Is the Internet Killing Storage Auctions?

Add to the growing list of industries that the up-and-coming generation seems to be killing off: antiques and collectibles. The Collectibles Market Is Not What It Used to Be. The digital revolution has taken away the joy of the hunt. Or has it?

The fact that we now have convenience does not make us less inclined to explore, browse, and discover items we didn’t know we wanted. Antiquing, flea market browsing, yard sale shopping, and attending auctions have always been hobbies for a devoted niche of people. The items in demand and the formats of sales may change, but the thrill and the sales remain.

Used Goods and Online Resale Markets Thriving

In terms of buying antiques and collectibles as investments, any hedge fund manager will tell you that investments always carry risk. Collectibles are no exception, and you’ve got to be careful about buying items solely for the purpose of selling them later. The resale market is always changing as supply and demand fluctuate.

While many people who hoarded Beanie Babies are now disappointed by their actual value, the used goods market in the United States is a growing $20 billion industry. That’s not even counting the online resale market, of which the fashion sector alone grew 82% between 2013-2016.

But those are general goods, not big-ticket items like authentic antique furniture, right? Not necessarily. There’s a thriving online niche for antique buying and selling.

The Internet Hasn’t Killed Browsing

Not only do Americans love a good deal, but the younger generation also loves a good hunt. They wear, as the Thrift Shop song proudly proclaims, their granddad’s clothes. They shop in brick-and-mortar stores, from low-cost giants like Goodwill to higher-end boutique consignment shops to local nonprofits. It’s true that users can find specific items with the search function on sites like eBay and Etsy, but they also browse categories and wander through algorithm-generated lists of similar items.

At StorageTreasures, we’re believers in online auctions self storage auctions. We make browsing online for units easy and worth your time.

Man Finds Safe Containing $7.5 Million In Cash

A man who purchased the contents of a self-storage unit for $500 discovered a safe inside containing $7.5 million in cash, according to Dan and Laura Dotson, owners of American Auctioneers, the company that presided over the sale. The couple, who star on the A&E reality television series “Storage Wars,” learned of the discovery through a third party earlier this month and shared the story via Facebook video. They didn’t reveal the man’s identity or where the auction took place.

Dan Dotson was attending the Cars, Stars, Rock ‘N’ Roll & BBQ Festival in Indio, Calif., Nov. 2-4, when a woman whose husband works for the lucky auction winner approached Dan and shared the tale. According to the video, the man sought the services of two locksmiths before finding one who could or would open the safe.\

After the discovery, the man was approached by an attorney representing the safe owner, who offered him $600,000 to return the money. He declined the original offer but settled on $1.2 million, refunding the remainder of the cash. It’s unclear how the attorney learned of the auction or tracked down the winner.

 

What they would do in this situation?
Would you give the money back? Would you ask for a finders fee?

You would be surprised, at what you can find in a self-storage auction. Sometimes it might be more than just furniture and photo albums.

 

 

Source:
Daily Mail, Buyer Finds a Safe Containing $7.5M Inside Unit He Bought From Storage Wars Host.

Now That You Have Won, What To Do With All That Stuff?

Now that you have successfully selected a good auction, how then do you value the worth of the items purchased?

Here are three ways to value an item.

 

1. Assess The Condition Of The Item;
This should be done in an unsentimental manner, and you should be on the lookout for the mark of the manufacturer, size, and condition of the item. One of the main reasons why it is advised that you assess the item accurately is because cracks, chips, and repairs reduce the price an item should be sold for. You can decide to take pictures of the item; however, when taking those pictures, the manufacturers mark, the name or brand of the item should be captured.

 

2. Research About The Item
To find out the exact value of an item after an auction, you’ll need to conduct careful and thorough research. You can decide to visit local bookstores or even libraries to get a complete idea of the item and how it can be used. Your goal should be to find out why another individual will be willing to buy off the item from you at a fixed price.

Once you have gotten a clearer idea of what the item does and how it can benefit the buyer, the next thing to do would be to compare the price of the item on some of the online retail stores you are familiar with. Your objective for this comparison is to find out the average price of the item as well as know if the market is saturated. While carrying out this online market research and you find out that the item may be difficult to ship, then you could decide to sell them on local stores.

In addition, you could decide to ask people around you if they will be willing to buy this item for a particular price. You could write down the answers you get from your respondents.

 

3. Value The Item
Once you have gotten an idea of the average price of the item and how saturated the market is, from the reports, you can then value the item. If there are cracks or repairs that need to be done, it should also be taken into consideration.

Where To Sell The Item

You have successfully valued your item based on the conditions and results of your research; what’s next? Sell them off!
There are quite a number of places to sell off your items, and these places include;

 

1. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook wants to get into the local buying-and-selling game with its new mobile classifieds section, Facebook Marketplace. The new Facebook Marketplace — not to be confused with the old facebook Marketplace — lets you put up Craigslist-like ads for everything from furniture and clothing to cars and housing. The new Facebook Marketplace lets you sell to anyone (well, anyone within 100 miles of you), rather than limiting you to friends or group members.

Facebook Marketplace is similar to Craigslist: It’s a venue, not a facilitator, and the details of any sales (including price, shipping, and other logistics) are between the buyer and the seller. Facebook doesn’t take a cut of the profits, nor does it offer protection for either party — like eBay does — but it is slightly more credible than Craigslist because it’s linked to your Facebook account.

 

2. eBay
With a simpler fee structure, this online store offers you the opportunity to auction and sell a wide range of items. For each item that is sold on eBay, you will be required to pay about 10% of the final price. This fee includes the shipping fee as well.

 

3. Offer Up
OfferUp is making waves as a mobile-only hybrid between Craigslist and eBay — and so far, users are loving it. The company is said to have surpassed the early days of eBay in terms of sales volume, and its users are spending the same amount of time on OfferUp in a day as they do on Snapchat or Instagram. Offer up is free to post on with paid boosting capabilities., communication from buyers and sellers is handled through the app with email notifications.

Take a few pictures, write a description and get selling.

Tips And Tricks For Selecting A Good Auction

When it comes to selecting auctions, most people have failed woefully. While there are no proven ways to pick a good auction, there are a couple of tips and tricks that you can use when selecting a good auction. These tips include;

1. Be familiar with the types of auction;
One of the common mistakes most people make when selecting an auction is not being familiar with the various types of auctions. Depending on the purpose of the auction, there are a number of these auctions that you need to familiarize yourself with. Some of them include; short-term, mid-range, and long-range auctions. Being familiar with these auction types will mean that you know what each of these auctions entails and which is best for you at the moment.

Some of the other types of auctions include; online auctions, silent auction, and live auctions. Familiarizing yourself with them is the first step to selecting an auction.

2. Conduct research;
One of the things most people tend to overlook when choosing an auction is conducting research. First, you will need to get an idea of the various auction houses depending on the type of auction that you choose. There are a number of auction houses that you can choose from, and the only way to choose the best one is to search for one that suits your needs at the moment.

It is advised that you choose one that will offer you reasonable charges. There are a number of questions; you are expected to ask before choosing an auction house or company. You should find out the method or approach a company employs and see if it fits perfectly with what you have in mind. The level or years of experience the company has when it comes to handling auctions should also be taken into consideration if one is to choose the best auction.

3. Search for competitive items;
Irrespective of the type of auction you choose, it is important that you choose only the competitive items. In addition to that, it is advised that you take time out to dig deeper to get an idea of some of the best and most competitive items you can choose from. There are some of the things you should take into consideration when searching for an item; your income level, the uniqueness of the item, as well as your interest. Having this at the back of your mind will help you pick the best auction.

 

 

image by: commons.wikimedia.org

Rare Beatles Album Found After Decade In Storage

Market Harborough auctioneer Mark Gilding was visiting a community centre in Desborough to view items left in a storage barn for over a decade. It was there he came across a box of vinyl records containing a stereo version of the Beatles debut album Please Please Me from 1963.

 

A majority of records are typically mono pressings, but there were a small number of stereo versions pressed in 1963. Stereo versions are rare as they were not available in record stores at the time due to being a special order. The album discovered was a stereo version which gave Harborough the drive to research more into this vinyl record.

 

In 2015 a stereo pressing of the same album was sold for 2000 EUR. Memorabilia expert Andrew Smith was able to confirm that this was one of the earliest copies produced of the album. Hints to the record’s provenance included incorrect credits, tool reference numbers impressed around the center hole, and the tax code stamped in the same location.


Unfortunately the vinyl record was not in the best condition, with a value estimated to around 400-600 EUR. Still not bad for something that has been lying around in a storage unit for a decade.

Budget-friendly ways of upgrading your game room.

Owning a man cave is one of those things every guy strives for. The allure of a place where nothing but chilling, winding down and hanging out with the boys justifies the time and expense it takes to build one. So how do you get started? First, you should establish a budget. Buying new gaming equipment – including chairs, arcade cabinets, ping pong tables, pool tables, TVs, Gaming Computers can get expensive.

Before you get started, it is a good idea to note down your idea, and then create a list of items you need to achieve the idea. With the list in place, it is time to start searching.

  • Fast and expedient.
    The first option is, hire the services of a professional for the design and manual work if your idea requires you to change the layout of the game room.
    The layout and design should consider the equipment you are adding to your man cave, so before you embark on tearing things apart, maybe you need first to purchase the major items that may affect your overall design, items like tables, cabinets, need to be incorporated in the overall design and building of the game room. There are several websites you can use to purchase most of the equipment you will need. Going this route requires a substantial budget for the new gear and equipment.

 

  • DIY (Do-It-Yourself).
    It often feels the prices are set so high to price out average Joe who has shelved his dream for an upgrade for years because he cannot afford the latest $35,000 arcade cabinet. If you are like average Joe, then going the first route for the latest gear or hiring remodeling professionals may not be a viable option.

 

So what does one do?
Take matters into your own hands and build the man cave by yourself; this could work as a bonding exercise with your kids and or your buddies, who knows.
The DIY route is for very patient people, for those willing to wait it out. Since you are not going shopping the traditional way for the equipment, you will look at other resources to find the items you want for your cave. A great place to look for used gaming equipment is storage auctions.

What you can find in self-storage auctions is mind-blowing.
You can find everything you need to upgrade your man cave in a storage auction, from arcade cabinets, chairs, pool tables, air hockey, ping pong, wet bars and more
These items are not only cost saving if you are lucky, but you may also find a lost treasure with a huge resell value, not only that they are great conversation subjects.

With the internet today, you do not have to hunt for storage auctions manually.
From the comfort of your home or office and at your convenience, you can access Online Storage Auctions where you can view and bid from wherever you are at your convenience. The building or upgrading or your man cave does not have to be expensive; you can build and equip one by yourself. Using online storage auctions is a great place to start hunting for bargain items for your game room.

This Car Was Hidden Away For 30 Years

The Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe prototype sits in its rightful place, a museum founded by its current owner. The first of only six ever built, it was the first American manufactured car to defeat the Ferrari on its own turf, was engulfed by flames in Daytona, was driven through Los Angeles by a popular musician and then restricted to a storage unit for over 30 years. Many had believed the vehicle had been lost. Today though, over 50 years after being built it was found.

 

Created by American automotive entrepreneur, Carroll Shelby, who wanted to beat Italian designer Enzo Ferrari. He had previously done so as a driver with the Aston Martin, winning the FIA World Sportscar Championship in 1959. By 1963 Shelby had hung up his racing gear but wished to win as a constructor, and with an American Car that he created. With designer Pete Brock, hired to shape the car for maximum speed the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe was born. Two years later in 1965 Shelby took first place at the FIA – the first American to do so.

 

After years of events surrounding the car such as surviving a fire while refueling in Daytona 1964 and setting 23 national and international speed records it ended up in the hands of music producer Phil Spector. Spector chose to use the vehicle as a cruiser but wound up getting an extraordinary amount of speeding tickets, eventually being suggested by his lawyer to get rid of it. In light of this Spector decided to sell the prototype to his bodyguard, George Band, for $1000. Brand then gave the car to his daughter, Donna O’Hara, who then decided to hide it away in a California storage unit, where it remained for over 30 years.

 

Interest over time mounted around the car and O’Hara received multiple offers for it, but she always refused. With the help of a lawyer, Martin Eyears, car collector and retired neurosurgeon Frederick Simeone managed to convince O’Hara to sell him the car, for an unknown amount, but believed to be up around $4 million. In 2008, he founded the Simeone Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, where the car now sits amount 65 other classic racers. It is unfortunate that a happy story also included a strong downer. After the sale of the car O’Hara willed the proceeds of the sale to her mother and then set herself on fire. This was after the deal had been done.

 

After the owner’s surprising demise a legal battle ensued around the car that lasted for months. When information that the car was discovered and was being sold to a private party, many buyers desperately pleaded to the judge to put it up for public sale. Even Phil Spector tried to reclaim ownership over the car stating he never truly sold the car to his bodyguard but simply loaned it to him for safekeeping. In the end the judge concluded that the Daytona Coupe prototype had already been sold legitimately to Simeone.

 

It’s hard to put a price on the car today, almost 15 years after the sale. The other five Daytonas – produced in Italy – are already in the hands of private collectors with one sold in 2009 for $7.5 million. It is safe to assume that Shelby’s first prototype would get significantly more due to it being the originator, the last to be in competition, and still in its original state with no replaced parts or repainting. Not too bad for a car sitting inside a storage unit for over 30 years.

Ranking The Top 25 Crazy Finds In Storage Lockers On Storage Wars

Storage Wars the hit A&E Network reality show about a group of professional buyers and bidders going to storage facilities to buy units that have been left by their owners. The laws differ from state to state, in California the filming location for the TV series, the law states that storage units can be auctioned off for bidders if the owner has not paid after three months.

There have been times over the years where the legitimacy of Storage Wars finds have been called into question such as when one of the main bidders, Dave Hester, was caught in a lawsuit claiming he had planted items within the lockers to increase the excitement of the show.

Regardless of the validity of the finds, they do make for great television, certainly with the assortment of crazy things they have come across over 12 seasons. Ranging from the bizarre and fantastic to the outlandish and peculiar, screenrant ranks their top 25 items found on Storage Wars. Below we pick out a few of our favorites.

 

  1. The Elvis Collection
    Newspaper clippings long ago had a lot of value, but today most get their news and information online the value of these clippings have fallen greatly. However, specific newspapers that cover various moments in history can still be quite valuable. Dave Hester wound up bidding on a unit that unknowing to him, included tons of newspaper clippings from the day Elvis Presley died. With the clippings and assortment of Elvis memorabilia and collectibles, the unit was valued to be worth around $90,000. One of the largest finds on the show to date.
  2. World War II Minesweeper
    After a long bidding war between Dave and Ivy in the boiling heat of Southern California, Dave walked away with a fully packed unit using a high bid of $1500. What at first, felt like a bit of a loss bidding so much for a unit ended up being a huge victory when an old army container and the helmet was found in the unit. Upon further inspection of the items, it was determined they had uncovered an old World War II Minesweeper valued at almost $4,400.
  3. Human Skeleton
    On the spookier side of things, Dave Hester as going through a locker uncovered a collection of human bones, skull included. Given the circumstances and for his sake, he brought in an expert to determine whether or not the skeleton was real or not. They were determined to be real but not in a malicious way. The human skeleton was used for medical schools for students to study. The expert was able to determine this by the professional cleaning and nylon strings used to hold the bones together. All in all the skeleton was found to be worth over $1500.
  4. Whale In A Jar
    For a time on the show, Darrell decided with his son Brandon to go off on their own so he could teach his son the ropes of playing the storage hunting game. Unfortunately, Brandon still walked away with many dud units. One find though was quite significant and oddly strange. When picking through a unit he came upon a jar that he could only claim as “whale stuff”. Even experts after the find became baffled by how such an item would end up in a storage unit.
  5. Frank Gutierrez Artwork Collection
    Artwork is not a surprise to find when it comes to storage units. In fact, it is one of the most common items found in abandoned units, but one unit full of it ended up being one of the greatest finds in the show. Valued at over $300,000, it was as if the unit itself had been abandoned by Frank Gutierrez. Containing several pieces from the artist, we are left with many questions. How did the owner attain this artwork and why would they let it go?

Storage Unit Auctioned Off, Terrell Owens’ Loses NFL Keepsakes

Someone in Georgia just made off with a bunch of Terrell Owens’ awesome NFL memorabilia … snatching up the Hall of Famer’s storage unit at an auction … and now TO is scrambling to get it back. TMZ Sports had learned Items in Owens’ old storage unit in Atlanta were auctioned off after he stopped making payments to the company.

There was some really cool stuff, from a custom bust of TO, old playbooks, autographed helmets, cleats, and even a copy of an NDA that we’re assuming the NFLer gave to people at parties.

You never really know when you will strike gold with a self-storage auction.

Consider, for instance, Marc Smith, president of Florida-based Personal Mini Storage. Several years ago, one of his facilities was auctioning off a handful of units, and one of the bidders struck gold with a decidedly unusual find.

“The unit’s tenant just fell off the face of the earth and stopped paying. And when the winning bidder looked inside, there were dozens of boxes labeled ‘Latex Examination Gloves,’” Smith said. “The guy who bought that unit paid like $100 for it. But then he wound up selling the gloves to various places like hospitals and fire departments for almost $20,000.”

Hunting for treasure in a self-storage auction can be a rewarding adventure if you are patient and know what to look for.

10 Tips For Restoring Old Furniture

Professional furniture restorers and hobbyists alike all have one thing in common: the desire to pluck a piece of furniture from a garage sale or self-storage auction and restore it to its former glory. What’s not to like? You’re saving something from a landfill and if you are going to sell it, maybe putting a few extra dollars in your pocket as well. The former owner only saw a table with broken legs but you see the possibilities.

So here are 10 tips to keep in mind when restoring old furniture.

 

  1. Make Sure You Have The Time To Complete The Project
    Often, it’s more than just a facelift — it’s making the item usable again and possibly even adding value. It’s important to remember that a small side project can quickly turn into a time-consuming chore, depending on your restoration skills and how many free hours you have to devote to the work. The more complex the task, the longer it’ll take to finish, so be sure you have enough time in your schedule — or are willing to give up several weekends — to finish your project.
  2. Do Your Research
    Do a little research to determine the value of the piece you want to restore. Is it worth it? Inspect it for marks or labels that may indicate its origin. If you suspect it’s worth some money, consult a professional before proceeding with any work. Take photos of any markings or tags for your records. Removing a collectible antique’s finish could lessen or void its value, so hold off on stripping or sanding until you know exactly what you have.

  3. Set Your Budget
    Once you’ve determined whether your found treasure is actually worth any money, you need to decide how much cash you want to sink into it. Yes, you might love the challenge of furniture restoration, but if the piece isn’t valuable, you’ll need to figure out how important it is to you. Is it something that can be repaired relatively inexpensively? Will the project cost you less than buying a new piece? Is it worth your time?
  4. Know What You Want It to Look Like
    It’s happened to every restorer: You pull a wooden table off the curb, thinking its color will nicely match the rest of the furniture in a given room, only to discover after restoration begins that the piece is actually made from lighter-colored wood and doesn’t match at all. Luckily, with a little examination, you can get an idea of the true grain’s color. Find a spot that’s been protected from everyday wear, such as the back of a drawer front. Taking a peek at an unworn area will give you an idea what the finished product will look like.
  5. Safety First
    When embarking on a furniture restoration project, be sure you have safety in the front of your mind. The last thing you want to do is have a splinter of wood accidentally lodge itself into your eye or be overcome by harsh fumes. Make sure you wear long-sleeved clothing to protect your skin from harmful chemicals found in wood strippers and varnish. Use safety glasses to shield your eyes. If you’re stripping or varnishing a piece, wear a mask and work in a well-ventilated room to keep strong vapors at bay.

  6. Clean It Before You Start
    Before whipping out your sandpaper and paintbrush, give the piece a thorough cleaning. After years of neglect, it’s likely to have a patina of dirt and grime. Removing the buildup can reveal a nice finish underneath, so a good cleaning and buffing may be all that old table needs to look new again. Give the furniture a thorough scrub with a sponge and some vegetable-based oil soap and warm water. For detailed pieces, use a soft toothbrush to get into the nooks and crannies. If you need to use steel wool on some stubborn wax buildup, go with 0000 grade (the finest grade available), and use a light hand. Too much pressure can dull the finish.
  7. Repair
    Next, repair or replace any broken parts. You may luck out and stumble across a identical leg or knob at an antique store, estate sale or on eBay, but don’t count on it. In most cases, a perfect match will require custom-made parts. Additionally, unless you consider yourself pretty handy, you may need a professional’s help with tougher repairs like leg replacements or almost anything relating to the structural integrity of the piece. However, tightening screws may fix wobbly tables and chairs. Find the culprit by turning the piece over and inspecting each leg where it meets the body. If it shakes, check out the screws. If they’re in good shape, tighten them down. If they’re rusted out, carefully remove and replace them. Join small breaks with wood glue, and fill in small cracks with like-colored wood putty. If you plan to use stain as your finish, make sure you buy a stainable putty.
  8. Refinish It Or Paint It?
    Refinishing the piece means taking off the old finish and creating a new one. It’s physically demanding, so be prepared to use some elbow grease for this messy and cumbersome job. For a do-it-yourselfer, it’s best to use a combination of chemical strippers and sanding. Above all, be patient, even though some finishes can be stubborn to remove. Trying to speed up the process could result in even more repair work. Research the type of stain you’ll need for your wood. If it’s not worth staining, you can always paint the surface. Just be sure it’s not a valuable piece, because it won’t be once you paint it. Before painting, sand the finish to smooth out any bumps. Regardless if you’re staining or painting, you’ll want to give the piece another good cleaning once you finish stripping and sanding to ensure that you end up with a professional-looking finish.
  9. How-To Guides and Youtube
    If you haven’t done much furniture restoration, you’ll likely find it helpful to keep a guidebook on hand so you can quickly find answers to any questions that come up over the course of your project. The library is an excellent resource for manuals and other furniture reference materials. Of course, The Internet is also a great resource for information and videos in which experts guide you through each step of the restoration process.
  10. Tools Of The Trade
    You’ll need some tools to make your project happen. Take a trip down the sandpaper aisle and get a variety of grits. Buy both the moderately rough stuff (80 to 120 grit) and the finest grades (300 to 600). Get a couple of putty knives, one plastic and one metal. Also pick up some 0000 steel wool and a liquid stripping gel. You’ll need Phillips head and flathead screwdrivers for tightening joints and a small hammer and rubber mallet, which will allow you to adjust the wood without leaving a mark.