You’re no longer a newbie. You’ve gotten the taste for buying up repossessed storage lockers and you have a basic idea of how to go about turning the items inside into cash. Maybe you made it to a handful of storage auctions last month and made off with a nice score or two. Maybe you’ve been talking shop to the other auction hunters you met at sales and are beginning to get an inkling that you’re one of those people that’s going to get the bug bad. Once you’ve cut your teeth on a few successful storage auctions, it’s time to start re-examining and refining your process. Figuring out what you don’t already do that you need to do and what you already do but can do better will help you to at least double your storage auction profits over the course of your picking career.
Doubling Your Storage Auction Profits – Step #1
The first way to go about increasing your storage auction process is to streamline and strictly define your reselling process. What does this mean exactly? It means that instead of coming home with a big haul from a storage auction you just won and pulling some things out that you want and some things to give away to friends and some things to put into the back of the basement for the next time you run a yard sale, you need to have a formalized plan for each and every item before you even come home. Professional storage auction pickers know what they are going to do with their winnings before they even get them loaded into their vehicle.
If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I am a strong advocate of eBay for selling off your storage auction items. That’s because eBay is the world’s largest online auction site and the most trusted as well. Nothing will get your items in front of more buyers faster. If it were me bringing back my own storage auction winnings, I would already know that 95% of them were going to be on eBay by the end of the night. The only things that aren’t really appropriate for eBay are the over-sized items like bicycles or love seats. These need to be cleaned, polished up and set outside for yard sales. The best online avenue for large items, by the way, is craigslist.com. You can quickly put up a local listing for free that will have buyers in your immediate area calling or e-mailing you to see if they can arrange a time to check out or just outright purchase your goods.
Upping Your Storage Auction Income – Step #2
Learn how to price your items for optimal sales. If you list your items way too low, people will be more than happy to take them off your hands, leaving you with little or no profit. If you price your items too high, they will sit in the listings for months at a time, no matter how many times you re-list them. This is one of the most common mistakes I see when it comes to new users of eBay trying to re-sell their goods. The new sellers get excited because they have something to sell. Then they get attached to the item because they think about all the money it’s going to bring in. Then they just list the item at a price that everyone who passes by is snickering at, and they watch their item sit there for months on end.
Don’t do this. Just don’t do it. List it in the happy medium between dirt cheap and prohibitively expensive. If you don’t have a background in antiques or retail, and you don’t have a natural knack for turning sales around quickly, use a special eBay research tool like Terapeak to take the guess work out of pricing your items. Terapeak is a super easy tool that runs back through 90 days of actual eBay sales for your item and related items and develops real-world price points that will get your item sold for maximum profit.
Take it from my old boss Jim the eBay guru. When you get something, get rid of it. When you win something, sell it. You gotta turn that #$%^ around!
Maximizing Your Storage Auction Income – Step #3
Most beginning and intermediate storage auction buyers spend a lot of time on the phone. They spend time on the phone calling around to all the self storage properties in their area, trying to get a bead on the next auction that’s going to come along. The clever ones even call auctioneers and auctioneer companies to ask them about the dates and locations they’re booked for. Unfortunately, this method does not really work. Many self storage property managers don’t like it when random people call them to ask about their auction dates. Even the ones that don’t mind sometimes won’t even know when they’re holding an auction! That’s because there are so many variables that go into finally choosing an auction date – ranging from the important legal considerations like, “did we give this person their 48 days to pay?” down to more personal ones like when can we get enough workers here to cover the entire auction day – that the date of the actual sale will float on their calendars for a week or two until they actually pay the newspaper to advertise the set sale day.
How do professional auction buyers get around this? They subscribe to professional auction listings like the ones shown here. These premium storage auction listing services range in price from as little as $5 per month to much more, depending upon the number of auctions and storage facilities in your area, and they will include the auction day, time, facility name, phone number, and sometimes a general description of the goods found inside each unit!
If you have already turned a profit by grabbing up repossessed storage lockers, you may want to consider stepping up your game with professional storage auction listings. The major advantage to having professional auction listings is more time. Having this critical data served up to you on a silver platter gets you off the phone and back into your life. You can spend the extra time reclaiming your basement from all the storage winnings you’ve piled up there.