- Personal Finance»
- Income & Making Money
How To Buy Abandoned Storage Units at Auction
How Do Local Buy/Sell/Trade Stores Aquire Inventory?
One way to acquire inventory is to purchase foreclosed on storage units at auction. This also works well for the E-Bayer or as an at home buy sell trade business.
However simple this may sound purchasing storage units is serious business. There are a few tricks of the trade one should know prior to bidding their first unit.
So What Are The Tricks?
While I can not tell you all of them in this one article I can definatly get you started off on the right foot saving you much time and gas.
So how do you buy abandoned storage units at auction?
First off, Always carry a lock or two and a good flashlight because,
#1- Many times these units are dark.
#2- After purchase some unit managers do not provide locks
Jarad and Brandi's Take on Units
Size Up The Competition
First Step - Frequent Several Auctions Prior To Bidding Your First Unit (This is a very important time and money saver).
Note The time of the Year. Don't bother with auctions around tax return time as everyone has paid up. You will waste a lot of gas and time running to auctions only to find out every one has paid up.
While there take note of the crowd.
Take note of the Auctioneer. They are different at each auction. By doing this you will learn the crooked auctioneers as opposed to the not so crooked ones. This is for future reference so when looking for auctions you can save time by knowing which auctioneers are worth your time and which are not.
Remain quietly observant Always.
Some unit auctions are entire unit silent bid while others are pieced out one thing at a time. I would suggest avoiding the latter.
After the auction ask what each unit sold for.
Make note of who purchased it and for how much. See if he/she is at the next auction and the next, and so on.
By doing this you are learning how to bid competitively and you are also learning the "regular" crowd.
Many who attend these auctions are fly by nights. You don't want to be one of them. You want to be able to spot them so as not to waste your time in the future.
For example; after you have frequented many auctions you will be able to spot the -Ebayers desperate for merchandise. When going to an auction where there end up being many you'll know to head on over to another auction and not waste your time at that particular one.
Keep an eye out for the E-Bayer desperate for merchandise.
Don't get me wrong E-Bayers are good people and many are smart, but this breed of them can be detrimental to unit auctions.
An experienced bidder can spot them right off the bat.
They never have a flash light (which is a must as noted earlier).
They do not tend to frequent auctions.
When they do go they run the bids so high nobody wins, not even them!
I once watched a desperate E-Bayer bid a unit of rocks up to $500 bucks!
What To Look For When Bidding on a Storage Unit
The Fun is in the mystery boxes, when you bid a unit your not allowed to go inside, your not allowed to look into boxes or dig.
It's a guessing game that if done skillfully can become very lucrative. I once made $300.00 on a $21.00 bid full of mystery boxes.
Look for signs of management already having gone through the unit. Items strewn everywhere, boxes open, nice stuff sitting directly out in front etc.
Look for things like how the people who owned the unit packed their things were the careful or did they just throw things together etc.
Look for signs that they spent money like expensive packing boxes etc.
O.k another funny story, a man was apparently living in a unit. My question was where did he go to the bathroom? Needless to say I did not bid the unit. One of the desperate E-Bayers won it for $168.00, jumped right in and spilled a huge jar of pee all over himself and a ton of empty boxes LOL :) . I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants.
Where Do You Find Storage Unit Auctions?
Take a peak in the legal section your newspaper classifieds on a daily basis. Write down the dates and times and how many units onto a pocket calendar
You can also call around to storage units in your area from the yellow pages and ask them if and when they hold auctions.
Do a Google search NorthWest Auctions online shows many upcoming auctions for the Pacific Northwest I would be willing to bet there are similar sights for other parts of the county.
What Kinds of Things Can You Expect to Find In Storage Units?
Well, just about anything you can imagine. Each unit is unique. I like to classify my units into names according to what is in them. One I remember I call the Antique unit had old coins from all over the world, antique chairs, dolls, glass and jewelry. .
I had a cross dressers unit once (ha ha), that was interesting to say the least. I still made $400.00. There were some seriously nice expensive women's clothes in there.
How Much Do They Cost?
This depends on the bids for the day. The last unit I purchased for $18.00 and made $500.
Another unit I purchased for $375.00 and made $3,000.
It is safe to assume that It varies dramatically.
Turning storage unit purchasing into a small business can create many tax benefits for you.
Keep receipts for units when you purchase them.
Keep receipts for things you purchase for the units such as locks, flash lights , dump runs etc.
Keep up with what you bring in from the sales of items.
Keep a mileage log when you visit unit auctions.
Turn it in to your tax preparer, do your own schedule C, or e-mail me and I can guide you through it.
Things to Wach For When Opening Boxes ...
After you purchase the unit be cautious of opening boxes and things, you may run across a needle from drug use etc..... Don't be all scared and stuff , just cautious is all.
After Reading This Will You Attend At Least One Storage Unit Auction
© 2010 starme77