Buy units with nice boxes. People who purchase nice boxes usually means they wanted to keep their items in good condition. This is a good rule of thumb to remember when considering bidding on unit.
Nicely stacked units means care was taking to prevent damages to content.
Try to see if there is any labeling on boxes to give a tip of what is within.
Make sure to bring 2-3 padlocks with you. (You never know, a friend of mine got 9 storage units for 300.00 bucks one day! So you never really know.)
Be standing by with a truck that can remove the contents of the unit, in 1 or 2 trips. Paying to remove the content of the unit, will increase the cost of your overhead, and make it difficult to make money.
Never return personal items, trust me on this. This never works out well. I know this feels strange, but contacting the old owner is a mistake. *Don’t forget – in some cases you have just purchased the entire contents of someones life. If you want to do them a favor, properly dispose of their papers by shredding. Sounds harsh, but is the truth. In some cases, some storage companies will encourage you to return personal items, this is up to you.
I have always found household goods to be a safe bet. I like to see real wood desks, chairs, this also tells you that there is a chance of better quality items.