Even if you turn a decent profit from buying and reselling items acquired through storage auctions, chances are there’s room for improvement. In fact, there’s always room to improve your return on investment, regardless of how much profit you currently earn. By following some otherwise simple steps, you can generate a higher return, putting more money in your pockets. So, what can you do to maximize your storage auction ROI?
An item’s “value” may or may not be obvious. Some people may assume that a broken computer, for instance, is nothing more than trash. Whether it turns on or not, though, you can scrap it for cash. Computers and other electrical devices, as well as copper wire, contains metal that can be scrapped for cash. You won’t get a huge sum of money for scrapping it, but those extra dollars can add up quick.
Of course, bidding plays a key role in storage auction ROI. If you bid too high, you may win the unit but fail to turn a profit. On the other hand, bidding too low may result in someone else scooping up the unit. A good rule of thumb is to base your max bid only on what you can see. When the auctioneer cuts the lock on the unit, look inside to determine the fair-market value of its contents. If you see $700 worth of items, bid no higher than $700 to ensure a positive ROI.
Handle Items with Care
Not surprisingly, some of the most valuable items you’ll find at storage auctions are antique, vintage and otherwise old collectables. Whether it’s a an antique dresser, an early-model Barbie doll or just some collectable sports cards, you should handle these items with care. A highly sought-after collectable that’s in mint condition is worth far more than a similar collectable in poor condition. Handling these items with care will help preserve its original condition, allowing you to sell them for a higher price.
Skip the Middle Man
When reselling items acquired through storage auctions, try to skip the middle man. In other words, steer clear of pawn shops and “brokers,” and instead look directly for people who are interested in buying the items. You can find willing buyers either in person or online, although the latter is easier. If you come across a collectable doll, for instance, check out some of the online forums and message boards to see if anyone’s interested in buying it.