No, these aren’t your Grandma’s ABCs. We’ve compiled a list from A-Z of helpful terms and tips that will help you become a more informed (if not better) storage hunter. Who knows, maybe you can even share the list with your aspiring little storage hunting tots.
Auctioneer – The man or woman responsible for running the storage auction, popularly known for the “auctioneer’s chant”. Some facility owners will hold the auctions themselves in order to cut the cost of hiring a licensed auctioneer.
Bidder – The other half of the storage auction equation. The bidders are what makes the auction, as they’re the ones paying for the units! There will be regular bidders at every auction you attend, so it’s important to study their techniques and which units they go after.
Caravan auction – A series of on-site auctions advertised through a common promotional campaign. The bidders will follow the auctioneer from facility to facility, creating a “caravan”. You do not need to attend all of the auctions in the caravan if you don’t want to.
Dropping out – Ceasing to place any more bids on a given storage unit. For example, if you’re in the midst of a bidding war and the price goes way too high, you might want to consider “dropping out” of the bidding. Save your money for another unit that you can get cheaper!
EBay – The storage hunter’s number one resale tool. eBay is used by storage hunters across the country (and world) to sell second hand goods at great prices. eBay offers “auction” stlyelistings as well as “Buy it Now” listings.
Fair warning – The auctioneer will often call this out just before ending the auction. If you still want to bid and you hear the auctioneer say this, now’s your last chance! It’s important to get used to the auctioneer’s chant, and truly understand what all of the different slang means. It could stand between you and the locker of your dreams!
Goodwill – A chain of nationwide thrift stores where many storage hunters will donate their unsalable items. Make sure you get a receipt from the donation center so you can claim it on taxes! Goodwill is also a viable source of “picking” secondhand goods at cheap prices to supplement your eBay store, flea market table, etc.
Hand truck – An important tool for any storage hunter. Hand trucks are indispensable for moving heavy objects by yourself with ease. Though we suggest that you always bring a partner to help you do the heavier lifting…it will make your job a lot easier (and safer).
IPhone – Yes, you can use your iPhone for a lot more than just playing Angry Birds! With an iPhone (or any smart phone, for that matter), checking prices of items on the go is easier than ever. You’ll never have to worry about passing on a valuable item again!
Jump bid – A bid made of a much higher increment than the previous bid. Usually employed by a serious bidder who wants others to know that they mean business. The best time to use the jump bid is right before the auctioneer ends the bidding. This technique works well in smaller crowds.
Klutz – If you’re a klutz, you’ve gotta be really careful in this industry. You can’t afford to trip and fall in your storage unit. For one, you might seriously injure yourself….or you might destroy a one of a kind antique. Tread lightly!
Looky-loo – A person who goes to a storage auction purely to spectate, with no intentions of bidding. Looky-loos can be frustrating to both the auction goers and the auctioneer, as they crowd the space and make it harder for potential bidders to see the units.
Maximum bid – Any seasoned storage hunter will tell you to set a maximum bid on each locker you bid on. If the amount of money you’re willing to bid has been far exceeded, now would be a good time to drop out of the bidding.
Stay tuned for Part 2 later this week!