Storage Auctions

Auction #2 and 1st Caravan

Auction #2 and 1st Caravan
« on: August 23, 2011, 01:14:10 PM »
Well monday has come and gone and I have another auction under my belt.  This was a 3 facility caravan with a heavy mix of regulars.  When I first arrive there is only a few trucks waiting around.  About 10 mins before the auction everyone else shows up.  All the regulars quickly form a circle in the shade joking around and such.  So I go over and say hello and to get a feel for the crowd.  I asked was I the only noob here and was told no, looks like about 4 new people today.  Most of these guys are retired and older.  I was the young guy being in my late 30s.  While talking and listening I learned who the high roller was.  Of course him driving up in a escalade also pointed to it.  So 4pm hits and the owner of the facility is ready to get started.  He had us noobs sign-in but that was all.

Rules at this facility are simple.  Cash only, and clean the unit completly or don't bother coming back.  No deposit required.  He takes offers to start the bid.  A few things surprised me.  The first was how laid back everything was.  Everyone joking around and such.  Even when bidding against each other.  Second was the ability to go in the lockers and really look around.  The third was I was the only one with a large flashlight.  Most of the regulars didn't have one or a few had small 3 LED lights.  In one of the units I allowed a few of the vets to use mine.  Here is the break down of units / bids.

First and second unit was mostly empty with a couch, matress, and a few containers.  Both went for $25 each.  Third unit had 3 toolboxes, some speakers, a truck toolbox, etc.  One of the best units we saw so far.  It sold for $155.  The fourth unit surprised me.  It was a big 10 X 20 or more, but mostly empty.  The owner told us to come in and look behind the furniture and such.  This is where the good stuff was hidden.  A nice guitar, keyboard, and a few other things.  I bid up to $150, but the unit sold at $165.  The last unit at this facility went for $5.  It was a large unit but was very disorganized and looked like a ton of work for nothing.  I saw a few item that would of sold but like the veterans I wasn't up to the amount of work for the little profit (if any after dump fees) I saw.

The second facility had some units on paper I was really interested in.  The first two were closet size units.  The first went for $220 and had a single snare drum showing and alot of other junk.  The second unit with I was interested in sold for $350.  It had a guitar, a violen, and after it sold found out a clarinett (spelling) all in the unit.  The first large packed unit we came to sold for $550 to a young guy with some deep pockets.  Found out he has a thrift store or something and is always looking for furniture, etc.  Last unit at this facility sold for $45.  It had a little heater, headboard with mirror and a window AC unit.

Last facility of the day had a little larger crowd.  A few of the guys from the Army base showed up to also bid.  The bids at the last facility were either high or low.  First unit went for $320, the second for $100.  Here again we ran into a large unit filled with stuff.  Had a washer, dryer, tv, fridge, etc.  It sold for $550 also to the same guy as above.  The fourth unit we called the scrapyard special.  It was trashed.  It had a matress & boxspring with a huge hole in the middle.  A stove that was 1/2 stripped, some wire hangers, and a object that caused all sorts of jokes....a kitchen sink.  This unit went for $10.  People just didn't want to hassle with it, even for the scrap.  The next unit was filled with furniture and a box of DVDs.  None of the regulars wanted it.  Open bid was $10, I said $20, army said $30 and I was like have it.  I had to laugh when his buddy was like "WTF did you just buy...look at all that stuff".  Last unit of the day was nice.  Had a Dale Jr. cardboard cutout, tools, etc.  Was a man's locker.  It sold for $420.

Re: Auction #2 and 1st Caravan
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2011, 06:17:00 PM »
Thanks for letting us know.Sounds like a long day.

Offline Cobia

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Re: Auction #2 and 1st Caravan
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2011, 08:46:25 AM »
So did the local whale bid/buy any units? Try to stick to that guy like glue for the next several months. You will learn more about the storage unit business in your area from just watching that guy then you will learn anywhere else. Try to befriend him, but don't come on to strong, and don't get into bidding wars with him, yet. Local whales have a lot of advantages going for them that will help you in the long run. Local whales have an "eye" for valueing units and have been successful in the business. Pay attention to the units he bids on and what he pays. Local whales tend to get "inside information" from facility managers or employess about the contents of units. They tend to know which units to "gamble" on, but for them, it's not really a gamble. Sometimes local whales have "groupies" that will bird dog for them. Other bidders who will bid you up on units, or "bad mouth" a unit the whale is interest in bidding on. Find out if your local whale has any "groupies" working for him.

Re: Auction #2 and 1st Caravan
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2011, 01:04:45 PM »
I've gotten to know one of the regulars well already due to seeing him at estate auctions and common friends in the dirt track racing.  The so called whale is the one that purchased 2 units at $550 each.  He is mostly looking for whole household, lots of furniture units.  His thrift store is a church owned property.  I suspect he has it setup so everything funnels to the church and then back to him.  A lady I use to work with did that.  Her husband was the preacher.  At a job paying about $8 an hour they seemed very well off.  Nice house, two brand new upper end cars every 2-3 years, etc.  He would even bring her a dozen roses every few days for the office.

Anyways - for now I think the units he is interested in are not the same as the ones I am.  My competetion is the 3-4 regulars that are also looking for smalls and such for the flea market.  Three of them have stalls at one of the two markets we have in the area.  Once I get a better feel for things I'll not be as gun shy as I am now.  Least I wasn't the only one going sheesh at a few of the unit prices.  A few of us was thinking $200, etc. on some of the units that went for 300 and 400+.

Re: Auction #2 and 1st Caravan
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2011, 07:05:27 PM »
Went to the flea market today just to see if could score some coins and such.  Headed over to the one that many of the regulars sale at.  Stopped and talked with one of them that was there.  He purchased one of the $10 units.  Said he had 1 haul of trash, and showed me the table with everything else.  Looked like someone that use to own or worked on trailers.  Had plumbing parts, a welding mask, metal straps, a pair of jack stands, etc.  For $10 he should make his money quickly.

Also found out one of the $25 lockers paid out well.  The regular that snatched that one, found a .25 pistol in it.  Which if clean I'm sure he can sale for $75 - $100 depending on the brand.

The $360 musical instrument locker (that I got outbid on) sounds like a bust.  Both the guitar and the violin were broken and in bad shape.  Not sure about the flute/claronet but sounds like he is going to loose on that one.

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