You know that feeling when you WIN a unit at a storage auction. It is thrilling to win and then even more thrilling to find that you won some amazing things. It is those thrilling moments that make people go and keep going to auctions. Being a bidder at an auction is fun and simple. But there are always things to learn about the process. Just because you bid doesn’t mean that you will win. There are certain things to be aware of in order to lower the risk of losing out at the auction.
Don’t bid until you are ready. It takes attending a few auctions to understand what is going on and who all the players are. Observe who is attending the auctions and watch how the actual auction is conducted. Take note of how you get to see inside the unit and how much they actually sell for. Notice how quickly the units are emptied after the sale and what items other bidders have with them. Talk to as many people as you can that seem to have experience with this kind of auction and ask them what they do with their items that they won. You learn a lot from those that have done this before you and you can save yourself from problems in the future with the knowledge they give you. Let them give you tips on what is right and what they did wrong.
You will need Tools of the Trade. A flashlight, a step stool, hammer, screwdriver and tape are all tools of the auction winning trade! You need the step stool to be able to see over the piles at the front of the unit to be bid on so that you have a better idea of what is inside. You will need the hammer and screwdriver to take things apart and get them into your truck after you have won a unit. You will need the flashlight to peer into dark corners before bidding and the tape for pacing up your winnings. A notepad, pen and your smart phone are also extras to bring. You will need to google items on your phone to see what their value is and keep track by taking notes about items you see that you want to bid on.
Emotional control. Bidding at an auction can be like a roller coaster. It starts calmly enough and then it really starts to roll and get exciting. As the numbers climb and the bidding gets faster, you can easily get caught up and start bidding before you have checked your checking account. It is best to remain calm, especially when you may have spotted something in the unit that could be worth some money. You need to hope that no one else saw what you saw and the best way to do that is to be very quiet. When you create a breathless frenzy, you could possibly make the bidding price go higher and outside of your range. Remember that you are bidding against other people and against your own excitement.
You need to have a plan for selling the stuff you win. Unless you are planning on keeping everything that you win at a storage unit auction, you need to have a plan on how you are going to get rid of it all. Knowing where you are going to be selling the items will help in figuring out how much to bid. If you are going to sell at a garage sale, prices are usually lower and you don’t want to buy high. If you are selling on eBay or another online site, the selling prices will be higher and you can allow for a bit higher in your bid. If you are buying for an outlet such as a thrift store or vintage shop, you probably have a budget for bidding and have to stay within the perimeters.
Know your terms of the sale. Before the auction begins, ask the auctioneer company about the terms of the sale if you win. Ask about how long you have to remove the items from the unit. It could be immediately all the way to 48 hours or even putting a lock on it and paying for the unit. Also see if there are any other charges for cleaning or deposits. You will want to be able to understand how much everything is going to cost in order to make a solid bid and be able to resell with a profit.
Never assume. As you plan your adventure into the world of storage unit auctions, never assume that because the auction takes place in a small country town that you are only going to find garden items and kitchenware. Nor assume that if you attend an auction in a rich neighborhood that you will find diamonds and rolls royces. People have storage units for a variety of reasons as they have the same amount of reasons that they can no longer afford the unit. And people choose the location of the unit for a variety of reasons too. They may have moved to another state and left behind a unit in an area that was easily accessible to a highway that went to their new state. They intended to come back and empty it out when they got settled. But things happened, time passed and eventually the unit was forgotten and went into foreclosure and then auction. And most of all, never ever assume that everything is just junk!!
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