If the renter of a public storage unit fails to pay rent for an extended time, the storage facility owner will often hold an auction to sell the contents of the unit. Many treasure hunters and resellers consider the auctions a gold mine and make good money selling the unclaimed contents.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Bring a pickup truck, van or utility trailer. You will be bidding on the contents of an entire storage unit, and you will be required to remove the items the same day that you purchase them. Loading the contents of a storage unit is a big job, so consider asking a friend to help you out.
Wear durable work gloves to protect your hands and bring old blankets or tarps to protect the items in case it rains.
Have cash. Most storage facilities won't accept credit cards or checks.
Go through the items as soon as you purchase them and separate out the things that will be hauled to the dump or recycling facility.
Rent a table at a flea market, often a very lucrative way to make money with storage unit auctions. Be sure to bring enough change and boxes or bags for the purchases. Make your display attractive by putting blankets or heavy paper on tables and arranging your wares neatly. Be sure everything is clean and in good working order.
Hold a garage or yard sale. Advertise your sale in your local paper a few days ahead of time, and put up signs in your neighborhood the day of the sale. Keep plenty of change on hand, along with bags or boxes for your customers to carry their treasures home.
Consider ebay or CraigsList as possible lucrative selling venues. Check the websites for comprehensive instructions.
Donate your unsold items to a local charity thrift store. Ask for a receipt, and you may be able to deduct the charitable donation on your taxes.
Tips and warnings
- Keep in mind that you are purchasing items to resell. Don't bid more than you think you will be able to earn back with a decent profit margin.
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