I can safely say we didn’t know what we were really getting into when we received our email notifications letting us know we won not one, but two storage units. A couple of questions that ran through my head was, “Where are we going to put all that stuff and how good are our returns going to be?
At the beginning of May we purchased a couple of storage units through an online auction. Both facilities required the units to be cleaned out within 72 hours. During this time span we made two trips to Leesburg, and immediately after the second trip, we made our way down to South Beach.
The unit in Leesburg was filled with furniture, electronics, clothing, antiques, personal effects and miscellaneous items (i.e. chess pieces from Pirates of the Carribbean in an old Tide pod detergent bottle). One can gain an interesting perspective into a family’s life. A couple of lifetimes were stored in the storage bins, from old high school football jerseys to family photos and even a signed copy of Jo Frost from Supernanny.
Here are the top 6 things we learned from purchasing storage units.
#1. Google Lens is a powerful tool. You can find out exactly what you have and how much it is currently selling for, if it’s selling at all. For example, if you are selling anything on letgo, Offerup, or Craigslist, you can expect to make from a half to a quarter of what you actually paid for. If someone is interested in purchasing your item, sell it to them, don’t wait because nine times out of ten they will give you the highest offer.
#2. Michael Jordan sports cards from Fleet in 1992 are not worth what you think. This is worth more like $3-$4 dollars. If you want to increase the value, get it signed. My advice is to keep it for your future generations or gift it to someone who is a die hard fan.
#3. An antique Handyman Milwaukee Picnic Table that weighs 25 lbs will cost a lot to ship to a buyer in New Mexico. UPS ground quoted us at $120 and packaging at $25. We sold this item for $180. We settled with USPS for $61 and no packaging. Make sure you include the shipping charge in the cost of your item. I had only charged $5 to get this monstrosity shipped, but in the end it was still worth the returns. Unfortunately people do not care for antique things. People these days are into new things looking like vintage. You can find deals all day long on OfferUp, if you want an antique. As the wife of a husband who fixes and reupholsters furniture pieces for a living, I respect the craftmanship of furniture before particle board and pressed board came into play, not that this picnic table was made out of solid wood.
If you think you have solid wood furniture or leather upholstery, double and triple check before purchasing. Too many people have come to Anthony thinking they have solid wood furniture only to find out that their overpriced dining table was stamp painted to look like cherry wood or the thousands they paid to get that perfect home office desk was veneer. Also, not all leather pieces have leather throughout, some furniture companies, put in cheap fabric or pleather. Ask an expert, if you aren’t sure.
#4. A Calvin Burnett Original (pictured above) is best sold on EBay. I sent out inquiries to Auction Houses as far as LA that have quoted the piece from as low as $100 and as high as $400, which does not include their 25% commission fee. We have decided to take our chances as private sellers, so if you know of an art collector interested in this piece, please drop us a line.
#5. Donald Trump ties are worth very little in resale. Speaking of which here is my shameless plug to go to my Poshmark Closet and make me a deal on all the ties I have posted @aloharise. At this point I just want to get rid of them in bulk. Then again, I do realize during this time of COVID-19 no one is getting dressed in a suit these days, especially in Citrus County, Florida.
#6. How to know if you bought an authentic Louis Vuitton bag?
The hardware used on the bag is an indicator. Fake bags will often have painted gold plastic whereas an authentic will have gold or brass metal hardware imprinted with the trademark LV logo.
Wondering if you have a fake Prada? Check under the zipper for the following: Lampo, Opti, Riri, Ipi and YKK. If it is blank on the back, you have a fake on your hands.
When all was said and done, we did turn a profit, not as high as we hoped, but not bad for first time “winners.” We have sold, donated and have some refinishing work to do on a select few furniture pieces, so the overwhelming part of where everything was going has been taken care of. We will be bidding on others, but will definitely be more selective in the future.
Please join us again soon as we Aloha, Rise & Grind another day.