Look for these Signs of a Valuable Storage Unit
If you're thinking about starting your own buy-sell storage auction business, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the signs of a profitable unit. Not all self-storage units are worth bidding on. Some of them contain highly valuable items that can be resold for a profit, but others contain little more than empty cardboard boxes. So, how do you know if a storage unit is valuable?
Conventional wisdom should tell you that clean storage unit is more likely to contain valuable items than a dirty unit. If a tenant is storing high-dollar items in his or her unit, they'll probably spend more time cleaning it. Granted, there are always exceptions to this rule, but you can typically expect a clean storage unit to contain more high-dollar items than a dirty unit.
When the auctioneer cuts the lock on the unit and allows bidders to peek inside, check to see how full the unit is. Some tenants may remove their valuable items if they are unable to pay, leaving only trash and debris behind. Units such as this should be avoided, as it's difficult to turn a profit on trash and debris. On the other hand, if the unit is packed to the ceiling with boxes, there's a good chance that the former tenant has not removed any of his or her belongings.
I know this is easier said than done, but try to look for product names inside a storage unit. If a storage unit contains name brand items, it will probably fetch a higher price than a storage unit with generic products and items. This is particularly true in the case of sporting goods and clothes, as name-brand products such as these are easier to resell. Does this mean you should avoid bidding on a storage unit if it contains generic products? Not necessarily, but you should certainly focus the bulk of your attention on units that DO contain name-brand items.
Locked Boxes and Safes
Locked boxed, trunks, chests and safes typically indicate a valuable storage unit. If someone went through the trouble of placing a locked box inside their storage unit, there's usually a good reason for it -- and that reason is to conceal and secure their valuables. Of course, there's always a chance of the locked box being empty, but you have to be willing to take risks in this business; otherwise, you'll get left in the dust by your competitors.