Storage Auctions

I'm also questioning this Business.

I'm also questioning this Business.
« on: December 21, 2011, 09:08:52 PM »
Hello all,

I am new to these forums and new to Storage Auctions. And I thank you all for the information and responses in advance.

I have never been to one, but have been hooked on the idea since watching all the TV series associated with the business. I haven't been to a storage auction because I have not accumulated enough resources just yet. And hopefully this thread can provide me with them. I think that I have the eye for this business, and with patience I am sure I can turn a nice profit. But the waters may be rough once I set sail. Here are some things to consider.bI have an eBay account, with great history as a buyer, and I have only sold a few dozen things. I have shipping literally at my fingertips; I work at a UPS store. I see a fair amount of auctions going on around my area, and although I don't know them at all, I'm confident I can make good locker buys. I think I am going to have to stick with lockers that do not contain big furniture. I have the internet at my fingertips, good street smarts and deal-making ability in my opinion. But I am a very humble guy and intend on making honest deals only without trying to be some run-of-the-mill salesman. All of that being said I think with the right patience I think I can make it. I have doubts, but I do think that this is for me by all means.

PROBLEMS:

- Haven't set aside my padlocks and benjamin's yet  :P

- I will not be able to handle big furniture.
      - My car has space but it's only a two-door hatch back. I really don't want to acquire a big vehicle for this just yet. I do have good gas mileage though.
      - If I am able to borrow a Ford explorer, It will have to be long down the line when and if my family could ever accept such endeavors.

- I hope to make most of my sales on eBay, and locally. With doing the least amount of driving as possible. I am willing to sell anything that can fit into a box or double box, so long as it's feasible to ship by standards, but I can't be taking in any big furniture.

- I am currently in somewhat of a financial bind, trying to tread water with the unpaid school loans dragging me. But being in my early twenties, I do think I can use this to help.

Thanks again!

Re: I'm also questioning this Business.
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2011, 10:31:22 PM »
I can't even imagine trying to do this business without a truck.  Our smallest unit (the 5X5 mentioned in my boo-boo thread) still contained a washing machine and I can't see you getting that home even if you were able to borrow the Explorer.  If you find this is something you seriously would like to try you can always rent a truck (uhaul and the like), but remember....you also need to have storage space.  My back yard (we're on just over an acre) looks like Sanford and Son half the time!

I love the selling portion and I have a great rapport with most buyers.  I have several repeat customers and a great reputation as I always make sure everything is in perfect working order or I point out any and all flaws.  I can sell at local antique fairs (where the atmosphere is a bit stuffy) as well as the flea markets where I cut up with the rest of the working stiffs.

This is a dirty, tough business and certainly not for all.  If you don't mind getting your hands dirty or busting your back for a couple days, you might just succeed.  But whatever you do.....don't believe it's like they show on TV. 

Best of luck to you.

Re: I'm also questioning this Business.
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2011, 10:45:05 PM »
Maybe you can start with Flea Markets,Thrifts Stores and Garage Sales.Sell at EBAY,Craigs List and Flea Markets.Get a bank roll and get an idea of what sells and doesn't sell,Attend the auctions and get a feel for them.It is alot of work but can be worth it if you go in with your eyes open and a business plan.Good Luck!

Re: I'm also questioning this Business.
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2011, 11:03:06 PM »
Thank you very much guys. I really appreciate the advice.

I am definitely not afraid of getting dirty and working hard. In fact, I think the speed of my work will be of advantage as well. I can lift and move well.

Tonight after I posted this thread I contacted one of my best friends, since I recently heard that he was out of work. He is now my partner! We are going to work out the details soon.




Re: I'm also questioning this Business.
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2011, 11:34:11 PM »
You can't have a true reference point until you start going to auctions to at least see what is in the lockers. At least from my limited experience (just over 10 auctions in a few months) I think you will be shocked at just how much stuiff (re: junk) is in the average locker. Even the smaller units would be tough to move in a car of any type, and almost everything has some sort of piece of furniture in it.

Do you have friends with a pickup that you can borrow when needed? That would work, you don't need to go out and get a box truck, just a way to move stuff out of the facility quickly.

Good luck, I have had some fun and done well with the one unit I have purchased, but it is a ton of work.

Re: I'm also questioning this Business.
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2011, 01:00:26 AM »
thanks for the reply.

We have not discussed the details yet but I we will do whatever we can, and rent a truck if we have to.

Offline money4nothing

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Re: I'm also questioning this Business.
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2011, 05:25:51 AM »
Still considered new have 7 lockers under our belts. We have a truck and access to a trailer.

Depending on your area you can start with low funds we did. Only risk what you can afford to loose.

Our area is full of buyers like you. Want small lockers little furniture ect. the prices for these are very high.
We have yet to get a locker with a lot of totes or boxes.  Still on the hunt for that.

Do some research on selling the larger items. When we started we were going to auctions just checking it out, then found out our neighbour opened a thrift with consignment. We buy furniture lockers and sell all of it there.  Yard sale the rest, some ebay not much, no high quality.

We bought a 5 x 5 took two truck loads and 1/2 trailer to empty. Bought the bad one on same day so the second trip had to make anyway.

Start making some contacts for items you don't want. We have a storage buyer will try and sell the stuff right after the auction so he does not have to move it. We got a truck load for free from him. (furniture).

find out what is selling in your area. Washing machines and dryers are a dud in our immediate area but met a lady who can not keep them in her thrift store. (little far for us to sell to her)

Wish you luck and just be prepared for the fast paced work after purchase. Would attend a few auctions first then start making some plans. Nothing like what TV land shows.

Re: I'm also questioning this Business.
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2011, 06:48:23 AM »
Sigh - I had just typed a long drawn out post for you and got hit with the "time out" bat.

Ok - quick thoughts instead of the long post.

1) You will get tvs, maybe a matress, and furniture that you don't see due to a stack of boxes.  Think of how to get rid of them.

2) If you value your car don't use it.  You will find some very nasty and smelly stuff in lockers.  Those odors will get trapped in your car.

3) Think about the sorting, selling, and storage first -- buying is easy.

4) Attend some auctions before you buy -- you have to train your eyes.  Only have a few mins if that to look at a unit now due to the # of people that come to look.  Have to take it in all pretty fast and not overlook anything.

5) Go back and read or re-read older post on here.  Some great ideas and subject matters have been discussed.  Read the Looky Loo thread and see what the prices have been in places.  Can you manage those prices and make money?

6) Be respectfull and friendly.  One of the locals may take you under their wing so to speak.

Good Luck

Re: I'm also questioning this Business.
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2011, 10:43:45 AM »
Make sure you and your friend are real clear what each others resposiblities are.Maybe even put in writing.

Re: I'm also questioning this Business.
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2011, 02:27:05 PM »
I have never been to one ....I'm confident I can make good locker buys.
::)  Buying at storage auctions is a betting game.  A prospective buyer gets a brief look at the tip of an iceberg and an opportunity to bid on the whole thing.  One's ability to guesstimate the value of a locker - a function of experience - determines the risk of overpaying.    The risk and the size of working capital limits the maximum bid.   Going over the limit turns betting into gambling - a loser's game.   

My advice is to start small, buy a locker and completely dispose of its contents before buying the next one.  The longer you can stay in the game, the higher is your probability of success.  Good luck.



Re: I'm also questioning this Business.
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2011, 02:52:39 AM »
If you're going to do this without a truck, then you're going to have to avoid units that have large items and lots of junk you know you're going to have to drop off at goodwill or haul to the dump. That's going to limit you to a VERY small selection of units you would even bid on that are probably going to get run up due to the storage auction mania taking place right now as a result of the shows. The majority of units have large mattresses in them and furniture.

Your best bet right now is to be a picker. It's much simpler to do. You just look around at yard sales and on Craigslist for items that are undervalued/being sold substantially lower than what you think you can sell them for, sell them for more than you paid, and pocket the profits. If you have any ability to fix & restore things, then that is a major plus as well.

Offline jrossjr79

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Re: I'm also questioning this Business.
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2011, 10:20:51 AM »
I have not read all the post, so if I mention something that somebody has already stated, then I apologize.

You have some good pros, but still it may be different then what you expect. General Merchandise will the majority of your lockers. Ebay can be a good source, and it helps that you work at UPS. However, you will need more than one resource to sale off your goods.

Your biggest con is you dont have a truck. I would suggest either A: Buy a truck, B: stick to smaller loads liek from garage/yard sales, estate sales, thrift stores, flea markets and small auctions (not storage lockers), or C: Rent a truck from U-Haul or the like. But do not rent the truck before you even get a locker.

Hope this helps.

Re: I'm also questioning this Business.
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2011, 01:09:19 AM »
Thanks a lot everyone. I really appreciate the advice.

My partner and I have not ironed out the details yet, but he says he can bring a truck out if we have to. So that's a good start.

And thanks for the advice. I wouldn't mind going to the flea market, and checking out yard sales and what not. All of that is important. I do speak spanish pretty fluently so that is a plus for me as well. I guess I just need to develop an eye for valuing things. I am good in many areas but not good in many others.

I also have my cousin and another good friend behind me that might want to throw in some work and/or money.

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Re: I'm also questioning this Business.
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2011, 07:32:09 AM »
You could look at buying a trailer as well. (cheaper than a truck).

Re: I'm also questioning this Business.
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2011, 08:24:53 PM »
I guess I just need to develop an eye for valuing things. I am good in many areas but not good in many others.

I also have my cousin and another good friend behind me that might want to throw in some work and/or money.

I've worn out my keyboard researching items.  Very little is as important as learning the value of items and learning how to price them so they move.  We were having a yard sale and I almost put out a painting (that I assumed was a reprint) for $20.  Further research revealed it to be an original that we sold to a gallery in Santa Fe for $3500.  Talk about a close call.

Be careful with having too many hands in the pie.  Could prove awkward at the very least.  I've seen too many friends end up enemies by investing/working together.

So have you attended one yet?  Curious to see what you think of it when you see it up close and personal~ 8)


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