Where To Get Products To Sell: Storage Unit Auctions


One of the most common questions asked by new sellers on eBay is “Where can I get stuff to sell after I’ve sold all of the things of my own I want to sell?” Here’s one of my favorite options, storage unit auctions.

People store a lot of stuff in these units for various reasons and, from time to time, forget to pay their rent or otherwise chose to abandon their belongings. In most cases, the owner of the storage facility takes ownership of the contents and puts them up for sale at a public auction. This is where you come in. Ideally, you walk in and purchase a load of easily online saleable merchandise and make a wad of cash.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen this way. Experienced buyers beat you to the punch and snag the choice items while you get stuck with nothing or junk. You find the items you bought don’t sell well online and you have to dump them at your own garage sale or at local flea markets. It can be an exercise in frustration but I can offer a few tips that might help.

In most cases, these auctions are a ‘winner take all’ grab bag where you bid on the entire contents of a unit. Such a sale can be for as little as $25 or as much as several hundred dollars. This can be tricky because most of the time you aren’t allowed to examine the contents except from the outside, sometimes with only a few moments before bidding begins. Occasionally you’ll find auctions where the auctioneer will have separated like items into lots, sell contents by the box or even sell individual items. This makes things less risky to buy but also usually drives up the price.

Of course, many of the auctions will be cash only auctions so you will need the green in hand. You should check ahead of time to see what the acceptable payment methods for the auction will be. Also check to see to what extent you will be allowed to inspect what is up for auction.

If the units will be open to inspection from the outside, a good flashlight can allow you to see into the dark corners of the unit and perhaps illuminate a hidden treasure or spot something you want to avoid.

Well organized and labeled boxes of similar size and/or shrink wrapped or factory sealed packages often indicates that the original owner was storing retail merchandise and not household items. Likewise, random box sizes and types and haphazard placement usually means household goods. This can be riskier to purchase since it means you might be stuck with someone’s old family photos.

If the boxes have a lot of obvious dust this means that they’ve been stored a long time. Depending on the other signs, it may indicate a possible source of collectibles.

Avoid units that have a lot of old, junk, furniture or mattresses unless you happen to spot something of obvious value. I’ve not seen much of value come out of such units but sometimes they’ll surprise you.

So, where can you get information about these auctions? Your local papers are one good source. Also, calling storage units in your area can often yield results as can stopping by in person. You can check online at AuctionZip to find auctions in your area or region.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018 at 8:46 pm and is filed under Money Making Ideas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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