The number one auction mistake that people need to avoid is bidding too high for a unit. During an auction, some people get caught up in a bidding war with other bidders. Set a price on a unit based on what you think the storage unit is worth, what you can sell everything for, and don’t exceed that amount. When there are several storage units up for auction, sometimes it is good to bail out when going head to head against an aggressive bidder. This will improve your chance to obtain other units because the other bidder has spent some money, and he, or she may not have enough money left to purchase other units. Many people who are new to the storage auction scene often make this mistake.
When bidding on blind units, never bid too high. You just never know what is going to be inside a storage unit. It can be stacked full of really great stuff, or it may only contain a box of junk. Blind units are risky, and even the pros do not bid very high on blind units.
A simple mistake to avoid is not bringing a flashlight with you. A flashlight greatly increases your ability to see inside a storage unit. Without it, you can miss some really good stuff. Sometimes people are only allowed a few seconds to get a look inside, and a flashlight can really make, or break you. If you are physically able to, try to bring a small, lightweight step ladder. Being able to get a bird’s–eye view will give you an advantage over other storage auction bidders.
Another mistake people should avoid is traveling too far to a storage auction. I have heard of people traveling 2-3 hours away to go to an auction, only to come back empty handed. You can lose so much of your valuable time in traveling, and spend a great deal in gas money, based on today’s current gas prices. Attending as many storage auctions as you can will definitely increase your chances of making money, but try to stay local. If you live in a fairly high populated area, there should be plenty of local auctions to keep you busy.
Educate yourself on what to look for. Learning the prices of common items such as household furniture, appliances, televisions, etc. will help you to determine an amount that you should bid on a unit. Many newbies do not have any clue as to what everyday common things can sell for. They bid high on a unit, and most of the time they do not make back their investment. Seasoned storage auction professionals know the worth of a variety of items, and this allows them to be quite successful. When inspecting a storage unit, look for boxes that are marked with what may be inside of them such as bedroom, family room, garage, kitchen, etc. This will at least give you an idea of the types of items that could possibly be inside those boxes.
And the last mistake to avoid is, going to storage auctions without first calling to see if the auction has been cancelled. Renters often pay up their back rents on the morning of the auction, and then the auction is cancelled. Even if there are several auctions for storage units that day, it has actually happened that all of the renters have shown up and paid their back rents on the day of the auction. Calling ahead will certainly save you some valuable time that you can spend on doing other important things. If you follow these few simple suggestions, you will avoid mistakes that many people make, and it can help you to grow a successful storage auction business.