My “little niche” for buying storage units was the furniture. I was always looking for storage units with good solid real wood furniture. The real wood would allow me to easily fix anything broken, paint or re-stain if needed, and at the very least provide me better return on my money.
My theory to support this is, Las Vegas, where I purchased most of my storage units. Las Vegas is a real transient place. Everyday people are always moving in and out of Las Vegas, therefore made used furniture a safe bet.
Congratulations on winning your first storage auction!
I have outlined the steps to liquidating the contents of your storage unit.
You need to remove the content in the storage locker, in most cases this needs to be done within 24 hrs. Some people will take their time looking through boxes and sort the items. I don’t even bother going through the content until I have removed everything.
Remove trash and sort. I like to remove all the personal documents and pictures and shred them. Some storage facility encourages you to return the personal documents as a courtesy, I never do this. I properly dispose of all documents and photos by shredding them, as a courtesy.
I look at everything in the unit. To date I have found $1500.00 in a sock, $3000.00 in a Bible, it’s not just cash, but it is almost anything. People hide things in their house, just like you! BUT sometimes they will forget where they have hidden their most treasured item and you can become the benefactor of these items, but remember, you must look through everything in the unit!
When sorting you must remember almost everything is worth something, knowing where to sell it can make all the difference. It sounds sick and gross, but I have sold a 5 gallon bucket full of USED sexual devices.
I make three piles. *Moving things once can save you time and money.
1. eBay – I snap all the photos, right on the spot. Within 72 hours I will have the selected items posted on eBay. As for pricing the storage unit items, I have a good idea of what items go for. However, I will do a market value research on items I am not clear on to ensure the best return on the item.
2. Garage sales or flea-markets – I store these items in easy stackable crates. This give me the ease of loading and unloading the storage units items to be sold at the flea-market on Friday.
3. Craigslist – I have photos of everything. I have prepared a template with a meeting address, contact information and a short description for buyers, which allows me to cut my time in half pasting and post on Craigslist.
*Fun fact: Craigslist online free classifieds has not reached full popularity across the US, in many areas, this is not the most popular method of reaching the masses! ***also see: Backpage online classifieds.
Tip: Make money with donations, I took many items I found to the salvation army or local woman’s shelter to get a tax write-off.
Self appraisal – looking up things on the web and researching cost can make you more money, for most things there is already an established cost. But sometimes it boils down to what someone is willing to pay.
Having connections to sell items can help – I knew where to sell my storage items living in Las Vegas, about three hours from the Pasadena swap-meet in California allowed me good access to a large market of buyers/collectors.