In a perfect world, each and every storage auction would contain a trove of valuables that you can sell for a profit. If you’ve been in this business for any significant length of time, however, you probably know this isn’t the case. Some of them are filled with cash, high-end electronics, sports/entertainment memorabilia and other expensive goodies, while others contain few, if any, items worth reselling. So, how do you know which storage auctions to bid on?
Ask any seasoned storage hunter and they’ll agree: a well-organized unit is a tall-tale of hidden valuables. People who store valuable items in their storage unit tend to keep it clean and organized. You generally won’t find half-broken boxes strewn across the floor, but instead items will be neatly stacked for space efficiency.
#2) Safe / Lock Boxes
Another sign of a treasure-filled storage unit is a safe or lock box, which often contain one of the three following items: cash, jewelry or firearms. If you happen to see a safe or lock box tucked in the corner of a storage unit, keep calm but don’t afraid to bid high. Whether it contains cash, jewelry, a firearm, or all the above, you can make a generous return on your investment by placing a winning bid. While there’s always a chance it could be empty, most people wouldn’t empty the contents and leave the safe/lock box behind.
#3) Music Instruments
Electric guitars, acoustic guitars, drums, recording equipment and other related music instruments hold their value and are easy to resale, so keep your eyes peeled when scanning prospective storage units. With that said, you probably won’t see them in the open, as music instruments are usually stashed in cases for protection. Familiarize yourself with the different types of guitar cases, including their size, shape and brand markings. Again, it’s highly unlikely that someone will take the guitar and leave the case.
#4) Luxury Furniture
Name-brand furniture often indicated the presence of other valuables buried in the storage unit. If someone can afford to spend thousands of dollars on sofas and recliners, they probably have enough money to purchase other luxury items. Most auctioneers prohibit bidders from touching or otherwise altering the contents of a storage unit, but you can look for tags on furniture to identify the manufacturer.
#5) Vintage Collectables
It should come as no surprise that vintage collectables are commonly found in profitable storage units. This may include old dolls, baseball cards, antique signs, or practically any “unique” item that’s no longer manufactured.