You are then given a receipt and a gate code to get in the storage facility for the next 24 hours. Most facilities give you 24 hours to remove the entire contents of the unit. Sometimes, if you buy a large unit or several units, they will give you a little more time. Build a relationship with the storage facility managers and it will pay off. You are not allowed to use the dumpsters at the storage facility or leave anything behind.
If you do, you risk being banned from future auctions. Return any personal papers or pictures that you might find to the storage facility. Most facilities do what they can to return them to the owner. Sometimes, a tenant will even attend the auction to try and buy back their belongings. Do what you can to be nice in those situations. Most auctions are cash only. Occasionally, they will accept credit cards.
Look at their terms on the listings. Resale License or Tax ID if you have one. Sales tax will be charged if the buyer cannot show a valid resale license and proper identification. Auctions take place rain or shine so dress for the weather so be prepared with an umbrella, boots and suntan lotion! Once you win a unit, you are responsible for locking it if you have to leave it. It helps to buy several locks that all use the same key so you only have to carry one key with you. Make sure you have a decent size truck, van or trailer as well as a dolly, tie downs and moving blankets for moving furniture or larger items.
Make sure you have enough people — either friends or hired help — to help you move the heavy items. A complete toolbox is essential for disassembling things on the spot. Make sure it also includes work gloves and duct tape. If you have a laptop or cell phone with web capabilities, bring it with you. Weeks before you start going to auctions, educate yourself on the values of different items.
Research furniture and antique prices, study prices on eBay, stop by yard sales. The internet is an incredible source to find out all kinds of prices on what just may be in your next unit. Occasionally you might find equipment, tools, machinery, appliances, guns, or toys. I was once at a storage auction in Tampa. Talk about bang for your buck! It was stuffed full of fireworks. Turns out it was the entire inventory of a roadside fireworks stand that went out of business.
Although I felt like I was driving an atom bomb through Tampa rush hour when I transported them, my friends and family had a Fourth of July of a lifetime that year. I even left a huge family pack of fireworks for my trash men for to thank them for picking up all of my extra junk.
Once we had our fill of fireworks, I contacted a local dealer who was more than happy to pay my price for them and came to get them an hour after the call. You may be able to look for a few clues as to whether the items inside the boxes are of value. Are the boxes open or sealed with tape?
Are they all one size? That might indicate a collection of something. Are they stacked neatly or haphazardly?
Do the boxes look like they were bought specifically for storage? Are they marked with any information as to what they contain?
Do they have a professional moving company tag on them? No doubt you will do a lot of wondering…like what could be in those boxes and bags? Take a quick inventory on things you can see and do some research on the spot if you can. It helps if you have internet access on your phone or a laptop. That way you can check the going rate for a certain type of furniture like a Jenny Lind bed or roll-top desk or you can see what certain toys are selling for on eBay.
If any merchandise has names brands showing, you can research that as well. Usually, furniture can be resold for profit especially if it is antique in nature.
Sometime you can get a clue on furniture by the ornate legs on the tables and chairs. Once you learn the different styles of furniture, it is easier to research their value on the internet. Home appliances will often resell as well if they are in good, working condition. Nostalgic toys also have a decent resale value if they are in good shape. If you listen and watch the regular bidders, they may also give you a clue. Some of the guessing game will come down to experience.
You have to be consistent if you really want to make money with storage auctions. The more units you view, the better your percentage of making money. Add up the total dollar amount that you can see and subtract the total dollar amount that you will spend when you figure in your time, gas, labor and dump fees. These steps will help. You can always go through drawers or smaller boxes at home. One is to get-rid-of, one is to sell and one is keep for your own use. Depending on their condition, you can either trash or donate the items in the get-rid-of pile.
If there are items you are unsure of, keep them in the sell pile and you can research them further when you get home. At home, you can further sort the items by category like furniture, collectibles, household items, etc. Or, you may want to sort them by how they will be sold. For example, you may have one pile for eBay, one pile for the classified ads and one pile for yard sales.
First, pack the treasures in the front of the vehicle and then leave the junk or trash at the back so you can go straight to the dumpster and get rid of it easily. There are also a few general moving rules that can apply. Place the heavier items on the bottom with lighter items on top. Take out any drawers from bureaus or desk to make them easier to move, but be sure to secure any items in these drawers so you can sort through them later.
Also, wrap mirrors or paintings or other breakable items. Remove bulbs in lamps and wrap the cords around the lamp. Place any computers or printers in protective cartons. Take extra care with and gas grills, lawn equipment or power tools that may have gas or fuel in them.
Also, make sure to secure and unload any firearms before moving. The storage facilities can look up the records of the person who was renting the unit and try and return them. Remember you will have lots of extra junk that comes with the treasure. If you can, make friends with the storage facility managers. Not only is it a good way to help these organizations, it is tax deductible and it is less that you have to pay a landfill. Be creative, but be legitimate. It also pays to be nice to your local trash men. I think I had the best trash guys in the world.
I would set a cooler with drinks out for them along with my tons of trash every week. They would take the cold drinks and every bit of trash and leave the cooler. One good way to start is to decide whether you want to sell them online or offline. If you have smaller, special interest items like CDs or books, you might want to sell those online so you can get more money for them.
Make sure you do thorough research on the items you have. You can usually find a like item for comparison on eBay or Yahoo! You can search for free web ferrets to download on the internet. This software will use a multitude of search engines all at once to find the needed information. You simply take a digital photo of the item, write a description and list it on a website like eBay or Amazon.
The better the photo and description, the better response you will get. With online auctions, there is no bargaining like at a yard sale and no commission like a flea market. When the item sells, you simply pack it up and ship it. EBAY You can sell just about everything on eBay from electronics to clothing and from office equipment to antiques.
You can gather quite a bit of price knowledge from eBay, too. This will help you set your prices as well as help you gain further knowledge for future bidding on storage units. Also, eBay is the best place to sell higher value items and rare and unique items like collectibles. However, if you have an item that is a collectible or is very unique, you should choose the auction listing. Then you name the starting price and the bidding will continue until it reaches its true market value. Unless stated in writing by the leaseholder, we must send correspondence regarding late payments, lease revisions, and auction notices to the Last Known Address shown on the lease.
Our auctions are posted on our calendar as well as on monthly events. Bring enough cash to cover anything you may want to bid on and even a little more in the event you see other items of interest. Also, bring a valid state-issued photo ID with you.
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The auctioneer will call the start of the auction and tour all bidders to each unit up for auction. Most storage units have a reserve price from which bidding will start. This reserve will be communicated to bidders before bidding begins. Each unit will be auctioned separately.
Some months a facility may only have one unit for auction and other months there may be quite a few. Our employees cannot touch any items in the storage space. We are only able to communicate any visible items in the unit. Before bidding on a unit, each bidder has the opportunity to look inside the unit from the outside. Bidders bid on units as a whole, items are not separated out for individual auction.
If you see something you want, bid on it! Sometimes personal records, photographs, wedding certificates, and other personal or sentimental items are found in storage units. We ask that if you purchase a unit containing these items that you kindly return the items to us so the prior tenant can retrieve them. Once purchasing a storage unit, buyers have 24 hours to remove all items from the unit or enter into a month-to-month lease with YourSpace Storage.