So, you’re going to start buying abandoned stuff from self-storage auctions? Good for you. With all the different kinds of investment out there, you’ve chosen one that’s both unusual, and which you can make a career out of if you want. With that said, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole when it comes to these auctions. So keep the following tips in mind before you click that bid button.
Tip #1: Remember, You Probably Aren’t Getting Market Value For That Stuff
If you’re examining the photos of a self-storage auction lot, it’s easy to get excited because you find some high-price items. A Tiffany lampshade, perhaps, or some distinct steel-case watches from the second World War. However, before you start hammering on the bid button, it’s important to remember that the stuff you’re looking at is used. So you should knock at least 15 percent off what a new item would be worth, and probably as much as 20 percent just to be on the safe side. Keep that in mind when you bid, because if you pay more than you can sell your items for, you aren’t making a profit.
Tip #2: All That Glitters Is Not Gold
Would you rather make $10,000 in a month, or earn a penny doubled every day for those 31 days? Those of us who’ve done the math realize that taking the doubling penny is actually a much bigger payday. In much the same way making lots of small sales from your self-storage purchases will actually earn you a more reliable income than making one big score. However, it’s hard to focus on the smaller profits, even when they’re adding up to big numbers in your bank account.
Don’t be afraid to bid low, and sell small. As long as you’re making a profit, you’re winning at the game.
Tip #3: Treat It Like A Business
When you’re at an auction, even an online one, it’s easy to get swept up in the gamble of it all. Will your bid be the one that wins? Do the other bidders know something you don’t? Who will wind up with this lot when all is said and done?
Try your best to put those questions out of your head, and focus on what matters. You’re not rolling the dice in Las Vegas; you’re here to make a business purchase. Estimate what the storage unit is worth, and then subtract the costs of getting there, cleaning it out, storing the items, and making any necessary repairs to them. Then calculate how much profit you need to make for all that effort to be worth it. Once you have those numbers, you have your maximum possible bid. If you can get the lot for that number or less, do it. If you can’t, then walk away. There will always be another one.
Tip #4: Cast A Wide Net
The great thing about the Internet is it allows you to find out about self-storage auctions you would never have come across in the old days. However, too often we find a venue we’re comfortable with, and we settle into a rut. So instead of just sticking with one or two sites or facilities, branch out. Make connections in the community, and get a lead on where more auctions are happening. While you may not win at all of them, broadening your pool of investments is always a good idea.