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Should You Become a Storage Buyer?

With the popularity of shows such as the reality TV smash hit “Storage Wars“, more people are considering a full-time or part-time career as a storage buyer. Storage buyers are individuals who go to storage auctions that sell unpaid and abandon storage units by auctioning them off to the highest bidder. Prior to bidding on storage units, bidders are allowed to walk through the storage facility to take a quick glimpse at the contents of each storage unit. However during this quick glimpse, it is difficult to see the unit’s full contents, and most of the time bidders are not permitted to physically enter the storage units. If you are considering becoming a storage buyer there are a few questions you should ask yourself first.

Do You Have the Appropriate Knowledge, Tools, and Space?

Should you become a storage buyer?Is important to know becoming a storage buyer will not be an overnight get-rich-quick plan but you can start small and work your way up. If it is a career choice you would like to seriously consider, first ask yourself if you have the knowledge, tools, and space required to do the job well. The knowledge would be the ability to spot antiques and memorabilia, even when only seeing a small portion of the items. If you purchased or bid on a storage locker without having the knowledge of valuable brands, memorabilia, and antiques you will have to invest additional fees to have the items you win appraised. As far as tools, you will need to ensure you have a vehicle large enough to transport the items you win. You also need the appropriate space to store your storage unit’s contents until you are able to resell them elsewhere. Keep in mind that some valuables will require a temperature controlled environment.

Are You Willing to Gamble with Your Money?

Becoming a storage buyer is in essence becoming a full-time gambler. Some units you bid on will have visible, valuable collectibles, while others may have something such as a vintage military storage locker that you place a high bid on in hopes that its contents are filled with military memorabilia. However, this is a gamble since the storage locker could very well be empty, or filled with random household items. Even professional storage buyers have units that they take a loss on by overbidding in hopes of scoring a good find.

Are You a Motivated Self-Starter?

If you have the knowledge base, the tools, the space, and finances to become storage buyer, the next question is whether or not you have the entrepreneurial spirit needed to start your business. This includes, but is not limited to further developing your skillset, networking with buyers to sell the items you win, getting out and about to auctions near and far, in managing your business finances.

Are You Willing to Travel?

The most successful storage buyers of the ones who are willing to travel. Traveling doesn’t necessarily need to be extremely far, but traveling can have a significant impact on your storage buying success. This is because oftentimes the most potentially lucrative opportunities are outside of your immediate surroundings; for instance, a Seattle native may receive notice of San Francisco storage units  that are having an auction. Traveling of course brings additional concerns such as how to transport your storage items home, or the ability to find local retailers or antique auctions who will accept your valuable storage unit contents.

Many storage buyers may have their own thrift store, garage sale, liquidation sale, or eBay auction to sell the stuff they collect. If you have a good eye, financial self-control, and are motivated to pound the pavement and find the best places to sell your storage unit contents, storage buying may be the right fit for you.

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In addition to storage units, Mason Cromwell focuses on home maintenance, DIY tips, career advice, business, education and other important subjects.

Image courtesy of Chelsea Gomez | Flickr.com