Congratulations on your decision to enter the fun and exciting world of storage auctions! When it’s done correctly, you can turn a sizable profit from buying abandoned storage units and reselling the contents. In order to succeed in this highly competitive industry, though, you need to know when to pass on a unit and when to bid.
Unfortunately, many beginners make the all-too-common mistake of bidding on every self-storage unit that they come across. Why is this a problem? Well, if every unit you encounter contains valuables, then it’s not necessarily a problem (assuming you bid low enough to turn a profit on the contents). However, you’ll quickly realize that not every self-storage unit contains valuables. Some may contain nothing more than old cardboard boxes stacked to the ceiling with nothing in them, whereas others may contain little more than trash. As a storage auction seeker, you must learn to valuate the contents of a unit before bidding, which is something that we are going to discuss below.
When the auctioneer cuts the lock on a storage unit, you and the other bidders will have just a couple of minutes to see what’s inside. It’s important that you use this time wisely, as this will play a major role in the amount that you should bid. If you see high-end electronics, instruments, or other valuable items, then you should bid high. But if you only see trash with no items of any real value, then you should bid low. Following this otherwise simple mantra will go a long ways in ensuring your storage auction venture is a success.
But how exactly do you know when to pass on a storage unit? One instance in which it’s recommended that you pass is when two or more bidders get into “bidding wars.” As the name suggests, this occurs when bidders continue to raise the bids in an effort to knock out the competition. Because the final bid price becomes so inflated, the winning bidder rarely turns a profit. Therefore, it’s best to sit these out and wait on the next unit. Another instance in which you may want to pass is when the unit contains no items of value. Even if you see boxes in the corner but you cannot see what’s inside, you should still pass and wait for the next unit.