Tag - Tips

Ways To Avoid Losing Your Storage Unit

Storage Unit Red Lock

With so much focus on hunting for treasures, it's easy to forget about a storage unit's original tenant. Many auction hunters rent storage units themselves, though, either to store items they win or for personal reasons. Whether you're working on both sides of the industry or just keep your personal belongings in storage, it's important to take steps to protect your belongings and avoid seeing them at an auction.

Storage facilities don't like auctioning units off if they don't have to. They're in the business of storing items, not selling them, and auctions can be time-consuming and stressful for facility owners. They also generally do not profit from the sales. In most cases, the facility owner will be willing to work with renters. Here are a few tips for keeping your items out of auction if you fall behind on your payments:

  • Try to make a partial payment, even if you can't pay off everything that you owe.
  • Offer a settlement to the manager to see if you can negotiate your back rent down to a more affordable price in exchange for you immediately emptying out the unit.
  • Consider borrowing money from a friend or family member if you know you'll be late; that will keep you from paying late fees.
  • If you know you're going to be late on your rent, empty out your unit as soon as possible. Most storage facility managers will deactivate your access code and over lock your storage unit in as little as 3-5 days after the due date.

The storage facility will usually give you 60-90 days to make up your late rent before your items go up for auction. Bear in mind that you can pay off your unit at any time up until the auction has finished.

It's important to keep all of your contact information up-to-date. If the storage facility doesn't know your current address, phone number and email address, they won't be able to contact you to let you know that your unit is going up for auction. In some cases, you might not even realize that you're behind on rent unless you're notified. For example, if you pay with a credit card and the card on file is expired, you could lose the unit. Always check this information to prevent problems.

If you do lose your items, you might be able to get some of them back. If you attend the auction, you can approach the person who purchased your unit and request to get back personal items like photographs or tax documents. Many auction-hunters will be happy to give these things back to you if you're polite. Be aware, however, that they're under no obligation to do so, so there's no guarantee that you'll get your personal items back. Last but not least, find out how much the storage unit sold for. If your storage unit sold for more than what you owe in back rent and late fees, you may be entitled to a refund of the overage.

Are you about to lose your storage unit and need advice? Have you lost a storage unit or had to negotiate with a storage facility to get your stuff back? Share your story in the comments section below.

Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

Yard Sale

Many people hold garage sales as a way to empty their homes of unwanted items, but there's no reason you can't sell things more professionally through a garage sale. In fact, some people like to hold large, regularly scheduled sales that draw large crowds. It's easier to hold a single yard sale than to attempt multiple small sales to different people through Craigslist or eBay, and a garage sale gives you an opportunity to connect with your community and meet buyers who might be interested in your future wares.

Whether you're looking at a garage sale as a way to clear your home of unwanted items or as a platform for selling things you buy at auction, here are a few tips for a successful sale:

Advertise the sale well in advance. Put up an ad on Craigslist and the local paper, or find a yard sale listing website for your area. Early on the day of your sale, put up signs to alert people to the sale and direct them to your home. Be sure that you're not breaking any laws by placing the signs in undesignated areas, though, and remember to retrieve then when your sale has finished.

Make sure that your sales area is clean and professional-looking. Keep all large dogs and other pets out of the area, and make sure that there's ample parking in your area. If your own garage isn't a good choice for the sale, see if you can find another place to hold it.

Organize your sale space. Use tables to put things at different heights, and arrange your items in a way that will catch people's attention. Make sure everything you sell is clean and properly displayed. The more neatly you display things, the more valuable they'll appear to buyers.

Carefully consider your prices. You'll want to price things low enough that they'll attract buyer attention, but high enough to make room for haggling. You don't have to put an obvious price on every item you sell, but having prices visible helps attract and keep the attention of shoppers who might be too shy to ask about every item.

Consider combining your sale with another person or several people to have an even larger sale. This will attract more buyers and give you more staff to run the sale with. Just be sure to keep good records of sales so you can divide profits accordingly.

Bear in mind that people may not come to a garage sale with enough money to buy a big-ticket item, but they may still be interested. Take down the number of interested persons and follow up with them if the item still hasn't sold at the end of the day.

It's usually better to have a few large sales per year than multiple smaller ones.

Every garage sale will be different, and you won't always make great profits. Everything from the weather to the whims of your shoppers will affect the quality of your sales. Following these tips will help make your endeavors more successful.