Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Storage Auction Tips Part 1 - What to bring with you
One of the ways I make extra money is to buy the contents of storage units at auctions and resell for a profit, usually via eBay, Craigslist, and garage sales.
After doing this several times I have picked up on a couple tips that will make your life a lot easier and limit the hassle involved. For this installment of storage auction tips, I'm going to list several things I recommend bringing with you to make the process easier.
1. Flashlight - Please don't bring a huge pistol-grip floodlight so you can look like the people in 'Storage Wars' You just don't need it. This is the equivalent of wearing sunglasses at a casual home poker game; it just makes you look like a douchebag. The vast majority of the time you can see what is in the unit just fine without using any kind of light at all, but sometimes it is helpful. It that case, any modern LED flashlight with decent output is fine. There is no reason it should be too big to fit in your pocket.
2. Padlocks - If you are lucky enough to win 1 or more units, you usually do not start immediately emptying it. You may have a couple more to auction off, or whatever. It is a good idea to have your own lock to put on there. Many times the facility will put theirs on there for you, but its easier and safest for you to use your own. Doesn't hurt to have a couple extra in your car.
3. Totes and boxes and garbage bags- Don't take it for granted that the items in the units will be bagged or boxed, as many times (maybe even MOST times) there is a lot of loose stuff. If you don't have boxes or containers to put it in you will waste a lot of time and spend a lot of energy moving every little item individually. And there will be trash. Sometimes LOTS of trash so make sure you have a few rolls of garbage bags handy.
4. Push Broom and dustpan - Speaking of trash, it is your responsibility to clean the units you purchase. Make this job easy on yourself by bringing a broom and dustpan.
5. Gloves - I recommend leather work gloves AND latex gloves. Work gloves for moving big stuff, and the rubber gloves for sorting through bags of random stuff or dirty clothes or whatever.
6. Water - It can get hot in those units while emptying them out. Stay hydrated.
You may be able to come up with more things once you attend some, but these are some basic items you probably want to have with you.
-The Money Monk