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Old 04-28-2012, 06:37 PM
 
455 posts, read 1,149,615 times
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The basic idea is a self-storage liquidation service with the, "cash for gold" style.

Basically you find people who need quick cash and have a storage unit. They send you the key to the unit with some legal paperwork and then we go over there. We take all the stuff out and try to sell it. Certain items will result in instant cash (ie. stuff that is easy to sell or has precise measurable price like antiques, coins etc.). Everything else will still try to be sold but the person will be paid at a later time.

This service could also be useful for anyone who doesn't want their storage unit and is too lazy to clean it out.

The service would make money by taking a percentage of proceeds from the sale of the items. The owner of the unit just has to send the key + the paperwork and then we do all the rest of the work. They just wait for the check to come in the mail.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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Not a bad idea as long as the labor involved in selling the merchandise is worthwhile. If you only yield a hundred bucks for 8 hours of work, it's not worth it. You would have to assess that the storage unit is worth liquidating.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
Not a bad idea as long as the labor involved in selling the merchandise is worthwhile. If you only yield a hundred bucks for 8 hours of work, it's not worth it. You would have to assess that the storage unit is worth liquidating.
Yeah, that could be a problem. Since it seems like people keep alot of stuff that is just outright junk. Haven't really worked out the fine details.

I guess I would only take out the stuff I knew could be resold. Stuff that is worth nothing would just be left in the unit. The storage company will try to auction the unit off when the tenant vacates.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:54 PM
 
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My in-laws own a storage facility.
Every time we've gone over there and cut a lock off when a deadbeat didn't pay rent, the units have been full of worthless crap.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:45 AM
 
455 posts, read 1,149,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobosCurse View Post
My in-laws own a storage facility.
Every time we've gone over there and cut a lock off when a deadbeat didn't pay rent, the units have been full of worthless crap.
Yes that is true. The reason I thought of this idea was because my buddy works at a storage facility and they needed someone to watch over the units as they changed the locks on each unit. I went over there to help out and just chill but while I was there I was able to look in every single unit, probably around 500 or so units. I saw everything. Yes, alot of the units have outright crap in them and then there are units that are loaded with antiques and old stuff that's worth alot. One unit was literally loaded with wine bottles, from top to bottom. Other units were loaded with art.

The funniest unit I saw was where this lady was a hoarder and her unit was loaded to the brim with trash bags, clothes, boxes and seemed like it was compacted in there. We could barely get the door open and when we did the trash inside fell on us. That lady showed up a few hours later with more stuff to put in it. She spent about 6 hours taking some stuff out and putting more stuff in. She was organizing it so she could try to fit more stuff in it but it was completely full.

If I got a unit that had nothing that was worth anything then i would just turn the key over to management and let them deal with it.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 762,002 times
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I think some of those reality TV shows like Auction Hunters, Storage Wars, etc, have really turned a lot of people on to storage auctions. I hear the prices have really gone up everywhere! What used to sell for $300 now sells for $1200 or even $800 due to all the newbies trying to get in on it and overpaying. Sometimes I think they only show the really good units where they make a lot of money, but lately they've been showing a few where they lose money, break even or make just $100 for a lot of work. Some of the stuff in those lockers really does look like junk. I'd be more inclined to offer a service where you go to look at a locker and make them an offer. Either charge them for a trip to the garbage dump (the customer probably won't be too happy), or offer them cash up front based on quick observation. Maybe offer them 50% of what you think the stuff is worth?

Otherwise it might be easier to start up an eBay consignment store. You could promote the service to people with storage lockers, but I'd make them come to you. It can eat up a lot of time driving over to look at a storage unit and rummage through, not to mention the potential for false accusations saying you stole their priceless antiques.

I knew a lady who started an eBay consignment store in a small rural town. She rented a small shop and was immediately flooded with business! She ended up specializing in fur coats (not what I choose, but that's what she decided to specialize in). Eventually she got too busy to run her store, so she closed it and worked from home. She would check classifieds (online and in newspapers), garage sales, yard sales, thrift shops, etc looking for fur coats. Not sure if she's still doing it, but it seemed to work for her.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:56 PM
 
33,031 posts, read 23,787,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobosCurse View Post
My in-laws own a storage facility.
Every time we've gone over there and cut a lock off when a deadbeat didn't pay rent, the units have been full of worthless crap.

Yes, this is the general rule. But many times I've seen someone buy a storage unit with a lot of "junk" that pieced out at very good prices on eBay. There are eBay sellers who specialize in buying storage units and flipping the contents and I have bid on many of their items.

Some things have little apparent value and are difficult to sell locally, yet realize surprising prices on eBay because all you need there are two bidders in the whole country who are willing to pay more for it.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:04 PM
 
33,031 posts, read 23,787,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a34dadsf View Post
Yes that is true. The reason I thought of this idea was because my buddy works at a storage facility and they needed someone to watch over the units as they changed the locks on each unit. I went over there to help out and just chill but while I was there I was able to look in every single unit, probably around 500 or so units. I saw everything. Yes, alot of the units have outright crap in them and then there are units that are loaded with antiques and old stuff that's worth alot. One unit was literally loaded with wine bottles, from top to bottom. Other units were loaded with art.

Art is one of those things where value is highly subjective, and thus probably a good thing to sell on eBay.

All you need are two people in the whole country who are willing to pay more for an item and if you're lucky they get into a bidding war.

Another useful aspect of art is that items are generally unique, so bidders might stretch their bids thinking they won't find another one like it.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
8,088 posts, read 8,337,462 times
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OP: Do a business plan with both hard and soft numbers. Any idea that is profitable is a good one irrespective of industry.

I know nothing of your plan but did not see any numbers. That would tell me if it were a good idea or not.

Last edited by Felix C; 05-03-2012 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:26 PM
 
26,569 posts, read 33,978,807 times
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The goldmines like they show on TV are rare. If they sign over a unit, make sure the first provision is to pay the balance of the storage rent.

What your plan amounts to is a mobile pawn shop of sorts. Instead of having customers bring whatever they are wanting to hawk you drive to their storage unit. You have the labor of loading and cleaning the unit, sorting the junk from usable, disposal of trash, labor of retailing the stuff and hoping you can turn it over.

Honestly I could see it amounting to a losing venture.
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