Storage Auctions: How To Get Started as a Buyer
Whether you're looking to start a full-time business, or if you just want to earn some extra cash on the side, the storage auction business is a fun and financially rewarding venture that won't disappoint. You can set your own hours, attend the auctions that YOU want to attend, and discover treasure troves of hidden valuables. But how do you get started in this business?
Scout Out Self-Storage Facilities
First and foremost, you'll need to scout out self-storage facilities in your area. Ask yourself, how far am I willing to drive to attend an auction? This might be 30, 40, or 50+ miles. Keep in mind, however, that self-storage facilities are few and far between in rural areas. So if you live out in the country, you may have to drive into the town to attend auctions.
When Are The Auctions?
Once you've created a list of all of the self-storage facilities in your area, give them a call during normal nine-to-five business hours to ask about their auctions. Find out when and where the auctions take place, and what rules they have for bidders/buyers. Rules vary depending on the storage facility, but most of them require bidders to pay in cash, so don't assume your checkbook will suffice. You may also be required to clean out the entire storage unit if you're the winning bidder, whether it contains valuable items or not.
Gather Your Tools
You can't expect to start a buy-sell storage auction business without the right tools. As a buyer, you'll need a few basic items like a flashlight (high-lumen with spare batteries), padlock and key, some trash bags, a push broom, and a pair of gloves at the bare minimum. Of course, you'll also need a truck or van to haul off the contents of any storage units you win. Check out our previous post titled, What Should I Bring To a Storage Unit Auction, for more information on what to bring.
By now, you should have a list of storage facilities in your area, along with the dates of upcoming auctions. Go ahead and attend an auction but don't bid. Assuming this is your first storage auction, you should sit back and observe the process to gain a better understanding of it. See how the bidding process works and what the units contain. You can also talk with other bidders to learn invaluable trade secrets about the business.