“People always say congratulations. When you’re a successful bidder it means you’re willing to spend more money than anyone else. I’m not sure if that’s congratulations or condolences.”
YUUUUP, we buy storage units at auction as well as purchase from estate sales too.
Many of you are familiar with the made for TV version of this business, as seen on:
Storage Wars http://www.aetv.com/storage-wars/
Storage Wars Texas http://www.aetv.com/storage-wars-texas/
Auction Hunters http://www.spike.com/shows/auction-hunters
Storage Hunters http://www.trutv.com/shows/storage-hunters/index.html
When people find out that we do this, they either think it’s crazy or the coolest job ever! Next thing everyone wants to know is if we’ve met anyone from the shows. We auction in many of the same areas as these television personalities, of course we run into a few every now and then. So what. The show is for TV, we wont attend when they film because for us it is a waste of a day and we hear from many that have attended that when they see the show on TV, much was staged. Staged or not these shows are entertaining! We all are attending these auctions to make money, bottom line. We have a pretty good time doing it too but this business is brutal, taxing, a constant gamble But if you can work hard, research well and plow forward as a team… you just might make a profit, if your lucky.
It’s a funny story how we took the leap into this NUTTY business that neither one of us felt qualified to do but realized that sometimes the things that you think would put you under really is that which sets you free.
OK, right hands up! Repeat the following:” I, state your name here, do honestly promise Meg that before I purchase a storage unit, attend an auction or start to think making a living off of auctions sounds like the ticket for me. I will pause and think about it a very long time before I make any rash decisions.” Do you love to move? Does heavy lifting, biding top dollar on boxes that may contain nothing but used underwear sound appealing? Do you enjoy frequent trips to your local recycling center and scrap yards? Yeah pawing through jewels and riches sounds like the ticket to my retirement, to our lusted after mini farmette in nowheresville! Hate to burst your bubble but it’s not that easy…
This is the real side of Storage Units and it’s not a very pretty business, or clean. My Handsome Prince and I consider it a privilege to work together and to be able to have all of our children involved in every aspect of our business. It’s our hope that when they leap into the world to do their own great things, that they will have been witness to our triumphs and pitfalls so they can shine even brighter. Everyone pitches in and lucky for us they learn quite a bit while researching for us. What other 9 year old knows about vintage slot machines and can tell you the difference between all the metals found in our warehouse? We’ve got another kiddo that is so into art. Everyone has their own weird little niche around here. Working with us is has become the best education from business to antiques. Best part is we get to do it all together…. makes the negative side tolerable. It will take your hard work, time, blood, sweat and many tears…
What most people forget is that you are purchasing the WHOLE unit and usually have 24 hours to have it completely cleaned out. Not all storage facilities are 24 hours a day and trust me some that we’ve been to, I wouldn’t want to be there after sundown anyway. You have to unload the whole unit into your trailer, truck or car ( sometimes requiring multiple trips if you don’t have the equipment, like a box truck), then you have to find a place to store it all for a a period of time while you process it, get rid of the unwanted items, donate other items, research other, price them all, list them on your e shop, craigslist,store front, swap meet, garage sale and then… Keep your fingers crossed that the room that you had 5 minutes to view before you valued it in your head, bid on it, bought it, can turn a profit. Scary HUH?
The crowds are getting bad now because of the popularity of all of the shows. Often we’re seeing prices driven up higher because people want to get a slice of the action but are only in it for one room. It makes it harder for those who run and honest business BUT it is fun so I can’t blame anyone for wanting to come out and see what it’s all about. American Auctioneers, as seen on Storage Wars http://www.americanauctioneers.com/ has vault auctions here in Southern California, that I think are a better time for people that just want to come out to watch how an auction works or snag just a small piece of the action a little cheaper than a whole unit. Plus we think the staff of American Auctioneers are really a fun, nice group of guys and gals. If your going to spend a day with a group of people, they are a pretty good time.
Don’t get me wrong, it can be just as much fun as you see on TV and then some BUT most of the time you’ll be a heap load of crap with a glimmer of great! Some days you just spent $100 for a bad pile of
However, you may also find treasures that move you and speak to you in strange and personal ways.
Oh the things we learn and see in this business! Oh, oh, oh MY!
If your moxie isn’t kicked up all the way and your not ready to loose your shirt… invest in a safer business. If we only knew then, what we know now!
That’s why I thought I’d include a section about Finders Keepers Treasures here too.
We get curious questions all the time from friends, family and even strangers about buying at auction so I thought I’d share those gems here with you. Sometimes the things you see, hear or find will just leave you floored, embarrassed or laughing so hard your in danger of having a little Marie Osmond accident.