Want to know the secret of running a successful buy-sell storage auction business? It’s being able to accurately valuate the contents of a unit. You’ll only have a couple of minutes after the auctioneer cuts the lock to peek inside and decide how much the unit is worth. So, how do you know when a unit is profitable and worth bidding on?
Hard Plastic Containers
One tall-tale sign of a profitable storage unit is the presence of hard plastic containers. Most storage units contain cardboard boxes, simply because they are cheap and easy to acquire. If a tenant uses plastic storage containers instead, however, it usually indicates the presence of valuables, in which case you should bid higher. Granted, there are always exceptions to this rule, but plastic containers usually mean valuable items are buried within the unit.
Look closely at the items inside a storage unit to see if they are name brand. Being that most storage facilities have a strict “look but don’t touch” policy, this isn’t always an easy task. However, you can shine your flashlight inside the unit while looking for name brand tags and labels. Storage units that contain mostly name brand items will typically yield a higher resell value than storage units with generic items. It’s just that simple.
Of course, it should come as little-to-no surprise that clean storage units typically hold more value than dirty units. If a tenant has valuable items stored in a unit, he or she is more likely to clean it. For this reason, you should consider the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of a unit when determining your max bid. Don’t be afraid to bid high on storage units that are particularly clean and well-kept, because they could be holding some serious valuables.
Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that larger self-storage units are more likely to hold valuable items than smaller units. This is because larger units cost more, much more, than their smaller unit counterparts. While the size of a storage unit alone isn’t indicative of valuables, it’s one more factor that can be used to help determine your max bid. This, alone with the other factors listed above, should give you a better idea of how much to bid on self-storage units up for auction.