Storage Auctions

Buying furniture at auctions

The digital world makes it incredibly easy to buy furniture. . . .ANY kind of furniture from the comfort of our own homes, through the internet. With tools like eBay, Craigslist, Facebook market place, and a host of online retailers, any type of furniture, in any condition, is discoverable and easily purchased.

Most of us have experienced an online auction, such as eBay or publicsurplus.com. But how many of us have ever been to a live auction? If you haven't been to a live auction, then I highly recommend you find one to attend. You can usually find announcements of upcoming auctions on Craigslist and Facebook. A simple Google search on "live auctions in my area" will also point you in the right direction.

Live auctions are much more than getting a good deal on a piece of furniture (or just about anything, for that matter). They are an experience. There's a certain ambiance of excitement when you hear the chant of the auctioneer coupled with the buzz of a crowd. Besides, physically walking around and looking at the items is more interesting (at least to me) than viewing items online in an eBay store. It's easier to inspect items for damages, etc.

When you attend an auction, the first thing you'll do is register at the clerk's table. This is where you give credit card information so they can charge you when your bid wins an item. In exchange for your credit card info, the clerk will supply you with a bidder's card. The bidder's card has a unique number that the auctioneer will reference if/when you win the item. For example, the auctioneer might say, "Sold for $100 to bidder number 32, $100 to bidder number 32!"

Just like an online auction, be prepared to pay a buyer's premium. This is an additional amount, ranging from 3 to 7% of the purchase price. So, if the buyer's premium is 3%, you'll pay the clerk $103 for a $100 dollar item. Additionally, some auctions will tack on a seller's premium, too. It's standard practice, but important to remember as you budget your spending limit for the auction.

You never know what you'll find at an auction! You know the adage: One person's junk is another person's treasure. One of my favorite examples of this is a Seymour card table that was picked up for $25 and later sold for over $500,000!

So, while our world as turned itself into an increasingly indoors, e-commerce society where folks purchase their cars online through vroom, wellness products, like Melaleuca products, through Melaleuca.com, and used furniture through eBay--sometimes it's worth it to get out of the house and attend a local auction. You never know what kind of treasure is waiting. And even if you don't bring anything home, at least you'll have had a fun experience.

Going! Going! Gone!

Growing a garden when you have no yard

Living in today's digital world, where screens are an ever-present part of our lives, taking a leisurely stroll through the park is becoming more a rarity than a past-time; playing Frisbee with friends is considered a throwback experience; and sitting on the veranda to watch a sunset is something only old people do. Yet, as humanity allows itself to continue being held hostage by electronic devices, there is a growing movement to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. And one of the first places that comes to mind for "digital refugees" to flee is the back yard garden. Yet, what if you have no yard? Is it still possible to have a garden?

Yes! Just because you don't have a sprawling garden plot on Route 66 doesn't mean you can't have a proud garden on floor 66. The secret it to garden using containers. Here's how to get started:

(1) Get pots that fit the crop

Don't underestimate the amount of space your plants need to grow. Plants need enough room for roots to deeply take hold. For example, if you were to plant bell peppers, a quart-size pot will suffice. However, if you were to plant corn (which is possible to do indoors in a pot), you'll need 5-gallon containers for each plant.

Avoid unglazed clay pots. Unglazed clay pots tend to get brittle over the course of a season. Instead, opt for plastic pots. If you insist on using a clay pot, at least consider layering by having your plants in a plastic pot that is then inserted into the clay pot.

(2) Maximize sunlight

Your plants want and need sunlight--a full day's worth every day. Keep your plants in rooms that receive enough sun. If you need to move your plants during the day, that's ok. It's one of the benefits of container gardening!

(3) Use potting mix

Don't use plain old dirt. Use potting mix in your containers. Potting mix is specially formulated to hold moisture better and usually comes with the appropriate blend of nutrients necessary for your garden to thrive. Also, you'll never have a weed problem because potting mix is bagged weed-free!

(4) Get a hose that connects to your sink

This can be fun. When buying your high-rise apartment, you probably never thought you'd need a garden hose. Yet, you'll find a short garden hose to be very convenient in keeping your container garden watered each day.

You can connect a garden hose to a sink by using an adapter typically available at any home improvement store like Ace, TruValue, or the Home Depot.

If you'd rather not have a garden hose, that's ok. You'll just have to make repeat trips with a watering can.

(5) Consider adding hanging baskets

There's more to your apartment's space than just floor space. Use the air space to potentially DOUBLE the amount of crop production. Some plants, like tomatoes and many kinds of herbs, grow very well from hanging baskets. Not only will hanging baskets increase your production potential, but they can also be very beautiful.

(6) Use eco-friendly household cleaners around indoor plants

With an indoor garden, you'll want to be very sensitive to the kind of cleaners you use. Many household cleaners contain harmful chemicals that can harm or even kill plants. Furthermore, once your plants start producing fruit for consumption, you'll definitely want to avoid spraying anything harmful around your garden. Melaleuca products are all eco-friendly as are products available from eco-friendly stores like Natural Grocers.

Online Company Review: Glass Door

Glass Door is an online business that specializes in business reviews. Their web site, GalssDoor.com, allows employees to hop on and share honest, anonymous reviews about the companies they work for. Former employees can also leave reviews.

Glass Door has been around for about nine years now, and employees have been able to write online reviews since 2008. Reviews consist of ranking the overall company (zero to five stars); rating the CEO (on a scale of zero to 100); listing the pros and cons of the company; recommending the company (or not); and offering "advice to management."

All the major companies in the U.S. have thousands of reviews. There are also many other smaller companies with only a few hundred or so. Overall, there have been millions of Glass Door reviews posted about thousands of organizations. Let's take a look at how a few companies fare on Glass Door

1. Procter & gamble reviews
• 3,804 reviews
• 4.0-star rating
• 93% approval rating for CEO David S. Taylor
• 85% recommend the company to a friend
• Sample pros: "Great co-workers, challenging technical issues to solve." "Stable environment focused on icon brands."
• Sample cons: "Not sure how much they value employees." "Paperwork is a little much. Workload can get overwhelming. The time it takes getting new equipment through financing and in the door and up and running is too long."
• Sample advice to management: "You should really listen to the people who execute the work before you throw in a new strategy." "Please remember to keep your best people even when they fight for your employees at work. Please keep us protected but also let the people you hired do the job that you hired them for. Continue to support us and we will continue to support you too."

2. Melaleuca reviews
• 156 reviews
• 4.0-star rating
• 82% approval rating for CEO Frank VanderSloot
• 81% recommend the company to a friend
• Sample pros: "Fast-paced, high-energy, mission-driven, CUSTOMER-centered, EMPLOYEE-built, privately-held company approaching $2B in annual sales with a 32 year growth record. An amazing and challenging environment perfect for personal and team growth and development."
• Sample cons: "Performance based income, need to really work hard and put in a lot of time to make a significant income."
• Sample advice to management: "Invest in your people." "Hire people because they know what they are doing. Then let them do it. Pay them well so that they won't ever leave."

3. Wendy's reviews
• 2,086
• 3.2-star rating
• 68% approval rating of CEO Emil Brolick
• 54% recommend the company to a friend
• Sample pros: "Great co-workers, awesome General Manager, easy to move up." "I like the culture here."
• Sample cons: "District Managers are pets of the company and some have very little concern for a work/life balance."
• Sample advice to management: "I thing they can make things way better by getting bigger and really get to know people before they actually get hired in."