As a storage auction hunter, you spend most of your time visiting the ATM closest the the self storage facility to grab cash before the storage unit auction. You need cash to bid on the storage unit, and you need enough money to cover any additional fees.
Fees will normally include a cleaning deposit fee, to ensure that you completely clean out the unit that you’ve won, within the 24-48 hour window of time, as determined by the storage facility.
Attendance fees in hopes that it might cut down the crowds. ABC Mini Storage, for example, began charging $5 for every two heads in attendance at storage auctions.
Buyer’s premium is a fee added to the total cost of an item or unit auctioned. It is generally around 10%, and is added to the final bid price at the end of the auction. This normally covers the auctioneer’s expenses such as cataloging and inventory of items auctioned.
These fees are just a few of the fairly standard fees that you may come across when you attend storage auctions. Not to mention all the extras, such as gas, your lunch, and he cost of disposing trash found in the storage unit at your local dump.
Similar to the no pain, no gain theory of life-when it comes to storage auction hunting-you have to spend some money to make money.
Before you become discouraged at the thought of spending all that money, perk up! The great thing about storage unit auctions is that each unit is a mystery and has the potential to contain treasure. Not only do they contain all the normal trappings – furniture, clothes, antiques, collectibles, electronics, home goods, sporting goods, recreational items, commercial merchandise and more-all of which could potential make you money, but in many instances, they also contain cold hard cash. The cash however, might not be as obvious as some of the other items you may first notice when you begin digging through the unit.
Don’t become discouraged if cash isn’t laying on top of the pile of storage auction contents, waiting for you to pick it up and run off to the nearest ATM to deposit. To go back to our earlier phrasing, storage auctions are in fact a no pain, no gain business model.
Consider your own habits and take five minutes to walk through your own home and try to spot cash. Is it sitting in plain sight in large piles? Unless your name is Bill Gates, the answer is pretty obvious. We tend to squirrel away our money, to hide it out of plain site in small piles. It’s our instinct to try to keep our hard earned money safe, but it’s not worth the effort to take that $5 to the bank for ultimate safe keeping. So instead, we stash a few dollars in this drawer, a few dollars in that one. Maybe a pile of change in a jar on the bathroom sink, or if you’re really clever, maybe you have a wad of cash stashed inside a hollow book on that top bookshelf that nobody can reach without a step stool.
After considering your habits when it comes to storing cash, take a good hard look inside the storage unit you’ve just purchased. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding cash or gift cards. Don’t throw anything away until you’ve given it a good old fashioned pat down. Sure, the most obvious answer for where to find cash is to wait for that unit with the large safe that you can see from the doorway. There are less obvious hiding spots and we’ve provided a list of ideas for where the cash might be hidden, to get the treasure hunt started when you win your next storage auction.
When you start sorting through clothing, it will become all about the pockets. Check your each pocket, and in items such as jackets, check to make sure the lining is intact and if not, check between the lining and the outer layer. While it may seem like a stretch, it may also be worth it to check out those ratty old balled up socks at the bottom of the pile.
Purses and BriefcasesThis is prime market for finding money in your next storage unit. Someone may have even left behind an old wallet!
Picture frames may seem like an unlikely place to store money, but give them a quick once over, just in case, open them up and remove any images or backing that may be inside.
Cassette Tapes/DVD & CD Cases
Why ask why? While the logic might not make much sense to you or I, it may be worth a look inside media cases. Sure, there may only be a dollar or two, and that may not seem worth your time and energy, but it all starts to add up. So don’t throw anything away!
Books are a great place to press those flowers from a special someone, so less romantically or possible more, depending on how you see life, why not money? Give any books you find a quick shake. Even if cash doesn’t fall out, maybe envelopes will and those envelopes could be the jackpot.
DrawersCheck out any piece of furniture in the storage unit drawer by drawer to remove any spare change or dollar bills that are floating around. Drawers may also be where you find larger sums of money. Again, think about your own home. That birthday money from Grandma, that gift card you meant to use but misplaced….
Cards and Envelopes
This is where the real money will be found. Often, people tend to dump all their cards in one place. For each birthday, Christmas, or special occasion where they receive cash, gift cards or checks, they get thrown together-to be dealt with and sorted through at a later date. Take the time to open each envelope and card!