Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Finding Storage Auctions

Finding storage facilities that auction abandon and foreclosed storage units is the first key to going to storage auctions. Let’s face it, if you don’t know where an auction is how will you be able to attend. Here we will look at several outlets one has toward locating storage facilities.

Newspapers: In most areas of the United States a storage facility must notify the public the location, time and date of abandoned and foreclosed storage units. These facilities use local newspapers for such public notifications. These notifications are usually located in the legal section of classified ads.

Internet: A good place to start your search using the internet is a site called . At you can set the distance you are willing to travel. Menus within their search fields have several types of auction formats to choose from. The dates will be displayed. Clicking on an active date will show the auctions, dates and locations.auctionzip

Telephone: Contacting storage facilities via a telephone is yet another good way to locate storage auctions. You can use your local telephone directory to find storage facilities within your area. The managers can advise you as to when they expect to hold auctions at their facilities. In some cases the facility manager will be the actual auctioneer for the facility. In some cases the manager will put you on a contact list to be notified of up coming auctions.

The Hard Way: The hard way requires you to get out of your chair and actually visit the storage facilities you are willing to travel to. Personal contact is the very best means of finding where auctions will be held. You will find that there are storage facilities that hold auctions once a year and others that have auctions as soon as the unit is foreclosed on. Getting to know the managers of the storage facilities within your area has it’s benefits. A bond of trust can quickly develop and these managers in turn may offer to waive any cleanout fees required upon winning a bid on their storage units. These managers may even offer you the contents of storage units that were left behind by previous renters. 


Happy hunting…..

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Emptying Our Own Storage Unit

Hopefully by days end we will have our own storage unit emptied out. All that’s let in it is a coffee table and two end tables. We received a call last night from a lady wanting to purchase them.coffeetables They were listed on craigslist for over a week, however when we reposted them yesterday evening we received a call within an hour.

As some of our readers know we had to replace both of our computers this month. On one the motherboard went out and on the other the hard drive died. Today before lunch we took the hard drive out of the one that the motherboard was bad in and put it into the other. We reformatted the drive and installed Windows XP Pro. Then we placed an ad on craigslist and received a call for it within 20 minutes. The guy will be here in an hour to purchase it. puter 001


More Storage War tips:

(7) If you see something of interest inside a storage unit keep your mouth shut and listen to the chattering. Others may or may not have seem the same thing. What you want to listen for is if others are talking the contents up or down. These are your competitors if you plan to bid on the storage unit. They want to “Low Ball” the unit and in most cases they can be easily out bid.

(8) Put on your “Poker Face”. It’s hard to tell what a person is going to do if they give no indication whether they intend to bid or not. Keep your intentions to yourself until you are ready to place your bid.

(9) You found a unit you really like. This takes patients on your part when the bidding starts. Before you place your bid wait until all the bids stall then yell out. At this point the bidding will most likely be between you and one other person. You then have a 50% chance of winning the bidding.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Storage Auction

We attended a storage auction today. Prospects for this auction seemed good when we left home. Windy, light rain, temperature in the low 40’s and all units being auctioned off would be outside in the elements. Like us you would think this would mean a small turnout for the auction.

The storage auction had advertized 16 units would be up for auction today. At 8:30am we arrived to find that there would be 12 units being auctioned. At 9:00am the instructions were given by the auctioneer and the number of units actually up for auction were 11. Yes someone came in and paid for a unit at the very last minute.

Back to the “Prospects seemed good”, not so. Over 100 people showed up in this nasty weather to try and win bids on the storage units. Just as expected from the size of the crowd bidding went right thru the roof. $50 value units were going for $180 and up. One unit that was 10x5 and full of boxes went for a staggering $1,100 followed by a unit with half as much content went for a whopping $875.

We would have loved to be able to take photos of the lockers as well as the crowd that turned out however that if not allow. Something about “Right to Privacy” laws prevents us from documenting the events using a camera. Of course once you own the storage unit contents you are free to click away as much as you want, as long as no one outside of your party is in the photos.

We didn’t come home empty handed because we still had our cash in our pockets. We hope for better luck next time. Maybe today’s winners have spent all they had for the month.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pre-Auction Jitters

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.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Readers Requested an Update

Wow has it been that long? Time flies when you get up there in age!

We are in the same RV Park that we landed in back in September of 2010. Although we have looked at many others none compare to this location for our needs and wants.

Due to our health we stay at home a lot so there hasn’t been much to write about. We did however start a new endeavor. We entered the world of “Storage Wars”. How exciting is that?

I know you are saying, “How could we enter the world of Storage Wars while living in an RV”! The answer is easy, we manage. We rented a storage unit about a mile from our camp site. When we are able to win a storage unit at auctions we load up and bring the stuff (JUNK mostly) to our storage unit. Then we sort thru it and sell what we can in hopes of making a profit. I must say that this endeavor is not for everyone. It takes a lot of risk and hard work. There are no WOW items as seen on several TV shows in real day to day storage unit auctions. There may be an item that was overlooked before the auction however this is really rare.

Selling the good items found in storage units is not a hard as disposing of the trash and junk items. You can put trash and junk in trash bins at the storage facilities, however this would get you a stiff fine or even some time spent in jail. Dumping at storage facilities is just not allowed. We could transport the trash and junk to a local landfill but there is additional cost involved. Our solution was to find someone that would take the junk and trash off our hands at no cost to us. In turn we have such a person now that we can call before the trash and junk reaches our own storage unit. How cool is that?

The following photos shows the recent pile of what we call junk. Items that were in need of some type of repairs. Easy fixes for someone that wanted to fool with these things. Also boxes and bags of miscellaneous items as well as the trash. “Good ole Charlie” answered our craigslist ad for free stuff and came and got it all today and said he would be more than happy to take what we did not want to keep, trash, junk or whatever. He’s on speed dial now.

Locker 001Locker 002 Locker 003