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Topics - Cobia

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I've noticed that both Public Storage and Uncle Bob's in my area are changing out the doors on storage units and replacing them with built in cylinder locks. Is this happening in other areas?

We will have to scrap our padlocks and disc locks and invest in a bunch of cylinder locks.  :41:

Just for fun, I was wondering if anyone has unknowingly sold items to people they personally know on Amazon or Ebay without prior contact. Since these are worldwide marketplaces I wonder what the chances of something like that happening are.

The closest I have come is I sold an item on Amazon to someone who lives 4 miles away by road and 2.5 miles away "as-the-crow-flies." I live in a quasi-rural/suburban area so 4 miles is not far.

Another time I sold an item on Ebay to someone in another state but it just so happens the buyer lived in a townhouse right next to my mother's townhouse. I did not recognize the name but it is likely I would recognize them "face to face."

How about you?  :72:

I once shipped a motorcycle helmet to Tasmania, Australia. About 9,500 miles as the crow flies.

I also once shipped some porn to Bagram Air Force Base Afghanistan. I always wondered if it was used to lift the spirits of the American serviceman or to torture them Taliban types.  :93:

We've probably covered this topic in one way or another over the years but I thought I would just try to keep the conversations fresh.  :)

What is the ONE item that if seen from the door will drive the price of a storage unit beyond what is reasonable based on what else is in the unit? Here are my top three.

1. Rolling tool box
2. Small firebox (fireproof document case)
3. Fishing pole(s)

Without getting too stereotypical or judgmental, what "type" of people tend to have storage units with better quality items then you might expect if you had not won their unit(s)? I'll go first...

College students: Typically I think of college students as being young, not accumulating any wealth, little job experience, etc. but I have found in college student units: New name brand clothes (Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, Polo, Holister, etc.), jewelry, scientific calculators, collectible toys new in the box, latest modern video gaming systems & games, large collections of DVD's & CD's.

Disclaimer: Not ALL college student units are like this, some are pure junk like anyone else.

How about you? Who surprises you, in a good way?

What are the most common items found in storage units that have high or relatively high retail new values but have piss-poor re-sale values used? I will take out one of the obvious first choices.

1. Mattresses & box spring sets.

2. Golf club sets & tennis rackets.

3. Wrist watches.

Abbreviated title:

What are things you find in storage units constantly but when you need one for yourself you can't find one around the house or shop to save your life!

My short list:

tape measures
nail clippers
duct tape
Tupperware containers with good sealing lids

General Storage Auction Talk / What's a Yo-Yo?
« on: September 01, 2013, 11:02:56 AM »
All right forumers, this is a new term described by yours truly. Many of you may have another term for it.

Type of auction goers? We've described the lookie loos, we all know what newbies are, then there's old timers and vets, but what about the Yo-Yos?

Yo-Yo: Auction attendee who generally is wanting to bid on and win units, and typically does but for the most part is not able to make enough money per unit to stay in the auction scene so they pop in and out of the auction scene from time to time most likely in an effort to feel out the crowd and auctions to see if prices on units and bidding have come down enough on units so THEY can make money buying storage units. Unknown to these Yo-Yos but they are one of the contributing factors as to way prices stay elevated and all the regulars can't get into a rhythm and relationship where they are respectfully bidding in a way that everyone can win the units they want at a price that most everyone can make money on.

2 primary types of Yo-Yos.

1. TV show newbies: These are all the folks who came out at some point during the madness of the TV shows to try their hand at storage auctions. The vast majority got burned and went back home with their tails between their legs but there is a small percentage that keeps lingering around, trying to get back in, just waiting for prices to come down.

2. Pushed out vets: These are the folks who got knocked out by the high prices during the TV shows but really have not found any other employment or just love doing storage auctions and or don't know how to do anything else (One could argue if they really knew what they were doing they would not have been knocked out, but that's a different topic). Every now and again they come back to the auctions looking to re-establish themselves but alas prices still too high so they disappear once more.

I hope you find this post informative and entertaining!  :)

I don't know if anyone else is experiencing this but a new crop of Looky Loos is starting to show up at auctions and yes, even starting to place bids. So far they are much more conservative then the hoards of 1-3 years ago, but definitely some more interest.

We had a couple of months there with VERY FEW newbies and many of the old timers, 1-2 year vets, & newbies dropping out. Now we are getting a lot of fresh faces. I am pretty good at recognizing faces so I am fairly certain that most of these people are brand new to the scene and not people who tried it last year or two years ago and coming back out to see if the prices came down. That's what we had last Fall & this Spring.

Movieman knows about my hair-brained theories but here goes another one.

Are Saturday & Holiday (i.e. Good Friday) Storage Auctions Ruined Forever.

Seems to me since the TV shows we all keep waiting for the crowds and prices to wither away. We've had ebbs and flows where the crowds and prices seem to drop only to rise again when new episodes of Storage Auction TV shows come out or when it's tax season and people get their refund checks.

On the other hand Saturday auctions have maintained their popularity. At a recent Saturday auction I saw more fresh faces then I've seen in a while. What was interesting is this crowd did not look like typical re-sellers, junkers, pickers, etc. Mostly Middle to Upper Middle class, mostly couples. The drove BMWs, Corvettes, infinitys, & Porshes, along with new SUVs. When I saw this crowd it hit me like a shot! Saturday storage auctions will NEVER be like they were before the TV shows!

My theory is middle class couples, especially empty nesters, who would previously spend their weekends going to amusement parks, driving to the beach or mountains, going to casinos, or "antiquing". Are now going to storage auctions purely for entertainment purposes.

The bad news for full-timers & regulars; You can't run them up! They don't care! They don't have any business overhead costs, they can take their time processing the units, they don't need to make a profit, and even if they lose a few hundred dollars after all is said in done, so what? They would have spent that much anyway at the beach, or casino, or amusement park, etc. Then there is always the possibility the will score a good unit and find treasures! It's a win-win situation for them.

 :'( :'( Therefor I conclude, and you heard it here first, Saturday Storage Auctions Are Ruined Forever!!!  :'( :'( :'(

No theory should be made in absolutes so MOST Saturday auctions are ruined forever!  ;)

The Treasure Chest / 1ST ATV!
« on: April 05, 2013, 10:39:14 AM »
WooHoo, well got my first ATV or motorcycle out of a storage unit!

Artic Cat 150, looks brand new! Looks like it has NEVER seen dirt! Engine cranks like a charm!

I'll post pictures after it sells, if I can keep it from my son and sell it that is!  :)

New to Storage Auctions? / How do you sell used watches?
« on: February 25, 2013, 08:55:33 AM »
So how do you all get the best price for used watches. Not talking about cheap Wal-mart brands that get tossed in the garbage or a Rolex that can be easily sold to a jeweler or "We Buy Gold" place; I mean the mid-level watches that are to nice to toss but seem like a tough sell at the flea market?

Brands like Bulova, Timex, Seiko, Tag Heuer, Elgin, Fossil?

Do you spend the money to replace the batteries before selling?

What about replacing the broken wrist bands?

Those involved in storage auctions, picking & re-selling as a business; what do you think is the greatest obstacle to overcome so you can grow/upscale your business?

Personally I think it's the risk of inventory shrinkage (theft/damage) by adding employees or more employees to your operations.

Your "eyes" can't be everywhere, so if you hire people to clean out the units, load and unload the inventory, sort inventory, work at your store, etc. There is a high risk of the best items dissapearing before you ever knew you had them. Add in carelessness, lack of work ethic; and you get damaged furniture, electronics, broken glassware, antiques, collectibles, etc.

Not only that your gross sales must overcome the compensation you are paying your employees/contractors as well.

Craigslist / Anyone Notice the "Smoke-Free" Ads?
« on: February 04, 2013, 10:58:52 AM »
Anyone Notice how more & more people are listing furniture on Craigslist from "smoke-fee" & "pet-free" homes?  :o

 It seemed like a few years ago I would only see that description on about 10% of the furniture listings, now it's getting up to 30%-40% of furniture listings.

So did that many families stop smoking & no longer have pets?

Anyone feel like this hurts your sales if you can't promise "smoke-free" & "pet-free"?

I'm going to start listing "people-free" for months or years since it's been in storage!  ;)

I mean physically travel to your location. Not talking about Ebay sales overseas.  ;)

I had a guy make an approximate 520 mile round trip to buy some furniture from me last month!   :o

How about you?

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