Ways to Find the Best Items at a Storage Auction



Everyone who attends a storage unit auction, dreams of winning the big one! But, unlike the television shows, you usually end up with a lot of other people’s junk. So, how do you make money off of this way of winning stuff? You can take it home and sell it at a garage sale. You can set up a table at a flea market and take the best prices offered per item. Or you can sell the items online. The following is a list of suggestions on how you can find the best items so that you can make a profit from a winning storage unit auction.

First, a storage unit is a type of garage that is rented by people to store their stuff for a monthly fee so that it doesn’t have to be stored in their homes. Unfortunately, things happen and people can’t pay that monthly fee and after a bit of time, the storage unit facility has to auction off the goods inside the unit in order to get back rent.

This is where you step in. Before the television shows went on air, you could go to a storage auction and there would be three people there. And bidding usually began at a buck. Now, mostly because of the shows, 200 people will show up at these auctions and bidding will start at $100! So, before you begin your bidding, you will need to know how they work and what to look for.

You are only given about 10 seconds to peer into the storage unit itself before bidding begins. Then the door is shut down and you are basically guessing when you bid. You will have to train your eyes to look for things like furniture or paintings and boxes that look like they may have something of value in them. Experience will help you become a 10 second super sleuth, but in the meantime, there are some giveaways to look for.

Professional moving boxes are a key that the contents may have some value. These boxes cost money. Trash rarely gets put into a box that was an investment.

Furniture that is wrapped in plastic is an indicator that the piece might be of value. The owner wanted it protected from dust and dirt, therefore, it either had emotional or financial value.

If you find dust on everything in the unit, it means that the unit's entire original contents may be intact and no one has been in it to try and take anything out. There may be some items that are worth a look. If only part of the unit has dust and others appear to be clean, the renter more than likely removed the valuable pieces before the auction.

Cleanliness in a storage unit can mean that things were kept in good condition by the renter. It doesn’t mean that there is fantastic treasure to be found, but it can mean whatever is found is in good enough condition to sell.

When you get your ten second peek into the unit, the first thing that you should concentrate on is the overall quality of the items that you can see. There will always be some things that you will be able to see out in the open. You will need to make a quick educated guess about the boxed or container items and determine what type of person owned the stuff by looking at the conditions of the packing and the overall organization of the entire unit. If there is something that you can see that looks like it may be an antique, there is probably other things that are antique also. If you see cheap toys and obviously broken appliances or electronics, more than likely, everything is junk.

If you attend an auction in a climate controlled unit, there is normally a better chance of finding items of high value. Old books, comic books, record albums, vintage furniture and paintings do better when stored in a climate controlled unit. Look to see if the sides of boxes have a label with writing so that you might be able to figure out what is in it. also , look to see what kind of boxes things are packed in. Plastic tubs with snap on covers cost money, so someone made an investment in their storage items which could indicate things of value.

So, now you have all the secrets for the 10 second peek into a storage unit! Let’s now say you won a unit. What are you going to do with all of that stuff? You have to have a plan in place because you have a matter of hours before that unit you won has to be completely empty! Then, after you get everything loaded up or tossed out, you have to figure out how to sell it all and set a price. But, where do you sell it and how much should you charge?

Every once in awhile, a storage unit auction win will produce a piece that you think is very valuable. The first thing that you need to do in this case is to visit an experienced appraiser. Whether it is for jewelry, antiques or an old automobile, before you sell something, ask an expert.

When you get the unit you won emptied out and all of the stuff taken home to your garage, you have to start the long task of going through the piles and figuring out if anything has value. Some things are obviously junk, but other things you really don’t know it’s value. Don't throw anything out before you research it. Things that may look like trash are sometimes worth hundreds of dollars. Research the same item on ebay and other sites that will give you a comparison. When you have won a few units and over time, you will become more experienced and be able to automatically know what the value of certain items are.

Now that you know the value of your items, you have to figure out where to sell everything and be able to get top dollar.There are many places to sell such as garage sales and flea markets but online is probably the most convenient. Just take a picture and upload to sales sites and wait for an offer! Ebay is probably the most cost effective for selling just about everything. Valuable items do very well on ebay and can get more money than an auction house or certainly a garage sale.

If your items are large and shipping will be a major factor, selling on craigslist is a better idea. If you list an expensive items on local garage sale sites or Facebook Marketplace, expect to haggle and get offers that are rock bottom.

When setting prices, don’t forget all of the miscellaneous costs that came into the item you are selling. The cost of the truck to remove the items from the storage unit, the price of labor if you hired someone to help move and sort and then the price of the commission if you are selling in a commission shop, flea market or on consignment. There are fees for just about everything, so include them in the price of your items.

Winning a storage unit auction is fun and exciting and with over 2.3 billion square feet of storage unit space out there, there are lots and lots of chances of winning and reselling and making money. Because the initial investment is low and just about anyone can give it a shot, you will have to be organized and energetic at getting things sorted, cleaned and ready to sell. The fun part is when the sale of the stuff happens and you just happen to need more stuff to sell!!

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