If you’re in the buy-sell storage auction business, you’ll need to learn the right way to assess the value of a unit’s contents. Blindly bidding with no clear strategy or objective other than to “win” is a recipe for failure. Granted, you may occasionally get lucky and come away with a treasure trove of items, but instances such as these are rare. This is why it’s important for bidders to perform a quick valuation of the unit’s contents before placing a bid.
Unfortunately, most self-storage facilities give bidders a very narrow window of time to size up a unit. From the moment the auctioneer cuts the lock, you can expect to have a couple minutes tops to determine what’s inside and how much it’s worth. This means you have to find a delicate balance between speed and accuracy. Focusing on a single item will result in other items being overlooked. But trying to rapidly assess all of the items may result in incorrect valuations, which is where the problem lies.
So, how do you know what the contents of a storage unit are worth? There are a several different ways to assess a unit’s value, but nothing beats good ol’ fashioned experience. As you gain experience in buying and re-selling the contents of storage units, you’ll learn the appropriate pricing of various items. Remember, in most cases you won’t be able to get the original retail price for an item. Instead, you’ll get what’s known as the “depreciated” price, which is obviously less than the original. This is particularly true in the case of electronics like televisions, stereos and computers, as they tend to depreciate faster than other types of products.
Of course, another helpful tip in assessing the value of a storage unit as auction is to perform research on your smartphone. Being that you don’t have much time to size up a unit, you’ll have to act fast. However, it takes less than a minute to perform a voice search on your smartphone of a particular product or item you see. Look on websites like eBay and Craigslist for pre-owned items to determine their fair market value. This will give you an idea of how much it’s worth to a paying buyer.