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HAM'R UP! BID'R DOWN!
How to Buy and Profit from Storage Auctions
By Walt Cade
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 Walt Cade
All rights reserved.
Many age old ideas are fashioned so simply that people often get lost in their own ideas as they overlook what is realistic and what actually works.
Our country is a great place to live and work. It amazes me that entrepreneurship is so easy to obtain and money can be freely earned. This itself, yields to opportunity for folks like you to live and earn your own way, if you have the drive and determination.
Many have made their way through to financial freedom as a business person, and even more through the storage unit industry. They like to keep it real quiet because it deals great profits for them they are not anxious to see exposed.
If more people enter into the business, it takes a bite out of their profitability.
This is a wonderful opportunity and you will do well. Whether you are part time, or full time, a few items to consider will make you very successful. You are soon to enter a society of storage auction buyers not shared by many.
Many a business has failed right next door to the same type of business that succeeds? Then only for the same type of business to move right in and try the same thing again?
When this happens people always say the original business has been there so long they already have a customer base. Not true. What they do have, is tried and tested experiences that make it an all around success. There is so much more to a business that a passing thought.
The storage unit auction buying industry looks so easy from the surface that it becomes appealing to everyone. From the outside looking in, it would appear as though a person goes to a storage auction, and looks in a door and spends a few bucks and gets big rewards.
There is more than just buying stuff, there is more than opening a door. One must provide skill and expertise. This does not mean you must be an expert in everything you buy and sell. You must demonstrate such expertise in general, over many items above others in the way that you buy and sell and operate.
Often this means if you are great enough at one aspect of your business, the areas you are weaker in will only be a shadow in your daily routine. So in other words, you best skill will over shadow your bad ones.
If you implement these ideas here, you will hit home runs every day in your business. You will overcome every pit fall. When something doesn't go your way, you will be so busy you hardly notice and continue to focus on the great money making aspects of your business. All combined, will spell all the formulas for success in this business.
You can always learn more, so be sure and keep your ears open and listen to what other buyers in the industry are saying. Of all the businesses followed, this is the one that the most people seem to have the most confidence in themselves.
It seems that storage unit buyers are really into their business. It would seem the majority of the business people in this business are the worst listeners, and tend to be overconfident.
The seasoned long time buyers in our industry don't want to be told they need to listen more. But they do and so do you. Many of those folks may be retired and just supplementing their income, so be careful with their advice if you are seeking a money making venture, which is where I'm going to take you.
There is nothing wrong with great confidence. Just be sure you can distinguish the confidence from the stories and "brag units" they have found. You can't blame them either. It's fun to hear their stories! Listen and enjoy, much can be learned from their experiences.
If you make a great find, you want to share the joy with everyone that will listen. A "one time", good unit, or an occasional good one, doesn't necessarily create the continued profit or success we are looking for. It's consistency we require to be able to do this all year. Remember, to be a continued success, you must be able to do this every day!
How does one compete in this business? The competition is an important issue, but more important will be the differences you will have to offer.
This along with some very creative business practices will soon find the vulnerabilities your competition has. You must capture what will push your business just one step above! That is where we are heading in the upcoming chapters.
You will soon have some really great stories to tell. How else can you spend a couple of bucks and have the possibility of making thousands? Going to the casinos is about the closest thing you will ever get to this experience! You will have much more consistency than in any casino in this business. Casino fortunes are programmed to pay out now and then, but in the resale business the possibility exists every single day.
One of the first things that must be accomplished is be sure to set yourself up for success. So often, the owner will see a quick failure and he or she says I don't understand, "I did everything right", but rather they did everything so wrong.
After close observation with a losing re-sale business operator, every time, the problem is the same, they didn't listen! Wait! That was the same reason for almost every business surveyed over the past 30 years that I've participated in after they closed. I heard it all, no bank loan, out of money, too high taxes, payroll too high, but in the end. THEY DID NOT LISTEN!
People in the storage unit buying business are the best talkers, but the worst listeners. This, in every case, is a contributing factor to the demise in their business. The longer storage buyers have been in business, the more they will try and convince you their way is the only way.
I still say listen, but act cautiously, as you deem appropriate. If their ideas were that great, they would want to keep it a secret. You don't have to follow all the advice you will get, just listen and learn.
I'm going to expose the problems that many have faced in the past. Not just in the storage business, but all business in general. Each is different in so many ways, but share basic components that must be overcome before you can build your own business, no matter what that business is.
People continue to ask me, "How do I get into the storage buying business"? That's the easy part! One must be able to buy and sell. Otherwise, he or she will be broke and overloaded with somebody else's crap and no idea how to get rid of it. That is the foremost reason for failure in this business.
In fact many people start this business and after a few days quit or drop out as they bought a few things they thought they wanted and didn't make any money. But they had fun! That may be ok, but that is not where I think you want to go.
I seldom buy anything myself. I'm a seller! If I see something I really want or need, I will usually contact the successful bidder and just buy it from him or her.
To buy, we must address every aspect we can, to sell our merchandise and move on. Everything must be for sale. Lose the thought of buying for yourself! You need nothing for yourself. In time, you will see the same thing so many times over and over you won't even care about saving anything for yourself.
For example, it's ok to go in on a limited budget, just have your eyes open. If you are in fact going to be on a limited budget, just be sure you work within that confine.
You will be needing cash, and on a daily basis. You can't "pick" out of it. This will be working cash. If you have a problem holding onto your cash, you are going to have some difficulty operating.
Consider what you need to accomplish and decide if your funds are enough for a store, swamp meets, flea markets, or garage type sales, all of which we will talk about later. Then whichever direction you go into you will best be prepared.
Don't come back later and say, "if only I had more money, I could have made it". If this is ever a possibility, it is not money. It would be your choice to have gone into this over your head. In this case maybe you should have ventured into a lower more economical start into this business area.
Just the other day a lady called me and said, "My son is going into the resale business, and wants me to back him financially, how much money do I get him"? My answer was "None". It is my belief if you have to borrow money to get into this, you are set for failure. Only your skill and hard earned money will do. If it's borrowed, you will not respect the values. Furthermore, the seed money you will use to buy these units will need to be your own.
There would be nothing wrong with starting small, and seeing where it goes, but most importantly, one most importantly idea. "You should make a profit every day, on every load, no matter what. You to make it home, or to your shop with a free load of valuable, saleable, merchandise, and no trash with every storage auction you attend.
Keep records, study your competition, set up a budget, stick to it, and be consistent. As in any business, hard work is crucial to success.
Decide on if you are going to use a store front, Craigslist, E-bay, flea markets, the front yard sale, refurbish shop, or garage sale method of selling your merchandise. You maybe even using a variation of upscale, resale, new scale, up-cycle, recycle, or whatever you decide to classify.
I'm referring to most any degree of previously owned merchandise. If you are not sure which method you are interested in, let me open this thought path for you.
No matter which path you take you will be excited to know that this is one of the easiest business ventures to enter into. A good eye can yield you big returns on your dollar. In fact, this is probably one of the largest, legal business returns on investment available today. It does require some discipline, but time allows you to learn as you go. Since it is for the most part a, "cash in, cash out", business, you can see the monies flow easier than most other business venture in the world.
What is so important is not how to buy at storage auctions, but rather how to buy at storage auctions and continue to buy, and at the same time make a profit.
With thought, you will make a profit every day you venture out. What this means is you have to be able to sell too, otherwise e you will soon have a lawn, garage, a couple back yard buildings, and home full of merchandise, and probably a few rented storage units.
If you are going online only, part time, full time, or even opening a store, make a business plan and consult an accountant. Let's do it right and think positive, treat it like a real business. It is a real business. Don't think that it's junk. It doesn't matter what you sell, it's still a business.
You can not seriously start a business without putting your all into it. For the most part, do not consider opening a store, more in a later chapter, unless you are going to go full time.
You are not ready to open a store unless you are planning on entering into it full time. If you can only run this business part time, forget the store! You are not ready for it!
You can still operate a very successful storage unit business venture even on a part time basis.
Telephone service for your business is yet another consideration. I'm all in with the new rage of cell phones. In today's technology world, choose to forgo the typical land line phone. Cell phones are the way to go.
You can do just about everything you want with a cell phone. It is not recommend you have a business cell phone and a personal cell phone, but you may find it necessary, especially if you want to have access to a phone after hours.
But with good discipline you can have one phone for both personal and business. Consider a nice smart phone, with email and internet. That way you can do business while out and about.
It doesn't matter if you have a store front, or if you sell in any other ways. Do not allow calls to go to voice mail. If you have a phone, answer the darn thing! Just offer to call them right back if you are busy.
I'm stressed when a friend I'm with looks at his phone when it rings and lets it go to voice mail, because he doesn't want to talk to them. Then I call and it goes to voice mail, I'm thinking, what am I to him today? If you like, answer 9-5 and then have a voice mail after 5 telling them you are off for the day, and will return the call in the morning.
If you get evening calls from family you might either recognize the number via caller ID or return as you choose. People really like it when you take their call, even if it's to say "I'll call you back in a bit", yet another great business builder. Sounds somewhat elementary, but if you give it thought, it can really work well for you.
You will need a computer. Consider a notebook or laptop so you can carry it with you. Of course you will need some internet service, or connection. There are so many WiFi connections you may not see the need for any other connection. Air Cards are now real popular, which allows internet service anywhere! I travel a lot and like the ability to do anything I want anywhere I go.
A camera is almost a necessity now days for any business. Most cell phones take very good photos but, a good camera is always better, look at those new ones that will easily fit in your pocket. That way you can carry it everywhere. Some even have a holster like a cell phone and you can carry it everywhere you go. Keep in your vehicle with a charger that is always recharging a second battery.
You will need to be computer savvy in this day and time for just about any new business and this one will be no different for you. But it will make your job so much easier.
You will need to choose a name for your business. In doing this, choose a name that will allow your business to even incorporate, or file as an LLC, later if need be without using your name.
Also, if you ever want to sell the business, you can do so, without someone using your name, and it could also build value on its own. Make it something nice that would appear great in the community that you plan to sell in. Make it sound big and it will be big!
On the other hand, if you are selling as a garage sale or flea markets, such as John Doe's Resale, type of names. If you are an individual and selling in small venues, be more personable, people like that aspect too. If they go into a store, you might not want them walking in asking for the owner as is indentified in the name.
If you are doing sporadic flea markets people can't just dial in on the owner (you) as easy. So a business name doesn't hurt or help. In this case your name is the best reference to your business.
If you intend on opening a store or doing business on a regular basis at any flea market, you will need to do some banking business. Separate your business checking from your personal account.
It will make it easier for accounting at tax time. You can also attach your credit card processing and debit card processing to your business account more easily. Keep expenses separate and do it right. If will pay off more in the long run.
Get a debit card, preferably one that will double as a credit card, on your business account to take advantage of expenses on the business as need be. After all, you will be, needing all your cash. Meet your banker and get in good with him. You should choose a banker that you already do business with if possible.
Somewhere along the way you may very well have an opportunity to buy a piece of real estate for your business. You will want a good communication with a banker, for the future and he will be interested in seeing you experience good business cash flow.
Get some business cards printed. Never pass up an opportunity to hand them out. You can now get perforated card stock and software bundled, where you can print your own right from your computer. With advertising cost so high, and so many different forms of advertising competing for the consumer's dollar, this is often the best value in advertising out there.
In the resale business, you will meet a lot of people. Ask for a card when you are talking to people, this is your opener to get their card, and give them yours. Also getting their card is a good idea for you to collect their information to add to your potential contacts for the future.
You will talk about a lot of things, to a lot of different people, and they will not remember you, but will remember what you sold or said or even had to offer.
For this reason, put your photo on the card. Resale and flea market vendors will go out on any given day, and they will collect a pocket full of cards. Your card, they will keep, and remember.
If you are in the resale business with your spouse, make that photo be of the both of you. I wouldn't recommend a photo on a business card for many businesses, but this is one I definitely recommend you do.
You will thank me for this one most effective tip. People will remember a deal or item, pull out your card and see your photo, and all will come back to them. You will get the call!
In preparing for storage auction buying, one of the first things you must do is to find the auctions. There are several ways to locate them. In most state the storage facilities must post them in their local newspaper.
Excerpted from HAM'R UP! BID'R DOWN! by Walt Cade. Copyright © 2013 Walt Cade. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Getting Started.................... 1
Storage Auction Rules.................... 25
Why did they leave this stuff?.................... 39
Buying & Bidding.................... 53
What do you see?.................... 66
Processing and Sorting.................... 84
Online & Other Sales.................... 104
Opening a Store.................... 115
What to Look For.................... 142
Abandoned Self Storage—Texas.................... 175
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a good book full of ideas and information, but, there are many typos or incorrectly placed words or phrases which require the reader to re-read the paragraph so that the idea or statement is understood. In other words, his Texas Accent is thick. :-)