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Topics - Cobia

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The Treasure Chest / Treasure story
« on: November 08, 2011, 08:12:02 AM »
This is a story told to me by another "newbie" locker buyer at auction.

His first unit purchased this year he paid $250. It was ALL junk, he was taking EVERYTHING to the dump. On the last tote he was loading he heard something "jingling" in the tote. He dug to the bottom and found a lock box. In the lock box was a collection of gold and silver coins. The retail value of the coin collection was $15,000!

Since then he has bought 8 more units (+ one that day) and all 8 units were complete dump runs! The other regular who was listening to the story basically said. "I'm not saying your lying, but I been doing this for seven years and have never seen anything like that in a unit!"

I personally beleive the story. My question for the group, how long before he spends through that $15,000 he found if he is taking everything to the dump from 9 units purchased? How long before he spends himself into bankruptcy trying to find another "once in a lifetime" locker score?

By-the-way, the locker he won that day was a 10 x 15 about 4 or 6 old filing cabinets up front, a dining room table set with 6 chairs (I sold the same set for $200) end tables, 10-12 boxes, particle board computer desk, and whatever was behind the filing cabinets we could not see. This unit was about 1/3 full. Winning bid $825.00!

Stories about Storage Auctions / Hows this for irony
« on: October 28, 2011, 07:54:57 AM »
I won a 10 x 10 3/4 full.

It looked descent from the door, a lot of boxes, clothes on hangers, etc. As I started going through the boxes I was finding nothing but garbage, dollar general knick-knacks, and pieces and parts to things not anywhere in the unit, a lot of old stuff from the 80s and 90s. Then I found the business paperwork. It was a THRIFT STORE that went out of business and left all their garbage and unsold inventory (including what they could'nt sell at their blowout yard sale) in the unit and defaulted. How is that for irony!  ::)

The good news or bad news, not sure at this point, is I have about 500 articles of clothing. I typically don't bid on units with a lot of clothing, it was all behind the first couple rows of boxes in the unit (besides the ones hanging on the shelves).

Storage Auctions "In The News" / This is REALLY BAD news!!
« on: October 19, 2011, 12:34:58 PM »
Cold hard cash. It's good everywhere you go, right? You can use it to pay for anything.

But that's not the case here in Louisiana now. It's a law that was passed during this year's busy legislative session.

House bill 195 basically says those who buy and sell second hand goods cannot use cash to make those transactions, and it flew so far under the radar most businesses don't even know about it.

"We're gonna lose a lot of business," says Danny Guidry, who owns the Pioneer Trading Post in Lafayette. He deals in buying and selling unique second hand items.

"We don't want this cash transaction to be taken away from us. It's an everyday transaction," Guidry explains.

Guidry says, "I think everyone in this business once they find out about it. They're will definitely be a lot of uproar."

The law states those who buy or sell second hand goods are prohibited from using cash. State representative Rickey Hardy co-authored the bill.

Hardy says, "they give a check or a cashiers money order, or electronic one of those three mechanisms is used."

Hardy says the bill is targeted at criminals who steal anything from copper to televisions, and sell them for a quick buck. Having a paper trail will make it easier for law enforcement.

"It's a mechanism to be used so the police department has something to go on and have a lead," explains Hardy.

Guidry feels his store shouldn't have to change it's ways of doing business, because he may possibly buy or sell stolen goods. Something he says has happened once in his eight years.

"We are being targeted for something we shouldn't be."

Besides non-profit resellers like Goodwill, and garage sales, the language of the bill encompasses stores like the Pioneer Trading Post and flea markets.

Lawyer Thad Ackel Jr. feels the passage of this bill begins a slippery slope for economic freedom in the state.

"The government is placing a significant restriction on individuals transacting in their own private property," says Ackel.

Pawn shops have been forced to keep records of their clients for years. However under this bill they are still allowed to deal in cash.

And we were discussing the pros and cons of business licenses, registrations the other day.

General Storage Auction Talk / Children at Auctions
« on: July 29, 2011, 03:05:00 PM »
I'm not a control freak, but....

I think it's time for the auctioneers and the facility owners to get a handle on bringing kids to the auctions. Storage auctions are NOT the county fair! When there are 60 ADULTS lined up to look at a unit, and then an additional 10-12 KIDS who all have to stand in front of the door (and won't move!) and get a look, it makes for a really aggravating day. This is a REAL business for a lot of people, we have only minutes to evaluate what is inside the unit, what we think we can resell it for, and decide if we take a risk on a unit and get burned? or do we go home empty handed and have nothing to sell? Then you have the kids that obviously run the household." Mommy, we should buy this one! ""Ooohhh, daddy thats a good one, you gonna buy it?" I just LOVE the kids who already KNOW about the business, "Mommy we can sell that for $XX! " I am not complaining about people in the business who are teaching there teenage children about the business, I am talking about newbies and kids in age range of 4-11 years of age.

That's my rant for the day, thanks for listening.  ;D

New to Storage Auctions? / Used tires on stock rims?
« on: July 14, 2011, 08:55:16 AM »
I have two random used tires on stock rims I got out of a unit, one of them is from a Mitsubishi, don't know about the other one. Any suggestions about the best way to sell these things, or dispose of them if I have to?

Craigslist / Pirated photos?
« on: July 05, 2011, 10:01:54 AM »
While reviewing Craigslist postings of furniture I discovered that someone else was selling furniture using MY photos from my postings to describe their furniture.

Question #1. How did they do that?
Question #2. How do I stop it?
Question #3. Is this a major computer security concern?

P.S. I know they are my photos because not only do I recognize the furniture in the foreground as mine, but also the furniture in the background is mine aswell.

General Storage Auction Talk / Size of organization
« on: June 29, 2011, 09:59:10 AM »
Just wondering what everyones organizational size is. I am guessing most people are one and two man(woman) crews, but I'd like to know if anyone is running a larger operation, and if so how many employees/partners do you have and what responsibilities do you keep for yourself and what do you delegate out to your employees/partners.

The Lounge / Murphy's Law of Storage Auctions
« on: June 20, 2011, 07:55:11 AM »
Murphy's Law number 1.

 Anything you discard in the garbage can or dumpster that you later realize you actually need will naturally migrate to the very bottom of the garbage can or dumpster.

Please add your Murphy's Laws of Storage Auctions.  :D

General Storage Auction Talk / Sorting advice
« on: June 20, 2011, 07:51:30 AM »
When sorting through a unit won at auction, don't throw anything away until all the boxes and bags have been checked. Sometimes those random things that look like junk actually belong with other items packed in other boxes that make that item whole and sellable.

The Treasure Chest / Small unit, nice find...
« on: June 16, 2011, 11:31:18 AM »
I won a unit yesterday, a 10 x 10 with only 4 boxes of clothes and an ordinary wood breakfast/dining table with 6 chairs.
Inside one of the boxes was an UNUSED Super Bowl XLIV ticket with bus pass and lanyard!

Only paid $55.00 for the unit. How much do you think the ticket is worth to collectors?

Even the small, relatively empty units can generate a big find!

I just finished going through my latest unit and I have approx. 200 EMPTY video game boxes. They are mostly PS2 and XBOX with the original titles and manuals still inside. Just wondering if there is a market to sell them before I chuck them in the dumpster.

Flea Markets / When to "dump" your flea market inventory?
« on: May 21, 2011, 11:17:10 AM »
This is more of a technical question for those in the business that put that much time and energy into thinking about these things.

My question is, do any off you use some kind of formula to determine when the inventory you have is just not worth the time and effort to take it back to the flea market and decide it's time to dispose of it or take it to Goodwill (or other non-profits) for a tax credit?

I was thinking something like:
1. If I take X number of totes full of merchandise, and return with Y number of totes still full, it's time to remove it from my inventory.
2. If I make X dollars below the avarage flea market day, it's time to remove it from my inventory.

or do you just wait till the you get better merchandise from the next locker(s) and "mix it in" with the old stuff that is not selling well, and just "let it ride".

I realize everyone must run their business as they see fit. Just wondering all of your opinions concerning the "opportunity cost" associated with holding inventory that has already been "run" through the flea market several times and has not sold.

Stores / How many "thrift stores" can a city support?
« on: May 01, 2011, 07:16:55 PM »
Hey guys,

Like many auction hunters I have thought about opening a "thrift store" as a way to create business and sell items found in storage lockers. Over the last few weeks I have been doing a visual inventory of the number of thrift stores, consignment shops, resale shops, in my area to get an idea of the competition. I was astounded by what I found. On one stretch of road less then 10 miles long there are at least 15 resale related shops NOT including pawn shops. Another road about the same distance had 7 resale shops. close to my home there are 3 shops in the same strip mall, and at least 5 others I can think of off the top of my head. That is NOT including the big non-profits like Goodwill, Salvation Army, Thrift Stores of America, etc.

My question is "How many thrift stores can a city support?" I have not tried to do a "head count" of the people running thrift stores and comparing that to auction attendees. I know several of the regulars are thrift store owners. I guess I am wondering if the shift in the American economy can support all the new thrift stores, or are there going to be a lot of people losing money and going bankrupt trying to open and run thrift stores?

I know we talk alot about Storage Wars and Auction Hunters, but there is a less famous guy out there on the internet selling books about the storage auction business and telling stories and giving advise on YouTube. Any of you buy the books or a membership to his blog? Do you think it's worth while?

Hey Glendon, are you on here?

Craigslist / Craigslist Gripes
« on: April 26, 2011, 07:58:57 PM »
Gripe #1 Don't show up to buy furniture without the exact agreed amount of money on hand. I am not a bank and I can't break your fifty, and no I won't take less than the agreed upon amount because you don't have the exact amount on hand. Go to the gas station across the street and get change, thank you.

Gripe #2 Does everybody on Craigslist think they are the next "American Pickers"? No I won't take $100 for the furniture I have listed for $300 that retails for $1200. I have already cut the price to make it affordable for people who normally would not be able to buy furniture of this quality. You are not going to make money re-flipping furniture I sell on Craigslist.

Gripe #3 the never ending questions, "Was this furniture yours or someone elses?" or "So where did you get this furniture?" Why? Do you want the furniture or not? I think it has something to do with Gripe #2.

Thanks for listening, that is all...

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