Storage Auctions

My first 2 auctions, and 2 lockers

My first 2 auctions, and 2 lockers
« on: May 13, 2013, 06:20:24 PM »
Posted this elsewhere, but its pretty dead.  Soo..figured I would move here.

OK So I decided it would be fun to get my daughter into a side business to make money with since she seems very interested in making money. Plus this is a good way to illustrate the difference between TV and reality (she hasn't seen the show-I want to find some units, and show her the work involved so that she can watch the show and scoff at it). And...well..if nothing else it would be a fun family thing to do together. So I found a upcoming auction scheduled for today, sadly only one storage unit being offered. We brought Cash, and supplies if we won it. So..lets look at what we can see.

This is a VERY small unit. Good news is, we could fit it all in my car if we wanted to!

In the back-some sort of pool. Probably functional or fixable. But its taking up a big chunk of the unit (its a tiny tiny unit).

Then up front....OMG an ALIENWARE Laptop! Now my daughter was excited by this (as was I for a second..then I realized....) Who puts a extremely high end laptop like that in a storage facility....the answer is...anyone investing in something like that wouldn't store it there. They would keep it with them...unless...it was broken. That being said...good chance we could fix it. Soo...it has some value-but not whats assumed by first glance. Me and my daughter discussed this a lot.

Then the statue - thats actually kinda cool.

The wooden chest. woooo buried treasure Argh!

4 tubs o randomness (in the crack of one daughter says she could see the edge of a blanket).

A nice picture of a big cat and a lady I think..

And..misc stuff.

Soo what does this scream? Setup. A setup is where either the person who owns the unit, or the storage managers put everything cool where it can be seen.  But hey you folks probably know this.... And as I am standing there thinking this, I believe I overhear the manager telling one of the bidders who is a friend apparently (quietly) that she had let the tenant go in and buy some of the stuff in advance "Gotta make back the money somehow" was the quote I think. This tells me that the bid is...well..lets be honest, kinda rigged. Keep in mind anything over whats owed that the unit goes for is refunded to the tenant-so the tenant has reason to stage the unit as well. Ethical managers would NOT do this sort of thing I suspect. And this auction is ran by the manager, not a licensed auctioneer. I will probably not return, or always bid lower there.

So what to set my bid limit at. I was thinking 125-175. mostly cause while the alienware is a older one I think (and probably broken)...they're still very powerful machines, and I have good odds of fixing it myself unlike most people, also I like the chest itself. I know..its ugly....but its a ugly *I* like, and we could do something with. And the statue... The pool may have some resale value, but I doubt it. Then I decided...I'd add on $ for just the fun/learning factor for my daughter (losing money is a acceptable lesson here..well to a point), So normally 125-175, but learning factor to 225 (and the "didn't make any money level" I think at 225). The bid started at 150 and I bid it, a few seconds pass..then its 175, I hit 200, then it goes 225...and proceeded all the way up to 325 $25 at a time. Wow. There is NO way there's $325 worth of stuff there. At $225 I figured it was a complete wash, and at $100-150 I figured it would make a tiny bit of profit for the work involved. I had the cash to win this if I wanted-I just didn't want that expensive of a lesson!

So the lessons today for my daughter was:
pick a number, dont go beyond it. Let others lose money.
Don't get excited by whats visible, think about WHY its there, and why its visible
Pay attention to everyone around you (especially the manager and the auctioneer). And...remember places like this. If you return because its slow some day, bid low.

The end of the auction was kinda cool, as one of the other bidders and my daughter had chatted and she had admired the ladys earrings, she gave them to my daughter! Yay! A profitable auction, both in learning, and in getting something for just being nice to others.


Second Auctions...and first wins.

OK this time unfortunately I could not bring my daughter as she had school. But some real standouts of this next experience:
It was during a weekday, and the serious bidders were there. Even better was it was a caravan type auction. This one by Uhaul. I didn't see anything that looked staged at all, and they had a local auctioneer running them. This was a VAST improvement. Most folks were friendly, but not chatty.

The first location had one unit, and it was a pretty full unit. I wasn't prepared to move a unit this size, and I could see about $600 for it. I decided to bid up to 300 (which would have been a steal)....it quickly went up to 725 as I recall. Given how close this was to my home I kind of regret not going all in, but I picked a number and stuck with it.

Second location was about 15 miles away. First locker opened up to...a dryer, a nice looking table, 5 tubs, and a couple mattresses. Looking at it...The mattresses looked like a dump run, the dryer was worth $40 (sell ti for $80 I figured) to the bid, the table though...I wanted that for me. It was in OK shape..and was worth $50 to me, so $90, then $5 for each tub I figured ($25 total). Mattresses drop -30 each for -60 I was going to go for this at 55. Started at 100, dropped to 75...50....and just as I said "50!" it dropped to 25. DOH bid myself up! A mistake I wont make again. I won't verbalize the amount unless I intend to go up higher then the auctioneer is stating. I got it at $50, one of the other bidders told me they would have bid it at 25, so not too badly. but still felt foolish. Locked it up with the lock I had brought and went on.

Next unit was another full one, I bid up to $350 and then bailed out-it hit 450-550 ish. Again same reasoning as before, but I was willing to go a bit higher since I already had a unit at this facility.

Final unit opened up, had a couch in the back...a BIG couch. I am amazed it fit in the unit, let alone that they had gotten it in. A decent book shelf, some cardboard shelving, a couple boxes, one with a plastic case,and a hardwood floor washer. So...$50 for the couch (couldn't tell if it was ripped or not, what condition, etc. really), $40 for the bookshelf as I had a need for one-so that was for me, so I was willing to go to $90. It went down to 25...where I bid and got it. Some of the regulars asked me if they could see what was in the mystery case, I obliged them, it was a pretty nice hair cutting kit. I figure $10 at the yard sale.

So how did we do?
The table turned out to be in better shape then I expected, but REALLY heavy. Replaced our old beat up kitchen table.
The couch....oh my....it was bad. REALLY REALLY bad. Owners had a small dog or cat that pooped inside of it (ie inside the fabric cover), and it smelled. It smelled BAD. Gloves were worn. Did rip open the bottom to see what made the noises when we tossed it, and found a nice lighter. Was hoping for change. Trash (-30)
Couple chairs we might keep, dunno our kids are kinda tough on them.
The mattresses as expected are going to the garbage, unexpectedly there was an additional one...thats in perfect condition, and could be sold. No idea if those sell, but if it can be sold it will.
There were empty bags that used to contain pot, prices indicate about $10K+ worth of pot. Medical grade. I have no idea what I could do with that here in Oregon if it had contained anything. (medical usage is legal, could I sell it to a dispensary? No idea....most likely garbage-its still a federal crime)
Unexpectedly...Jewelry! It looks like we found our first gold! Gold necklace marked as 14kt, heavy. Ordered a inexpensive gold testing kit and will know later.
A watch, new was $600, The minute hand doesn't move, second hand does. might take it to a shop, and estimate repair costs, sell it for $100 ish. Probably make $30. Dunno. Might keep it if it is repairable. Its a Seiko Kinetic platinum, VERY cool watch.
Sculpture from Hawaii, from a well known Hawaiian sculptor that used coral and resin. $30.
A Hawaiian sculpture thats supposedly for fertility thats...kinda....horrible. Evil gift to friends getting married (priceless)
Lots of misc jewelry and watches I haven't valued yet. About a pounds worth. Also some odd looking metal boxes for jewelry. Theyre ugly. WTH? More research is needed.
2 collectable dolls in their original boxes ($50)
2 boxes of personal items (one box filled with family albums) returned (cost of $8 in gas, but hopefully will get to owner...10% probability...so some sadness there)
The book case turned out to be in perfect shape, and is in my office.
The hair cutting kit $10
The hardwood floor cleaner $20 if it works...might keep it. This isn't a industrial one.
Cell phone (old-but worth $5 at a yard sale, the stored texts were fascinating reads)

Overall this one was a huge score for junk units that I had gotten because some specific item was going to me. For a junk units I did EXTREMELY well. Also VERY apparent that UHaul is a good place for auctions.

My thoughts on the ones I didn't get-they went for reasonable prices I think. Profitable for the people that got them. Plastic tubs are VERY hit or miss. Right now i am valuing them at $5 towards a bid, I will adjust that with experience. I don't expect them to pay out as well as these did generally. But if they do I will readjust that number.

So other take a ways from all of this:
I don't have a good way to test 220 appliances. Getting them to my laundry room would be an extreme challenge. It affects my pricing and selling of these in a negative way. I need to resolve this.
I had to buy a second lock-which meant buying one from uhaul. $5 wasn't too bad, but still...rookie mistake. Bring more locks then you think you might need. Also use nail polish to color co-ordinate them.
I need a spotlight. I ordered one from Amazon, rechargeable, can plug into the lighter socket or the wall, LED. Very nice..and only $40 or so.
I don't have a truck, renting from uhaul isn't that bad, but it WILL add up and you need to take that into account when you do this. As a hobby it means you aren't as financially competitive as the other bidders. Keep it in mind. If you're going to be serious about it, buy a used uhaul truck or other box truck. Or use a good truck and trailer.

Things to teach my daughter now...Selling on craigslist, what goes on craigslist vs ebay, and why. Whats great for the yard sale. And...what could go to the auction. Everything goes on the yard sale once, but then the watch, and collectable dolls are going to go the ebay route I think, the dryer on craigslist, and everything else keeps going to the yard sale.

Have to think on ways to sell when the summer is over, or just save up stuff for a massive yard sale on clear weekends. Dunno. More thought and experience is needed.  But this has been a lot of fun.  And profitable.

Offline Travis

  • *****
  • 5484
  • Every storage unit he buys yields treasure.
    • View Profile
    • AuctionsTX.com
    • Email
Re: My first 2 auctions, and 2 lockers
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 06:26:52 PM »
Greywar, welcome to the forum.

Wow, I think this might be the largest post ever made on this forum. Well, except when I posted the Houston auction schedule and it crashed the server.

Re: My first 2 auctions, and 2 lockers
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 10:29:59 PM »
Wow, long post.  I had to take a nap have way through. LoL..
Donít let your daughter deal with the freaks on Craigslist, they seem to migrate there.
Congratulations on your units, seems like youíre on your way. 

Offline Cobia

  • ******
  • 1144
    • View Profile
Re: My first 2 auctions, and 2 lockers
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 09:15:54 AM »
Thanks for the informative post. We need more posts like this to keep this forum lively & relevent.  :-*

Offline MovieMan

  • *******
  • 4175
    • View Profile
Re: My first 2 auctions, and 2 lockers
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 09:48:10 AM »
Thanks for the informative post. We need more posts like this to keep this forum lively & relevent.  :-*

Yep, lively is in short supply these days. Each day of the last 3 days or so there have only been about 10 posts per 24 hour period.  Maybe all 3000+ members are out buying lockers.  ;D

Offline Travis

  • *****
  • 5484
  • Every storage unit he buys yields treasure.
    • View Profile
    • AuctionsTX.com
    • Email
Re: My first 2 auctions, and 2 lockers
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 10:37:13 AM »
Yep, lively is in short supply these days. Each day of the last 3 days or so there have only been about 10 posts per 24 hour period.  Maybe all 3000+ members are out buying lockers.  ;D

Or maybe the 15 or so regular posters have been slacking...LOL  ;D

Offline alloro

  • *****
  • 2345
    • View Profile
Re: My first 2 auctions, and 2 lockers
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 03:59:52 PM »
Wow, long post.  I had to take a nap have way through. LoL..

I made it through 3 lines. :D

Re: My first 2 auctions, and 2 lockers
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2013, 11:19:26 AM »
I made it through 3 lines. :D

Yeah I never read my own posts cause past three lines I just meander, it's my advanced age *whistles innocently*

Sadly I've been known to be overly verbose.  You should see what happens when I get to discussing international economics, politics, or technology.  3d printing will doom the storage auctions.

Re: My first 2 auctions, and 2 lockers
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2013, 11:08:54 PM »
Wow.


xx
Two auctions today and no lockers for.

Started by Boxlot

11 Replies
2912 Views
Last post October 22, 2011, 03:19:45 PM
by craiglstauction
xx
People who lost their lockers to auctions complain? Say it ain't so !

Started by MovieMan

3 Replies
2551 Views
Last post July 15, 2013, 07:14:22 PM
by greywar
xx
2 new lockers won.

Started by Mr Andersen

7 Replies
3772 Views
Last post April 14, 2011, 07:33:28 PM
by Mr Andersen
xx
First two lockers

Started by VinceRN

4 Replies
1758 Views
Last post August 25, 2011, 10:29:38 PM
by ronin