New to Storage Auctions? Here are 15 Tips and Tricks From the Pros!

 It can be a scary thing buying a storage unit if you've never done it before.  Fortunately, is here to help you with all of the information necessary to do it and do it well!  We'll have you making extra money from home in no time buying storage units like a pro!  Here are some of our best tips and tricks:

 Tip #1:  Make sure to turn in personal items to the facility.   These are things such as photographs, birth certificates, drivers licenses, etc.  These are items that are of no value to you (you can't sell them) and of huge value to the former unit tenant, so it's a huge courtesy (and sometimes required) if you return the items.  Make sure to go through them carefully though -- gold and silver, and items of value, are all yours!

 Tip #2:  Don't stereotype or judge items based on how rich they look or how well cared for they are.  It's true that sometimes the well packed things are from more responsible owners with more disposable income, but there's something to be said about the random piles of things thrown in units as well.  People who throw their items in units typically forget that they have certain things in there, like jewelry, or sometimes even cash.

 Tip #3:  Set your bids at 50% of what your perceived value of the unit is, based only on items you can see, and only on items that you can see.  It's not worth it to do all of the work for a profit margin of less than 50%.

 Tip #4:   Breaking facility rules (leaving something in a unit, throwing your trash around, putting things in the on-site dumpster you shouldn't be putting in, coming and going after hours, etc)  -- is NOT a way to get ahead in this business.  You anger them, you ruin your chances of being able to come back to the same spot and buy again.  And they can and WILL ban you from auction.  

 Tip #5:   Buy often from the same facilities- it's lovely to have a rapport built up with the facility owners and managers and they'll often give you extra time or allow you to use dumpsters, if they know you and are familiar with your work ethic.

 Tip #6:  Make sure you arrive at auction prepared!  Not having a lock, the proper amount of money,  or your necessary and required paperwork (drivers license, tax resale information, etc) - is NOT cute or funny.  It's annoying and rude to everyone involved in the storage auction process.  For online auction, you should make sure you bring the required items to pick up the storage unit.   Brooms, garbage bags, and hand sanitizer are always good things to have! 

Tip #7:   It's not always about finding treasure.  As long as you can make a profit (and have fun), that's what counts.  If you give up because you aren't making $2000 on your first unit, you often lose out on the $200 and $300 profits along the way.  Money is money, right?

 Tip #8:  Don't be surprised by all the jerks, freaks, and total nutjobs you'll encounter at Garage Sales and via Craigslist.   Just keep an even head and remember that it's pretty funny when you think about it (later).

Tip #9: Cultivate your contacts now so that you have the perfect buyer waiting before you even buy the unit!   You can put them in your phone with "Wants ___ item ____ Person's name."   So for example, if you meet someone looking for a Microwave named Larry, you save him as Wants Microwaves Larry.  When you get a microwave, it's easy to find out who wants it and their name at the touch of a button.

Tip #10: Cellphones and laptops are rarely ever in their boxes.  Don't assume that if you see a box, that item is inside the unit. Do you keep your working laptop and cellphone in a box?

Tip #11: --  Do NOT take even ONE item out of a storage unit until you have paid for it in full and you have the receipt in your hand.  Otherwise, the tenant could show up and pay, or the auctioneer/facility management can still negate the deal for legal or other reasons and then it becomes a nightmare trying to figure everything out.  Not to mention, you open everyone up to a potential lawsuit or criminal charge.  You don't put something from the mall in your car before paying for it, the storage facility should be treated with the same respect.

Tip #12:   Set your limits on a unit BEFORE bidding begins, and not after, and stick to it.  It's easy to get out of control when you don't like the person who is bidding against you or you have too much pride to back down, etc.  If you set your limits before-hand based on what YOU want to do (and not what anyone else wants to do or wants you to do), it's a lot easier to know when to stop.

Tip #13: If you're buying a unit with a friend you can invest in a lockout hasp so you can each put a different lock on it!

Tip #14: When having Garage Sales, don't forget to buy balloons.  You can get a nice group of about 7 helium balloons (including hi-float, which keeps them inflated long enough to allow you to buy them the night before your sale)  for roughly $10.  It makes about a $150-$300 difference in sales, so it's a huge advantage.  We'll have future blogs about how to have the best garage sale possible.

Tip #15:      If you're unsure of how long things have been in a unit, and are curious, check the newspaper that the items were wrapped in.  It's a surefire way to get an accurate date.  

Was there a tip you never heard of before?  Is there something you wish we would have touched more upon?  Let us know and we'll be sure to blog more about that in the future!

Until now, keep checking Http:// for great deals on storage units in your area, and we'll be back with you soon!