Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Unit 13: Small and Profitable

A week ago Thursday, I took off on a day of spelunking. On tap were 2 auctions in Worcester, 1 in Shrewsbury, wrapping up with an auction in Northboro. These are all about 30 minutes from my house and even closer to my brother, so he could join me for a clean-out if I found a good unit. My challenge was that he was helping BW's girlfriend move the next day, so we needed to move everything out of the unit that day. You typically only have 24 hours to get everything removed. So, I was looking for a unit without much stuff but that still looked profitable.

On this day, we finally got some summer weather. The temps got into the 80s (F), so it was quite warm wandering around the pavement at the storage unit sites, going from unit to unit.

The first auction had 9 units up for sale. Most of them had nothing appealing. In fact, one unit didn't sell at all it was so unappealing to the gathered crew of about 30. One of the last units was interesting. It was small, had a large electronic keyboard and you could see a guitar case peaking out from behind some bins. I was willing to pay up to $175, but it was over $350 when I walked away to scope out the next unit.

At the next location, only two units were available. The first contained some nice looking furniture, but too much for my brother and I to handle that afternoon, so I didn't bother to bid.

In Shrewsbury, it seemed the bidders lost interest in the units. They were going for very little. The fourth of 5 was interesting. It was a funny-shaped unit, taking a turn at the end. You could see a few boxes and a couple of bikes from the door. The auctioneer went in and said there was a bedroom set inside and no mattress (mattresses cost to dispose of, so that was a bonus). I was the only bidder and picked it up for $50!

This is the time of year to sell bikes and I'm still surprised no one else was interested in the unit. I sold the two bikes (one is the girl's bike above - a Bratz Diamond Dazzler) for a total of $190. The other bike was a virtually new mountain bike. I found online that they sell new for about $100, so I listed it on Craigslist for $85. Got a lot of calls and emails on it and had a buyer lined up. He didn't show, so was going to offer it to the next caller. Unbelievably, when I told an interested party that I had other potential buyers in front of her, she counteroffered $150! As you can imagine, she took it home.

The furniture, in a french provincial style, has some wear to it, but it's well-made and solid. I can't find any information online about the manufacturer, Paoletti Period Furniture, unfortunately. I'm putting it up on Craigslist today. Wish me luck for a quick sale!

Now this is the way to make a profit in storage units. I'm happy.


  1. Good luck for a quick sale! Which reminds me, I've got a bike I need to get up on craigslist. Somehow, it's more fun to read about somebody else doing it!

  2. Zoomster - I agree, always more fun to procrastinate than do.

    - Cranky