Category - Frequently Asked Questions

Would It Be Possible For You To List The Auctions For 2 Weeks Or 3 Weeks At A Time?


One of our members recently asked:

Q. I just joined your website. A lot of good info. Would it be possible for you to list the auctions for 2 weeks or 3 weeks at a time? I have different days off every week, and if i knew the schedules more in advance it would be easier for me to coordinate going. Thanks for the great site!

A. Since we offer our trial memberships to new members, we are forced to publish the list one week in advance. We would love two publish the list two weeks in advance; unfortunately, there would be some people who would take advantage of the system. Another thing to keep in mind is that storage auctions are constantly being added and cancelled. By publishing one week at a time, you can rest assured that you are getting the most reliable and up to date schedule available.


Does It Take A Lot Of Money To Get Started In The Storage Auction Business?

Money Storage Auctions

Before I started, I was a full time storage auction buyer. I have proven that you don't need a lot of money to get started in the storage auction business. I began attending self storage auctions with $400 of disposable funds and within a few months I was living off of the income from this business. It's kind of like going to a casino, but if you buy smart and only bid on what you see, you will consistently beat the house.

Most self storage auctions are cash only and you don't have time to go to the ATM after the storage auction is over. Some storage facilities do accept credit cards as a method of payment at their storage auctions. It is a good idea to call the storage facility for the specific terms and conditions of the storage sale. I have heard others say that using a credit card to buy a storage unit at auction is a bad idea. I personally feel that if you are financially responsible and being conservative on your bids, credit cards can be a great tool for getting started in the storage auction business.

If you have plenty of cash, by all means, bring it. Nothing hurts worse than missing out on a great storage unit because you didn't bring enough money with you. I know one storage auction buyer that brings up to twenty five thousand dollars with him to every auction. Is this really necessary? No, but every now and then, when a really incredible storage unit comes along, it works to his advantage.

On a really good day, you might have the opportunity to view 100 or more storage units up for auction. Consider the number of storage units you would like to purchase, and use the following guide to determine the appropriate amount of cash to bring with you every day. Most storage units sell in certain price ranges. Keep in mind, this is just an average. Selling bids do fluctuate depending on the quality & volume of the contents & the number of buyers in attendance.

Most 5x5 & 5x10 storage units sell between $5-$200. Most 10x10 & 10x15 storage units sell between $200-$700. Most 10x20 & 10x30 storage units sell between $700-$1500. Once in a while, a spectacular unit will come along and surpass these figures.

There is a learning curve. Not only will you need to have an idea of what things sell for in a retail environment but you will need to know how much they sell for used. Every storage auction buyer has their own method of determining a storage units value. Here is what has worked well for me: If you only bid on what you can see, then everything that you can't see is pure profit. This strategy works great on larger storage units where there are a lot of boxes or where the contents in the back of the storage unit are obstructed from view.

Another strategy that works well on storage units where a majority of the contents are in plain sight, is to consider the total resale value before the bidding begins. Divide that figure in half and subtract moving, labor & disposal expenses. Once you determine your maximum bid for the storage unit, stick with it. It's quite easy to get caught up in emotional bidding, especially on units that have something in them that you really want.

Can’t Open PDF’s Using Android?

Lately, we have had several members asking us why they are getting an error when they attempt to open our PDF's with their Android phone or tablet. Apparently, the Android operating system or standard Android browser didn't come equipped with an Adobe PDF viewer. Adobe recently released it's PDF reader for Android devices and you can download it at Google Play by  clicking here. Other members have solved this problem by downloading a different mobile browser like Firefox, Chrome, Dolphin or Opera.

Also, some members have reported that they were able to open the PDF file in the past and are now getting a 404 error when they attempt to open the PDF file again. This is a strong indicator that their browser's cache needs to be cleared out. If you are unsure how to clear your browser's cache, you can get detailed instructions by clicking here.

If you have any questions or if you would like to help other members by sharing your insight on this issue, please leave your response in the comments section below. Also, please be sure to indicate what type of device and browser you are using.

Questions About Income Taxes For Storage Auction Buyers

Allow me start out by saying that I’m not a CPA or an attorney and that you should consult with a tax professional before making any decisions.

A member recently asked the following question:

Do you know what the rules are for income tax for someone who makes all their money reselling the contents of storage lockers online?

Earning money by selling items on the internet affects a growing number of individuals and businesses. Any time you earn income other than wages, you should evaluate whether the transaction is taxable. If you have an established business and you augment your sales with online auctions, remember to include the online auction sales in your business income. If your online transactions reach the level of a business activity, you should determine whether it is appropriate to deduct ordinary and necessary business expenses. An ordinary expense is an expense that is common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is appropriate for your business.

If you are in the business of selling items through auctions, you may also owe self-employment tax, employment tax, or excise tax. As a self-employed individual, generally you are required to file an annual return and pay estimated tax quarterly. Self-employed individuals generally must pay self-employment tax as well as income tax. Before you can determine if you are subject to self-employment tax and income tax, you must figure your net profit or net loss from your business. You have to file an income tax return if your net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more.

For more information about self employment taxes,

Also, you can check out the Virtual Small Business Tax Workshop which is composed of nine interactive lessons designed to help new small business owners learn their tax rights and responsibilities.

Income taxes and sales tax in niches like ours can sometimes be confusing. I'm interested in finding out how others handle their taxes. If anyone has any tips or advice which could help other storage auction buyers, please leave your interesting and creative responses in the comments section below. Also, if you have a specific question, feel free to ask. Some of our members are tax professionals and perhaps they will take some time to clue us all in.