Once you win the unit, it’s your responsibility to have it fully emptied and swept clean within 24 to 48 hours. Failure to do so puts you in danger of being banned from future auctions and will earn you a black mark with the facility owner.
So before bidding on any unit, be prepared to do the clean-up necessary to get it in good shape. This requires you to carefully consider your unit and, when necessary, bring a partner to help you.
If you don’t have a business partner who helps with auctions and bidding, at least bring a few friends or able-bodied teenagers to help you unload the heavy items.
The first step to cleaning a storage unit occurs before the auction even starts. Look at the unit and appraise it honestly to see whether it’s worth bidding on or if it has too much trash. Signs of a unit that’s not worth your time include worn-down or torn furniture, items in bags rather than boxes, and obvious piles of paper, wrappers or other junk. If you see a unit that looks messy, avoid it. That will save you a lot of time when it comes to cleaning.
Once you actually have the unit, it’s time to sort through it and start quickly putting things into different groupings. To maximize efficiency, you’ll want five groups:
Items that are worth a decent amount of money and can sell well – in other words, the things you bought the unit hoping to re-sell.
Items that aren’t worth too much, but can be sold in bulk for a decent profit down the line. Examples might include glassware, dishes or DVDs.
Items that are apparently worthless but can be recycled for money. This includes anything made with aluminum or copper, such as electronics and metal tools.
Items that have no clear value but can be donated for a tax write-off, such as stuffed animals or toys.
Items that really are trash and cannot profit you in any way, like old papers. These you’ll want to have hauled away to the dump.
Be advised that this process is time-consuming, so if you’re buying a lot of units, you may quickly get burnt out. By focusing on a few units at a time and squeezing maximum profits from each one, though, you can set yourself up to be truly successful down the line.
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