We have gotten on text call lists of some of the auctioneers within our area. Late last night a text came in notifying us of a storage facility auction with 16 units starting at 9am Monday. The first time we had received such a notice we thought WOW that’s a lot of storage units, however when auction time came there would be only 3 or 4 units being auctioned. The reason being, customers would pay up the morning of the auction rather then loose all their items. On a good note we have seen the advertized number of units actually being auctioned.
Ok, you get notice of a storage auction. Several things will go thru your mind whether you are a pro or amateur “Storage Warrior”. How much cash should I take along? How many units should I try to win? How high should I bid on each unit? This is what I call the “Pre-Auction Jitters” and it happens every time I get notice or find an up coming storage facility auction.
You have to stop yourself from over thinking the “How much, How many, and How high’s” else you will drive yourself crazy!
My rules of thumb: Take whatever amount of cash that makes you happy. Bid on as many as you are willing to labor over. You have some time to decide the value of the storage unit contents, set your top dollar and try to stay under that amount.
Tips: Although I am willing to offer some tips I use for storage auctions I will keep some to myself so I will not loose my all of my advantages.
(1) Arrive at least 30 minutes early so you can study your opposition as they arrive. Take time to meet and chat with them a bit but do not ask how well they are doing in this business.
(2) Be sure you bring your locks. Keep them out of site so you will not offend your opposition. Displaying your locks will draw attention to you very fast. Displaying locks is an intimidation trick that causes the weak people not to be against you, it also marks you as a villain.
(3) Look the contents over as best as you can. The auctioneer gives plenty of time because the better look the bidders get the more he/she can get out of the bidding. You do not need to be the first one to the door so do not panic.
(4) Tell signs. If the contents in the unit look as if they were thrown in the unit in a rush chances are they were. This could very well mean the contents are what’s left from a yard sale. If most of the content are in those dark type trash bags it means the owner was either too lazy to pack or they were too cheap. Don’t expect fine quality goods out of trash bags. When you see furniture assume all of it is made from faux wood unless you know for a fact it is real wood.
(5) When bidding make sure that the auctioneer can see you. Listen close so you know what the asking bid is. If you get confused speak up and ask the auctioneer what the last bid was, he/she will be happy to let you know. If you try to make someone over pay for a unit by driving the bid up, keep in mind that you also made yourself a target for over paying and such an action can and will backfire.
(6) Someone wants the unit at any price. These guys are dangerous bidders. They do not intend on reselling the content but rather keep it for themselves. They usually win the best quality and quantity packed storage units. To out bid a dangerous bidder means you will not profit if you intend to resell the contents. Most of the time a dangerous bidder is easy to spot as the bidder will have a few other people with him/her, kind of like a family outing.
More tips and tricks to come later.