So you want to enter the rewarding (and lucrative) field of storage auctions? It’s an undeniably fun and exciting venture that can yield big bucks when done right. To get you started on the right foot, we have some insider tips listed below.
Why should you arrive early at a storage auction? Well, doing so will give you extra time to scope out the facility, as well as talk with the auctioneer and manager. Most facilities won’t allow you to look inside the unit until it’s time for the auction to begin. However, they may share some information with you if you arrive early and strike up a conversation. I recommend getting there about half an hour before the actual auction is scheduled to begin. Even if you don’t come away with any additional information, this will give you some extra time to prepare for the auction.
Be Polite to Other Bidders
While you don’t have to necessarily befriend everyone you come across at a storage auction, it’s best to remain polite and friendly throughout the process. Making enemies is a sure-fire way to ruin your experience, which subsequently means less profits for you. If you happen to make an enemy with another bidder, he or she may bid on the same units as you just to raise up the price. Unfortunately, there’s no rule preventing this type of price inflation from happening, so try to remain friendly and polite to other bidders.
Acquiring items through storage auctions is only half the battle. Once you’ve won a unit and cleared out the property, you must sell those items. This can be done through a third-party broker or pawn shop, or you can start your own shop. To maximize your profits, you should avoid using a third-party broker and instead find buyers on your own.
Base Your Bids on What You Can See
There’s nothing wrong with having an optimistic view when bidding on a storage unit, but a better approach is to base your bids on what you can see. In other words, look inside the unit and add up the depreciated, fair-market value of its content. This number should be your maximum bid. As long as you bid under this amount, you should be able to turn a profit. Of course, there could be plenty of other valuable items buried within the unit, but following this otherwise simple rule will boost your return on investment.