Imagine it: The thrill of the open road, the wind in your hair, the prospect of hitting the jackpot in the big city—no, you’re not going to Vegas—but to a newbie, the idea of traveling across state to a storage auction can seem just as appealing. While road trips are always fun, is it really in your best interest to travel 4 hours to the closest city, just for a storage auction? Especially if you’re new to the business and money is tight, you might want to stay local.
Many expert storage buyers set themselves a driving radius, usually somewhere between 50-70 miles from home. But for those special occasions when an auction 100 miles away is still calling your name…it’s best to be prepared.
Consider Your Resources
By resources, I’m not just talking about money—although money is probably one of the biggest factors in most decisions you make in this business. But before you make a journey across your state…do you have what it takes? Do you have a moving van, or are you hoping to fit all of your goods in the back of a pickup truck? Remember: since it’s not a local trip, you can’t easily make 5 trips back and forth. You don’t want to spend more in gas than you did on your unit. So needless to say, we don’t suggest traveling too far if you don’t have appropriate transportation.
Another very important resource to have when making long trips is man (or woman!) power. Driving long distances is exhausting in itself, so you’ll definitely want a helping hand. Remember—most storage facilities require that the bidders remove all items from the locker within 48 hours of purchase, so you really don’t have a lot of time to mess around. Besides, if you spend more than one day at the auction, you’re going to have to pay for a hotel (unless you know someone in the area), and that’s just another cost that’s taking away from your profit.
Plan Ahead—Find the Facility That’s Right for You
Before you even decide on a facility, it’s incredibly important that you find out how many units are up for sale that day. (That’s why StorageUnitAuctionList.com’s services are so great—we do all of that dirty work for you!) If the facility is only auctioning off 2 units, forget it. If you’re going to be traveling more than an hour, you should find a facility that has at least 5 units for sale that day…preferably more. That way, if a couple of them are duds, or the previous owner swoops in at the last minute and reclaims their unit, your trip still won’t be in vain.
When traveling longer distances, you should always take traffic into consideration, especially if the auction is taking place in the morning when everybody else is commuting to work. Weather conditions, such as rain or snow, can severely impede traffic as well. Listen to local traffic reports before you leave; if there are any traffic jams, try to find a different route. And above all else, start out extra early—I would suggest at least an hour early, to give you enough time to handle the traffic, find the facility, and maybe even grab a coffee. If you get there way before everybody else, hey, it’s better than showing up late. You can’t call the facility and tell them to hold the bidding because you’re running a bit behind schedule. The show will go on without you!
Also, we can’t stress this enough, and this is something we tell our subscribers all the time. Make sure you call the facility right before you leave to confirm the auction has not been canceled. The facility can cancel the auction right up to the time it’s scheduled, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Even still, you do run the slight risk of it being canceled in the time that it takes you to drive there…but it’s not something that happens all the time.
Fill Your Gas Tank and Cross Your Fingers
That’s really all you can do now. Ultimately, it’s up to you how far you want to travel. Sometimes when you get that gut feeling, you gotta go with it. You’ve been logical and you made all of the possible preparations for your journey, the rest is in the hands of Lady Luck. This could be the most profitable trip you’ve ever made… or you might be end up hoofing it around town to make up for your wasted gas. But just remember: it’s not the destination, it’s the journey!