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How To Play The Storage Unit Auction Game

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You may have seen a popular television show where people bid on abandoned self-storage units. Wondering how you can get in on the fun and profit? Here are some tips to help you get started.

Locate Self-Storage Companies In Your Area

Go online and do a search for all of the storage companies in your area. You can also check the phone book. Compile a list, and call the different companies to see how and where they list their upcoming auctions. Some may advertise in the newspaper; others may have an email list or place notice directly on their website. Once you know when and where an auction is going to be held, you'll want to make sure you set yourself up for success.

  • Bring cash. Most places won't accept checks or even debit or credit cards, so bring along enough cash to cover the highest you're prepared to go. This is also a good way to ensure you don't get caught up in the bidding excitement and surpass your set limit.
  • Keep the kids at home. Unless you want to hear "I'm bored. I'm thirsty. I have to go potty," nonstop, leave them home. Do bring along a helper if you're not going to immediately rent the storage unit, however. They can help you move heavy items. 
  • Bring a truck. Rather than rent the storage unit, most people just immediately begin sorting through the unit to discover exactly what they have just purchased. This way they can load their truck up as they go. If you don't have a truck, you will need a trailer or have access to a friend's.
  • Do your research ahead of time. In order to stay competitive, you have to stay up-to-date on what is selling and what's not. The best way to do this is study online auction sites. Overtime, you will eventually get a feel for what people are interested in, and the prices they're willing to pay. Exploring antique shops and collectibles websites is another way to learn what's popular and get help with pricing.
  • Don't expect every self-storage unit to be profitable. They can't all be winners. Some units might have been abandoned to begin with because the contents were basically junk. Try to recoup your losses by scrapping out any worthless metal objects. And remember, one man's junk is another man's treasure. While you may have not hit the mother lode of collectibles, you can still sell common household items on local social media buy, swap, and sell sites.

For more information, contact a service like Colfax West Self Storage.