Valuating Your Newly Acquired Items
Bidding and winning a storage auction is just one step in the process of running a successful buy-sell business. Once you've cleared out the contents of the unit, you'll need to try to and sell them. Unfortunately, this is where many entrepreneurs mess up. They either mark up the prices too high, or too low, both of which are equally as bad. So, how do you know what price to set for your newly acquired items?
Depreciation of Electronics
Most items will depreciate in value over time, with electronics being hit the hardest. For instance, an early 2000s flat-screen television that once sold for $1,200 may not only be worth $300-$400. This doesn't necessarily mean that you should avoid bidding on storage units that contain electronics, but you should be conscious of their price depreciation. Assuming you'll be able to sell a TV or some other device for its original MSRP is wishful thinking. Therefore, you need to valuate the device beforehand to determine whether not the storage unit is worth bidding on.
Check Local Stores
When you come across an item that can't properly valuate, try searching for it a local retail store. Assuming it's a popular, well-known item, you should be able to find it for sale at another store. Of course, the price listed in a store will most likely be for the item in new condition, whereas your item will be used. With that said, you can still use this pricing as a base point to set your own price.
Look on eBay
If you aren't using the online auction website eBay to valuate your items, you are missing out on a powerful and equally versatile tool. Local retail stores are great for valuating everyday products and items, but they aren't suitable for rare, hard-to-find collectibles, which is where eBay comes into play: if you acquire an item that can't be found in a local store, search for it on eBay to see how much people are paying for it. Pay close attention to either the Buy It Now price or final Bid price, as they offer the most accurate representation of an item's value.
Ask For Help
As a last ditch resort, you can always ask a professional for help in valuating your items. Let's say you find a rare Barbie doll in a storage unit. To determine an appropriate selling price, you should contact a collector of Barbie dolls. Most people will gladly offer their advice at little-to-no charge.