Moving into a new apartment can get very expensive very quickly especially if you are living alone for the first time. This is where I found myself a little over a year ago. I have officially been moved out of my parents’ house for the past 4 years but previously I was living in a rundown college house that has seen way too much partying and I didn’t want to spend money on furniture that I knew was going to get destroyed or have beer spilled all over it. So, we would try and get stuff for free or look at discount stores such as Salvation Army or Goodwill Stores. Once I found myself getting a place all my own, I realized I needed to furnish it all by myself. Getting all new furniture and everything else that a new place needs was turning out to be an expensive endeavor. As I was preparing to move out of my college house into my new apartment, my roommate told me about warehouse auctions that take place in my city. I was very wary about the concept of getting warehouse items at a discounted price. Another thing that wasn’t sitting well with me was the website (www.bidfta.com) came across as very sketchy. The only saving grace about this concept was I trusted my roommate so I went ahead and checked it out. Boy am I glad that I did! There is a goldmine just waiting to be explored with warehouse auctions. I’ll breakdown the process of how to get started.
The first step is to create a profile with a user name and password. Once you completed that you will get a Bidder ID. Now you can start bidding on items. I will say I am fortunate to live in Cincinnati, OH which seems to be a hub for this particular brand of auctions. However, there are other places across the country that can get involved with the auctions. The states that have access to Fast Track It are AR, AZ, IN, KY, NV, NY, OH, SC, TN, and TX. it does seem most of the auctions are located in OH (YAY for me!!). I filter the auction sites to ones that are within 20 miles of my house. Luckily, for me this gives me access to 5 different auction locations.
The first auctions filtered are the ones that will close the soonest. This is by far the best place to start and I don’t search auctions that are scheduled to close more than a day away. This is one of the habits you have to get into if you want to succeed at auctions. You have to scour the website regularly to find the item that best suits your needs. Going in with the expectation of finding something right away is not the mindset you need to approach auctions. There are many categories of auctions available from this website. The most success I have had are with the home good auctions: things ranging from kitchen appliances, to outdoor furniture, to vacuums. There are also a ton of electronics auctions where you can find great deal on TVs and computers. Once you find an auction you want to explore get into it and let’s place some bids!
This will bring up the specific auction home page. It will tell you how many items are up for bid, end time of the auction and the location of the warehouse. It will also explain the bid increments based on the current bid. For example, if an item is currently at $5.05, you will have to place a bid in $1.00 increments. The increment prices are scaled based on the current bidding price. The grading system is explained next on the home page of the specific auction. This will help you when you are deciding on which what items you want to place a bid. I tend to stick to more of the “brand new” and “appears new” items for majority of my bids to get a better chance of getting an item that is of value. You take more risk that the item may not fit your standard as you approach items with the “open box” or “damaged” grade.
Before even placing a bid, you can peruse through the auctions that are further in the future to go and inspect some of the items you may want to place a bid on. There are specific times throughout the week where you can go and inspect the items of specific auctions. The auction closing date and time are important to pay attention to because that closing time is when the FIRST 5 ITMES ARE SOLD. I want to make that very clear because you can still lose an item that is way down the list if you are not careful. Another nuance of the bidding time is if you get into a bidding war with another person as the auction comes to a close. If two people are bidding on an item and the auction time has passes on that items, it will remain open for another 5 minutes to drive the price up. If it is something you really want then keep bidding, if not you can let the time lapse.
Once you have finally placed your winning bid, you will receive an email confirming you have won the item. Now you get to go and claim your prize! But that doesn’t come without it’s own set of specific times. On the home page of the specific auction, you will see the designated times where you can go and pick you item up. In the confirmation email, there will be the street address of the warehouse and the location within the warehouse where you item will be located. You need to bring the printed out confirmation email and a photo ID to pick up the item.
Here are some of my best purchases through auctions:a fully functioning Keurig for under $6, a Shark brand vacuum for under $15, and a modern designed rocking chair for under $20. If I would have bought those 3 items in the store, it would have cost me over $300! The process as a whole has many specifications you have to follow, and if you are able to follow them you will find yourself getting massive savings on tons of items!
Now that I will be moving into my new house, I am so excited to get back into scouring the warehouse auction site to get more awesome items to make my house feel like a home!
If you are not in any of the states listed above, I’m sure there are similar auction website in your area you can explore. Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions about getting started with warehouse auctions!
Steven | Rx for FIRE