Veteran Tips For First-Time Storage Auction Hunters

4013579509_1a4f9a618c_zCongratulations on your decision to enter the rewarding, and lucrative, business of self-storage unit auctions. While many people begin this venture as a side hobby, it often turns into a full-time job. But buying storage unit auctions and reselling the contents isn’t a walk in the park. You must have a clear understanding of price valuation, proper bidding techniques, and most importantly the desire to succeed.

Create a List of Nearby Self-Storage Units

One of the first things newcomers should do is to create a list of all self-storage unit businesses in their area. Spending all of your time at a single facility is a recipe for failure. Sure, you may score some decent units, but just think of how many other valuable units you lost.

Using both the local phone book and the Internet to find the names, street addresses and phone numbers of all the self-storage units within a reasonable driving distance from your home. Once you’ve made a list, give each company a call to find out when they hold auctions. Using this information, you can plan out a schedule for your auction-hunting business.

Control Your Emotions

I know this is easier said that done, but ask any seasoned storage auction veteran and they’ll agree: you must learn to control your emotions if you want to succeed in this business. With half a dozen or more people trying to scoop up the storage unit you’ve been eying all morning, you may feel inclined to jack up the bids just for the sake of doing so. Even if you win the unit, however, you may fail to turn a profit because of this tactic. A better approach is to keep your emotions in check and know when to stop bidding.

Bring a Lock

An all-too-common rookie mistake is failing to bring a lock to the auction. Why would you need a lock? Well, the auctioneer will typically cut the previous owner’s lock to open the abandoned units. If you don’t have a lock on your person’s, the unit will be open and exposed for the world to see. You don’t have to spend a fortune on some fancy, high-tech lock, as a cheap pad-lock or dial-combination lock will suffice.

Be sure to check out our previous post for a list of other items you should bring to a storage unit auction.


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