What’s up with Las Vegas Storage Unit Auctions?

Question:

Scotty Boy, I was at a storage unit auction in Las Vegas and I couldn’t believe what people were paying for the stuff.  What is going on with this craziness?

James B., Las Vegas

Answer:

James, I was in town for the storage unit auction last week you’re referring to and I agree that there is some craziness going on here.  What I saw were a bunch of laptards, desperate for merchandise, willing to pay anything to give themselves work.  That first storage unit auctioned off for $750 absolutely blew my mind.  There’s no way, in my opinion that unit full of junk could have been a profitable purchase at that amount.  In fact, everything sold at that particular auction was sold too high.  As a professional buyer, I just watch and walk away from such situations.  It appears, at least at the moment that the gig is up in the Las Vegas Storage Unit Auction game.   So it’s time to move to plan B.

Plan B:  There are still many buying opportunities out there that you can be looking at – it just takes more effort on your part to find them.  Try looking over the collectibles for sale on craigslist.  When you see something that strikes your fancy, check the completed listings on ebay.  What you’re looking for is a high percentage of listed items closing and an average amount per sale.  When you find something that looks like a winner on ebay, go back to craigslist and start making low-ball offers on the ads.  If you’re persistent enough with this, you will get merchandise and be able to make a profit on ebay.  Also, get back on a garage sale circuit.  Stay away from the pro garage sale and stick with the people who just want to clear out stuff so that they can go buy more stuff.  There are many fantastic bargains waiting for ebay sellers at garage sales.  In time, the las vegas storage unit auction circuit will thin out.  The laptards that are overpaying will go out of business and you can get sheds full of great stuff cheap perhaps.  But you can’t put all your eggs in one basket so being in an opportunistic business, you have to go where the opportunities are.

Thanks for the great question – I hope this answer helps.

Scott Asher

Old Painting Found in Storage Unit Auction

Hey Scott, I bought my first storage unit at auction last week. There was some decent stuff, furniture, appliances, a sweet tv, some video games and dvd’s. The reason I’m writing is I found an old painting but I can’t find anything about it because it’s not signed. Any ideas on how I can figure out if it’s worth anything?

Thanks,
Ron, Las Vegas

Hi Ron, congrats on getting some good stuff. I have to tell you that my wife and I have found some art that we couldn’t figure out anything about. I have a couple ideas that might help you. I am aware of four auction houses near Las Vegas, Las Vegas Auction, McManus Auction, Clark County Public Auction, and Darwin’s Auction at the Boulder City Antique Mall. They all offer consignment and might have an idea about the value of your painting. You can also take digital pictures and start sending them out to various places on the internet like askart.com and artnet.com. What we usually do is take great pictures and list them on ebay with a starting price of 9.99 but we purchase the Gallery Plus feature. This gets the painting an affordable exposure and we’ve sold the majority of our art this way. One last option is to call some local antique dealers and ask them if they’re interested in looking at the painting. We’ve had several come to the house and we ask them lots of questions. They usually say they have to research the item and you’ll never hear from them again. The process can be frustrating but the last thing you want to happen is sell it at a garage sale for $50 and then see the buyer on the antique roadshow with a $20,000 painting.
Hope that helps,
Scott R Asher

How Many Garage Sales Can I have?

QUESTION:

Hey Dirk,
I was looking at your book on Amazon and love the idea of making some money at garage sales but a neighbor told me that we’re only allowed by law to have two garage sales per year. Even if I had the two best garage sales ever, I don’t see how it’s possible to reach financial freedom from that. I know there are people that break this law, how do they get around it?

Dana, Atlanta

ANSWER:

Dear Dana,
Thanks for your question. First, I wouldn’t take your well meaning neighbor’s word on the legal limit for garage sales in your neighborhood. You need to determine whether you’re governed by the city or county, depending on where you live and actually read the ordinance or code that states the legal limits for garage sales in your jurisdiction. Second, understand that code enforcement is a complaint driven process. If nobody complains about your garage sale then, in theory, you could have it every day. I was personally told this by more than one code enforcement officer when I lived in Las Vegas. Also understand that the definition of garage sale is typically considered “outside sales.” That means that you’re not having a garage sale if you’re selling items inside the house.

When I first started the business I held a garage sale every weekend until a neighbor complained. I told my mentor about code enforcement showing up at my door and he told me my problem was that I hadn’t involved my neighbors. He told me to speak to the neighbors, invite them to hold sales at the same time and give them items they want from your sale for free – in essence, to bribe them. The next opportunity I had to hold a “legal” garage sale, we printed a letter to the neighbors explaining that the law allowed so many days of outside sales and we were going to have the first of our four days on such and such weekend. We invited them to participate, that we would advertise the sale as a multi-family sale and they knew how much traffic we could generate and they could profit and have fun as well. Nobody on the block chose to participate but we never had any further complaints from the neighbors and we extended our sales past the legal limit on several occasions. If you have a good relationship and respect the fact that nobody wants to live next to a permanent garage sale, you can exceed the legal limit of sales days without incident. Just don’t be obnoxious about it. Also, if you read my book, you’ll find that I describe many other outlets to sell your merchandise besides garage sales. Garage sales are just the beginning of learning to sell on a personal level and to determine the intrinsic value of any item. Once you acquire that skill, you’ll see that you can make money anywhere, all the time.

To buy Dirk’s book:

A storage auction setup

The dreaded “setup” or staging of a unit.

The “setup” is when a storage company or auction house will more-or-less stuff a bunch of shit, from stuff laying around, or combine some smaller units and auction it off. In a few cases over the years, I got paid $100.00 bucks to haul off units.

Yes this sucks for the people at the auction! How does a setup go-down? Maybe the storage company has some left over units with some junk they are unable to get-rid-of, so they will just slap the junk they have laying around in a open storage unit and just auction it off!

Fun Story: I had a large truck and when units went unsold or they just had a few things left behind. I would tell the manger at the storage facility, that I will remove all his unwanted items or units for a fee and haul it all to the dump. One time I was at the storage auction an about 3 units went unsold. I over-heard the manger telling the auctioneer that he had to get rid of a bunch of stuff, because garbage was really piling-up. So I offered my services, and he said ok. I removed about 5 units of junk, we kind-of hit it-off and we where talking about how he had been removing stuff from the units and getting a real stockpile of goodies. To be honest, after buying a few storage units myself, it was disturbing to even hear this come out of him mouth. Trust me, you never want to be bidding on a unit that, the “good stuff” has been removed.

Storage Auction – The Other Side of the Story

From time-to-time I will have articles written for my website, and I think this one is very special. It-just-so-happens… My Writer had lost her stuff  in storage and it was auctioned.

I would like to present her story:

Allen Watts spoke many years ago, so many in fact that most people have no idea who I am talking about which is truly a shame as  Allen’s message is as true today as it was in the 1950’s, but  Allen has the curse of being old news and American culture has no use for old news.  Allen spoke about the cookie, that fabled moment in life where everything is alright, life is as it should be and we have acquired everything necessary to achieve happiness.  The trick is that there is no cookie, no magic moment where the stars align and peace falls over the earth.   The result?  Generation after generation of restless, unsatisfied people that expect something from the world as though as it was their right, not something that comes as a result of hard work or unselfish kindness.

The economy is falling apart; too many American’s have no work and no way of paying the bills or meeting the social expectations set forward by our media saturated society.  Without money or possessions we are nothing.  A series of disturbing trends have begun with the evolution of reality TV, Storage Wars is only one of many, but at the top of the list today because Storage Wars has the added benefit of being “new” and quite possibly “improved”.  The show follows people, just normal average everyday people who have achieved success by profiting from the failings of others.

Auctions are not new, there are many who have survived in the business for many years, buying and selling and buying and selling.  But today, what was once a normal and predictable world has been invaded by the blind masses, normal average everyday people who gather early on a week day to get that quick peek inside the darkened storage room and hope to win the bidding war, the last great modern battlefield.

The process is quite simple and direct, no one gets a look into that mysterious room, save for what is visible from their vantage point and the bidding begins immediately thereafter and ends within seconds.   Bidders have formed something of a secret society, they share a common goal.  The goal is to get as much as you can for as little as you can and hide those findings from everyone, from other bidders, from the owners of the storage unit and most importantly, the forgotten person standing in the back, watching their possessions disappear before their very eyes.  Absorbed by other people who care nothing for the person taking a loss in this situation, people who care only about the mysterious cookie that may or may not be hiding under that fascinating tarp.

I have been victim to that very thing.  My roommate and I changed locations in LA and our new, smaller living conditions couldn’t hold all of our exquiste crap.  So we left many essentials in the storage unit.  Then things got tough, and tougher still and we were unable to make our payment (it goes without saying that storage units in LA are no cheap thing to maintain) and before we knew it, the letter came but it was too late.  I lost a lifetime of Christmas decorations, precious pictures, winter clothes, a guitar and the dummy guide book I bought to go with it, .  My roommate  lost his entire collection of Marylin Monroe wine bottles, glasses and other collectables that he been building up for years, things we both treasured and those things probably brought no satisfaction to the person who bought our unit.  We did not attend the auction that day, there was nothing we could do to stop what was happening and watching would have been far too difficult.  It is  also a reality that we brought it on ourselves, there is no one else to blame.  We couldn’t pay the bill, we should have taken steps to remove our things and come up with a better solution.  At the end of the day, we are all responsible for our own situations and responsible for protecting ourselves from the dangers of the world.

So recognizing that we all share in the responsibility and we all share an itch, a restlessness and dissatisfaction, let’s scratch that itch.  The storage auction battlefield is alive and well in your local community for anyone who would be interested in checking it out, bidding and taking part of the spoils of buried treasure.  It is true that most American’s have some form of gold, literally gold, even if they don’t realize it.  This is just one example of the possibilities hidden in those dusty boxes and underneath dusty tarps.  Possible cookies that call our name in the night and ruin our rest. — little outside Denver.

Gold in every storage unit?

Yes! As a matter of fact – I found gold in most storage units I won at auction!

I am not talking about striking it rich by finding a stack of gold bars in a storage unit, but I would say that 8 out of 10 storage units with everyday household items had some sort of gold in them.

Most people own some-type of gold, earrings, necklace, rings, teeth, just about anything you can think of. One ring might be worth twenty bucks, but put all your gold together and it really adds up! Over the time I was buy storage units at auction I would say I found about 3 ounces of scrap gold total.

Want to sell your gold? Gold scams are at an all-time high so you need to be careful.

What is the best way to cash in your gold?

First you need to find out just how much gold you have. Then you need to find out what karat of gold you have and the weight. Then this will give you an idea of what your gold is worth.

The best way to proceed is to shop around! I would get 3-5 bids and only deal in cash, because onces it gone, it’s gone!

Many people claim to pay the most, but this not true. Gold buyers are looking to pay the least for your gold, so the closer to market value you can get the better off you are.

Tight for money? Sell your unwanted jewelry using Cash4Gold today!

How much money do you need to get started buying storage units at auction?

The total amount needed to invest can vary between $10.00 & $700.00 on average, but it can go even higher on any storage unit being auctioned. You never know what is behind the door or who is going to show up. It is hard to pinpoint the amount of money to take with you, so it is best to bring the maximum amount of money your are willing to spend (or lose) on the project. Buying storage units can be risky business, so it is best to sit back an watch till you feel comfortable.

HELP TIP: From my experience, about 80% of storage units auctioned end at a final value of $100.oo-$300.oo. Some storage facilities require a $25-$100 deposit to assure them that you will have the contents cleared out and return the unit in rent-able condition within 24 hours after the auction. And don’t forget to bring your own lock!

You can also check out my eBay, I am a real storage auction guru!

Want to see some of the crazy things I have gotten out of a storage unit? look here

Best way to sell your storage auctioned goods.

There are many ways to sell storage auctioned goods, I am going to go over what I feel worked well for me and why.

eBay – eBay started as a strong front runner when I first got started buying storage units, but after rising cost for listing items on eBay, the shipping cost and Paypal fees this became less of an attractive method to move my storage auction winnings. In my opinion, eBay’s feeing system was no longer advantageous for the seller.

*also I am working on my eBay blog talking about my selling experience. If you would like to see my eBay profile here

Craigslist – I like Craigslist overall, but even with this method of selling things it has some unwanted side effects. I know Craigslist in some markets is much better than others, but with all the new changes making listing more challenging and the overall decline in quality responses, craigslist in my mind has became almost annoying.

**SELLERS NOTE: I think eBay and craigslist is very useful tools, but you must be selective in what items you sell! Cost involved with eBay only make it a good for selling things with a high return, Craigslist is hit or miss on almost anything, and you always have to deal with lots of spam.

Selling at Garage sale – This I think is best way to sell your storage items, it uses everything you have right in-front of you, and very low over-head! I think most treasure seekers are out and about! You might be asking yourself, do I want to sell my stuff at the garage sale? I think that answerer is “Yes.” Many people are out seeking items that have value to make potential money left on the table.

Can’t have a garage sale? No Problem! Most cities have a local flea-market, an for just a few bucks you can get in-front of 100’s of people to sell your items.

With eBay and craigslist there is a premium to be paid on everything you sell. It might be gas, to meet people or shipping materials, it all adds up to something! I found that a garage sale brings everyone to me, todays garage sale shopper is a savvy collector, digging in the trenches for products to resale, even to this day I can still spot items to buy for just a few bucks and make 100’s reselling them on eBay.

No fly by night get rich schemes here – Storage Auctions are real profit

Storage Auction Wealth is not a get rich quick scheme. This is a guide to an actual business that can make you a great deal of money if you are willing to put in the work.

I am not going to tell you that you will get rich by doing nothing. If you want to make the money from storage unit auctions then you have to be willing to work at it. Following the tips and tricks in Storage Auction Wealth will make it easier but you still must follow through with the process.

  • Recession Proof Business – This business actually thrives when the economy is down. People lose jobs, which means they can’t pay their storage bill. That’s where you come in!
  • You Can Have An Unlimited Income Potential – The beauty of this business is that you can scale it as much as you want. You can work alone or have employees that after you buy several units per auction.
  • You Can Start On A Shoestring Budget – With some hard work, sweat equity, and a little ingenuity you could start at the very bottom and work your way all the way up to the top.
  • This Is Not A Trendy New Business – Since the dawn of storage units there have been people that have defaulted on their units. Storage facility owners have auctioned these defaulted units for decades.
  • You Can Make A Lot Of Money – While I can’t promise that you will become a millionaire in this industry, I have met several people in this business that make as much as $250,000 per year, and even some that have multi-million dollar businesses where they re-auction the items that they bought from the storage auctions

Over 100,000 storage units are auctioned off every day

Why storage unit auctions?

Storage unit auctions are one of the easiest and least expensive opportunities for resellers to find products.

Best of all you have the opportunity to get these hidden treasures for pennies on the dollar.

Each day storage unit owners start the process of foreclosing on storage units that have not been paid for. Once they have completed this process they attempt to recoup their losses through an auction. Enterprising resellers can profit from this by purchasing the storage units for a low price and selling the contents.