And now for the final chapter of The ABC’s of Storage Auctions!
New blood – A newbie; a person who is new to bidding. Don’t underestimate the new blood or confuse them for a looky-loo; they can be just as fierce as the seasoned pros as they’re trying to prove their worth amongst the other bidders and carve out a place in the business.
Open bid auction – Open bid auctions, also known as English auctions, are arguably the most common type. This auction style is used in storage auction reality shows such as A&E’s popular series Storage Wars. Either the auctioneer will give a starting price for the storage unit, or bidders will call one out. From there, bidders subsequently bid higher against each other until the highest bid is called. This type of auction will go on for as long as people want to keep bidding.
Padlock – You should definitely invest in a few good padlocks to secure your units while the other auctions are taking place. Padlocks are especially important if you’ll be leaving the facility completely in a caravan auction!
Quality – Always check the quality of the goods in a unit before bidding. Can you see any brand name purses or clothing? What about the boxes–are they old and dented, or clean, neatly labeled, and carefully stacked? You must be a bit of a detective in the storage auction business!
Register – All storage auctions you attend will require that you register before you bid at an auction. Many facilities require a valid state photo ID, so make sure you have it on hand. It’s very important that you arrive early to the facility to register. The auction party is not going to wait for you while you register!
Swap meet – Also known as flea markets, swap meets are one of the best places to sell your goods. For a (usually) small fee, you can set up a table and sell your storage auction spoils to folks who are looking for a good deal. Be prepared to haggle—there’s nothing a swap meet attendee loves more!
Trading – trading, or bartering, can be very beneficial to storage hunters. Maybe you have a huge couch that won’t fit in your van. Try trading it with the guy who was a moving truck for his TV! Most people are very open to trading, so long as the deal is fair. You never know what you might end up with!
Urban – As a rule of thumb, auctions in urban areas are usually more profitable than auctions in rural areas. Urban areas tend to have more wealth, and more people who own the wealth. Don’t count out rural auctions completely, however! There could be treasure hiding behind every door…part of your success comes from research, but part of it just comes from luck.
Verify – We will tell you this until we’re blue in the face—but only because it’s so incredibly important! Always make sure you call the storage facility before you leave for the auction to verify that it has not been cancelled. The delinquent unit renter has up until the moment of the actual auction to pay their dues, meaning the auction could be canceled at any time. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so take 30 seconds to make the call.
Whale – The whale, in the storage auction world, is a seasoned buyer who attends the same auctions very frequently. You’ll probably pin point the whale very quickly, and many people may be talking about him/her. They are usually tough to outbid if they have their sights set on a unit, and most likely have a lot of cash to burn!
boX cutter – Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know it doesn’t begin with X—but you trying finding a relevant world that starts with X! Not too easy. But a box cutter will at least make your job easy at the storage auction! There’s nothing worse trying to rip open boxes that are practically wrapped in packing tape. Save yourself the frustration and bring a box cutter!
Yard sale – Yard sales are another viable source for the storage hunter’s income. Though state laws limit the amount of tag sales you can hold per year, they can be very successful during the summer months if you advertise properly.
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