Once considered one of the nation’s best-kept secrets for generating extra income, the auction business is now a rapidly growing industry with a sizeable following. Thousands of storage units go to auction each day, and the potential for high profit margins with minimal initial investment is evident.
But before you quit your job and begin practicing your poker face for a bidding war, consider this: you may have just discovered the revenue potential of storage auctions, but so has everyone else. Auction and re-sale markets are on the rise, and if you play your cards right you can come out on top – but competition is stiff. So before you bid, give yourself an edge with these tips from the pros.
1. Choose Auctions Wisely
There are probably as many auctions occurring in your state this week as there are AA meetings. The trick is in knowing which to attend. An easy way to narrow down the list and increase your odds of success is to get an idea of the average household income in your region. You are much more likely to find valuable items at storage facilities in higher income areas, and it’s easier to find this information than you might think. Hotpads.com was created to help people find apartments, but check out their “Heat Map” feature for a color-coded map showing average household income by county.
2. Consider Quality and Quantity
Expect the number of units initially set for auction to decrease by at least a third by the time of the actual auction. This is because auction lists and public notices are usually issued two weeks prior to the date of the auction, and in that time many people step forward to rescue their storage unit by making payment.
3. Anticipate the Crowd
To get an idea of how many people you’ll be up against, know if an auction is being held alone or as part of a series. If it’s one of several stops in an auction caravan, then you can probably expect a larger turn-out.