When it comes down to it, making money off of storage auctions is a huge gamble. You never really know what you’ll find in a storage unit until you’ve won it and you’re picking through it. So does that mean you have to blindly throw your money down on a unit and hope for the best? Of course not! Here at Storage Unit Auction List, we’re all about giving you the best advice on being an educated buyer, so when you take chances, you at least have some knowledge to back it up.
Today we’re going to talk about some things that might get your heart racing and cause you to fall into a bidding frenzy. But before you do that, take a look and see why you shouldn’t necessarily base your bid on these items alone.
Many people will bid on a locker solely because they can see a safe in it. Thus, lockers with safes tend to go for higher prices—but are they really worth it? In a lot of cases, safes can be a total bust. First consider the cost of opening the safe. Cheaper safes can easily be pried open, but higher quality safes may require a locksmith, which may cost you upwards of $100 to hire. Imagine if the safe is empty? You essentially just flushed $100 down the toilet!
Many storage hunters find that safes will either be empty, or filled with “important” legal documents or other paper work. Sure, it may have been important for the previous owner to lock up these papers away from prying eyes, but they’re absolutely worthless to you. When you see a safe, do not base your entire bid on that one thing alone. Bid on the safe as if it were empty, and make your valuations on only what you can see.
Don’t base your purchase on labels alone! Although labeled boxes can be a good sign of value, this is not always the case. Maybe the previous tenant used old boxes they got from a friend, and those boxes labeled “electronics” are really filled with plastic dishes. Likewise, boxes for Panasonic TVs or Dell computers are not always filled with Panasonic TVs or Dell computers. Again, it comes down to bidding on what you can see.
Unscrupulous auctioneers or tenant owners may also stage a unit in order to make more money, and literally fill it with empty boxes marked “vintage comic books” or “record collection”. If it seems too good to be true, chances are it probably is. Buyer beware!
The Good Stuff Behind The Mattress
If something gargantuan like a mattress or a pool table is obstructing your view, don’t just assume that there’s good stuff behind it. In fact, used mattresses are nearly impossible to sell, and in some states, it’s downright illegal. The cost of hauling and disposing of a giant clunker like that might be more than the worth of what “might” be behind it. Sure, there could be a priceless jewelry collection hiding back there…but more likely, there’s more junk or nothing at all.
There’s a fair amount of guess work and gambling involved when bidding at storage auctions, but every good gambler has a strategy. Most importantly, you should always bid on what you can see. If you know for a fact that you can make profit off of the items you see, then this gives you a little more room to be daring with your bidding. Just remember: think before you bid!