There are many places for reselling items found in a storage unit in today’s digital marketplace. From eBay to Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up and so, so many more, your resale options are endless. However, some platforms may prove a better place to sell your storage auction finds. Etsy describes itself as a shop for hand-made, vintage, custom, and unique gifts. Have you found items like these in a storage unit you won at auction? Is Etsy the right place for you to resell items you find in a storage unit?
Etsy is a website where you can find homemade items such as birthday cake toppers, hand-made cards, costumes, wedding décor, pre-made scrapbook pages, and so many more special items. It is the go-to place for busy Moms who want to provide that special touch to their gifts or home. Etsy is not just for women. I have purchased several music-related items for my husband on the site as well. It is a great place to sell or find vintage t-shirts and clothing. Again, I ask, is Etsy the right place for reselling items you find in a storage unit? Let’s take a more in-depth look at the platform to find out.
Etsy is very user-friendly, and they have a mobile app for you to use. The first thing you should do is learn about the fees that Etsy charges. They have listing fees, transaction fees, advertising fees, and more. You can learn about all of Etsy’s charges here.
Setting Up Your Shop
Setting up an Etsy shop is easy. You will need to create a shop name and fill out some background information. You are not required to have a business license to list items on Etsy, but they do expect you to follow all applicable state and federal laws regarding commercial transactions.
The following is a list of other items you will need to set up your Etsy shop.
- A banner and shop logo
- Shop announcement – a brief welcome message to shoppers
- About section – a place to upload videos or stories behind your products
- Shop members – if you have other members on your team
- Shop policies for shipping, returns, exchanges, downloads, and other guidelines
Marketing & Optimizing Your Shop
This part of the process is what will probably be most difficult for you. You have to promote your shop personally. Etsy does offer advertising space for an additional fee, but otherwise, you will need to rely on your network. You can link your social media accounts and use the location search to help people find you, but ultimately, it comes down to making your listing stand out and get recognized.
Just like eBay and Facebook, there are ways you can optimize your listing for Etsy search. Below, you will find optimization items to consider.
- Tag and title relevancy
- Item attribute relevancy
- Listing quality
- Customer experience
You can read more about Etsy’s recommendations for optimizing your shop here.
In 2019, Etsy reported over 45.7 million buyers worldwide and a sales volume of $4.97 billion.* It would be a shame to leave this market untapped when reselling your storage finds. If you need to hunt for more items to list in your Etsy shop, go to www.StorageTreasures.com now.
RELATED ARTICLE – If you are interested in being an eBay seller, check out our recent article, Storage Auction Winnings: Become an eBay Pro.
Buying a unit at a storage auction is more complicated than it might seem. Television shows make it look so easy – find an auction, outbid the competition, discover epic treasure! However, storage auctions are just like any other business in the world; there are rules. Familiarize yourself with these rules to be successful.
Bidding is a fascinating part of the auction process, but winning is the ultimate goal. Once you’ve landed your first unit, everything moves very quickly. First thing, you will get your winning bidder email. You will only have 24 to 72 hours from the sale’s close to empty the unit. Plan early to get into the office to pay your winning bid amount. After you pay, remove the unit’s contents (without using the facility dumpster), and devise a plan to resell your winnings. It might be easy to overlook some essential steps. See below for tips to follow after you win an auction on StorageTreasures.
Contact the Facility
After you win a unit, the first thing you should do is contact the facility to confirm the unit is still available. A very frustrating, albeit legally required, part of online storage auctions is the delinquent tenant gets a little extra time to pay their bill. In an online auction, the tenant can pay up until you take possession of the unit. To take possession, you go to the facility, pay the bid amount, and place your lock on the unit. If you win a great unit and think there is a possibility the tenant might make a last-minute payment, you will want to get to the facility as quickly as possible.
Bring Items Needed to Claim the Unit
There are a few items you will need to be able to pick up your unit. Always bring a copy of your driver’s license or other identification. You can have other people pick up your units for you, but you will need to list them as an authorized pickup person on your account. If an authorized pickup person goes in your place to claim the unit, they will need to show their ID. See the image below for where to enter a person authorized for pickup.
You will also need to bring cash for the bid amount, possible sales tax, and a cleaning deposit. Some facilities allow credit card payments. Be sure to check the Additional Information section on the auction listing for all facility rules and online auction regulations. If you have a Sales and Use Tax Resale Certificate, have a copy on hand you can give to the facility to remove the sales tax. You will get your money back once you have cleaned the unit to a swept condition.
Remember to bring a lock to secure the unit. You do not legally take possession of the unit until you have placed your lock on the door. Storage facilities often have different types of locking systems. When you call to verify the unit is still available, ask the facility manager what kind of lock you need to bring.
Check out this previous post titled “4 Things to Bring to a Storage Auction” for more information about what you need for a successful auction.
Clean the Unit to a Swept Condition
Swept condition is precisely what it sounds like, swept clean. Swept clean means you have to remove all items from the unit and sweep up any remaining debris. There is a thing in storage auctions called “cherry-picking.” This is when the buyer takes what they want from the unit and leaves the rest behind.
I have heard some buyers say, “it was worth it to lose the cleaning deposit not to clean it out.” Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Failing to empty the unit can result in you being banned from bidding on auctions on StorageTreasures.com. Our rules (and most all storage auction rules) state you must remove the unit’s entire contents from the premises.
You also cannot use the facility dumpster. This rule isn’t because the facility manager doesn’t like you. It is because storage facilities have small dumpsters that can’t handle the entire contents of storage units. Seasoned auction buyers get passes to the local dump to dispose of the unwanted items from online storage auctions. It is wise to keep the clean-out process in mind when buying multiple units.
Recover Your Cleaning Deposit
Once the unit is empty, you will need to have it inspected by the facility manager to get your cleaning deposit back. Keep in mind; the manager will only be available to return your cleaning deposit during office hours. If you are traveling from a far distance to claim the unit, you should plan ahead to secure your cleaning deposit return.
Some storage companies require you to put your cleaning deposit on a credit card. If that is the case, you likely won’t get your deposit back for 3-5 business days due to the nature of credit card processing. Be sure to read the Additional Information section of the auction listing for any rules concerning the cleaning deposit.
If you want to find out more about storage auctions and prepare for your first auction, here is an excellent article from Side Hustle Nation that gives you a more in-depth perspective from an experienced auction buyer.
Now that you know what to do after you win a unit, head over to www.StorageTreasures.com to find your next big win! If you have any questions about how an auction works, reach out to us on Facebook or contact our Customer Support Team. You can reach them at (480) 397-6503 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You finally won a storage auction. What do you do with the items now? Re-sell that inventory, of course. There are many different options available for reselling, eBay is one of the most popular places for storage auction buyers to resell their inventory. However, successfully selling on eBay is a little more involved than posting a picture and waiting for the bid to go up. eBay makes several recommendations for successful listings. You can read more about them at this LINK.
Even with all the tips from eBay about selling, it seems like some people are still better at selling on eBay than others. Have you tried all the eBay tips and still not had great results? Have you wracked your brain trying to figure out what other people know that you don’t know? You are in luck; some successful eBay sellers are willing to share their secrets to make you a better reseller.
In addition to the best practices listed above, eBay also offers the eBay Seller Center, the eBay Community, and eBay Upfront to help you resell items purchased at storage auctions. The eBay Seller Center resources like the eBay for Business Podcast and shipping tips. The eBay Community includes discussion groups and a weekly chat with eBay staff. The eBay Upfront is a traveling conference in which eBay sellers and groups come to you!
eBay Radio is an internet radio program produced by Voicemarketing, Inc. They host live shows with eBay’s top sellers, eBay news, and general e-commerce. One of the hosts of eBay Radio is a long time eBay employee and the Dean of eBay Education. Their website also features an extensive archive of past shows you can watch anytime.
Udemy is a website where professionals can host all sorts of classes to share with those looking to learn. A search of “eBay” returned 997 results for classes, of which 113 were free. The paid classes range from The Complete eBay Course – eBay from Beginner to Advanced to eBay Hacks: Optimize eBay Seller Listings. The average price of a lesson on Udemy ranges between $10 and $15.
Skillshare is an online community with a focus on creativity. There is no charge for the classes listed on Skillshare, but there is a membership fee of $8.25 per month. They do offer a two-month free trial. Skillshare offers a course titled eBay Mini Newbies Boot Camp. The class has 14 lessons, and you can watch the first lesson for free to see if the content is right for you. The website boasts an attendance of 756 students so far to the Boot Camp.
Ed2Go is a virtual continuing education platform. They offer classes and certifications to help people educate themselves and advance in their careers. They offer a 6-week course called Learn to Buy and Sell on eBay for $149. That price might seem a little steep, but the class has twelve sections, including one on The World of Digital Photography. It is also taught online by a real professional, rather than a series of videos you watch independently. The class is recurring, with different start dates available.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of eBay Groups on Facebook full of people willing to share their knowledge. Some examples are: eBay Selling Basics Nothing but eBay Basics, EBAY SELLERS, Stay at Home Moms Selling on eBay, eBay Warriors, and eBay Sellers Helping Each Other. You can also join Facebook groups dedicated to storage auctions to learn more.
YouTube has long been the go-to source for how-to videos for those who prefer to learn by watching. That includes all things Storage Auctions, such as selling your winnings. Searching “Selling on eBay” returned several titles. There are also videos for how to sell specific items on eBay, such as books. Some of the videos include tutorials for using the website, and others explore how to spot things you can resell on eBay.
To win another storage auction to help hone your eBay skills, check out all of our units on StorageTreasures. If you want to learn more about being a bidder on StorageTreasures, check out our Help Center articles here.
Header Image Source: Daniel Krasoń – stock.adobe.com
At StorageTreasures we are always looking for ways to do better and one way we do that is by looking at messages we get from our bidders. They can sting a little, but it helps us learn our areas for improvement so we can give you a better experience with online storage auctions. Here is a recent Facebook Messenger conversation that may help answer concerns you might have about using StorageTreasures. Thank you, Sara Beth, for allowing us to share your message!
Sarah Beth:Good day!! 🙂 I am new to this (I haven’t even placed my first bid yet as I am still in the “investigation” part of this journey), so please hear me out. I was totally stoked about getting into something like this as a side hobby, but reading the reviews kind of has me a little skittish. Instead of posting something publicly and allowing a whole bunch of negativity to bombard me, I wanted to come to you directly and ask about the process. Why so many negative reviews? The good ones are superb, but the negative ones are definitely an eyesore for anyone who is thinking about doing something like this. Could you please take the time to enlighten me on this? I know there are a million sides to every story. Getting duped is not something I would ever willingly sign up for. Please take your time to respond. 🙂 I’d rather have this explained to me instead of ignored or just a quick response. Thanks so much!!
StorageTreasures Response:Sarah Beth:Storage auctions are not for everyone. A lot of people get into the business, hoping to have a great big windfall right out of the gate. While that might happen on TV, that is not really how it works in real life. You can find some great units out there. There are also some units you might pay little for but make a lot of profit. However, the vast majority of the units do not contain hidden treasures. To be successful at buying and reselling storage units, you have to do your homework and prepare. You need to know what you are looking at and how much you can make in return. It is not a guessing game, where you buy the first cheap unit you find and make a ton of money. A lot of people think the managers go through the units before they put them up for sale. While I am sure there are dishonest people in self storage, like every other business, by-and-large, the managers don’t care what is in the units. They don’t have time to go through the units. From what we have seen, many self storage tenants are aware they are going to stop paying their bill and take all the stuff they want and leave the rest behind. Most of our career buyers are looking for quantity rather than quality, but always hoping for that big win. They need inventory to sell in their shops or at the flea market. A lot of people also don’t realize you have to clean out the entire unit. This means you might have to make trips to the dump, which will cost you more money. You might also have to rent a truck to get the unit cleaned out by the deadline. A truck might also cost you money. You might have to take time away from your regular job or your family to get the storage unit cleaned out. There are personal and monetary expenses to buyers after storage auctions. People think storage auctions are a quick and easy way to make money. It is NOT quick or easy. It is a lot of work, and it might take you a while to start seeing profits. The good units will sell for a lot of money, leaving you feeling like you can’t get a good unit. You can get a good unit, but it takes time, dedication, and hard work to be successful in this business. A lot of people do not realize this and end up disappointed rather quickly. It takes a little while to build up your “finesse” at buying storage units. I hope this helps.
Sarah Beth:Oh, it does for sure. I work full-time and also run a drug recovery ministry, so it’s not all about profit for me. It would be something fun and then also a way to sell a few things here and there, but also be able to bless people (which would be the best thing for me). I was just so concerned when I saw the rude/negative comments. My idea (please let me know if it’s a bad one) was to get just a small unit as my first one (I know about the $100 refundable cleaning deposit as long as it’s cleaned out and all that good stuff) to test it out and I planned to do maybe one unit a month? I am not out to get rich or anything. Just something fun and, in the end, possibly provide something worthwhile to someone in need. 🙂 I just wanted to make sure that before I even attempted that it was worth even trying out. Thank you so much for answering my inquiry so thoroughly.
StorageTreasures Response:You could get some units pretty cheap with clothes, household items, shoes, toys, and other things people need. You have to try and see how it works for you! As long as you do what you are supposed to do (pay, clean out the unit on time, etc.), you will be fine! Sarah Beth: Awesome!! Thank you so much!! StorageTreasures does not want anyone to have a bad experience using our website. However, we know that is probably not possible in this type of business. There are going to be sales that do not have spectacular results. There is a lot of money at stake for a lot of buyers. We do welcome your questions and comments by posting directly to Facebook or Twitter, messaging us, or contacting our Customer Support Team. We want you to talk to us, and we want to be the best we can at responding and trying to help you have the best buying experience possible! To reach StorageTreasures Customer Support, call (480) 397-6503 or email email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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:
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.
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.
Storage auctions are popular ways for people to get their hands on an item they have always wanted. Today there are plenty of self-storage companies that are selling the storage items to people through auctions in order to recoup their losses because of the unpaid rent for the storage unit.
Auctions come as a result of the lien. Lien can be described as a right to hold the belongings of another person until the person pays the debt that is owed. If the debtor fails to pay the debt, then the lien right gives permission to the storage operator to sell the items that are inside the storage unit. These storage auctions are becoming increasingly popular and both online and in-person auctions attract lots of people. In essence, both of these types of auctions function in the same way although they do have some differences.
Online Auctions Come With Numerous Advantages
One of the major pros is that you can easily log on to some quality auction website such as www.storagetreasures.com and bid for the items from the comfort of your own home. Another difference between the in-person and online storage auctions is in the fact that through online auctions you can bid for several storage units at once. The bidding action is faster, so you can easily buy several units in short period of time.
You also do not have to travel long distance to enjoy bidding and getting stuff, so online auctions are pretty attractive for those people that want to do all their bidding from home or anywhere they are located at.
As mentioned, in-person auctions require travelling to a certain place, so you are bound to lose some energy and time of your day. With online auctions you have more time for your everyday obligations and more spare time. You can easily do your day-to-day tasks while bidding for certain storage unit and the items in it. That is something what most people value a lot, so online auctions have an advantage over in-person auctions in this segment too.
Regarding the ways in which the auctions are managed, in the in-person auction you have a chance to closely examine the items and then ask for some questions before you choose to buy the items. That way you are getting clearer idea about how many items are there for bidding and you can discuss other details as well.
Traditional, in-person storage auctions can be very exciting as you get a chance to interact with other bidders. On the other side, online auctions are more convenient because you can check out all the items in catalogues and then read descriptions about contents and other things.
In conclusion we can say that both auction types have their fair share of advantages and offer different benefits. In-person auctions are interesting and exciting because buyers interact and get caught up in the entire process. As stakes go higher the excitement also goes up. With in-person auctions you also get a chance to talk with the sellers, while at the online auction you are just bidding without interacting with other people.
However, with online auctions you can bid from any place and at any time you find most convenient. Also in-person auctions come with costs and expenses for getting to the place of auction, while with online auctions you do not have to worry about that. That is very good thing in this modern and fast-paced way of life. These were the main differences between online and in-person storage auctions, so go for the option you think it is best for you.
Leftover storage unit items can take up lots of space, so a good thing to do is to organize them properly. Keeping the items organized and well stored will open up a lot of space and will make your life easier.
If you have some storage unit items and wonder how to properly organize them then a good idea is to check out some of the following tips. For anything else regarding storage unit items and their auctions you should check out www.storagetreasures.com where you will find great selection of auctions, details about the items that are auctioned, as well as other valuable information.
First Tip Is To Always Use Pallets For Keeping The Items Above The Floor
This is very important because pallets protect the items from moisture and other things that can potentially damage them. Next good tip is to wrap those items that you can. Using plastic wraps for items will ensure their longevity and will properly seal them so they will not collect any dust. Large industrial wraps come at affordable prices, so wrap the items and they will always stay in perfect shape.
Labeling your storage unit items is another great thing you can do. Labels are great because they will save you lots of time when you search for something specific. Maybe you now know where some items are stored, but who knows whether you will remember after six months or more.
Read More: Things To Know About Storage Auctions
Therefore, label your items and you will save yourself a precious time later. Also do not forget to make a checklist with pointers about where are specific items stored. Next good tip is to use a good lock for your items. Strong padlocks will keep your items safe at all times.
When you are storing certain items remember to consider the material of which they are made of. Certain items can be affected by heat or cold influences, so some items such as vinyl records, photographs, and electronic devices need to be properly insulated. That way you will ensure they are in good shape if you decide to use them or sell them later.
Make sure you practice your organizational skills if you want everything to be properly recycled and stored. Even the smallest units for storage can hold up plenty of items, so try to use the space in best way possible. Pack the things all the way up to the storage ceiling. Put plywood to stabilize all the layers and to lower the pressure. All of that will help you better organize the stuff and they will be kept in great position.
These were a few basic tips for recycling, storing and organizing storage unit items. Truth is that recycling is not that hard if you follow a few certain things in mind. The key is to keep everything in sealed and labeled boxes, well protected from outside influences. Different items require different care, but proper insulation and putting things in containers and boxes is usually how it is done.
Labeling and proper positioning are a couple of important things that you should pay great attention to. Matching items should be kept close together, so you can easily recover them when you start looking for them. If you keep these tips in mind then you will save yourself a valuable time for recycling leftover storage unit items.
If you find it tough to recycle and organize everything by yourself, then you can also consult some professional who can help you with it. Also, besides keeping your items well organized another important thing is to keep them safe by locking them in the unit where you keep them.
Finding and attending storage auctions can be very exciting and entertaining thing to do. Sometimes it can give you great benefits, but sometimes it can also mean gambling on uncertainty about what will you get. When you are bidding for storage units you never know what the owner has stored inside.
Maybe there are plenty of valuables and rare collectibles, but there is also a chance that there are some cheap stuff without significant value. Therefore, you should remember that storage auctions are thrilling and risky, but also often very rewarding. One thing is certain – storage auctions are never boring.
Today anyone can attend a storage auction. No matter which auction you attend you will certainly find numerous excited people that want to bid and get their hands on the items inside the storage unit. All kinds of people are attending the auctions – ranging from store owners and eBay sellers to treasure hunters, collectors and curious people. However, every bidder must be at least 18 years old, must fill out a registration form and has to have a personal identification.
Storage auctions are always publicly announced, so today you will have no trouble finding one. There are both online and in-person auctions running around the clock, so check those auctions that you find most attractive. The following are some easy ways through which you can find and attend plenty of storage auctions.
Read More: StorageTreasures.com Bidding 101
You can start of by checking out the ads placed in local newspapers and magazines. Almost all newspapers have ad sections where companies advertise the auctions. Local newspapers will advertise some pretty good auctions where you will likely face smaller competition in comparison to ads published in major city newspapers.
Besides checking out local newspapers and magazines, another thing you can do is visit some auction websites like www.storagetreasures.com where you will find plenty of information about upcoming auctions. You can auction online and check out different storages with descriptions of items for sale.
Another Way Of Finding Storage Auctions Is Through Signing Up To Receive Auction Listings On Your Email
That way you will be constantly up to date with auctions nearby you or wherever they are held.
This is a good way to gain advantage in this competitive field, so sign up and be always informed about in-person and online auctions near you. Besides this, you can also make an own research and call some of the storage companies that operate in your local area. You can ask them about any auctions coming up and get the schedule of all auctions that will be held in near future.
Finally, networking with other storage item buyers is another great way through which you can get informed about when and where the next auction will be. Get in touch with experienced bidders and they will tell you where the best auctions are and what you can expect from them. You can first attend one to get the feel of it and then you can start bidding for yourself. Overall, finding and attending good storage auctions is not that hard today.
All you have to do is just do a little research, check out papers and websites for ads, and you will know where and when the auctions are held. A little research can take you long ways, so stay informed and soon enough you will be attending the best auctions available. These were some advices on how you can easily find and attend storage auctions. Consider them for your own benefit and start exploring the exciting world of in-person and online auctions.