When someone rents a storage unit and doesn't pay the fees, ownership reverts to the storage company. These companies will then auction off the contents of the unit to the public. You can go to these auctions, bid on the units, and then sell the goods inside for a profit. Is it worth it?
The Reality TV Buzz
Thanks to several reality TV shows that revolve around buying storage units and selling the contents more and more people are trying their hand at the hobby. That means more people you have to win against during an auction. Crowded auctions are more likely to start bidding wars and you might be tempted to go over your bid limit.
If you know you can avoid crowded auctions and refuse to go above your bid limit then you can still do well at auctions despite the sudden popularity.
Running up the Bid
There are always people at auctions that like to run up the bid. They do this to discourage people from bidding or to make them pay way more for a unit than they should have. Someone will run up the bid by place high bids with no intention of actually buying the unit. They just do it to start a bidding war between other people. If you get caught by someone running up the bid you might end up paying too much for a unit and not being able to afford to bid on more.
Blame reality TV again. The shows make it seem like you can find hidden gold mines inside those abandoned storage units. Is it real? It is possible that the shows are rigged. It is believed that the shows plant items of high worth inside the units for the actors to find. Is it easy to find treasure in these abandoned units? It's impossible to say. Many people use those units to store items of worth, such as jewelry, baseball cards, and antiques. Others use the units to store random furniture and useless items. You only get a quick glimpse of the unit before bidding starts.
The auctions are quick, but the process of selling the stuff inside is very time consuming. You have to haul it out, go through it, catalogue worth, and then sell it. To find out if you make a profit from your haul you need to add together the amount you paid for the unit and the time you put into it. Time is money.
Are storage auctions worth it? They can be, but only if you have a great selling plan and the ability to not waste money during an auction. For more information about self storage, contact a company like Gray Storage Solutions.