Storage Auctions and the Art of Bartering

barteringGood old fashioned bartering: the art of trading your goods for another person’s goods is a time honored tradition that’s older than America itself. As a storage hunter, this skill can be very useful to you. So how exactly do you make it work for your storage hunting life style?

Keep Your Friends Close

Before you even leave the storage auction, you can do some serious bartering right at the facility. This is where having connections and knowledge of your fellow auction goers will come in handy. Try to pay attention to what other auction goers are interested in, be it antiques, firearms, furniture, collectibles, or anything else, and use this as leverage when you know you can make a good trade.

This type of bartering is also great if you’re stuck with a huge item that you absolutely can’t transport or lift by yourself. Try to find the person with the biggest truck, and see if you can come up with some sort of deal. Think of it this way: in this situation, any profit you can make on this deal is worth it, so long as you don’t have to worry about the headache of trying to transport that behemoth entertainment center!

The DL on The CL—Craigslist, That Is

craigslistCraigslist is another venue for bartering. If you have an item (or a box of items) that you know has value to somebody, but you can’t seem to sell it, try reaching out to people in your community via Craigslist. Many times, there is money involved in the bartering on Craigslist so be aware of that.

While Craigslist can be a viable source and a great way to make potential connections in your town, don’t always trust something that seems too good to be true—chances are, it is. Scammers are rampant on Craigslist, so make sure you know who you’re dealing with before you make the offer. Watch out for counterfeit goods, be VERY wary of personal checks (a lot of people only accept cash) and never offer to mail anything to someone through Craigslist—always complete the transaction in person!

Money Talks

Another great way to barter is to offer a small amount of money with the item you’re looking to trade. For example, you’ve got a 32 inch flat screen that you’re looking to trade for a Nintendo Wii and its accessories. To sweeten the deal, maybe you’ll throw in a couple bucks to make it worth their time. This way, you’re still getting the Wii for a great price, and your buddy is still making a profit. Most people are very willing to barter, especially when you’re willing to offer them reasonable accommodations for their goods!

Don’t Be “That Guy”

don't scamWhatever you do, don’t try to scam your fellow barterers—chances are, Joe the Collector is going to know that your box of Britney Spears CDs and cassettes is completely worthless, and he’s going to get very angry that you proposed he trades his Elvis memorabilia for it. Don’t even think about it. In this industry, word travels fast—you don’t want to end up being “that guy” or “that gal”, because it could very well ruin your reputation everywhere you go--from the local storage auctions, the swap meets, and everywhere in between!

If you play your cards right, bartering can be a very lucrative method of profiting that you can add to your routine. Just make sure you know what you’re trading, and who you’re trading with!


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