California Storage Auctions
About Storage Auctions
In the United States, most self storage facilities hold storage auctions or lien sales to vacate non-paying tenants according to their enforcement rights that are outlined within the laws of each state. In California there are 2900 plus self storage facilities, out of these 2900 plus self storage facilities there are an average 800 facilities that will hold a storage auction or lien sale in any given month. Each site will have a different amount of units or lots to offer for auction. We estimate that over $3,000,000.00 changes hands at these 9,000 plus auctions a year. These auctions are opened to the general public with most bidders’ buying for the purpose of reselling for profit. Storage auctions are a great way to buy secondhand merchandise for pennies on the wholesale dollar. If you are someone who sells at flea markets, garage sales or on e-Bay, you will probably find storage auctions to be one of your best sources for merchandise.
How Do Auctions Work?
What Can I Expect To Find?
You really never know what you will find. Most items are general household goods, furniture, electronics, clothing and personal records. Bidders do find money, jewelry, antiques and collectibles at these auctions. It is not uncommon to find someone's whole household or business in a unit, with that in mind, you never know when you might stumble on someone's life collection of who knows what! Remember you are usually viewing the property from an open entrance into a storage unit or container; this means that boxes and plastics storage containers can yield anything. Some units are packed so tight that you won't have the luxury of getting a view of the items that are behind what is blocking the entrance area.
How Can I Find Out Where The Auctions Are Taking Place?
You can find out through various sources where storage auctions take place. There are legal notices in newspapers, web sites and auctioneers who all provide very limited schedules of self storage auctions. By using all these sources it is impossible to find out when and where all these auctions will be conducted. Calling the different self storage companies will yield you the highest results. For the last 10 years the best source for storage auctions in California has been our monthly newsletter, California Storage Auction News. We do all of the work for you, each month we contact by phone over 1,000 different storage companies in California. We also receive direct information from the auctioneers as well as the self storage facilities that are conducting storage auctions. Our newsletter is in an easy to read electronic format, provided on a weekly and monthly basis.
What Information Will Help Me Become Successful?
1. Plan one day ahead. All auctions are subject to cancellation in the event of settlement between the landlord and obligated parties! Many delinquent tenants will wait to the very last moment to satisfy their obligation. When you phone the site to confirm that the auction is still going as scheduled, inquire about how many potential lots or units might be going up for auction, and don't forget that it is still subject to change! If you subscribe to California Storage Auction News you will see days where there are 10, 20, 30 or 40 sites holding auctions within a close drive of a geographical area. These are good days to go out because it tends to thin out the crowds and potential bidder competition.
2. Consistency - If you are planning to earn good money in the storage auction game, you need to be consistent! The more storage auctions you attend, the better your percentages get with purchasing units. With the amount of auctions listed in California Storage Auction News you can sometimes view up to 70 units or lots a day. The percentages of finding a good purchase gets much higher if you have a chance to view more units! It's the old numbers game!
3. Tools - Best place to start is with us! For less than twenty cents a day California Storage Auction News will be your best investment for information that is needed to find storage auctions. Other tools that are advised to aquire in advance are simple to do. Invest in a few padlocks to secure your unit once you've been claimed as the winning bidder. If you don't have your own lock, you may be able to purchase one from the facility. Your third best investment tool besides California Storage Auction News and padlocks, would be a strong flashlight. Viewing the units or lots from the entrance area is almost impossible to do without good strong flashlight. You never know what is hidden in the very back of a dark unit!
4. Solve the Puzzles - The way a lot or a unit looks can clue you into potential value. Add up the total scenario; Is there name brand merchandise? Are the boxes sealed and taped? Are the boxes sealed and re-taped? Do the boxes appear to be purchased for storage or does it look like they came from the back of your local grocery store? Are the boxes carefully marked with content information? Do the boxes have a moving company's name on them (professional movers can be expensive)? Are there any addresses visible on any of the boxes or suitcases that appear through out the unit (A Beverly Hills Address would be interesting)? How is the condition and quality of the furnishings? Does the furniture appear to be a complete household? Can you see any ornate or antique looking furniture table legs? Is there a lot of dust settled high on the contents of the unit, this could mean someone has paid rent on the storage space for a several years.
Think like an investor!
5. Marketing and Sales - When you start purchasing units it is a good idea to have a solid marketing plan. We honestly believe that e-Bay and Craigslist are two the best ways of selling your higher valued merchandise providing that it is cost effective for shipping. Small classified newspaper ads will be your best source for larger items such as couches, entertainment centers, refrigerators, washer and dryers and household electronics. Consider starting a rental business with the used appliances that you find. If you DO NOT like to hold garage sales or sell at flea markets, sell off the "flea market" property in bulk. If you spend some time at the flea markets you can build a vendor list of potential re-sellers. Knowing how to price used merchandise, antiques or collectibles is very important. Analyze the inventory thoroughly when you purchase a unit, it is easy to sell a used vase for $5.00 that is worth $500.00. Web-site auctions like e-Bay and Yahoo often have current auction prices on items that are exact or similar, these prices really do establish a current market value and should help you establish a solid asking price for your merchandise. If you cannot find an item at either of those two auction sites, try using a Webferret. A Webferret provides a handy and efficient way to find information on the Web by searching a multitude of search engines all at one time.
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