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Messages - Benluby

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General Storage Auction Talk / Re: how many of yall do this full time?
« on: September 05, 2011, 10:14:20 AM »
Ok so I need the insurance, which I will look into, how do I look it up in my local area for jobs to do? Or who do I try to approach, the bank?

Truthfully, it can be a teetotal sonofa***** to get into.

Not being flippant, either.  I'm planning on expanding into it pretty soon so my son's can get at it and make some extra cash.
   I'm actually going to take a chance on spending the $250.00 and see if that course at the top of the page actually will help me get into this and turn a profit quicker.
   If I can cut a week or two off, or more, and get to work sooner, then I can make even more money at it.  Just be aware that it is definitely an expensive, and royal pain in the ass at times.

:D Thanks for all the great ideas. I agree that "thrift Store" conjures up "Very used" and "cheap".
Estate Liquidtors- I'll play with that Idea.
I've worked for "The Man" for too many years and want to do something I enjoy. I'm retired not dead. I like hard work and doing for myself and family is just what I'm looking for.
Goodwill and Salvation Army do have a large presence here and would be competition, so our location would have to be away from their area. Memphis ahs more then it's share of Thrift Stores, so I'm steering away for there.
I'm not afraid of failing, I'm afraid of not trying.
Are there any trade days in the Memphis area?  I know there were a few in TX, where we used to live and they seemed to do better then Flea Markets.  Thanks Again !!!   ::)

Obviously, the decision to open a business such as you are talking about is one that is your decision in the end, and we're just offering advice.  Take you time, and you need to make sure you can keep it afloat for at least six months, minimum, because you'll be operating in the red for a while.
   It's just the nature of the beast.  Scout locations, be sure to avoid conflicting with Salvation Army and other such businesses, and make certain your advertising is directed at the market you are aiming for.
   Consider, too, consignment sales, as a way to supplement your income.
   There's a lot of work involved in setting up a retail location, and you need to be sure to understand the insurance requirements, security systems, and workers comp and employment laws on both a federal and state level to cover your ass.
   And expect a lot of long hours.  I don't run a store front, but, as I'm sure chefj can verify, I look at a sixty hour week as a break from the normal grind.
   Being self employed means not only are you the man who determines every thing in the business and is the 'boss', you also are the janitor, secretary and errand boy during the initial start up.
   Any job that has to be done falls to you. No one is as worried about your business as you are, and that means you get all the added stress. 

General Storage Auction Talk / Re: got a biggie today.
« on: September 05, 2011, 09:07:55 AM »
No "big treasures" but easily 3500-4k worth of sellable stuff. I took the unopened fan back to Home Depot and got a $250.00 store credit. I have a buyer lined up for the shirts and will get $750.00. I have some misc. office furniture sold for $400. about $200-300 in scrap metal. About another $500 in furniture i still need to get out. once I finish getting everything i want out, I have a guy who will come in and buy out everything else and clean it out for me. (He deals with all the small flea market items I don't have time to deal with... and he will probably make a killing) All in all, very happy with the unit.

One weird thing though, I have never found a unit that has so many VHS tapes (hundreds and hundreds) I have a stack of boxes 8' tall...but have not found a single dvd.

While most won't call that a 'home run', it's definitely an in the park triple, as far as I'm concerned.  Nice turn over.  That many VHS tapes are surprising.  A quick perusal of Ebay shows that, unless it's an old black and white, they're pretty much dumpster fodder as far as I can see.

You may want to start out by running a flea market booth every day from opening to closing.  If that does nothing but get your juices flowing, then I'd recommend you take a small vacation and go to another city and visit some thrift stores in the area and see what you can find out.  One thing to remember, you will NOT be successful in a ritzy area of town. 
   Thrift stores usually do better in the flea bitten neighborhoods.  Upper end area's tend to buy new.
   It's a lot of work, and a lot of effort.  Rather than just jumping in, see what you can find out about whether you even want to do it, let alone sink that amount of money in it.

At least we know the owner is sticking to his own mental level for friends.

General Storage Auction Talk / Re: how many of yall do this full time?
« on: September 05, 2011, 06:21:44 AM »
Not always true, about 2 years ago, a couple got evicted from a house on my street. Well he got locked up, she got evicted. They left all kinds of stuff. Furniture was no good. But had left several boxes of brand new nikes, name brand clothing, tools. Landlord offered for anyone to clean the house that they could keep all the stuff. Well me and my wife jumped on that. Just wish I knew where I can get more opportunities like that.

Evictions are different.  Foreclosure clean ups require that you have E&O insurance and are bonded and licensed.  As an appraiser, I have to carry a mill in insurance.  As well as the fact that I do not take anything from any properties. 
   Most clean up crews get paid three to five hundred dollars per property, and believe me, they are rarely filled with a bunch of little rewards.  Normally they are merely trashed, including having people **** on the floor and plug the drains.

What's it Worth?? / Re: What would YOU have paid for this 70s Pontiac ?
« on: September 05, 2011, 06:00:34 AM »
700-800 wouldn't have bothered me.  My oldest son is a mechanic, and I could have given him a grand to find and install a 400 engine, and he knows a ton of people that are into muscle cars, probably could have sold it for 5k fixed, with little effort.  Of course, he'd have been driving the hell out of it in the meantime.

General Storage Auction Talk / Re: how many of yall do this full time?
« on: September 04, 2011, 08:43:37 PM »
Its certainly much more exciting than most full time jobs.

I agree.  I'm a real estate appraiser normally, and 95% of my current work is foreclosures.  It's amazing what people leave behind (99.9% of it is pure trash), including slinging paint on the walls, kicking holes in them and, for some bizarre reason I still can't understand, they always take the doorbell from outside.  They leave the doorbell mechanical parts, but take the bell button. 
   And the appliances.  They always take the appliances and ceiling fans.
   Did one upper end home where they didn't damage a damn thing, but LEFT a pool table, exercise bike, bowflex and a lot of other large, very nice items.
   Whoever got the clean up job on that wound up walking off (and getting PAID) with about 5 grand in merchandise.  It was astonishing.

West / Re: Notice of sale in the paper or online..
« on: September 04, 2011, 08:05:52 PM »
Or you could buy a list, or call all the storage facilities and find out what papers they list their auctions in, and see if you can get on their email list to find out about them.  Movieman pretty much hit the nail on the head, by using google. 

Stories about Storage Auctions / Re: My first unit
« on: September 04, 2011, 02:06:13 PM »
Thanks for the info.  I'm going to be bidding again in about ten days on a few  more units.  I think we'll start a game on here, if the mod agree's.  Post a pic of the unit, untouched.  Then let everyone list what they think it went for.
   Finally, list our treasures and finds, and what we paid for it, it would be both educational and fun, I think.

Stories about Storage Auctions / Re: My first unit
« on: September 04, 2011, 01:55:53 PM »
Nice unit and profit.  Did you happen to organize things before you took the pic?  If not, I think you've got some seriously underbidding people.  Very good day, and congrats on starting off on the right foot.  Good luck in the future on new units.

eBay / Alternative to Ebay
« on: September 04, 2011, 11:21:26 AM »

Still digging for more info on the site, but it does look very interesting, especially for the unusual items.  Hope this helps.

New to Storage Auctions? / Re: Storage ideas
« on: September 04, 2011, 11:12:25 AM »
These are great points, but the other issue that I see being overlooked, although it should be considered 'common sense', (seems to be a super power and ultra rare, considering some of the bids I've seen), is how to determine WHAT to bid on a unit.
   I personally see what I know is worth X amount, and then I'll add 25% to that, on the assumption that there is that amount buried among the boxes and totes.
   How does everyone else do it?  (One note that I saw at my last auction, man bid 1,900 to get it, because he saw boxes of what were rims, but they were beat up, and I personally didn't think they had rims in them (they didn't, various hand tools), and he saw what he thought was an antique flintlock rifle.  I told him when he was bragging about his 'three thousand dollar antique rifle' that it was a reproduction, because the true old flintlocks used oak, a dark wood, and the one he just bought had a very light wood to it. He got somewhat miffed).
   Have at least a general idea of value before you bid.  Don't think 'retail' on values, think resale.  In this economy, people aren't going to pay you full price with no warranty when they want a bargain.  I typically figure 50% of retail depending on the item.

General Storage Auction Talk / Re: how many of yall do this full time?
« on: September 04, 2011, 11:02:30 AM »
Another thing?  Don't forget your local museums and history centers, as a lot of them are very knowledgeable about various items you find that may be unique and have very limited exposure.  Every source of value you can find is a good one.  And don't forget to send them thank you cards if they buy a big ticket item.  Common courtesy can go a long way toward building a network, and you'd be amazed how many times you can get someone sent your way because person X isn't interested, but their friend, person Y, is, and they refer Y to you.

Stories about Storage Auctions / Re: Jackpot ! Jackpot in the Safe ?
« on: September 04, 2011, 10:00:01 AM »
Well, the "giving" part is coming to an end. I'm within 5 feet of the back wall and am facing a "wall" of big pieces like hutch top (I don't see the bottom though). Aside from those big pieces there are about 5 cardboard boxes, one cheap footlocker (the kind WalMart sells for $20 or less) and one OLD trunk that when viewed from above looks like it's about 2 feet square and dates back to the mother's time period.

The other day I found a box full of "historical" newspapers the mother had saved and some old programs from some concerts (Cher final concert, some ticket stubs from a variety of rock shows, etc). Don't know how much value they have, but it's fun to "work" with those things and one or two might pay off. Those programs like Cher, Celine Dion, etc sell for like $50 at the concerts, so some hard-core fan might want one for $20 or so.

Saturday, Sept 3rd I didn't sell one Hubley model though several guys looked at them seriously but couldn't part with a $15 bill let alone a $20. Typically I don't go down on prices much until the bitter end. I have taken a pair of nice throwing knives to the flea for about 6 months and never came down from $20....finally the right buyer came along and took them away for $18....1/3 more than the $12 I was regularly offered.

Anyway, in unpacking the nicely-packed, bubble-wrapped Hubleys, a fair number started dropping off windshields, headlights, etc as I opened them up, so I am now thinking some groups of 4 might go on eBay in "as is condition" maybe $20 for all 4 as a starting point. Still good money to be made on that group.

Good idea on the Hubleys.  As for the rock memorabilia, try going to a fan site and putting it in general discussion or a link to your ebay or whatever auction of the product to stimulate some interest, rather than hoping Billy Bob at the Flea market is a fan. Should generate a bit more interest.

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