Three S’s of Storage Auction Merchandise Organization

Let’s begin at the beginning. As a storage auction hunter, you regularly attend storage unit auctions and consistently win. This is the good news. However, you end up with items in almost every category, shape, size, and purpose under the sun. So now what do you do with all this stuff? There are three S’s to consider as you begin the process of deciding what to do that will help keep you organized. After all, you want to end up on Storage Wars or Auction Hunters and NOT Hoarders!

Sort It

plastic organizer storage bins

You win a unit and suddenly are overwhelmed with what to do with everything inside. How are you going to get through it all and what are you going to do with it. It didn’t seem like so much from the outside, but now you’re digging deep and finding more and more items and you aren’t sure where to start.

Take a deep breath and then start sorting. You have to decide on a system that works best for you. Maybe you sort items by size or shape. Maybe you sort items by categories, such as electronics, home good, or outdoor equipment. Before you start sorting, decide exactly how you’ll keep it all organized. Bring your own supply of boxes and heavy duty plastic containers for this purpose. Clear storage bins may be the easiest way to store, as you can quickly see what’s inside and grab what you need later.

Label each box according to your storage system as you work. This will help you to find items easier when you start selling. You can’t sell anything until you’ve at least started to sort and know what you have. You may find a dining room table in your unit, but haven’t yet found the chairs hidden in the back. You’ll get more money by selling the complete set, so get yourself organized before you start selling items off piecemeal.

Once your items are sorted, you’ll need to determine how you want to store them. You’ll need a large space that will allow you to examine and price items, keep them safe and secure, make repairs if applicable, and protect the items from the elements. You may have a spare room or garage space in your home, or you may want to consider renting your own storage space or warehouse property, depending on the size of your business.

Sell It

for sale

Once you’ve sorted all of the items you’ve won at storage unit auctions, you need to start selling! You’ll start by deciding how to best price the items that you have. You may price larger items as one set price, but smaller items may make more money if sold as a unit.

You have to begin by deciding where you want to sell and where you make the most money for certain types of items. You’ll may want to try testing out various sales methods to see what works best for you. Online selling on auction platforms such as eBay are popular and usually successful. However, some people prefer to sell locally only. This can include posting items on Craigslist and then delivering these larger items within a set amount of miles or selling items at a local flea market, or even holding your own yard sales on a regular basis. If you’re just getting started with the sales process, do some research to see what sells best in your area and what people are looking to buy. This can help inform your decision to bid on future storage units.

It has been said by someone much wiser that the best personal to sell an item to is the person making an offer. This is true in many instances. As much as possible, you want to be continuously flipping your merchandise and removing it from your storage space and sending it on its way to its new home. The longer you sit on items, the more risk you run of someone’s interest waning to buy the item, the market changing or the item decreasing in value due to aging or unforeseen circumstances occurring to it such as damage during testing.

Sacrifice It

donation bin

It is an unfortunate truth that there will be a fair amount of trash in any storage unit that you win at auction. Trash will always be trash. You may find that some items simply need a fresh coat of paint, new nobs, or new fabric to receive new life and an interested buyer.

However, some items simply need to be sacrificed to the storage auction gods. This is the price you pay for being a successful storage auction hunter. Some items simply can’t be saved. The quicker you recognize this the better. If you have the opportunity to sort everything at the self storage facility, then go ahead and create a pile for all the items that are trash and then make a run to the dump. If possible, don’t even bring these items back to your storage space. We sometimes enjoy putting off these types of tasks and decisions for another day, but this can lead to your storage space filling up with  items that you can’t sell, faster than you can say “Hoarder.” This will make finding and selling the items that are valuable, more difficult.

But not every item has to go straight to the trash. You may find there are many items that you don’t think that you have the skill set to fix or sell, but may have life elsewhere. These types of items can be donated for a tax write off. This is good for the community and your business.

StorageUnitActionList.com, a member of the Self Storage Association, provides our customers with a comprehensive auction list in multiple auction formats for all 50 states and over 51,000 facilities. Subscribers can review over 10,000 auctions each month through their personal dashboard making storage auctions easy to find whether you’re treasure hunting for fun or running a profitable business.

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