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Using eBay and Self Storage Auctions to Make a Business -Start Working from Home

By Edited May 17, 2014 0 1

Local self storage auctions are a great resource for supplementing your income or generating extra inventory to sell through your retail business. Thanks to the ease and convenience of eBay, anyone with some patience, a willingness to learn, and some classic elbow grease can forge a successful home-based business by using local storage auctions to generate merchandise and eBay to resell the items for profit. This is a perfect endeavor for more than one person working in conjunction, or a small family that wants to start up their own company. This article will give you some insider's tips to having success at auctions and then converting your new inventory into profitable sales via eBay. 

Self Storage Auctions - Your Unbeatable Source for Inventory

Many people have not even heard of self storage facilities, though they are quite prevalent throughout the USA as well as many other countries. Storage facilities rent spaces of varying size which customers can use to secure their belongings and equipment, for a monthly rental fee. These companies get most of their traffic from people moving residences that need a temporary and safe location for keeping their furniture and valuables, from travelers that don't have a permanent residence in the area, and from companies that use large storage units as half-way points or equipment depots. 

A self storage auction can occur whenever a facility has a number of units whose tenants have fallen far behind on their monthly rental payments. If the delinquent tenant continually fails to make their payments, the storage company may exercise their legal right to place a lien on the tenant's belongings until they have made a payment in full. This is similar in theory and process to an auto-mechanic placing a lien on a car they have performed labor on that is not paid for. 

What this means for people wanting to start a small business or to work from home is that there are a number of excellent resources for getting re-sellable goods at wildly discounted rates, and they're probably close by to where you live. Self storage facilities in your area may vary in how vocal they are about their upcoming auctions, so sometimes you need to do a little research and track down the manager in charge of running auctions on delinquent units. The good news is that these storage companies usually have to hire out a third party auctioneer to do the actual selling for liability's sake - this means they are making appointments with these folks and therefore they will often know their upcoming auction dates a few weeks in advance. 

Your other best bet for finding upcoming storage auction dates in your area is keeping an eye on the newspaper. By law, a self storage company that wants to sell off repossessed lockers must announce the name of the original owner as well as a general and brief description of the goods inside in order to comply with their obligation to contact and notify the delinquent tenants of their situation. If your local newspaper has a legal section, you'll find upcoming storage auctions listed here. If not, check the classifieds. 

Buying Storage Auctions - Learn Before You Go

The storage auction buying process can be a bit new and different if you've never been to a live sale before. In order to maximize your ability to buy up worthwhile units and avoid wasting your time and money on the lockers that are better left to someone else, you should do a little research into how storage auctions proceed - before you withdraw your cash and head over to the facility. One good resource for learning the nitty gritty of these special sales on repossessed lockers is Storage Auctions Kings, a website run by a self storage property manager who shares insider tips on getting the most for your storage buying cash. You can also ask questions and their answers might be featured on the front page!

Another good resource for finding where storage auctions will be happening in your area isStorageAuction.net. This site maintains listings for upcoming storage auctions all over the country. Although they will be the first ones to admit that some do slip past without making it on a list, their coverage is impressive for the majority of public storage sales occuring in the states. 

If you want to get a visual on what it will be like to attend your first self storage auction, you can watch either Auction Kings or Storage Wars. Bear in mind that these shows have somewhat played up and sensationalized certain aspects of buying up storages that have fallen into delinquency, so take them with a grain of salt. You're not always going to find antique cars and $30,000 coca-cola collectibles in every large unit you bid on, but by watching these shows you will get a general sense of how you view a unit up for sale and how the auctioneer will more or less run things.

Converting Your New Items into Profit

Here's where eBay comes into play. Buying up delinquent units will grant you plenty of things to sift, sort through and refurbish. eBay is one of your best tools for getting your items in front of the biggest set of eyes possible, which will help your sell-through rate as well as allow you to claim higher prices for items that might have languished on your grass if you'd only done a yard sale. 

The great thing about using eBay to sell your storage auction spoils is that you can work from home and at your own pace. The more listings you put up, the more you will earn. If you have good motivation and dedication, you can spend the afternoon listing all the best items you obtained from your delinquent lockers and have them online and earning money for you by the time you're asleep that night. 

Families hoping to start up their own business can have great success with this method, especially once they find a good role for each member. If someone is a computer whiz, put them on listings, while another person does the pricing research and another starts zeroing in on the next auction and getting the truck emptied to be refilled with discounted goodies, care of your local self storage. If you have enough items, one person's full time job could be labeling the items as they're listed and sold and processing the shipping to each customer via the post office. 

Profiting with this business model takes some dedication and pacing - it's not enough to buy one or two lockers, list 10 items, and then sit back, for example. If you can push yourself to put up items on eBay like it's your job (which it would be!) and if you can think of it as your own business, you will start to see rewarding returns very quickly. Profitability scales well with increased volume in this business model. This means that if you can start methodically and regularly buying up storage lockers, and methodically and regularly listing valuable items you find on eBay, you can practically dictate your own income. 




Mar 17, 2011 8:51am
There is lots of potential utilizing storage units because many times they are abandoned.
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