For those interested in making money by finding and selling antiques and collectibles, I set out a basic premier in my article Do It Yourself American Pickers Guide. This article will go into some advanced “picking” techniques. Frankly, what I’m about to share with you makes those two American Picker guys look like a couple of amateurs. I mean, they sometimes seem more interested in their tv show than picking cheap items for resale. So you want to make some money, get your work gloves out because this is not a sit around type of job–it’s down and dirty.
1. You need some starting cash. Do whatever you have to do to put a thousand bucks, cash in your pocket. Can you do it with less? Yes but you’ll be sorry, I promise you. Trust me on this, the biggest bankroll wins in this game.
2. Find a storage auction. Rather than drive around the country side, trying to swindle old people out of their dusty possessions, go somewhere that there are mountains of possessions up for auction. In storage unit facilities around the country, people are defaulting on their rent. After a few months of non-payment, there’s an announcement of a storage lien sale in the newspaper. The storage facility throws open the door, you get a look inside and the bidding begins. Now let me tell you, there are many pitfalls in this game and you won’t always find a perfect storage unit – and the secret’s been out on this for awhile so expect a bunch of people there as well–with cash in their pocket. But you can get mountains of great merchandise to resell from storage unit auctions. I have personally found treasures and profited from this money making process.
3. The thing the American Picker guys don’t really explain is how hard it can be to sell this shit. The program shows “tin can picked – $5, valued $20, profit $15 or whatever. The really difficult and time consuming part of picking for profit is selling the merchandise. I don’t care whether it’s antiques, collectibles or toasters, you have to have a market for re-selling or you just end up with a garage full of stuff and cursing my name. Get ready for this, your best tool for selling this stuff is a garage sale. a) you should have gotten a bunch of stuff really cheap b) everyone is allowed to have a couple garage sales a year and c) you don’t need a license or pay taxes on it or any of that. Garage sale + Storage Auction = Pure Profit!
4. Get some education on what things are worth. Get some price guides, learn to check closed auctions on eBay–you have to become a worthologist. Yeah, I made that up but whatever, you get what I’m saying. You don’t want to be the jackass that sells a painting by a famous artist for five bucks at a garage sale that sells at Christies for 100k, do you? If you’re going to do any kind of picking, you’ve got to learn how various markets value things. I could go on and on about this important topic.
This is not an exhaustive article on how to make money in picking but some advanced techniques. I explained this concept to a friend and he and his wife really ran with it, buying up Las Vegas storage auctions at a frantic pace, becoming powersellers on ebay and having the cops come to shut down their running garage sale. He wrote a book about it, From Garage Sale to Financial Freedom in Five Steps which I highly recommend you get and when you see the reference to Morpheus, that’s me!.