When it comes to local storage auctions, what you see is not always what you get. Sometimes this works out for the better, such as when you inherit somebody’s “junk” only to find it’s full of precious heirlooms and valuable antiques that you turn around for serious cash. It can also turn the other way and end up in massive disappointment, such as when you big hard and fast for a big unit you see real potential in, only to find out later that the tools don’t work, the furniture is all busted up and none of the electronics will turn on.
Regardless of how your buyer’s luck might shake out from auction to auction, over time you will notice that true storage auctions experts have a knack for knowing what kinds of items have real value for them. Keep in mind that when it comes to judging “real value”, the calculation for a storage auction expert might go a bit differently from that of your average shopkeeper trying to decide whether or not they want to stock something.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of the more valuable categories of items you want to look out for, keep in mind that the spoils of any repossessed storage locker you obtain only have value to you insofar as you are able to turn them around – to make that re-sale and get the cash from a motivated buyer. You never want to fall into the same trap as those delinquent tenants whose things you just saw auctioned off! Don’t accumulate junk just to sit on it. Go into every auction with a plan, move your items quickly, and ditch or donate the remainder that just won’t sell.
Typical Valuables Found in Storage Auction Units
Tools are commonly overlooked by auction unit buyers that have never had real occasion to purchase or work with them. The truth is that good tools are expensive and high sought after. It can cost thousands and thousands of dollars to replace a comprehensive set of tools, and so many craftsmen, construction workers, and handymen of all kinds simply cannot find gainful employment unless they have a reliable set of tools. This means that auction units that contain a good number of hand and power tools become highly prized by the auction hunters that know what they’re doing. Keep an eye out for saws, power cables, hammers, nails, special tool boxes or any other clues that the tenant was storing their tool set. Even when tools are used they can be resold locally for a nice profit, as people are always looking for a less expensive way to get their hands on a reliable set of tools as their own begin to break and wear down.
Certain Types of Furniture
Although there are many kinds of furniture that can have a great value, it’s more difficult to judge quickly and under pressure which end tables are antique and which are just junk. Therefore, we usually recommend that auction hunters keep an eye out for drawers or small cabinets that have multiple containers or compartments inside. If the furniture piece itself is nice, there’s a good chance that the tenant was keeping something even nicer inside. Lots of the jewelry finds occur when auction buyers target repossessed storage lockers that feature small cabinets or wooden chests.
The thing about electronics is that they’re sort of a gamble. There’s no guarantee that they’re going to be in working order when you try to boot them up, and there’s no way of testing them out beforehand. You simply take them at face value when you buy a repossessed storage locker full of electronics. Worst case scenario, you can break them down and re-sell the motherboards of computers and the various metal wirings and precious elements of household appliances.
The problem, however, is that there are plenty of household appliances that are made so cheaply, and available to everyone in such abundance, that it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to re-sell them effectively. You’re not going to be making much profit off of used toaster ovens.
If you do decide to target electronics in your next local storage auction, go after the specialty items. The more specialized, the better your chances of a profitable resale. Think espresso makers, fancy coffee presses, carbonation machines, high quality ice cream makers and the like. Even if you can’t find a good market for them on the more popular online auction sites, you have good chance of finding someone locally that will pay cash for a discounted and working specialty appliance.