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products to sell online - Storage Units Auctions - Buying Abandoned Assets for EBiz Profit

by Chris Malta

Storage unit companies regularly seize abandoned goods and auction them off in an effort to reclaim some of their lost profits. Many online retailers are cashing in, using these auctions as a product source for their e-businesses. According to enthusiast Blaine Herbst, founder of StorageAuctionSecrets.com, "You can pick up an entire storage unit filled with things for a couple hundred bucks." Finding these auctions can be as easy as looking in the yellow pages under "storage units" and calling to see when they conduct their sales. Or check out AuctionZip.com or StorageAuctions.org for information on local auction times.

What Questions Should I Ask?
Before you sign up for an auction, make sure you're aware of any costs, such as fees for attendance or cleaning deposits. Ask if there are buyer's premiums (usually about 5-10% of total price) that go to the auctioneer, so you can calculate that into your bid amount. Find out if their policy includes a Pending Owner's Approval clause. This clause allows the facility owner to look at the winning bids and decide if he wants to sell at those prices - after the auction's over. You don't want to waste your time with someone who's not serious about selling.

How Do I Know What It's Worth?
With most storage unit auctions, everything in the unit is sold off for one price. The door to the facility is opened and bidders can look in from outside but can't touch anything. Advises Herbst, "There are some strategies you can use to try and gauge the contents."

    • Look at the area the auction's in.

    People don't usually store things too far from their homes - if the facility's located in a high-end area, there's a good chance that the items being stored are high-end too.

    • Look for moving company boxes, rather than boxes from various grocery stores. Moving companies are expensive, so that can be a clue that the previous owners may have had nice things.

    • If there's furniture, look to see the quality and the shape it's in. Bring a cordless spotlight to help you see into the back of the unit.

What Will I Need?
When you come to a storage unit auction, come prepared:
    • Bring cash because that's the only type of payment they'll accept.

    • Bring a truck, or a trailer and a vehicle with a hitch—you'll have to have everything cleared out that day.

    • Bring a lock to secure the unit in case you need to leave for lunch, or have to make more than one trip.

    • Bring a dolly, tarps, bungee cords, and blankets to wrap your purchases.

    • Bring gloves and a breathing mask. Sorting through everything can be a dusty task.

    • Bring your tax ID, if you have one; otherwise, you'll pay taxes on your purchase.
The beauty of storage unit auctions is they let you buy items at a fraction of their value - so you can charge competitive prices and still have plenty of room to make a profit.
 
Archive List

ARTICLE ARCHIVE LIST

 

What is Drop Shipping?

Sell what Sells, NOT what's Cool

The Wholesale Misconception

Don't Get Taken by a Fake Suppli...

Wolves in Wholesale Suppliers' C...

Working Within the Process

Is Santa's Sleigh Big Enough for...

Beware of Drop Shipping 'Agents'...

Direct From The Factory?

4 Strategies for Seasonal Sellin...

3 Tools for Product Sourcing on ...

Tradeshows the Right Way - How t...

Tradeshow Sourcing - When the Sh...

Preparing for the Holiday Season...

What a Wholesale Supplier Expect...

Product Sourcing Using Trade Pub...

Tips for Finding and Getting Goo...

Storage Units Auctions - Buying ...

Starting an Antiques and Collect...

How EBay PowerSellers Source Pro...

How to Build Your Online Consign...

Dangerous Mindsets - Changing th...

Sourcing Customer Returns - Buyi...

Product Sourcing Strategies - Ne...

6 Common Product Sourcing Questi...

Increasing Your Profits through ...

Importing Basics - What You Need...

Selecting and Changing Your Prod...

The Inside Scoop on Trade Shows ...

How to Make Product Liquidation ...

Shopping with Uncle Sam - A Brea...

One Man's Trash... Could Be Your...

Our Town - Sourcing Products Loc...

An Intro to Closeouts - A Produc...

How to Find Authentic Suppliers ...

Beyond Borders - Sourcing Overse...

Heads or Tails? - How to Find Yo...

Five Holiday Trends - What Every...

Seeing the Whole Picture - A Who...

Drop Shipping Pros and Cons - th...

Far From Home - 4 Keys to Succes...

Product Sourcing Strategies for ...

The Ins and Outs of Importing - ...

How to Choose Your Product Lineu...

The Fine Art of Product Sourcing...

Sourcing The Secondary Market - ...

Local Sourcing Techniques - Prod...

Global Sourcing - Importing for ...

A Foreign Affair - Preparing to ...

Choose Wisely - How to a Pick Pr...

Made in China - Importing Option...

The Color of Money - How Color T...

The Nuts and Bolts of Liquidatio...

How to Break Into Importing - An...

Trend or Fad? What to Ask Before...

What Your Country Can Do for You...

Opportunities Abroad - China Sou...

Trade Shows Year-Round - What Pe...

5 Product Trends for 2008 that E...

Successfully Negotiating with Yo...

5 Strategies for Safely Sourcing...

Informed Compliance for e-Tailer...

Locate Qualified Drop Shippers f...

What is Product Sourcing? The So...

Where Do I Find Products to Sell...

Tips for Finding and Working wit...

A Beginner's Guide to Buying Dir...