Buying Storage Units For a Living

Buying Storage Units For a Living

All hail the almighty and all knowing Television…!

I think making a quick switch to buying storage units for a living is the way to go this year. Call it whatever you want to call it but all it took was a few weeks of continuous TV to finally see it.

Yes, I’ve been a couch potato for a couple of weeks now, but… it was during this time that I finally got the guts to fully go back to an idea I had 8 years ago!

Buying and reselling used stuff.

This was just about the time I got married. I was also getting into selling secondhand clothes and books on sites like eBay.

Thinking back, I can’t believe I spent $37 for something that my TV would have taught me for free.

I mean, I succumbed to an infomercial and bought some crappy eBook that claimed to have the secret source for valuable merchandise that could be sold on eBay.

These small auctions carried out by storage unit owners was one of the ideas from the eBook. It was actually the only idea that made the most sense to me!

However, I never did anything about it until recently when I finally saw it happen practically on my new favorite TV show, Storage Wars.

Well, there are a couple more other shows that got into my favorite list during my TV marathon and some of them were Cash Dome, Auction Hunters, and Pawn Stars.

Let me share some TV knowledge and show you why this is a great money making idea…

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Storage Unit Auctions: What Are They?

Storage units are big business, especially in big populous cities or towns. People rent them to store stuff they can’t fit in their homes or elsewhere.

This is charged on a monthly basis and they can get their stuff back after whatever period it takes to get their issues sorted out…as long as they keep paying the monthly storage fee.

Sometimes people default on these payments and the storage unit owners have to make their money back in some way…right?

Storage Unit Auctions: What Are They?

Please note that storage unit owners are only interested in recovering the amount due to them (for storage…), and maybe making a little profit while at it, but its not their business to appraise individual stored items and selling them for profit, that’s reserved for you and me!

So what do they do? They just get rid of the entire collection hidden behind the storage unit in “wholesale”…thus, the auctions.

How Do Storage Unit Auctions Work?

They are pretty simple and straightforward really…But here’s the fun twist, they’re a bit of a gamble.

Not the kind where you stand to lose 100% of your investment, but still, serious loses can be made. So why do I insist on getting into the business then…?

Storage unit owners will usually go through their records and pick out the units whose rent is overdue and announce for public auctions.

Bidders who show up basically try to outbid each other for the contents of the unit and get this… all this time… without knowledge of what’s inside!

You could very well pay $1,000 for a used toothbrush!! But this has never happened though. The winner of course gets to open the storage unit and uncover the “stashed gold”.

Normally this is in terms of personal items like appliances, tools, electronics, bikes (including motorbikes…), jewelry, clothes, furniture, instruments, machine parts… anything.

How Do You Make Money?

And now to the fun part; sometimes you find very valuable stuff like antiques and some other cool old stuff that you could re-package or refurbish and re-sell for good money.

Sometimes they’re good enough to sell “as-is” after a bit of dusting.

I remember this one episode where one of the investors pays $1, 700 for a storage unit and ends up with a beat-up diesel generator, some garden tools, 3 old tyres, a box of novels and old children books, and a few other items.

How Do Storage Unit Auctions Work?

But get this…somewhere covered near the end of the unit he uncovers a genuine Civil War canon!

And it gets even better, they test the damn thing, and it blows the target to smithereens!

Now this was a gem, and he was able to clean it up and flip it for $3, 400…cool right?

The other stuff amounted to about $760 combined. That’s a profit of $2, 460 from one single deal.

My Take on Storage Unit Auctions

Whichever way you look at it, this is good business. Of course you can run into a few loses now and then but there’s at least some comfort in knowing that you’ll always get something back for your investment.

Unless you can manage to break the record by making zero sales…!

It all depends on the passion you have for buying and selling things people think they don’t need. Maybe its your time to uncover the diamond covered in storage unit dust…

So there you have it. Buying storage units for a living is a very lucrative business idea which can be done part-time or full time.

I was going to wait for your comments and use your views to decide whether or not to jump into storage auction sales but guess what…?

See you at the next auction!

Thank you oh wise TV…

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18 comments on “Buying Storage Units For a Living

  1. I have a friend in Arizona who has been going to public storage unit auctions for a while so I’ve had some interest in knowing how they work. From what I’ve read, you buy the contents of the storage units and sell whatever you find inside. It seem like this would also require an eye for discerning value in the items you buy since you would need to appraise, refurbish, and sell these items. This seems like a fun way to make passive residual income, as you said. Thanks for the interesting info.

    1. No problem John, thanks for taking the time to comment on the article. Good luck with the Storage Unit Auctions!!!

  2. I have actually thought about bidding on storage units before. I love watching the tv shows like this. Some of the items they put prices on seem a little far fetched, while other items I can totally see the value in them! Great information here for those that have no knowledge in this business. How did your auction experience go?

    1. I’ve had many auction experiences over the years Albert – all of them bring up a different experience (good and bad!)

    2. I just want to say its nothing like the show . Its hard back breaking work an its not easy money . You will get dirty and down right nasty but I find it very fun and enjoy it very much. Just keep in mined you will need space to put everything

      1. Hey Michael,

        Cheers for your input mate – it’s great to get the perspective from someone who’s actually doing this at the moment! 🙂

  3. You know Chris, I have watched storage wars for the entertainment value, but I never considered it as something I might do. You’ve gotten me thinking, though. I guess the main sticking point for me is the risk. I guess if I could get over that, it may be something I could do.

      1. I am interested in selling a storage how do I find someone interested in purchasing it? Please email me at mvbreadman@aol(dot)com

        1. No idea with that one Mario – although I’ve left your email up here so one of our readers could contact you (someone who knows more about this subject!)

  4. I have always wondered how storage auctions work and if you can really make money from it. You have answered my question.

    Thank you very much for this very informative post. Maybe I will look it as an option to make an extra income!

    I have also looked at the Wealthy Affiliate option. I am new to creating websites. Is the training they provide for novices?


    1. Hi Rika! Yeah the WA is an awesome choice for novices – when I first got there I was totally green to building websites and marketing. They have a free membership so you’ve got nothing to lose really – jump in and give it a go! 🙂

  5. Right right I have my backyard full of secondhand furniture and clothes which I took from the house of my father and mother who died few months ago in a terrible road accident. I have been keeping these items because I never knew hoe to go about with them.

    Today when one of my friends told of your website, I quickly jumped on it and to my surprise, I got the most important information regarding where I can sell all these items instead having pilled in backyard.

    I have already spoken to Auctions hunters and they already came to have a look at them and promised to collect the items tomorrow.

    Thank you for your work of sharing such important resource.


    1. I’m really sorry for your loss mate. Glad you were able to sort out some of the clutter and I’m glad the article helped.

  6. Thank you for your informative review on a topic that has certainly become much more well known since the introduction of these storage shows on TV.

    I definitely have always thought there is great money to be made here but I do have 2 questions for you.

    1. Do you think that since TV has exploded with these types of shows that the competition at these auctions has exploded as well?

    2. Is there a considerable amount of overhead in starting a business like this?

    Thank you again for your great article.

    1. Ahhhh, no to both really Robert – I mean, most average people are to lazy to get off their ass and do something like this – regardless of how lucrative it is on TV.

  7. You have hit on a useful way of re-cycling other people’s cast-offs into money. I do wonder why people leave stuff in storage, so I asked our local business. “people die, forget or run out of money.” he said. I asked him where all the unwanted stuff went, “Sold at auction!” He said. So, thanks to you, I now know where and when the auctions are. Risk? Yes, of course, there is risk in everything in life. Now, I need a large storage unit to put all the stuff I bought into.

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