If you are looking for a way to make some extra money or start a new business, buying storage units may be an option for you. Storage units are spaces that people rent to store their belongings, usually for a monthly fee. Sometimes, people stop paying their rent or abandon their units, and the storage facility has the right to sell the contents of the unit to recover their losses. This is where you can come in and buy storage units at auctions, either online or in person, and resell the items inside for a profit.
However, buying storage units is not as easy as it may seem. It involves some research, planning, budgeting, and risk-taking. You never know what you will find inside a storage unit, and you may end up with a lot of junk or a treasure trove. To help you get started, here are some steps on how to buy storage units:
Step 1: Find out when and where auctions are held
The first step is to locate the auctions where you can bid on storage units. There are two main ways to do this:
Contact storage facilities in your area and ask them when they host their auctions. Most facilities hold auctions every few months, depending on how many units they have available. You can also ask them how many units they are selling and what the payment methods are. Some facilities only accept cash, while others may take credit cards or checks.
Look for auctions online through websites like Storage Auctions or Storage Treasures. These sites list auctions across the country and allow you to bid online. You can also view photos and descriptions of the units before bidding. However, you will need to create an account and provide your credit card information to join these sites.
Step 2: Set a budget and prepare for the auction
The next step is to decide how much money you are willing to spend on buying storage units. This will depend on your financial situation, your goals, and your risk tolerance. Remember that buying storage units is a gamble, and you may not always make a profit. Therefore, you should only spend what you can afford to lose.
Some factors that may affect the price of a storage unit are:
The size of the unit. The average monthly cost of renting a storage unit ranges from $75 for a small unit (5×5 to 5×10 ft.) to $300 for a large unit (10×20 ft.), according to Forbes Home. However, the price of buying a storage unit at an auction can vary from $25 to $5,000, depending on the demand and competition.
The location of the unit. Units in urban areas tend to be more expensive than units in rural areas, due to higher demand and lower supply.
The condition of the unit. Units that are clean, organized, and well-secured may indicate that the owner cared about their belongings and stored valuable items. Units that are dirty, messy, or damaged may suggest that the owner was careless or desperate and stored junk.
The contents of the unit. Units that contain visible items that are desirable or valuable, such as furniture, electronics, antiques, or collectibles, may attract more bidders and higher prices. Units that contain boxes, bags, or hidden items may be more risky but also more rewarding.
Before you attend an auction, you should also prepare some tools and equipment that will help you inspect and transport the units. These include:
A flashlight and a phone to see inside the units and check the value of items online.
A padlock and a key to secure the units after you buy them.
A truck or a trailer to haul away the items from the units.
A tape measure to measure the dimensions of the units and the items inside.
A calculator to keep track of your bids and expenses.
Step 3: Bid on the units that interest you
The final step is to bid on the units that interest you at the auction. Depending on whether you are bidding online or in person, there may be some differences in