Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why Storage Units?

I admit the idea of purchasing the contents of abandoned storage units to resell them never occurred to me until a few months ago, when I watched Storage Wars on tv. Storage Wars is a "reality" tv show that follows 5 individuals as they purchase, clean out and resell the contents of storage units in California. I knew there were storage unit businesses, after all you see them all over, but I'd never thought through what happens when someone doesn't pay their rent and the unit needs to be cleared out for a new paying customer.

When I watched the show, it seemed like a fun and potentially profitable enterprise. I knew the show was focusing on the most rewarding units, since the "finds" definitely made for the most interesting viewing. More interesting to show a find of valuable baseball cards then junk that needs to go straight to a dumpster somewhere. And, the tally of income and expenses for the units was completely out of whack, with no consideration made for costs other than the unit itself. How about the time of the folks buying the unit? Cost of traveling to and from the units? Cost of sales? And so on ....

But, I thought it would be a fun thing to do. And, I had the time since I'm unemployed. In a moment of complete serendipity, I mentioned to my brother that I was interested in buying storage units. He was too! And, by the way, he's unemployed, strong, and has a mini-van and trailer. Most importantly, though, it's always more fun to do this kind of thing in partnership with someone else. You have someone to share the experience with. And, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses; working together we can exploit our strengths and ideally mitigate those weaknesses.

Next up: pre-auction preparation


  1. Welcome to your new blog! I'll be following. Too bad I didn't know you when my mother's storage unit went through this. She was progressing in her dementia, and I didn't know to follow up on what she supposedly paid every month. She 'forgot' to pay for a few months and the contents were sold. All the antiques, memorabilia, priceless possessions -- all gone -- thousand and thousands of dollars worth -- all gone.
    That happened on 9/10/2001 -- the next day my mind was elsewhere.

  2. what LOL I have to enter a new blog into the reader and onto the blog list ha ha great to hear from you and get an update.

    Like Muffie I have an experience also. My grand niece let her storage bill go behind, never told anyone she needed help with it. Lost many of MY Grandmothers things my brother had been given when she died.

    I am sure knowing what was lost that the person who bid on the unit hit the financial gold mine.

    Say Hiya to Skip and the pups.


  3. Muff and Jan - It is a bummer that there is a loss by a family to generate the gains for those of us that buy the units. I'm sorry that situation befell both of your families, how sad.

    Thanks for coming by to check out the new digs!

  4. Hey I wish I was scrapping the storage units! Dang if you hit a good one then it makes up for the not so great bids.

    It should be a very good income earner once you get the feel for it.


  5. We rented a storage unit when we were remodeling our house, but had we fallen behind on the rent, anyone buying the unit's contents would've been sorely disappointed. It was the same ratty junk when we took it out as it was when we put it in. sigh.

    This sounds like fun. I'm looking forward to the adventure!

  6. It sounds like a lot of work and a lot of fun at the same time. I hope you and your brother hit a few goldmines among the junkers. Best of luck.