Many storage unit facilities have gone to online selling because it is simply easier and in some cases they get more money for it. They don't have to hire an auctioneer or extra staff to cover the sale. Online the sale can last from 5-30 days or more and this gives the facility owner plenty of time to get in more bids on the units!
Why we buy storage units: More bang for the buck Buying in volume Hidden Treasure / Thrill Of The Hunt Find and learn about different items we would not normally pick up at other sales
Why we buy storage units online: More time to see what we are seeing Can get bids on units in towns we can not attend live auctions at Can be more selective so we are not over bidding just to bid
There is however a lot to consider or factor in when buying storage units online compared to a "LIVE" auctions. At "LIVE" auctions you have the advantage of being able to see, smell and identify damage, quality, age and maybe if the locker has been gone through or "Staged" easier than an online auction.
What does it mean to find a staged locker?
Unfortunately some facility owners will go through a unit prior to a sales and put a few good or higher quality items upfront hoping to get more bids for that unit. Learn to recognize this when qualifying a unit and you will be the "smarter" bidder.
Pictures help but: Online storage unit auction pictures are great but if they don't have a lot of pictures or the close up view is blurry then more questions (gamble) comes up than firm numbers to bid against.
Other considerations: Also you have to factor in travel time, clean out time and how long it may take items to sell. Many times we are buying storage units online that are 50-100 miles away. Last time we bought a big locker we had to make two trips. Really blew up our budget! See that video here - THE BIG STORAGE UNIT!
We have bought winners and losers but the fun of the treasure hunt keeps us coming back for more. Watch this video for a little more insight into buying online storage auctions! ==>
My top 5 Tips for buying Storage units Online:
#1) Has the unit been staged? - All the good stuff right up front? #2) Does the unit look empty? Have they already took out the valuables and left behind the stuff they didn't care about #3) Dust / cobwebs - Helps give an idea how long the unit has been there - could be more vintage goodies? #4) Empty space up front, middle or in the back? Could be something hiding out of camera view or something may have been removed? #5) Look for accessories to the bigger items to see if they are complete
*BONUS TIP - Always have somebody else look at the auction with you. They may see something of value you did not! Recently my buying partner spotted a piece to an expensive leaf blower that I had shrugged off as a vacuum cleaner part. It was the leaf blower, it was complete and we sold it pretty quickly for a nice chunk of change.
Examples of items we have found and sold from storage units ... Furniture, Video Games, Bowling Bag, Welder and accessories, Hand Power Tools, Work Bench, Wood Lathe, Computer equipment / Software / hardware, Exercise equipment, Toys, Some Clothing - Mostly donated and Electronics both vintage and modern.
We hope this post has been helpful as you get ready for your first or next auction. Please make sure to comment below and share with the social media tabs provided!