There are tens of thousands of self-storage facilities throughout the United States. When a tenant fails to pay his or her bill, the facility will sell their property at auction. Savvy entrepreneurs often attend these auctions to scoop up highly valuable items as a fraction of their original cost. If you’re thinking about joining the ranks of storage auction hunters, here are some tips for success.
Target the Right Storage Auctions
No two storage auctions are the same, which is why it’s important to choose the right ones. Normally, storage auctions held in major cities with an above-average household income yield better finds. This is because the tenants here have more disposable income, so they stash valuable items in their storage units. While there are always exceptions to this rule, you’ll typically find storage auctions in busy cities such as this as being more lucrative.
Know When to Pass
One of the most common mistakes that beginners make is bidding on each and every storage unit. You’ll probably be filled with excitement the first time you attend a storage auction, but you should keep your emotions in check by bidding on a unit only if you can turn a profit. If the unit’s bid prices goes beyond it’s perceived value, pass and let someone else have. Don’t worry, there will be plenty more storage auctions taking place.
Choose Weekday Auctions
When given the option between attending a weekend or weekday storage auction, choose the latter. Why is this important? You’ll typically find there are fewer people who attend storage auctions during the week. And less competition means a lower final bid (usually, at least).
Some items that look like junk in a storage unit may still have value. Old electronics like computers and TVs, for instance, contain precious metal that can be scrapped. Any electronic device with a cord can be scraped for copper, as copper is used in most electrical wires. So before tossing these items in the trash, consider scrapping them for some extra cash. It’s not much, but those dollars will quickly add up over time.
Bid on What You Can See
A simple yet effective rule to follow when attending storage auctions is to base your final bid on what you can see, not what you hope is inside the unit. If you see $500 worth of stuff in the unit, do not bid more than $500. There’s probably other valuables buried within, but following this rule ensures you are able to turn a profit.