Don’t Judge Storage Auctions by Their Locations

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If you think the best storage auction facilities are nestled in Beverly Hills, where the rich and famous stash their spare diamond-encrusted toilet seats, you’d be forgiven. But you can’t judge a storage facility by its zip code. Here’s why:

People Shop Around

Yes, proximity to where you live is a good thing when selecting a storage unit facility, but it’s not everything. People will also compare prices, security, contract terms, and company reputation.

Neighborhoods Change

Sometimes they decline, and sometimes they improve. Facilities also change hands and with that can come a change in image, terms, and clientele. Some families will keep renting out the same unit for years through all these changes.

Income levels

Income levels aren’t limited to one geographic area, and vice versa. There are some areas of the country starkly segregated by income. Most places are more mixed than that, with vastly different income levels living within blocks or even streets of each other.

So, Where are the Best Storage Auctions?

Ask seasoned bidders and they’ll answer, “Wouldn’t you like to know?” The best kept secrets are, well, secrets. Crowds showing up at an auction mean good news for the auctioneer and facility staff; not so much for the bidders, who end up having to bid higher and shell out more cash for the same type of haul they could get somewhere else.

There’s also the little matter of how you define “best.” An experienced bidder tends to define it as how much they can get for the smallest bid. A novice might define it as how much weird, cool, rare stuff they can get for whatever they’re willing to bid. Different strokes.

Ultimately, it takes time to find your best locations. Familiarize yourself with storage facilities nearby. Check different types of listings. And take advantage of online auctions

Pros and Cons of Sniping

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If you spend time participating in online auctions, you’re familiar with the practice of sniping. Waiting until the last few seconds of a timed auction to place the winning bid is deemed essential strategy by some and foul play by others.

Pros

Bidding at the last minute tends to reduce the cost of the item because by waiting to place your bid, you avoid bidding wars. You also protect yourself from dishonest sellers who might place bids on their own items to drive up the price.

Cons

Some buyers object to sniping because they feel they do not have time to counter-bid. Because of this, online auction sites have implemented some solutions:

  • Automatic extension: whenever a bid is placed, the end of the auction is postponed for a few minutes, giving other interested buyers time to react.
  • Deterrents to sniping software: some auction sites require users to enter a CAPTCHA to prevent the use of automatic sniping software.
  • Buy It Now: on eBay, the Buy it Now option allows sellers to set a price for which buyers can purchase an item without participating in an auction.
  • Maximum bid option: when placing a bid, potential buyers can enter a maximum bid amount. When the auction closes, if the maximum bid amount exceeds the last-minute bids, the item will sell for the maximum bid amount. This way, buyers can win an auction without having to lurk around for the last moments of a listing.

For sellers, the main disadvantage of sniping is it subverts the bidding wars that drive up prices. The above solutions address seller and buyer concerns alike.

What do you think about sniping? Comment below!

 

StorageTreasures.com Acquires Storagestuff.bid

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StorageTreasures, LLC, the owner of StorageTreasures.com, the storage industry’s leading online auction platform, announced it has acquired StorageStuff.Bid, a well-respected competing online storage auction site. As part of the transaction Cheli and Chris Rosa, both seasoned auctioneers and employees of StorageStuff.Bid, will join OpenTech Alliance, Inc., managers of StorageTreasures.com and majority stakeholder of StorageTreasures, LLC. As part of the deal, over 700 self-storage facilities that have been posting auctions on StorageStuff.Bid will be added to the StorageTreasure.com site making the largest online storage auction platform in the world, even larger.

“We have always had a great relationship with the folks at StorageStuff.Bid and are very excited to now be on the same team. With Cheli and Chris on board, we are the only online auction company to have professionally licensed auctioneers in all states where it is required, which gives our customers a level of protection not available with other online auction sites. They add a ton of credibility to what we’re doing, a wealth of knowledge, and valuable expertise as it pertains to lien laws for both traditional and online auctions,” claimed Robert A. Chiti, CEO of OpenTech Alliance, Inc.

Chiti added, “Cheli will be responsible for supporting the StorageStuff.Bid customers as well as improving our facility manager and auction buyer training programs. We are going to put Chris to work on expanding our Auction Review Service. In addition, we are going to rely on both of them to teach us how we can better support Auctioneers with their live auctions.”

“We have been an OpenTech and StorageStuff.Bid customer for many years. The merger of OpenTech’s technology expertise with Chris and Cheli’s auction experience is a great thing for us and the industry. We trust them to ensure our lien sales are done properly and that we get as much money possible for our delinquent tenant’s goods,” Marc Harris, Vice President of Metro Storage.

“We are proud of what we have accomplished at StorageStuff.Bid, but realized that it was going to be very difficult to compete with the level of investment OpenTech is making in StorageTreasures.com. The amount of money they spend on digital marketing, auction buyer programs, customer service and technology innovations is staggering, so we felt joining forces was the right move. The one area they were weak was actual auction experience. Chris and I are filling that gap and bringing them our years of experience running both online and live auctions as well as our professional auctioneer licenses”, stated Cheli Rosa from StorageStuff.Bid.

The company expects to have all StorageStuff.Bid customers transitioned within 90 days, at which time the StorageStuff.Bid site will be shut down. After the transition, StorageTreasures.com will represent 8,500 facilities, 900,000 active buyers, and 15,000 monthly auctions. As the leader in online storage auctions, StorageTreasures has completed well over 1,000,000 successful auctions for self-storage facilities.

About StorageTreasures
Founded in 2010, StorageTreasures offers the most comprehensive self-storage auction platform available on the internet. In addition to storage auction hunters, the site serves auctioneers, appraisers, pickers, yard sale buyers, self-storage customers, and facility owners throughout the US and Canada. OpenTech Alliance, Inc. owns a majority of StorageTreasures, LLC and manages StorageTreasures.com.

About OpenTech Alliance 
OpenTech Alliance, Inc. is the leading developer of innovative technology solutions for the self storage industry. The company’s products and services include the INSOMNIAC line of self serve kiosks , INSOMNIAC Live! call center , INSOMNIAC CIA access control system and StorageTreasures.com online storage auctions. OpenTech solutions are designed to improve the customer experience, reduce operating costs and increase revenues for self-storage facilities.

10 Ways To Profit From A Storage Auction

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10 Ways To Profit From A Storage Auction

When you get into the storage bidding business, you can be competing with dozens, sometimes hundreds of other bidders for only a few units. In order to make the most of your opportunity to profit from a winning bid, you need to be knowledgeable about not only the items themselves but how to determine what may be hidden in each unit before you even begin the bidding process.

This includes being prepared with a plan of action, capital, a bidding strategy, and knowing what to look for in every storage unit.
Here are a few steps to follow and things to consider to maximize your profit margin:

Locate Worthwhile Storage Auctions

You are likely to have multiple auctions happening in your area on any given day, so choosing the one that will give you the opportunity to make the most profit out of your time is crucial. Visiting them individually can be time-consuming, so choose them from a storage auction list that is available online. Check out their website first which should list the auction dates. You can then get an idea of their regularly scheduled auction times, and plan accordingly.

Create a Plan

Not only does the actual scheduling of each auction in your daily planner need to happen, but the pre-planning stages of what to do with the items once you have won your bid needs to be taken into consideration. Figure out how you will transport the storage contents from the site and if you will pay someone to help you with this in anticipation of larger items that you can’t move alone. This includes the cost of renting a vehicle or trailer.

Bid Wisely

Take a financial inventory of what is within your means to bid. Know what your capital threshold is and stick to it. Consistently bidding over your financial means will cut your profit margin more and more, leading to no profit at all. Consistently set your bidding boundaries and stick to them.

What Should I Look For?
Most every storage auction begins with the auctioneer giving the bidders an opportunity to view the contents of each unit. This is your opportunity to get a feel for what the items are actually worth and how to properly bid. These are some of the things you should be typically looking for if any items inside could possibly hold any value:

Climate Control

The importance of this cannot be measured whether you live in an area where the climate is exceedingly humid all year or varied between extreme heat and cold. When people store valuables, they often don’t take into consideration the damage that weather conditions may have on paper items like comic books and sports card, or metal objects for oxidation from extreme moisture. Climate control alleviates these issues.

Overall Quality of Visible Items

Don’t try to guess what may be in the boxes in a storage unit; instead, make a determination by observing any items that are not in boxes. If you see one or two things that are definitely antique quality, then the odds are there are more contained in the boxes as well. But, if you see a whole lot of piles of rusty junk, then the boxes will probably contain more of the same.

Professional Moving Boxes

When people take the time to hire a professional moving company, it usually means that they have items that take greater care to move and so must be of greater value. Not many people will pay money to move furniture they have already bought second hand or hand-me-down appliances.

Dust

If you observe them in a storage unit, it could be mean you are looking at quite valuable contents. An even layer of dust on all the contents usually tells a bidder that the storage unit has been left undisturbed for a long time. If there is a smattering of open boxes among untouched ones, then more than likely anything of value has already been removed from the unit.

Know Your “Junk”

What may look like junk to an untrained eye is actually a goldmine to someone who knows what they are looking at and how much it is worth. Many people store what appears to be garbage in their storage units and are actually objects that can be turned into scrap yards for cash. Anything that looks like copper, steel, coils of electrical wire that may contain copper or other precious metals, and boxes of random metal were probably collected for a reason. Become familiar with what the going rate is for scrap metal in your area and how to identify it.

Know When to Pass

Use your best judgment when you are making a decision to bid on a storage unit. Don’t always feel like you are going to be missing out on the find of the century just because you are listening to the buzz from the other bidders about the unit. They may be trying to persuade others to bid on it and waste their money so they can reap the profits from other units in the auction that are yet unseen. So, have confidence in what you observe when the unit is opened, and focus on what your intuition is telling you as opposed to what you are hearing from other bidders.

Reselling the Items
Once you have made all the right decisions about bidding and found your treasures, you need to follow your plan through with selling techniques that maximize your bottom line. You can choose one of the following means of reselling or do several of these on a regular basis:

• Open your own store
• Use a third-party seller (consignment shop)
• Sell online only (eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace among others)
• Yard sale
• Flea Markets

There are several other means to sell individual items that you can explore depending upon the value of an item and what the item actually is since there may be specific buyers that collect certain things.