Many industries slow down during the summer months, and resale businesses can suffer as well. On the one hand, buyers may have more time off to browse your wares, and summer is certainly flea market season. On the other hand, attending storage auctions in the summer can be hot, frustrating and often fruitless. If you're working in the auction business, it's a good idea to know what you should expect for the warm months.
First, understand that every storage facility handles its auctions differently. Some facilities hold auctions only as needed to clear out their delinquent units. Others hold auctions on a regular basis, either monthly or quarterly depending on its size. If your local facilities don't hold monthly auctions, you may notice that there's fewer auctions being held during the summer than in other times of the year.
If you do chose to keep auction-hunting throughout the summer, be smart about it. You'll be spending a lot of time in the sun, and it's easy to get sunburned and dehydrated. Bring some bottled water, wear some sunscreen and travel between auctions in a car with a nice air conditioner. If you want to avoid the heat and crowds altogether, summer might be the ideal time to try a storage auction online. That way, you can stay comfortable in your home without falling behind on bidding.
One thing to look out for during the summer: Student units. College students sometimes stash away their dorm room items during the summer before returning home, and it's easy for them to forget about these units or lose the ability to pay. You might not start seeing them until the end of summer or early fall, but they're often worth looking out for: electronics, mini-refrigerators, CDs and DVDs are all common dorm room finds.
For many sellers, summer is a time to focus on selling rather than gathering stock. Many communities shut down their flea markets during the cool winter months, so summer becomes a prime time to start selling things you stocked up all winter. There's also more people visiting flea markets during the summer. Yard sales are another popular summer pastime, and you may discover that you get more visitors during the warm months than any other time of the year. Memorial Day weekend in particular is an excellent time for a yard sale.
You can also maximize your sales by targeting your wares to match the season. Throughout the year, try to sort your items by seasonal interests. Just as Christmas ornaments sell best in the winter, items like tents, fishing equipment and sporting goods all sell best during the summer. If you have the space to store them, these items will fetch a higher price in a summer sale than they would in the dead of winter when buyers aren't looking for them.
Overall, summertime storage auctions are a mixed bag. Then again, the same can be said for any part of this business. By being smart and using the season to your advantage, you can maximize your profits without suffering too much from the summer slow-down.