Storage Auctions

Any suggestions when you see a safe?

Any suggestions when you see a safe?
« on: April 17, 2011, 07:30:55 PM »
Upcoming listing includes: a safe as one of the items. Any advice? Anyway to unlock without breaking? How to break? Chances of having anything good? Have you got a safe before? I'm new to storage units. Also, I assume weekday auctions are less attended? Thanks. Russ

Re: Any suggestions when you see a safe?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2011, 07:58:12 PM »
Upcoming listing includes: a safe as one of the items. Any advice? Anyway to unlock without breaking? How to break? Chances of having anything good? Have you got a safe before? I'm new to storage units. Also, I assume weekday auctions are less attended? Thanks. Russ

A safe is not a bad thing even if it's locked.
You can get codes and keys from the company who made them.
I have just been in contact with sentry safe about getting codes and override keys, and they are now in the mail. You have to pay a small fee to get it, but absolutley worth it.

This is the only way i recommend to do it.

Offline rulesforrebels

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Re: Any suggestions when you see a safe?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2011, 08:19:03 PM »
Safes may hold valuable thing but even not got some good scrap metal weight there but if its a nice safe could either try to get codes or have a locksmith drill it out. Not sure if it would be cost effective to hae that doen to put a new locking mechanism on but something to look into if its one of those nice cast iron ones.

Offline Drew

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Re: Any suggestions when you see a safe?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2011, 08:53:45 PM »
Hope there is something in it! Not paperwork!!

Re: Any suggestions when you see a safe?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2011, 09:49:02 PM »
Bid on it like it's empty...when you get it open and it's full of family papers & photos, then you want feel so bad...if it's got gold/silver/cash/gun....then you got a bargain

Re: Any suggestions when you see a safe?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2011, 11:33:41 PM »
About 95% of the time they are empty or hold nothing of value. Once in a while they will have something that is worth something in them. Rarely do they have anything of great value.  Most of the cheaper safes can be forced open in about 30 seconds.  A really good safe may require a locksmith and that adds to your cost. As others have said bid as if it is empty and if has some valuables in it then you did well.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Any suggestions when you see a safe?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 08:12:04 AM »
Just about everything has been said already, but if you want more info on safes, just do a search within these threads for the word "safe". The top results will be about the kind of safe you are talking about....the rest will deal with "are things safe."  The search engine is a great way to find info on any number of topics here.

I have gotten half a dozen safes in as many years. Most were empty or had useless (to me) papers. Many of the briefcase fire safes are found and can be opened with a tire iron. Not much point in trying anything else, as these sell for $25 or so new at Target, Wal-Mart.

One I got was about 24" tall by 18" square and was on the back wall of the locker. If you see them up front, they are almost guaranteed to be empty.  I had someone use an acetylene torch on the bottom of this one and once you get through the METAL there is usually a cement or clay like material to get through with a hammer. Eventually, you will get inside. Many safes of this size or larger have a counter or drawer near the top and of course you want to get in that too, so more work would be involved.

If I remember correctly this safe contained about $200 or so in coins, cash, gold jewelry and a small frame OLD revolver (rusted) in a cardboard box...threw it
away.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Any suggestions when you see a safe?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 08:21:25 AM »
An auction friend got a large safe...maybe 4 feet tall and 2 feet square. This sucker was obviously heavy, but he has a lift gate on his box truck.

He checked with a lock/key company who wanted $75 at a minimum to try to open it through the combination. If they can't figure out the combo, they drill out the dial. There is that labor and then the cost of a new dial...$75 and up.

If the safe is empty you have spent $150 or more getting it open and keeping it resellable. Then they appear not to resell very easily. The key company had 100 safes in the back of their store and maybe 30 up front. The key guys told my friend they rarely sold a safe.  Gun safes sell better, but again the really good ones are expensive and I doubt you'll find one in a locker. The cheap gun safes are found though. When I got into one I got (an easy pry job) it had a pellet rifle, some ammo (regular) and a flack jacket. The jacket was a small sized military model and sold on eBay to a small person ! It also contained empty pistol cases and pistol manuals....those sell well on eBay.

Friend who had the big safe sold it for scrap metal since in had a big 6" hold in the front door.  Did I mention the dollar value of the time he spent on the safe?

He bought the locker SOLELY on the basis a safe was in it...lkr only contained a few other boxes. He thought it was worth the gamble for the $80 lkr cost. Turned out it wasn't, but it COULD have been a big winner.


Re: Any suggestions when you see a safe?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2011, 11:03:33 AM »
Turned out it wasn't, but it COULD have been a big winner.


If I go to the casino and lay down $500 on a single hand of Blackjack, I COULD be a big winner too!  That's part of the problem with high prices on so many of these lockers right now.......these guys are GAMBLING that there is something good in there, and their bids in no way reflect on what is actually showing. 

Like everybody has said, most of the safes you find in lockers are empty or have nothing of value.  If you see something in the locker to make it worth your bidding, go for it, but I would not purchase a locker just because there is a safe in there.  I have seen a lot of guys get burned doing that......some of them for a substantial amount of money.

Re: Any suggestions when you see a safe?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2011, 04:09:30 PM »
Wow guys, thanks a million for your responses. Very quick and very thorough. Auction is on May 11th, you've "grounded" me with your comments and for that I am grateful and will be careful. I don't have the money or desire to "gamble." Thanks again for your help. Looking forward to learning more.

Russ

Offline Travis

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Re: Any suggestions when you see a safe?
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2011, 07:31:33 PM »
I agree, if you put too much money into a unit on the hope that the safe will have valuables in it, you won't be in this business for long. As far as opening a safe is concerned, read this article. http://houstonstorageauctions.com/blog/?p=258

Re: Any suggestions when you see a safe?
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2011, 10:40:07 PM »
Tclane you mention Sentry safe in your blog.
But why hire a locksmith to open it?

When you can make one phonecall to Sentry and have them email you a form that you fill out and fax back.
That way you get both the code and new keys. Cost of this is 35 dollars.

A locksmith cost more then that, and they can not provide you with a key or a code after they opened it.

Offline Travis

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Re: Any suggestions when you see a safe?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2011, 11:17:13 PM »
Mr A, the reason that I recommend a locksmith is that if the previous owner of the safe changed the factory combination, the code that you get from Sentry, will not work. The locksmith that I use pays the safe manufacturers a certain amount per year and can request unlimited codes. Most locksmiths wont charge you the $35 for the factory code request if it doesn't open the safe, as long as you pay them to drill it. My guy charges about $45-$50 to drill the safe, then reset the tumbler to a new combination. In my opinion, this just makes more sense, because if you pay Sentry directly and the combination doesn't work, you're out $35 plus a $5 notary fee. I hope this answered your question.

In the article, I was referring to a combination only safe, but it is nice to know that you can get the keys as well for $35. How long does it usually take to get them in the mail?

P.S. Lets say you received the keys and the combination, but the combination didn't work. You would be able to open the safe; but you would still have to take it to a locksmith to have them tell you what the combination is. You would have a hard time selling a second hand safe for a decent price, without the combination, right?

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Re: Any suggestions when you see a safe?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2011, 11:43:14 AM »
If the owner of the safe have changed it, it can be changed back.
I have talked to several people lately that have had that happend to them.
They got the override keys and the factory code from Sentry, the keys worked, the code did not.
One phonecall to Sentry and they sent you instructions on how to reset the safe.

BTW i paid nothing to have the notary form notarized, my bank did that for free. And most banks do if you have a customer relationship with them.


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