This is a question many newcomers ask, and for good reason: reality TV shows like Auction Hunters and Storage Wars have sparked a newfound interest in this business. And with this popularity comes an influx of new men and women who are interested in participating in storage auctions. But if you’re looking to turn this into a full-time business, you’ll need to determine whether or not it pays enough. After all, you can’t expect to pay your bills unless you pull a decent amount of profiles from buying and selling storage auctions.
So, how much money can you earn from buying and selling property from storage auctions? There’s no single “dollar” amount to which you can answer this question, which is partially why storage auctions are so fun and interesting. You can walk away from an auction with no profits, or you can walk away with thousands of dollars in profits. The mystery and near-limitless earnings capacity attracts many entrepreneurs to the business.
There’s a certain level of luck associated with storage auctions that affects your earnings, as well. Normally, the auctioneer will cut the lock on an abandoned unit, allowing all bidders to look inside so they get a better idea of how much to bid. Keep in mind that you cannot touch or move the contents of the unit. Rather, you can only look during this time. If the contents are all covered in sheets or packed into boxes, you’ll have to guess how much the unit is. But if you see high-priced items in plain sight, you’ll have a good understanding of its value. This is why bidders should use this time wisely to size up the unit, calculating their max bid.
While some elements of storage auctions involve luck, skill/expertise is also needed to turn a profit in this business. See below for some tips to increase your earnings from storage auctions:
- Focus on storage auctions in populated cities with an above-average median household income.
- Don’t throw away old and/or obsolete electronics. Even if they are “dead,” you can often scrap them for some extra cash.
- Know when to pass on a storage auction. Remember, not every storage unit is worth bidding on.
- Bring cash. Most self-storage facilities only accept cash payments for storage auctions.
- Look for signs of valuables such as plastic containers being used to store items instead of cardboard boxes.
- Don’t get into “bidding wars” with other bidders.