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.
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
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.
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
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.
One thing I feel was most important about part of buying auction units, was saving money when transporting your items.
So much money can be lost when moving items. I found that having a trailer allowed me move items quickly and easily. Truck rentals like Uhaul can add hundred of dollars in extra cost to overcome, a trailer cost me almost nothing.
Fun Fact: The trailer was a old bumper pull travel trailer, that I cut off the top and paid $35.00 dollars for @ auction.
Scott – What is going on at the storage auctions? I won a few storage units and I am very disappointed to say the least! I won 2 units – the first for $600.00 and the second unit for $300.00 and all said and done, I think I have lost about $100.00 for my time. — please help, Mary Las Vegas.
Yes with the new storage auction TV shows, it is very competitive bidding at the auction these days. I think people forget, that they are not the only ones watching TV.
Is there money still to be made? I think so, but this will be money found. The market is tight almost everywhere, even in second hand goods, and with storage auctions reaching the main stream, the prospects of making money has brought people out of the woodworks to bid!
Scott’s sneaky selling tip –
When buying many units, I found myself with an abundance of items like… dishes, VCR s, toasters, DVDs, mostly 1-5 dollar run-of-the-mill items. These are difficult to list on the web one at a time. To turn these into hundred dollar items, sometimes I would make what I would call “Home starter kits”. I would gather 10-25 items into packages that people living in the budget suites or maybe have recently relocated to the Las Vegas could use. For example: I would get full set of dishes, DVD or VCR with 10 dvds, blender, toaster, and sell this for-like $129.00.
Interview with Storage Unit Auction author Dirk McFergus
Scott: It’s my pleasure today to speak with my friend, Dirk McFergus, author of “From Garage Sale to Financial Freedom in Five Steps.” I don’t think many people know this but I have the first copy of his book and had the opportunity to watch him and his wife thrive in the Las Vegas storage auction business.
Dirk, you wrote about storage auctions back in 2008, do you think anything has changed since it’s become the subject of reality TV shows?
Dirk: Well, my book wasn’t just about storage auctions, it is about overcoming the disease of consumerism and learning to profit from it but clearly, purchasing mass quantities of deeply discounted second hand goods at storage unit auction was an integral part of the system I was proposing. The funny thing about what’s happening in the storage auction world today isn’t really that different than it was in 2008 there’s still tons of newbies and tons of old dogs running up the bids on those unaware of a storage unit’s potential value. TV has had an increase in the amount of people who are looking for alternative ways to make money by selling second hand goods.
Scott: When was the last auction you went to?
Dirk: Susan and I went to several auctions in Albuquerque last month. We recently moved to the area and were hoping to furnish our home. What we saw was quite interesting. While I doubt there will ever be a reality tv program about buying storage unit auctions in Albuquerque everyone there seems to think that there is a camera just around the corner. What people are paying for units there is outrageous. We ended up buying what we needed on craigslist. We’ll go back to auction again because we love the thrill but we refuse to overpay for anything, you know?
Scott: You know I have some theories about how to value the contents of a storage unit, how do you determine a unit’s value at auction?
Dirk: I read the articles on your website and agree with you about valuation. First, there’s what you can see. If I can see a refrigerator, I figure it’s worth at least a hundred bucks on the used market. If I see a couch, same deal. I mentally tabulate what I think I can sell the contents that I can see. Then there’s the boxes – if they were purchased, I figure the owner at least cared enough to buy storage boxes. If they’re in plastic bins, I figure the bins are worth $5 bucks each regardless of the contents. Then there’s the overall feel of the unit – did the people seem to care about their stuff or is it just thrown in as if they couldn’t wait to get rid of it. Some of this comes from experience; after you’ve seen the lid open on hundreds of units you develop an instinct and have an idea whether you should gamble or not.
Scott: I noticed that people seemed to gravitate towards certain types of units after a while. What types of units did you like to buy?
Dirk: I just loved to get into a true collector’s storage unit. One unit I bought had over 300 die cast car models selling between $30-$100 each on ebay and I loved everything about it. Those types of units were few and far between but that’s what I looked for. On the other hand, if I saw a unit with a visible tool box I wouldn’t bid on it because I thought there were just too many people looking for tools and paying too much for the units.
Scott: One of the things I noticed was that there was almost something weird or freaky in every unit. What’s the freakiest thing you found in a storage unit?
Dirk: That’s a tough question because we found some really freaky stuff, some freaky good, some not so good. On the bad side, it’s a toss up between the bag of dildos and the drug kits. On the good side was the freaky fully customized .38 handgun with laser scope or the solid gold penis piercing rod which brought us $900 from cashforgold.com.
Scott: Why did you get out of the storage unit business?
Dirk: I think I asked you the same thing when you were telling us about your experience and you said you got tired of moving other people’s things around and that’s sort of what happened to Susan and I. You saw the freak show that we lived in and how much merchandise we had in our home. You get to a point where you just have to have a retail outlet or you can never have a normal home. And the job is extremely physical. Towards the end, I would pass on units simply because I didn’t want to move the goods.
Scott: I really loved what you had to say in your book. I don’t think it has quite caught on like it should have. Has the book been successful for you?
Dirk: The funny thing is that I really wrote the book to clarify what I was thinking for my own benefit. The storage auction business really exposed me to many ideas that were just so far outside the conventional world that I had previously occupied. So writing successfully clarified a bunch of ideas that were burning in my mind at the time. The other thing is that I have done absolutely no promotion for the book whatsoever so the couple hundred copies it’s sold to complete strangers is truly remarkable to me.
Scott: What are you up to these days, your author bio says you live in Mexico.
Dirk: I don’t live in Mexico, that was something we were trying to do that didn’t really work out. We live in New Mexico and do a variety of things to earn money.
Scott: That sounds interesting and weird, you’re not willing to share any more than that?
Dirk: You know, there’s a hundred thousand different ways to earn money and the truth is that if you pick one and perform the tasks over and over again that the money will follow. I’ve picked on of the hundred thousand ways and perform the tasks repeatedly and it’s kind of boring. In my spare time, I co-authored a book with my super intelligent wife Susan McFergus about storage unit auctions which is currently with the editor.
Scott: Well, hopefully I’m able to introduce you to some new readers and I’d love to have a copy of your new book.
Dirk: I’ll give you a copy, in fact, I was looking at covers and none of the designs I was present with seem to express what I had in mind and maybe you’d like to add another book cover to your impressive design portfolio. Thanks for taking the time to call me. Best of success to you and your readers.
An email question I received, about buying storage units in Las Vegas.
First, I wanted to thank you for your awesome website!! The hubby and I were thinking of maybe buying a storage unit or two. We have been doing other sales on craigslist, but wanted to see if we can step it up a notch. I read your scammers beware part and we were thinking the same thing so were a little scared to get out there with our hard earned mu-la. I wanted to see if you happen to know if any companies that you have dealt with that you think we should stay away from? I know there is times when we have learned a lesson the hard way and I always share with friends when I do. We have five kids so we have plenty of crap of our own to sell all the time but with buying a storage unit here and there we are hoping to buy a house in this down market. Any help much appreciated. We will be heading out to the first auction this Saturday that I found in the announcements. Thanks for the link and tutorial. –Sarah, Las Vegas
First off I would like to Thank you for your question.
Buying storage’s units is overall very safe venture, most of the time its only a few hundred dollars at risk. Storage units can go for almost anything, but bidding on what you can see is a money saving statement. The best way to look at it, is like this… At the time of bidding, if you where 100% ready to pay for what you could physically see inside the storage unit, “most of the time” there is not going to be a problem. It is when I here of someone overpaying when they see a big screen TV, or something they believe to be a “goldmine” is when you run into a problem. Gamble at your own risk.
I have been burned buy storage units, but the bottom-line is, it has only amounted to a few hundred dollars loss. I know the market for buying storage units is very competitive with it coming to TV.
My best advise is to: sit back and wait, your unit is coming up!
Fun Facts: Here is a list of items that are only worth about half of what you think they are worth.
Sounds good! We do Dave Ramsey financial peace so Im very very patient 🙂 I have an eye for stuff my husband at first thought I was nutty but when he went a couple weeks with me not selling and saw how much I was bringing in selling on craigslist he jumped on board. We will be heading to our first storage auction tomorrow it should be interesting. We will probably just watch to see how it all works. I have to say I love the selling boxes idea I laughed today when I saw some in the dumpster behind Walgreen’s. I’m pissed about the storage wars thing and coupon thing on tlc I do both of those grrr.
While I was buying storage units at auction, I told a friend of mine what I was doing. Jeff was excited about the project and started buying his own storage units almost immediately. After a few months we worked on a book about selling stuff on Craigslist and had plans of making a website to sell it.
I don’t personally want to speak for Jeff success, but I think I can safely say neither one of us made a million selling on Craigslist. We did however have some short-term success, an some very interesting results and decided to write a book about it.
Jeff McCune esq. a God-Damn Uber-Genius, and “ME” owner of this website “Scott Asher”, venture capital entrepreneur celebrated for three days on a book we at one time hope to sell on a website I was making. About how to make money selling on almost anything on Craigslist. Here it is for free, for your viewing pleasure.