Storage unit auctions have been increasing in popularity ever since the introduction of the popular TLC television show Storage Wars in 2010. Winning an auction and finding some treasure inside a unit is the dream of every single person who attends one. Participating in these events isn't an inherently complicated experience, but like with any activity, there are ways to do things right and ways to get them wrong.
We’ve put together the five main mistakes people tend to make at storage unit auctions - and how to avoid them - so you can make the most out of each one you attend.
They don’t bring everything they need
You can't just show up to a storage unit auction and assume everything is going to be fine. There are a number of things you'll need to have with you to get things done the right way. First, bring a flashlight and a good pair of gloves. Second, bring your own lock to lock up the units you win. You might be able to buy locks from the facility, but they usually inflate their prices. Finally, arrive in a vehicle that's big enough to handle any larger items you might leave with. A few more things you’re going to want include: cash, a notebook to take notes, and your phone.
They Expect to make a profit on every unit
Moral of the story here: you won't. You can be an expert with dozens of auctions under your belt and still get stuck with a dud every now and then. Learn to let it go, keep moving, and not let it drag you down too much. If you can't, the storage auction industry might just not be for you.
They don’t figure out where to resell items they find before they bid
The first place many beginner resellers go is eBay or Craigslist. These are totally acceptable outlets, but if you want to turn auctions into more than just a hobby, it's a good idea to build relationships with people who you know will buy certain things. This could mean secondhand stores, flea market sellers, local auction houses, or just people you've met. Build a community for reselling to make the biggest bang for your buck.
They don’t understand the terms of sale for the auction before it begins
Make sure you know when you have to remove items from the unit after buying it, along with other sale terms such as the existence of a cleaning deposit, before you buy. That way, you won’t find yourself hit by something you’re not prepared for.
They bid on everything
You need to learn one very important affirmation if you're going to regularly attend storage unit auctions: you have not failed if you don't bid on a unit. Bidding on every unit will lead to the real failure during auctions, which is losing money. Use your brain, consider everything carefully, and only bid on units where you feel certain there is a profit for you to make.
No matter how into it you get, storage unit auctions can be a fun and engaging pass time for anyone. If you need a place to store the things you get at auctions before you sell them, look no further than Storage Direct!