What Do The Storage Auctions Pros Do to Make Great Money?
You may have already seen them on a number of popular storage unit auction shows. The crabby, confident and aggressive storage auction masters that come into a facility with a couple hundred bucks and walk out with thousands of dollars worth of goods that they spend the next week or so converting into profit. It seems almost too good and easy to be true. Actually, turning a profit by buying and selling storage units during public storage facility auctions is indeed feasible. It just takes some time and patience to learn the lay of the land and the essential tricks you'll need to determine whether or not a given storage unit is worth your time and money. The pros have a couple of special tricks up their sleeves, as well as some time-earned instincts and reasoning skills. Anyone attending public storage auctions and trying to make money off them can do the same thing. You can start by considering a couple of these advanced storage auction tips.
Storage Auction Pro Tip #1 - Don't Confuse Volume with Value
Consumer culture imprints many lessons in the average person's mind, and it imprints them very deeply. One of the things we learn from a very young age is that we always want to try and maximize the value we're getting for our money. If product A is only going to give you 5 units for $5, but product B is going to offer you 15 units for the same $5, you have a pretty clear choice in terms of maximizing your money's buying power. However, the same rule does not apply in self storage auctions. In fact, sometimes the opposite is true.
Many a disappointed self storage auction bidder has dropped a couple hundred bucks on an oversize unit just to find they've only bought hundreds of piles of stinky, sweaty clothes. On the other hand, many elated storage auctions bidders have found that the tiny 5 foot by 5 foot unit they just bought for $100 yielded two jewelry boxes full of precious stones and rings, along with a couple brand new laptops.
What do these two examples illustrate? Simply that you cannot and should not judge a prospective storage auction unit's value based solely on its size. Instead, what you want to try to due is build a portrait in your mind of the person who once owned a given storage unit, based off of all the physical clues you can see an smell when the auction unit is opened up for bidders' inspection.
Storage Auction Pro Tip #2 - Building a Storer Profile
When the storage auction unit is first opened up for all the potential bidders to see, you want to take your turn going up to the unit's threshold and peering inside. Don't cross the line, as you can violate the facility's auction rules by doing so, but poke your head close in and try to get a good whiff of the contents while you shine your flashlight around in order to try and see all the different items hiding in the darkened back of the auction unit.
What do you notice about the unit? Is it extremely well organized with different numbered boxes? Can you see lots of different beach gear items like snorkels, fins and masks along with kitchenware? What kind of customer would have stored such living items for a regular move to and from the area the storage auction unit is located? These clues taken together would suggest a relatively wealthy storage customer that just wanted a place to keep their seasonal gear when moving to and from their timeshare or condo each year. You can bet there will be some good objects of value in this unit.
Take another unit, for example. Suppose you see no major boxes or organizational compartments of any kind, just lumps of cloth and fabric all over the place, along with assorted chemical jars or papers. Does it smell musty, as though there are plenty of dirty clothes inside that have been completely neglected? This unit is probably abandoned because its contents' value to their owner no longer justified the monthly rent. Oftentimes, self storage customers will just drop a unit like this and figure that, by letting it go to storage auction, they are getting rid of their unwanted junk and not even having to pay for the removal service!
Following these basic tips, as you hone your value-determining skills, will have you well on your way to a profitable side hobby of buying and re-selling storage auction units. Happy hunting!