People store so many things in self-storage units that they can literally be a gold mine to the right people in the right way. Storage facilities are constantly dealing with units filled with personal and business property that goes unpaid and the unit contents are forfeited to the storage facility. The units are opened and auctioned to the highest bidder so the company can recover its losses. But what do buyers do with the contents of these units? Here a few possibilities.
Depending on what the buyer finds in the unit they buy, private sales or advertising specific items for sale is one way to make a profit on the contents of the storage unit. The unit may have only one or two items in it of value, but if the buyer finds something that can resell for a high price, they can make their money back in one or two sales. New appliances, high-value furniture, or electronics can often bring in good returns.
Second Hand Stores
When you go into a second-hand shop and see all the things on the shelf, you might think, "where did they get all this stuff?" You might be surprised. A lot of secondhand shops rely on self-storage auctions as a way to stock their store and turn over new merchandise every week or month. For these shops, buying the contents of a self-storage unit is a little risky because they never really know if there are enough items in the unit that will sell in the store but when they do, it can make a great profit for the shop.
Sales to Collectors
People store all kinds of personal property in self-storage units. There are a lot of collectible items that could turn up in a storage unit for example baseball cards that someone collected as a kid, art that has gone up in value, or maybe someone's childhood coin collections. When a buyer finds this type of thing in a storage unit, they may seek out collects to offer the items to. Sometimes a shoe box filled with stamps from the '50s might be very valuable to a collector.
While the self-storage facility will often hold sales once a month, watch your local paper for the sale listings because in most areas the law dictates they advertise the sale in the newspaper before units are auctioned off. If you have the capital to get started, the place to store the contents of a unit while you sort through it, and the drive to sell it, buying self-storage units and rescaling the forfeited contents might be a business you want to consider.
Contact a facility like Foothills Storage to learn more about storage unit uses and forfeited contents.