You’ve won a storage auction! What now?

Congratulations! You’ve won a storage auction thanks to your astounding bidding skills. But now it’s all yours, what do you do next? Chances are you’re looking to sell on the treasures found within to make a tidy profit, but slow down a minute! There’s a few things you’ll need to think about.

First of all, you’ve got one choice to make straight away. You can either empty the unit out – and many storage providers won’t give you more than a day or two to do so, although Space Station gives you seven – or you can choose to rent the unit out for yourself. Taking over the unit’s lease might be useful if you don’t have anywhere to store your new stock in the meantime, but it will also cut in to your profit margins for the sale, so weigh your options carefully.

Whichever you go for, you’ll need to have a good dig through the unit to see if the any personal effects have been left behind – personal photos, legal documents, tax records, identification etc. – and return them to the storage provider, who will in turn get them back to the original owner.

Once all that is out of the way, it’s time to sell! At all times it’s important to be realistic about the things you’re selling – don’t expect everything to go for the price you’re hoping for but, by the same measure, if you’ve got something you know is worth a lot, make sure you stick it out until you find the right buyer.

Fortunately, you don’t need to spend your weekends at pawnbrokers or car boot sales anymore to shift your items. There’s so many resources online for selling stuff – Gumtree, Craigslist and eBay, as well as a huge range of options for selling more specialist and niche things – so get your items up there and start selling.

There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of making a sale. First, check the demand – if you’re trying to sell something that’s available from dozens of sources for very low prices, you might be facing too much competition.

Make sure you get good pictures of every item – taken in good lighting without the flash on if possible – so people can see what they’re buying. Make sure photos are taken in clean and uncluttered areas to avoid your stock being dismissed at first glance.

Write good descriptions, with plenty of detail, and be upfront about any damage to items to avoid complaints further down the line. Price things reasonably too, and always check that you’re asking for less than the current market value for the same item new.

Of course, if all of this sounds like too much hassle, there’s a lot to be said for offering job lots. Much like the storage unit auction itself, many people offer large collections of unknown goods at one price, but here the seller has the advantage of knowing what’s in the pile! Sub-divide in to different lots – a job lot of records, a job lot of furniture, a job lot of books and so on – take some good pictures of the best bits in the collection, and see what people are willing to pay.

Although you can’t expect to make a profit every time, there’s clearly money to be made in storage auctions, provided you’re willing to put the time and effort in. Good luck out there!