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

what will you find in a storage unit

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

self storage 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

Budget-friendly ways of upgrading your game room.

man cave

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.

10 Tips For Restoring Old Furniture

restore old chairs

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.

How to Appraise Your Self Storage Auction Finds

online storage auction

Appraisal of antique and various items found in a self-storage auction can be daunting which is why you need to carry out diligent research to get an adequate knowledge of the value. An antique could be worth a lot of money, however, to value the item, you need to know ways to appraise all your finds.

 

A Verbal Appraisal.
You can get a free appraisal at some auction houses. Many times antique and auction houses offer free verbal appraisals on special dates. To know when an auction house or appraisal service offer such events, you can perform an internet search for the name of your city together with tags such as “appraisal day,” or “valuation day”,. Another way you can get a free verbal appraisal is to bring auction finds to a major local antique fair, thrift store or pawn shop. A lot of them usually have an appraiser allowing ticket-holding visitors to get free verbal appraisals. However, they may limit the number of items you are allowed to have appraised for free.

 

A Professional Appraisal
This is another way to get an appraisal for your items, should you be in possession of an item which you believe to be very valuable. You can employ the service of a professional appraiser who will issue a written estimate of your item. A professional appraiser is the best place to get an accurate price for your items. There are appraisers whose field is limited to a specific category such as artworks, vintage collections, etc. Additionally, you should note that a written appraisal generally will charge upwards of $150 or more per hour.

 

Online research for the Value
In the digital age, it is pretty easy to get a general idea of the value of an item by making use of the internet. Here are just a few ways you can research the value of your items online…

  • Check the labeling; this is used to identify the object, from the label you can get helpful information such as the manufacturer, year of manufacture, etc.
  • Search for the item online; using an online marketplace like eBay, Amazon, Bonanza. You can also make use of online pricing resources such as invaluable.com. You can make use of the advanced search features to narrow down your search using terms like “completed sales” to get the actual retail price of the item.
  • Take a picture and post your item to appropriate groups on Facebook, Reddit and/or Quora.

 

Once you settle on a price for the items won in your self-storage auction you can decide on the ways you would like to sell them.

Historical Items Museums Want

museum art found in storage locker

If you’re a history buff, you might enjoy estate sales, antique markets, and storage treasure hunting. There’s no telling what treasures you may find from a bygone age. Mementos from decades-old political campaigns, letters, diaries, newspapers, magazines, and more. All of these tell a story and give us a sense of being in a historic moment.

Is it Museum-Worthy?

Museums, libraries, and historical societies have limited space and budgets. They have guidelines regarding what types of materials they accept. Many objects are beautiful and interesting, but items added to a permanent collection need to be representative and unique. According to curator Elspeth Kursh, “diaries, pamphlets, photographs of people, or mass produced books” generally won’t make the cut. Here are some tips when assessing items for posterity:

  • Check the museum’s wish list to determine exactly what they are looking for.
  • Look up items online to get a sense of their rarity, and to see if they appear on any wish lists.
  • If you have no luck with museums, consider selling to an antique shop or becoming an antique dealer yourself.

What Museums Want to Buy

One example of a collection coveted by museum curators is the Wright Collection, which contains thousands of pieces of political campaign memorabilia. The variety of objects both rare and common interests curators because they’re so expansive. However, even this vast collection remains in storage, partly because researching and cataloging so many items take a lot of time and resources.

If you’re a collector yourself, consider taking a page out of Burt Reynolds’s hoarder book by opening your own museum. Remember, the purpose of a museum is to tell a story to the public through cultural artifacts. If your items aren’t ready for a permanent exhibit, you might organize a pop-up museum in your community.

Need help filling up your museum? Visit Storage Treasures to find online and live storage auctions.

4 Things to Bring to a Storage Auction

storage auction moving truck

Whether you’ve won an online storage auction and need to pick up your items, or you attend auctions in person, these items will make your life a whole lot easier.

A Fully Charged Mobile Phone

With your mobile phone, you have a built-in flashlight, an instant price comparison checker, a camera, a calculator, and more. Use it after viewing and before bidding starts to do research and crunch numbers. A flashlight, notepad, and pen is a good idea to take notes.

Cash

Though more and more small, mobile, and pop-up businesses are using apps to allow credit and debit card purchases virtually anywhere, bring cash for two reasons. One, storage auctions are still often cash-only affairs. Two, bringing cash can help you stay in a budget by ensuring you don’t spend more than what you brought.

Trucks, Trailers, Dollies, Bins, Garbage Bags, and Gloves

If you drive a truck with a large bed and you win a unit, you could start moving items as soon as you gain access, so bring a dolly or two to make it easier. Usually, you’ll have 1-2 days to clear everything out. If you are unable to move everything in your personal vehicle, take time to assess the unit and figure out what moving supplies and equipment you need.
Any other questions? Visit Storage Treasures.

Myths and Facts About Collectibles

records

Ever been on the Internet? Of course you have. Chances are at some point or another, you’ve encountered a viral rumor about some object from your childhood being worth your weight in gold. You may have frantically fact-checked, or lost your head a little and called your mom to look in the attic to see whether or not you’re a millionaire. Many of these rumors die out for a while and then begin to recirculate.

Rumor: Disney Black Diamond VHS Tapes

Before you run off to count up your old Disney VHS tapes, you should know they’re not rare. They’re certainly not worth thousands of dollars. When you research the value of items on eBay, always check the buying price for the true value, not the selling price. Anyone can put an exorbitant price tag, or ramp the bids up, on an item.

Rumor: Princess Diana Beanie Baby

2017 marked the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s tragic death. It also marked 20 years of people claiming that the Princess Beanie Baby is worth millions, hundreds of thousands, or at least thousands. We all know how the supply vs. demand equation worked out when it comes to Beanie Babies, and Princess is no exception. Recently, this item has sold for $1 on the low end to $1,000 on the high end.

Rumor: Old American Girl Dolls

This is yet another case of reporters not understanding how Ebay actually works. The article that made the rounds concerning Pleasant Company’s original lineup boasts of the oft-inflated asking price, not the actual selling price.

Rumor: Harry Potter First Editions

Rejoice, for these rumors are actually true! Some first edition Harry Potter books qualify as rare and valuable. The author’s signature adds value, and condition factors into the resale as well.

Check out our online and live auctions. You never know what you’ll find.

 

The Business of Storage Auctions

storage unit door

How do storage facility owners decide when to auction off delinquent units?
At what point does an owner decide it’s time to tell the tenant to collect their stuff and leave?

I don’t like auctions,” admits Mark Helm, author of Creating Wealth through Self-Storage.

From a business perspective, this makes sense. Monthly payments are generally more profitable than self storage auctions. On the other hand, he advises against offering payment plans for delinquent tenants. After all, the lack of monthly payments drains income to begin with. Something has to be done about it.

Compassion leads many managers to make exceptions for tenants who can’t make payments on time. There’s nothing wrong with being kind-hearted toward tenants, but storage facility owners need to set clear expectations up front to reduce their delinquency percentage.

If you’re a storage facility owner, you can use storagetreasures.com to auction off delinquent units and reduce your losses.

From Storage to Store: Turning a Hobby Into a Business

self storage auctions

Storage auction bidders generally try to move the items they win. A lot of people with this hobby value eco-consciousness and helping those in need, but profit motivates seasoned unit-flippers. Many sellers turn to eCommerce to monetize storage unit finds. The old standby, eBay, is a popular choice. Yet eCommerce, while a booming segment of the economy, isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer to sell in a physical space.

A brick and mortar store has its advantages. Unless you pair your store with a website, you can cross shipping and fulfillment off your to-do list. You can meet people in your community and really connect with shoppers. You can use your space for community drives and bulletin boards. You might prefer the capital structure and tax implications of owning a shop versus owning an online store or profile. Whatever the reason, here are some tips before opening up your second-hand store:

  • Do your market research to determine the ideal location and hours.
  • Know your competition and carve out a niche. What makes you different from the local Goodwill?
  • Decide which types of products to offer. Will you focus on antiques, clothing, memorabilia, books? Or will you have a little bit of everything?
  • Decide on a target market. Will you be selling upscale items in your storefront, or kitsch?
  • Figure out where to store excess inventory. Will the back room suffice, will you need your own storage unit, or does your stock warrant a warehouse? This will help with your inventory management overall.
  • Once you have a location, figure out a floor plan. Where can you put displays that catch customers’ eyes? Will you have bargain bins or seasonal items? Will you allow consignment, or let local arts and crafts vendors rent space? Doing so can diversify your product.

Before you open up your store, you need to build up your inventory and Storage Treasures, Self Storage Auctions can help you with that.