I have been an associate at Storage Station, in both the White Road and the Greenwood Lake Turnpike in West Milford New Jersey facilities, for four years now. Within this past year or two the show Storage Wars and others like it have become increasingly popular.
Because of it, I have been confronted numerous times by tenants asking if we do auctions like they do on TV. Sometimes they ask; how it happens, if people really make money off of it, and how do they get involved in the business. I am going to tell you the same thing I tell everyone. Yes we do have auctions, but shows like the Storage Wars make it seem like every storage unit will have gold or a Picasso painting. This is false. The ratio statistic, according to “reliable sources”, is about twenty percent that you will find something of value in every auctioned unit. Now, this is not to detour anyone’s mind, who may be interested in going to an auction. Whether it is for fun, curiosity, or as a profession there are many factors to increase your chances to get a great unit. The key is location. It plays a huge role in this industry as a whole. For instance, you want to pick a location that is well populated as well as high grossing income. This is because there will be a more likely chance those towns will store more valuable items. Now there are many people who just come to an auction here and there to check it out, and see what all the hype is about. And then there are a few people, we at Storage Station, 11 White Road and 1867 Greenwood Lake Turnpike, West Milford New Jersey, like to call “The Regulars”. This is because they never miss an auction. We can count on seeing their faces and bids, each and every auction we have.
They actually make a living on bidding and purchasing storage units at these auctions. If you have the time and adequate resources, this could be a very profitable and fun business to get into. If you are interested in this business, here are a few tips to get you started and to keep in mind. You will want to save some money. For a few months set aside some money you will not miss. I say this due to my knowledge of noticing new comers believe they can just take this week’s paycheck, purchase a storage unit, and will automatically be able to double what they spent for the storage unit. This could happen, but the chances are pretty slim to none. You do not want to spend your last few bucks buying a storage unit that could be a dud, and then you will not have money for your bills.
Another good idea is to go to auctions; you can do this while you are saving some money. Do not bid or purchase on any of the storage units. Just watch, and see what it is all about. Watch other bidders and see how they do it. It will give you a good idea of what you should do when you start. Take notice of the type of storage units they are bidding on, and for how much they are bidding. Look at the sizes and items inside the unit that interests the most people, and why. This will help give you technique as well as find your competitors, so you will be ahead of the game.
You will want to start off small. Bid on a smaller unit first, to get a feel for the whole thing, and then work your way up. You will also want to consider renting a storage unit yourself. This is a good idea if you plan on buying more than one unit at these auctions. You can use the space to keep all the items or products worth selling. Think of it as a mini, more affordable, warehouse. Here at Storage Station, we have many locations: two in West Milford New Jersey, one in Wayne New Jersey, two in Toms River New Jersey, and one in Middletown New York. At every one of our locations, we take pride in giving our customers the best service, price, quality, and protection. This may come to ease your mind, if you decide to rent a storage unit. Plus if you are buying units at our auctions, you will not have to go far to transport the items to your storage unit.
Next you are going to want to set up a plan on how to sell your items. I recommend signing up for EBay or Craigslist. Items usually sell pretty quickly and for a reasonable profit on these web sites. The biggest, most important factor is having the right mind set. Do not think you will get rich over night, because that’s very unlikely.
There will be good and bad units. But do not let one bad storage unit purchase stop you from continuing in the business. Keep your web sites up to date, and constantly attend as many auctions as possible. Another good idea is to visit yard sales, flea markets, garage sales, and thrift shops. This is a good idea because you will never know what odds and ends you may find at one of these places, which you could also put on your websites for sale, to boost up your inventory.
The storage auction business is far from easy. It takes time, experience, sometimes money, and hard work. But once you get established, it can be a very rewarding and profitable accomplishment. Hopefully my thoughts provided a basic education on the subject; it may come in handy one day. If you decide to get in the business as a profession then best of luck to you, but if you go to an auction and decide it is really not for you, than that is okay too. At least you experienced something new and that’s certainly never a bad thing.
Buying Auctioned Units and Turning it into a Profession brought to you by : Storage Station Self Storage and Storage Blog