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The Treasure Chest / Latest Cool Stuff I've Found in Units!
« on: February 01, 2011, 12:49:06 AM »
Just some of the latest stuff I have found in the last 2-3 weeks.  

Sauna room with 6KW Heater
Stacked Washer and Dryer
Front Load Washer and Dryer
Sofa and Love Seat
Remote Control Helicopter
R/C Car Parts and Chassis
Table Saw
Radial Arm Saw
Mortise Machine
Belt Sanders (three)
6" Longbed Woodworking Jointer
10" Milwaukee Chop Saw
Outdoor Wood Table and Chairs
Stainless BBQ
Boxes full of.....BOXES!
Tool Box
Nail Gun
Powered Ice Shaver!
2 Paintball Guns
Upright Freezer
2 Hospital Beds
30" Tall Chainsaw Carved Eagle
Row Boat
5 Gallon Bucket of shotgun shells (loaded ones!)
Aluminum Frame Backpack

And a whole lot more!

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General Storage Auction Talk / Just An Observation.........
« on: January 20, 2011, 08:38:12 PM »
I bought two more units the last couple of days, so I am up to seven so far this week.  That's not what I wanted to talk about though!

This past week, I have really been watching people and paying attention to everything going on.  I have noticed that the people that are buying units now are the same people that were buying the units before the.....cough, cough, "reality shows"! 

What I see happening, (at least in my area) is all these new people are showing up and just taking up space.  I would say the vast majority of them are just following the crowd and looking inside the units, but when it comes down to the bidding, with a few exceptions, it's still the same "veteran buyers" that are buying the great majority of the units.

I don't even mind the new guys anymore.  In fact, there's this one new kid and his wife that I'm actually starting to like!  It's not really affecting me that much at all (although a 20 minute auction is taking 2 hours just so everybody can have their look at the unit), and if I have to pay an extra 100 bucks or so, oh well, it's the cost of doing business.

It's a funny business this auction thing.  Go to an auction and look at the camaraderie, it's actually kind of amazing.  We all stand around BS'ing and joking, talking about each others families, latest auction "score", sports, etc, and we might even get together and have lunch together on a run, but when the door goes up and the bidding's every man (or woman!) for himself!

Stories about Storage Auctions / Bought Five Units Today.
« on: January 17, 2011, 08:26:42 PM »
Went on a "run" today.  Ended up buying five units from three different facilities.  Not exactly sure what I have yet, didn't really have time to go through much.  I did get an entire Sauna in one of them, complete cedar enclosure and heater.  I also got a stackable washer and dryer, and a nice couch, and a bunch of copy machines.  I won't know much for a day or two, but it was fun anyway!

West / 80 Plus Bidders Today!
« on: January 07, 2011, 09:58:46 PM »
I made a short four facility run today.  Worst one yet!  80 plus people (by count, not estimate!) show up at the first facility for a grand total of only ONE unit!  Unit was inside and upstairs, and it took a half hour just so everyone could see it, and it was just junk. 

At the second facility, everybody that was at the first one showed up, along with a few more new people.  This facility had three units going up, and all of them were junk.  As an example......3' x 5' unit with three boxes and an old tv.......sold for $250!  Two months ago that would have been a $1......maybe $5 at the most! 

I skipped the rest of the auctions.  A friend of mine went, and he said he should have skipped it too.  You just never know what might be there, I hate to miss any auctions, but I've been kind of sick today and didn't feel like bumping elbows with 80 other bidders out in the rain!

It's not even the competition that I mind.  The thing that sucks about all these people showing up is how long it takes just for a simple auction.  Something that should have been done in 20 minutes drags out for an hour and a half!

The Treasure Chest / Stuff I've Found in the Last 30 Days!
« on: January 05, 2011, 11:44:03 PM »
Only allowed 128 kb per post, so I'll just describe some and show pics of a few.  This is just a list of some of the most interesting stuff I've found in the last month:

Kitchen Cabinets
Brand New Stainless Steel Gas Range
40" LCD TV
Carpet Cleaner....commercial
Gold (found 15 rings in one unit!)
Loads of Costume Jewelry!
11 Hummels figurines
80 Gallon Upright Air Compressor
Microfiber Sectional
New Small Kitchen Appliances........all unused and in the boxes
Nice Stainless Steel BBQ.....Got rid of my old one and kept it!
Lot's of nice artwork
Big Storage Tote Stuffed with legos
Nice Brown Leather Couch
Nissan Tires and Wheels.....very nice, sold in about 20 minutes on CL!
Hedman Hedders for SBC
Lot's of tools...sanders, routers, sawzall, etc.
Two Concrete Power Trowels and a bunch of concrete working tools
Large Craftsman Top Box
HP Laptop Computer running Vista
Genuine Harley Davidson Boots
Danner Camo Hunting Boots
Bosch 11236vs roto hammer
Bunches of DVD's and CD's
Two nice outdoor furniture sets, includes tables and chairs for both
Lot's of Ceramic Tile, 12" and 4"
Brand New Cafe Doors in the boxes!
Ceramic Jugs and Big Container with lid
Puzzles (Lady must have had a couple hundred in there!)
Then just all kinds of clothes and misc. kitchen and household cleaners and general stuff!

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I was at an auction last month, and one of the guys I occasionally do stuff with asked me if I wanted to partner up on a unit they had just opened the door on.  I said sure, why not.  Anyway, we ended up getting this thing for 780 bucks.  It didn't look too bad, until we started digging into it.  It was a 12' x 30', and that first day, we made it about half way through.  We had one trailer full of garbage for the dump, and the second trailer almost entirely full of stuff for Goodwill.  We were pretty bummed, and thought we were going to lose money for sure!

The next day we get into it, and our entire outlook changed almost instantly.   We ended up finding a Brand New never installed set of kitchen and bathroom cabinets in the front, along with a new stainless steel dishwasher and a new stainless steel gas ranges, and a brand new Heatilator Gas Peninsula Fireplace!  Yeah!

Anyway, I put the cabinets up on CL on a Saturday night around 10:30 pm, and they were sold by 11:00 am Sunday morning for 1600, plus a 50 delivery fee!  I sold the dishwasher the day before that for 300, and I sold the heatilator a week later for 1100!  We still have the new range, a side by side refrigerator (pretty new but got a little trashed), and about 500-600 worth of misc. small stuff to go. 

We were sweating it there for a little while, but pulled it out in the end.  I'd like to say that was all skill and we actually planned it that way, but  the truth is, WE GOT LUCKY!

West / Seattle Auctions AFTER Unreality Television Storage Shows!
« on: December 22, 2010, 02:26:24 PM »
Man, I went on one of the Storage runs yesterday.  This was one where they had 10 facilities and 40-50 units for sale.  It was BRUTAL!!!  Just since last month (which already had some stupid prices), prices have skyrocketed on units.  A typical 300-400 unit was selling for 900-1150!  A one dollar garbage unit was selling for 25-80 bucks!  WTF?  How do these people expect to make any money?  I have plenty of cash to be buying these things up if I want to, but I'm not STUPID!  The whole atmosphere has changed......instead of bidding on value you can see in the unit and spending a reasonable amount that will just about guarantee you will at least get your money back, these guys are "rolling the dice" and hoping they are going to find some valuable hidden treasure in the back.  For most of them, it's not going to happen, and, it's not just the new guys doing it.  Hopefully this is just a quick fad and the auctions will turn out to be like January and February are for the gym.....lot's of activity for a while and then things are back to normal by March!   

Stores / I don't own a store......
« on: December 18, 2010, 11:42:02 PM »
I do not personally own a store, but I do sell to a couple of thrift stores.  I end up with so many "smalls", that I just don't have time to deal with them all.  I try to save a bunch of stuff for my garage and estate sales, but if it still has value but is not quite valuable enough to put up on eBay or Craigslist, I'll box it up and take a load down to one of the thrift stores and they will purchase stuff by the boxes.  Of course the price is dependent on what I bring them, but I kind of know what they want now and try to cater to their needs.  Getting rid of the stuff in this way is just icing on the cake for me, because if I guessed right on the unit I bought, I've already made my money back long ago off eBay and CL, so this is just a little extra "pocket money"!

Other Forms of Selling / Most Profitable Sale EVER!
« on: December 02, 2010, 10:30:28 PM »
The most profitable sale I have ever had (just last month) was an Estate Sale we staged in a vacant house.  I have had this idea for quite a while, and the venue finally became available.  I have another guy that I partner up with buying units occasionally, so we bought a few good "antique" units together and staged this house with some really good stuff, no junk!

We hauled approximately five trailer loads of stuff to this vacant house.  We pulled the cabinet doors off all the cabinets in the kitchen and we pulled the pins and removed every interior door (except the hall bathroom) in the house and stacked them all in the master bathroom.  We strategically placed boxes and newspaper for wrapping stuff in the master bath and right outside the garage.  We had a bunch of nice bags (found in a storage unit of course!)with rope handles to bag up customers sales. 

We set up a number of tents outside, and filled the garage with tools.  We set up our cashier right outside the garage door and set up a heater and some of the smaller items so the cashier could keep an eye on them.  We then proceeded to stage the entire house (approx. 1800 sq. ft.).

We set up one bedroom with an antique bed, sewing machine, writers desk, antique carved chest, etc.  We set up the living room with some really nice furniture and throw rugs, lamps, tables, etc.  We set up a table full of nothing but crystal, and had little nik naks spread throughout.  We put a really nice table in the dining room and a bunch of nice china in front of the sliding glass door.   We filled up the Kitchen cabinets with Coca Cola stuff and various glassware.  We had a bunch of large cookie jars we set up around the top of the cabinets and on the counters.  We had the pantry full of corningware and small kitchen appliances.

We set up the office with a desk, chair, computer, and printer.  We also had a nice oak shelf unit and some Ikea cabinets.  We then stuck around 400 DVD's in the oak shelf.  We had folding tables set up all throughout the house.  The master bedroom had a couple of headboard and frame set ups and a bunch of tables and about 800 CD's on a table.  The laundry room had a bunch of ammo, and in the garage we had a bunch of golf stuff, a few firearms, a bunch of tools and camping gear, and various other stuff.  Outside we put some cheaper stuff under a couple of tents, and we both had our trailers there with the doors open and some stuff inside them for sale.

I spent the money to run an ad in the major local newspaper, and of course all over craigslist.  I also had a friend of mine that makes signs make me up a bunch of 18" x 24" Estate Sale signs.  The advertising worked well.......we had customers showing up at 6:45 for an 8 am start time!  When we finally let people in at 7:38, we had a large crowd gathered.  When my partner said "Okay!", it was like being at Wal-Mart on Black Friday! 

To make an already too long story short, we did 5700 on Thursday alone! (Here's a hint for you guys that like to have garage sales.......start them on Thursday, it is typically a VERY good day because not too many people do them on Thursday and you'll be one of the few).  Between Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we grossed 11K! 

We had three helpers the first day and one on the second and third, plus we paid the guy to spend the night there so we didn't have to worry about theft in an empty house.  I paid for the signs, the newspaper ads, and we bought a few lunches for the helpers.  After it was all said and done, we netted about 4900.00 each.  It was a lot of work, but I would (and AM!) do it again in a heartbeat!

And, just to clarify why Estate Sale and not a Garage Sale?  First, it's cold and rainy, and pretty much, garage sale season is over until spring.  Second, I go to a lot of garage and estate sales myself.  I have noticed from a lot of the sales I go to and sales I have had, that people really want stuff super cheap at garage sales, but for some reason they expect to pay more at an estate sale, and tend to not bargain as hard.  I do (and will continue to do so) hold many garage sales, but when the opportunity presents itself again, I will definitely do another estate sale. 

Any questions?  Comments?  Feel free to ask anything.  Thanks for reading this long post!

eBay / eBay Seller Assistant
« on: November 30, 2010, 08:54:38 PM »
If you start buying a fair amount of storage units, you will not have the time to list everything yourself.  I use multiple eBay selling assistants to sell my eBay items.  When you start buying units consistently, a lot of your time is taken just digging through the stuff and sorting it out.  You will quickly discover that you do not have time to buy and clean out all your units, take the pictures, list the stuff on eBay, answer all the questions, deal with sending invoices and making sure you get paid, and then shipping the items.  I have worked out a deal with my sellers to do all of this for me for a flat 35% of the gross sale, not including shipping.  They are happy because they have a lot of basically FREE inventory to sell, and I'm happy because I just take over boxes of junk.......ummm, I mean "Treasures", and money is consistently getting deposited in my Paypal account.  Sure, I'm basically losing one third of my money, but with the volume I'm doing, and no headaches on my end babysitting ads and dealing with unreasonable purchasers, it's well worth it to me.  Trust me, if you are going to buy storage units in any volume at all, you do not have the time to chase every single nickel!

The Treasure Chest / Miller Synchrowave 300, Accessories
« on: November 30, 2010, 01:20:45 AM »
I just got this out of a unit a couple of weeks ago.  It's a Miller Synchrowave 300 Multiprocess Welder (Does Mig and Tig as well as other welding processes).  It came with a Weld Control unit, a spool gun, a foot pedal, six bottles of various gases, some extra cables and connectors, a few little extras and 530 Pounds! of spooled wire for the mig.  Same unit also had a ridgid power pipe threader, a commercial radial arm saw, and a Rockwell Unisaw, as well as some other tools and desks.  Not a "normal" score!

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