Okay, I confess, I have been watching too much TV lately. It seems like there are TONS of new shows that are about storage unit auctions, buying and selling old stuff, or just about cool old stuff in general. Some of my favorites are Pawn StarsAmerican PickersAuction Huntersand Storage Wars.
The 2 that focus exclusively on buying and selling valuables from storage unit auctions is Auction Hunters and Storage Wars.
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This is not a business that I have tried yet, but I would LOVE to do it…and I have done some research into it. I have a second confession to make as well. I have been interested in storage unit auctions for about 8 or 9 years now.
Back when I first got married was when I really started to get into selling books and used clothing on eBay. One of those ideas was storage unit auctions. First of all, what is a storage unit auction? A storage unit that does not receive payment from one of its unit renters for 90 days can typically take ownership of the items within the storage unit. The owners of the storage facility are not in the business of taking ownership of items, appraising them, and then trying to sell them.
They are in the business of renting storage units. So, they will hold an auction and will sell the items in the delinquent unit to the highest bidder. This allows them to make a little bit of money on the past due unit, but more importantly for them, it allows them to rent out the unit again and start making their monthly revenue on it.
Buyers at these storage unit auctions have turned this into a full time business! These storage units will sometimes have items that are quite valuable such as guitars, antiques, jewelry, furniture, electronics, or other items that can be sold for a profit. The gamble is that you never know what exactly will be contained in the unit or if you are paying too much for it.
Granted, I have never participated in one of these auctions. I am not claiming to be an expert here. This is just something that I have studied up on and am quite interested in.
And who knows, with some coaxing from you, I just might try it! But from what I have read and seen on TV it works likes this. Everyone interested in the auction shows up at the start time. The auctioneer opens the door to the first storage unit, and gives everyone a few minutes to look inside.
No one is allowed to touch any of the items or sort through anything. Bidders can only take a look at what they can see from the door! So, you might see some valuable items that are showing, but there might be junk underneath; or there could be valuable antiques hidden.
The auction then begins and works like any other auction. The highest bidder takes ownership of the storage unit when the auction closes and can then sort through the items. Its difficult to say how many auctions will be held in your area, but they are held throughout the country all the time.
In fact, I called a couple of storage units in my area and was surprised how helpful the very first place I called was!
They were actually very happy that I was inquiring about upcoming auctions which makes sense I guess. They let me know that they typically have an auction once a month. They said that typically only 3 or 4 people show up as well. This storage unit calls me every time there is a unit auction coming up for the past couple of months.
According to this website, StorageAuctions. This is a ratio of about 1 auction for every 3 to 4 storage units. In my area, which is not that big of a city, we have about 30 self storage businesses.
This means that there could be as many as 10 different storage unit auctions going on every month right in my area. If you are in a major metropolitan area, you really could be doing this full time. The realistic chances of finding a hugely valuable item in this business is probably pretty slim just my hunch.
Most of the stuff you will find in abandoned storage units is probably the kind of stuff that normal people like you and I might keep in storage. Typical items would probably include: So, overall, this is why you would never want to bid too much, because most likely you are just going to make a small profit on your investment.
To turn this into a business, you have to be able to sell these items quickly. From my estimation, the best places to sell these items are as follows: However, if you get serious about this, you would might even consider opening up some kind of retail location.
This all depends on what your business goals are and what you specialize in. Overall, you have to go where the money is. Clothes, books, and regular household items can be sold at a garage sale or flea market.
Other items can be gotten rid of quickly on Craigslist. And finally you can always sell everything on eBay if its small enough to ship. In fact, if you have a collectible or other valuable item, you can do quite well selling it on eBay.
When dealing with antiques or other valuable items, you will do better if you can get it appraised, or at least looked at by an expert in your local area. They may be willing to purchase it from you or at least tell you the best place to sell it. Overall, I have been interested in looking into storage unit auctions for quite a while, and when I have the time I actually do plan on trying it out.
Is this a business you think I should try out? Let me know below. Also, I know this is not the typical internet marketing type idea that many of you are more interested in hearing about.
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However, I really just want to open the discussion up to ALL niche business ideas…I'm willing to try just about anything out! And just so you know, my next few posts will be dealing with more online or technology ideas…just to keep everyone happy!
Getting into this sort of stuff is tedious, been there, tried it, yeah you may get lucky sometimes but the idea is to work smarter and get passive income and not have to work so much. Re-introducing hoof work and holding inventory into your life represents long hours to make a buck. Are you missing your 60 weeks already? Hey Mark — I think you are missing the point. In reality, storage unit auctions and any other business CAN be automated in a way.
Its called employees or outsourcing. Well yes if you are prepared to outsource it and give it a try and have the money to spare to do it then great.
At least you will know. I would say do it as a little side hobby for a while and see if it goes anywhere. A guy down the street does this for a living, in that he aquires stuff and sells it on e-bay and Craigs list. Took some of my stuff to him to sell for me on comission. But, I would say keep building up your core business as a priority and get some first hand experience trying this out yourself first.
Best of luck if you do! Trust me, my core business of niche websites will ALWAYS be my main focus. I spend most of my day building and maintaining my niche websites and plan to do that h t pawnbrokers stockport the foreseeable future.
Its a learning process and should be a lot of fun! Yes fun, always the prospect of finding something valuable too. Now I have a pack of fortune telling cigarette cards odds from the early 20th century from the UK. Would you be interested? It should be an adventure for you. Did this for ages and went through the growing and spending pains until I got a system figured out where I can actually make money on the Internet without giving it away to every guru who sent me an email with a new product.
My point is that I have honestly found it neccessary to bring some hoof work into my life to stop me from going blind and having a backside shaped like a chair! I was lucky enough to find a physical product that sells reasonably well and obviously requires some effort to fetch, wrap, post etc. Photos and video of items should increase sales vs. I think this is a good idea. Believe it or not, I have actually watched a ton of his videos on Youtube and read his blog in the past. I will be following him and discussing him in a future post if this is a business idea that I actually attempt.
He seems to know his stuff and provides a no-hype approach to the business…thanks for sharing! My interests have been peaked again. Read your reply to Mark. I was basing my opinion on you doing all the work, having help would change the whole ball game. I think you should go for it. Having the perceptive that you do on automating a internet business will come in handy. Witchie — I agree that one person doing this full-time would have to put in a TON of hours.
I guess the way I look at any business is with an eye for automation and systems. So, if I tackled this, I would certainly start by doing all the work myself; however, I would as quickly as possible develop a system online sm malls foreign exchange rates maybe? In fact, maybe this subject of automating ANY business is worth a whole blog post! Spencer, I agree with you that this could be a worthwhile business venture by learning from getting your hands dirty and then outsourcing the hard work.
The idea is this would not by your only income but one of many. You do not have to hit a home run but just blacklisted forex company in malaysia in a nice steady income.
Diversification is important to insure you stay recession proof. You hit the nail on the head. To do this, you would probably need to dedicate at least a year, going to multiple auctions a month, and probably wasting lots of money until you finally develop a sense to what is valuable and not valuable just by looking in the door of a unit.
But believe it or not, I think its a faster way to make money than internet marketing for example. In fact, most people are unable to make money online. However, doing storage unit auctions would have a much shorter learning curve; and you could certainly become an expert within a year for sure. I have a friend who owns a storage facility. He tells me that all the popularity of the shows about purchasing the auctioned contents have been great for him.
Now they routinely bring several thousand. I bet its very true though…lots more competition with people trying it out due to the recent spot light of television. Thinking about the principle of those who sell the tools to do things make the most money, could you buy a group of storage units and make money renting them out?
In the UK we have car boot sales, where people turn up in biggest currency trader field and sell from their car boots. The people that organise these are raking it in. However, perhaps you are suggesting sub-leasing the units themselves?
I totally agree though that often people organizing or selling tools and the ones making the real money. And I was lucky enough to sell new products and have some automation to it. Then do it all over again with every purchase you make. I suppose you could try to sell all your stuff in bulk to local thrift stores or something just to save time.
But again, this purpose here is to discuss ALL kinds of business ideas to help people out and to possibly discover a great idea I can fully document for 90 days. Some people will never pass the learning curve of building blogs etc. You also mention that perhaps I should bet into building a system to build certain types of websites that are scalable…well I already make money on ebay dave espino that!
I already do that, so I am looking for something else, that anyone without much knowledge could get up and running in 90 days or less. If needed, re-read what the purpose of this blog is here: Hey Donny — glad mark r gordy futures broker are interested in the idea.
From the feedback here, this idea buying futures on stock trading tips not be the winner, but we will see. And the war comes in where the same intermarket trading system wiki are there every time a facility is auctioning bins.
They become familiar with the facility operator and they try to out bid or be-friend the owner so that everything seems above board and up-right. Yes, it is a very high energy niche.
If one has the stamina and finance to bid, go for it. Either way, glad to see that you are interested in this…thanks! Hey Spencer, I started going th those auctions when I first moved to Calif.
I still go but not as often today. Just be sure to carry your cashiers checks and money orders. Sounds like if I decide to tackle this project, I have a few readers that have some great experience.
If you like digging through tons of junk, taking pictures and writing descriptions of it. Making few bucks of some, not being able to sell big part, needing storage unit yourself for the never sold stuff and making few bucks more here and there. I do like stock brokerage contracting through junk!
Also, when doing storage unit auctions, the real money is made on the big ticket items. So, lots of the stuff would just get donated to goodwill. Hi Spencer, First impressions. As more people become interested in this as a potential money maker, bid prices will rise to meet the demand, therefore making this more of a gamble, given the fact that some of these storage units are duds.
I know people are stupid, but you would think if the stuff in the units is so valuable, the unit renter would get a pay day loan, get their stuff out of storage and sell their own stuff for a big profit. Interesting site you have.
I have been a flea market vendor for almost 23 years. I know about 15 dealers who hit the storage auctions.
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Not as easy as it once was but still doable. As far as outsourcing not so sure.
I would start out bidding on smaller units first and not bid a lot especially if your not sure of the resale value of the items you see in the unit. Do some research on what commonly stored items sell for on line that you would typically find in a storage unit and then bid accordingly.
Just make sure you find out the value of the item you basics of bse stock market for beginners pdf free download first. This will save you from wasting a trip. Someone asked why would people leave valuables in a unit and not pay a rent payment not even close to the value of the contents of the unit?
I was told two reasons may apply many times……. Either way you are legally taking possession of the valued goods and are the legal owner. I appreciate the well thought out and in depth response. I still may tackle an auction here in the near future, as I still get calls from a local storage unit about their auctions each month.
What if all they had to do was take a few pictures, weigh it, and then put it up on a site in an auction format?
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I think an online auction format for storage units would be pretty killer…think about all of the eBay sellers you might pick up as buyers. It could even spin off other small niche markets Someone who you ship the stuff to and they clean it up, take images of each piece, and ship them out for you once sold…all for a fee.
I used to work as a self storage property manager and I prepared delinquent units and ran some auctions. Sometimes I would chew the fat with our regular buyers. One guy I knew actually did 17K of profit in 6 months, after subtracting all his fees for sub-storage, gas and the like.
I actually started a site about storage auctions: One thing I will say is that once these reality shows started rolling out, our attendance quadrupled overnight. Little sales that used to net only 5 buyers started filling our parking lots to capacity. It was pretty surprising to see. It took only a few hours of research to discover the following: Every person on those shows are highly experienced at what their doing.
Most of them own re-sale shops, have a network of shops they sell too or a customer base they sell too. It is their experience that makes them so successful, as well as their love of history and knowledge of the products and what to look for. Best of luck to you. Been to about three storage units auctions in Brooklyn NY. I also found a lot of T shirts-extra small, and some Nike sneakers that I placed in a cothing drop, and some costume jwelry that I gave to a few girl friends.
Besides that, you get to know people at antique shops and other specialized stores. I have been seeing the TV shows and have kown about this since You can make alot of money but it is hard work. Dont expect to make a huge sum of money without puting some effort into this. But yes you can make 6 figures with this businesses model.
Your mode of explaining all in this article is genuinely nice, every one be able to simply be aware of it, Thanks a lot. You should get into this business. So go for it. You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience. Can I Make Money with Storage Unit Auctions? Spencer Haws March 21, How Pilar Newman Uses Trends to Research,….
How Claire Smith Makes Over 5 Figures a Month…. April Income Report and Thinking Big with Amazon. Mark March 21, Getting into this sort of stuff is tedious, been there, tried it, yeah you may get lucky sometimes but the idea is to work smarter and get passive income and not have to work so much.
Mark March 21, Sorry that should be 60 hour weeks: Mark March 21, Well yes if you are prepared to outsource it and give it a try and have the money to spare to do it then great. Mark March 21, Yes fun, always the prospect of finding something valuable too. Leon Aldrich March 21, Spencer, I like this. Yolanda March 21, Spencer, I think this is a good idea. Yolanda March 21, My interests have been peaked again. Witchie March 21, Read your reply to Mark.
Rick March 21, Spencer, I agree with you that this could be a worthwhile business venture by learning from getting your hands dirty and then outsourcing the hard work.
Spencer March 21, Exactly Rick; exactly. Thomas Strock March 21, Very true…. Carl Pruitt March 21, I have a friend who owns a storage facility. Stephen March 21, Thinking about the principle of those who sell the tools to do things make the most money, could you buy a group of storage units and make money renting them out? Spencer March 21, Hey Donny — glad you are interested in the idea. Spencer March 21, Hey Josline…great comment!
Richard March 21, Hey Spencer, I started going th those auctions when I first moved to Calif. Good Luck Spencer March 22, Richard, awesome…great advice! Fking March 22, If you like digging through tons of junk, taking pictures and writing descriptions of it. Philip March 22, Hi Spencer, First impressions. Wayne Stanila May 12, Hey Spencer, Interesting site you have.
George June 26, I would start out bidding on smaller units first and not bid a lot especially if your not sure of the resale value of the items you see in the unit. I was told two reasons may apply many times…… 1. Spencer June 27, George, excellent feedback!
Justin AdSense Flippers September 30, Hey Spencer, I was wondering…did you ever give this idea a shot? Zack February 2, I used to work as a self storage property manager and I prepared delinquent units and ran some auctions. Business Investor May 28, I have been seeing the TV shows and have kown about this since Motor Dealing August 17, Your mode of explaining all in this article is genuinely nice, every one be able to simply be aware of it, Thanks a lot.
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