreds of dollars in hard to find coffee mugs instead of giving them away.



OK, I'll bite. How many hard to find coffee mugs have you sold in the last year (or more) and what made them so hard to find?

Name of mug (logo, age, etc) and what it sold for please.

A further question would be what percentage of the mugs you get in lockers would these hard to finds represent?

In other words, in a year's time if you found 1000 coffee mugs how many would be valuable?

Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2011, 08:21:06 PM »
Well, I'm new to the lockers.

I get most of the mugs from garage sale picking. Thats how I know about them. It also isn't a matter of looking for $100 mugs as much as it is that I have found numerous, good selling $5 - $10 mugs in one place.

One of the easiest ones to find are these old brown Whataburger mugs. I frequently find them for .25 or .50 and sell them for $15 - $20.

Anchor Hocking mugs sell for $10 a pop. I've found about 20 of them in this lot.

This lot also has 14 Neiman Marcus mugs that sell for $7 a piece.

8 Japanese Otagiri mug/creamers $12 a piece

And the milk glass Pizza Hut mug that I got from a free garage sale leftover lot. $150

There's a few more I need to look at, so I'm not sure. Everyone's time is worth different amounts to them but I'm glad I looked through the mugs to find out what I had.

This also isnt just about coffee mugs. Another example of not throwing stuff out: My mother was going through a box of old makeup. The box and the stuff in it looked ****ty and I was like "I'll let you have fun with that". It wasn't long before she pulled out a ziploc bag with 14 bottles of perfumed dusting powder that is out of production. They sell quick for $50 each.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2011, 08:29:51 PM »
OK, I think I'm getting a better idea about your mugs being valuable.

1) You know about their value and you spot them at garage sales.
2) The big locker you got had a lot of valuable ones apparently because the former lkr owner ALSO knew value.

and .... drum roll....

3) the chances of finding any of the ones you mentioned in a locker are.....next to none.

Clears it up perfectly for me. Thanks!


Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2011, 08:33:18 PM »
The chance of finding them are the same chance you have at finding just about anything in a locker.

The mugs I listed, except the Pizza Hut and the Whataburger mugs are all from this unit.

It might be worth it to look at them for the extra money. It all depends on what your time is worth to you.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2011, 08:44:18 PM »
The chance of finding them are the same chance you have at finding just about anything in a locker.


That may be true if looking for a specific item; say I was LOOKING for a particular watch I either wanted for myself or that I knew sold well. Chances are I wouldn't get it in 100 lockers I bought.

On the other hand if I feel that TOOLS in general do well, I am more likely to find some tools that will sell, though again the BEST tools or the BEST sellers aren't going to come up that often.

That's why as I think you said, the bread and butter items pay the way most of the time and the really good stuff is just bonus time.

As another example, generally the toys I get aren't that good, but, perhaps like you, I have learned that American Girl dolls and the wardrobes they can travel in do quite well for the most part.

Depeding on the socio-economic status of the former lkr owner, most of the lkrs have just average toys to below average, but once in a while I find a lkr with a lot of good quality toys and the orignal boxes they came in. In quantity those can pay off just as a dozen of your mugs do.

A toy train? Thomas the Tank Engine...OK. Lionel from 1938.....almost as good as a small grain of gold.


Offline Cobia

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Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2011, 08:37:33 AM »
Well, maybe it's just me, but if you spend this much time (taking the photos of the "guitar" and I think even making and posting the youtube of it (your measuring tape?), then I think you may be overthinking the sales process.

If I had found this item I would have sold it for a $1 and been happy.  You must have tons of smalls in that locker and spending this kind of time on many of them seems counterproductive to me.

Of course if you just plain ENJOY IT that much, that's one thing, and maybe it's just beginner's enthusiasm at having all the goodies to work with in one way or another, but just seems overkill to me.

Coffee mugs? I can't give them away; maybe I'm not working hard enough at doing that...oh yeah, Goodwill will take them.

How many hours have you been up straight now...something like 36 or so.  What's the hurry? Get some sleep.





This is probably the biggest conundrum in the business, especially when you start buying multiple units per month/week. Do you go through the entire unit with a fine tooth comb, research as best you can every small item to see if you have something worth $5, $25, $50 or more, and squeeze every possible penny out of those units? Of course the more expensive, the more unlikely you will find something like that. Or do you turn and burn! Sell what you know has a certain value, dump the other stuff at yard sale/flea market for $0.50 to $2.00, donate the rest, and go win some more units?

Offline MovieMan

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Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2011, 08:44:24 AM »
Sell what you know has a certain value, dump the other stuff at yard sale/flea market for $0.50 to $2.00, donate the rest, and go win some more units?

This gets my vote, or somewhere in between that and the "fine tooth comb". Thanks for stating the puzzle so succinctly.

Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2011, 12:58:00 PM »
I may be doing it backwards but I mostly turn and burn, then do research.  If it's a slow day or I think something looks more promising then others I'll do a quick search.  I'm learning that I need a ton more knowledge on general stuff then I currently have.  I currently only average 2 units a month.  So I try to take time to look-up some things to see if they are worth ebay or just selling at the flea.  Example was a coke bank/clock that I found still in box.  Found one on ebay for 19.99 and $15 shipping.  So it at the flea for $15.  May of gotten $20 out of it but I pretty much knew I'd get $15 and it would make room in my totes for new lockers.

I started to take pictures of many things as I uncover them.  That way I can do research later that night or in spare time when not doing anything else.  I try to squeeze every cent out of a unit that I can.

As for coffee mugs - so far I'm lucky.  Only have about 3 or 4.  I figure if can't sale them at the flea they will go to Goodwill or will be used for target practice.

Offline Cobia

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Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2011, 03:02:02 PM »
I may be doing it backwards but I mostly turn and burn, then do research.  If it's a slow day or I think something looks more promising then others I'll do a quick search.  I'm learning that I need a ton more knowledge on general stuff then I currently have.  I currently only average 2 units a month.  So I try to take time to look-up some things to see if they are worth ebay or just selling at the flea.  Example was a coke bank/clock that I found still in box.  Found one on ebay for 19.99 and $15 shipping.  So it at the flea for $15.  May of gotten $20 out of it but I pretty much knew I'd get $15 and it would make room in my totes for new lockers.

I started to take pictures of many things as I uncover them.  That way I can do research later that night or in spare time when not doing anything else.  I try to squeeze every cent out of a unit that I can.

As for coffee mugs - so far I'm lucky.  Only have about 3 or 4.  I figure if can't sale them at the flea they will go to Goodwill or will be used for target practice.


I am kinda gettin fed up with putting things on EBay. First there is all the time researching to see what it is selling for, then posting individual items, then figuring shipping, finding shipping boxes, watching the item you list sell for 1/2 of what you researched other listings selling for, then shipping the item, then watching for delivery, then getting feedback, then paying PayPal their cut of the sale, EBay their cut of the sale, I am not sure it is worth it unless I know for certain I can get $25 or more for it. I would rather just throw it out at the yard sale or flea market table and watch peoples reaction when they ask how much. If I say $20 and they put down so fast they almost sprain their wrist then I know I am asking too much, if they go into a spasm trying to get to their purse or wallet to pay, I know I am asking too little.

Offline Boxlot

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Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2011, 10:30:14 PM »
Can you post a picture of what a $100 mug looks like. I would hate to have come across on and tossed it.

Re: My first unit(s)
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2011, 10:40:14 PM »
Ebay is a tough cookie, the fees really do add up. Its gold for the hard-to-sell-locally collectibles, and clothes, but its only worth listing on there if you can make $15 or more in pure profit (counting the fees) vs selling it to dick and harry on the street.

Compared to the posters so far though I have a 'bleeding' style with lockers. I love the fact of making money still from **** I bought 6 months ago.


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