Auction hunting is a business with narrow profit margins and sudden popularity, two factors that combine to make it somewhat unfriendly toward newcomers. Inspired by storage auction TV shows and other shows glorifying the resale business, many people are entering the field without much experience or understanding of how things work. The veterans in the industry are understandably reluctant to embrace these high-bidding newcomers, and they can be downright antagonistic at times.
A recent thread at StorageAuctionForums.com asked whether anyone had ever purposely misdirected a newbie or given bad advice to throw them off the trail. Most of the participants said no, but many did agree that newcomers should take some initiative and learn the ropes themselves rather than relying on old pros for advice. It's also important that veterans don't give away all of their secrets so they don't lose their competitive edge. Sharing specific sources for auction listings or personal bidding strategies can be self-destructive and disastrous.
If you're a newbie, here are a few tips for learning the ropes on your own:
- Utilize a resource like this blog to find tips and strategies rather than asking the people you're bidding against.
- If you don't use our service, make sure to do your research about an auction before you arrive. Check the storage facility's website, the auctioneer's website or the legal notice for the auction to ensure you know what the rules are.
- Try to be friendly and professional; avoid just talking to people when you want something, and don't try to be too much of a chatterbox with people who are trying to work around you.
- Avoid making yourself a nuisance. Leave your kids at home, park somewhere that won't block the entryway, and don't badger or heckle anyone.
As long as you treat your auction-hunting as a job, you should have an easy time fitting in with the others. Most auction-hunters aren't antagonistic toward newcomers who don't cause any trouble, and you can make lasting friendship in the industry by making an honest attempt. Once you become more experienced, you can pay it forward by giving a helping hand to other newbies.
Although the storage auction industry is experiencing growing pains, there is still plenty of room for people to enter the business. Many of the ill-informed newcomers won't stick around; the people who survive are those who truly understand and appreciate what they're getting into. By taking the time to educate yourself – and, when you can afford to, the people around you – you can ensure that commitment pays off.
So, how do you feel about this situation? Leave your interesting and creative responses in the comments section below.