Post about "Auctions"

Get Into Storage Auctions With Little or No Capital

There are innovative strategies that anyone can implement with little or no investment to capitalize on the current interest (“craze”?) in the Storage Auction business. This opportunity has been launched by the several popular TV “reality” shows (Storage Wars, Auction Hunters and Storage Hunters for example). And these new business ideas are based on the business concept of leveraging.Properly applied, leverage creates “niche” opportunities that surround a larger “sun. What you will learn here is what business leverage is, how it works and where the big opportunity lies with Storage Auctions.Launching a satelliteThe vast majority of successful ventures position themselves as “satellites” to a large, thriving enterprise. On a simple level, this means the local, upscale consignment shop that locates near a new Wal-Mart.In fact, this strategy is the motivation for most strip shopping center stores to open where there is a high profile, high volume “anchor”; whether it is Wal-Mart, a “big box” category store like The Home Depot or a supermarket. What is less obvious is the “satelliting” of products or services.If you think about it, every iPhone app is a “satellite”. If you Google “calendars for Microsoft excel”, you’ll see that many developers have latched onto the success of the Microsoft Office suite. Business after business has been launched to organize, expand, protect or enhance the Garmin GPS accessory for your car!Entering a market that has been defined by a big player doesn’t guarantee success, or even the first dollar is sales. That’s where “leverage” comes in. You have to exploit the position that the satellite status gives you.Let Wal-Mart advertise for your traffic Leverage is basically business judo-you use another’s momentum to increase your strength and impact. If you open a specialty gardening shop in close proximity to Wal-Mart, you can run specials when shoppers are looking at their landscape and gardening plans for the coming season. Then have install window banners in your shop… or stage a “sidewalk sale”… or offer free gardening clinics… or simply hand out flyers near Wal-Mart’s entrance.If you learn the needs, wants and quirks of the “big dog’s” customers, you can carve off apiece of their business or sell supplemental products and services to them. Your goal is to become a “value add” to the money and effort the core customer expends in the market. You want to leverage the existing money flow.A word of warningIf you don’t take anything else away from this article, please “bookmark” this: THE LAST THING YOU WANT TO DO IS TRY AND CREATE A MARKET.Trying to create a market on your own is the exact opposite of judo-it’s trying to take a short cut by driving on the wrong side of the highway.A brief primer on the Storage Auction phenomenon If you found this article because you were searching for information about Storage Auctions then the next couple of paragraphs may be a little elementary for you. But soldier on through them anyway because they provide a little background on how I work and think as well as setting up the Storage Auction leveraging opportunity.In a nutshell, the Storage Auction business consists of buying the contents of abandoned mini-warehouses where people and businesses pack their spare stuff. Maybe when they shut down and office or received products that couldn’t fit in their warehouse or when a household downsizes or relocates temporarily during a renovation.Whatever the reason, tens of thousands of storage units are rented and filled up every month. And every month thousands of them go into default for unpaid rent. The renter signs a rental agreement that defines when and how much rent is due and what happens if they default. And there is a contractual and legal process that defines the consequences of non-payment.Ultimately, the storage facility owner “forecloses” and takes possession of the unit contents with the right (and obligation) to sell them to recover their lost rent. Their legal recourse is to conduct a publicly announced “absolute” auction in which each unit is sold to the highest bidder. These auctions are public and anyone may participate as long as they have full payment in cash.The buyer is at 100% risk as to whether the contents of the unit are worth the amount they bid. And they receive 100% of the reward if there is valuable business equipment or furniture or artwork or antiques and collectibles hidden in the boxes and containers stacked inside.Fundamentally, storage unit contents group into three categories: trash, donate and sell. Items that can be sold breakdown further into multiple channels: eBay and other online auction sites; Craigslist; consignment or dealers; flea market and yard sale. The objective is to sell everything for something and gross double or triple the purchase price. Then do it again the following week.So where are the Storage Auction Leverage Opportunities?One answer is NEWBIES. Newbies… folks that have learned about the business from the TV shows. In a world of chronic unemployment, diminished real estate values and euro-centric stock market swings, buying and reselling storage unit contents looks like a simple, direct, well-defined and “sure fire” path to income.If you follow the industry at all, you know that hundreds of “veterans” are selling advice and “systems” to thousands of Newbies. YouTube is alight with “How To” video series. And the forums and message boards repeat the same mantra:The number of auction attendees has exploded with new bidders
These Newbies have driven the cost of units through the roof
Most Newbies don’t have a clue, lose money and quickly quit
Newbies are ill-equipped to clean out the unit and move the contents
They aren’t prepared for the processing required to sell their itemsSo there’s the market: Storage Auction Newbies.And the lever is that the TV shows are concentrating the market at storage facilities across the nation everyday. And finally, the product has been defined over and over by the industry message boards and the information products that the veterans are selling.Newbies need Intelligence to support their bidding, Risk Reduction in bidding and Logistical Support in performing required operations. Intelligence, Risk Reduction, Logistical Support — the Business Leverage Opportunities for the Storage Auction marketplace.Storage Auction Intelligence: Units scheduled for sale must be advertised as a legal notice in an area paper. This notice will include the identity of the tenant. Generally bidders and especially Newbies don’t reference these notices because the general information about the auction is available from several sources.Profiling the tenant along with any detailed background regarding their interests and hobbies, business or job and situation can provide valuable information to support bids. Was the tenant a business? What type? Any info about their products? Is it an estate situation? Or a divorce or other household dislocation such as downsizing? There’s the need, you just have to figure out how to address it.Then there is the question of what are the contents of the unit worth and where can the Newbie sell them? Established players know where to go to get unusual items appraised and what the best “insider” channels are for selling them. What is a reasonable selling price on eBay, Craigslist or at a garage sale or flea market? Maybe inexperienced bidders would pay for a service that could inform then and guide them to a sales channel.Reducing Bidding Risk: Storage units are auctioned off after all the bidders get a brief peek inside. While you can see the items in front and sometimes identify larger pieces of furniture, generally the risk a Newbie is taking is on the unseen merchandise. Usually it is stuffed in trash bags, or boxed or stored in totes. So what to bid?Well with the explosion of attendance that is attributed to the popularity of the reality TV shows combined with the difficult economy, winning bids have gone up 200-500%. The “pros” are all over bulletin boards lamenting the passing of $150 bargain units and blaming it on-you guessed it-Newbies. And the problem they most often cite is that the new bidder comes in with too much money to target just getting one unit. While they may quickly exit the business, they still “poison the well” until they give up.Or the opposite situation may occur; the Newbie doesn’t bring enough cash to fund his best bid, the cleaning deposit and taxes if they are applicable. So maybe there is an opportunity to “arbitrage” into a half share in a unit by putting up a quarter of the bid or less. That’s real leverage.As to overbidding, there is the opportunity to carry a laptop programmed with an “Appraisal” program you build and then run for each unit as you pass it. If the Newbie has paid for a subscription, you show him the units estimated value ahead of the bidding.Logistical Support: Overwhelmingly, the commentary about new Storage Auction participants’ mistakes focuses on logistics. They don’t have enough help to clean out the unit and separate the contents. They haven’t thought through where they are going to store their “booty” and process it, including packing and shipping for online sales. Often they don’t have an adequate vehicle to carry the contents off.Labor, a processing facility and hauling… three easy things to bring to the party and three sources of quick income. What if you offer simply to complete the cleanout after the unit buyer has extracted the major items in exchange for the being assigned the deposit? Easy money.Think about it. Participation in Storage Auctions is exploding. A lot of dumb money is being thrown at the business. The actual operations of winning and processing a unit can be overwhelming to a newcomer. For everything from communicating where and when auctions are taking place to investing in co-bidding there are opportunities in the market that Storage Auctions have built. All you have to do is push on the lever arm.

Brainstorming The Ideas for Influencing Your Mobile App Audience

Once the app is downloaded, you have little time to take a sigh of relief, and then again start focusing on making things easier for the them till their goal is achieved.

According to the AppsFlyer, an app marketing company, the global uninstall rate for apps after 30 days is 28%. Entertainment apps are most frequently deleted, whereas apps based on Finance is least frequently deleted. No matter which app category you belong to, your strategy should be to remain in the mobile phones of users for a long time, and not just sit around but to fulfill your purpose as well.

If we analyze the encounters of users with an app step by step, it can help us unveil the critical factors that influence mobile app audiences, so that we can work upon those and achieve our purpose. Here are the details:

Step1. Finding Your App in Appstore

For this, we have to first find out what exactly users type to search an app. Based on a research, it has been found that 47% app users on iOS confirmed that they found the app through the App Store’s search engine and 53% app users on Android confirmed the same.

What have been their search queries? Interestingly, as the per the data provided by the TUNE research, 86% of the top 100 keywords were brands.With little scope for non-branded categories, most of the keywords were either of games of utility apps. Common keywords in the non branded category are: games, free games, VPN, calculator, music, photo editor, and weather.

Leaving brands aside, if we analyze the user-type of a Non-branded category, we will get two types of users:

1. Users are informed, and they know what they are search

2. Users are exploring possibilities, have no precise information in mind.

If you are a mobile app development company, targeting non-branded users, then your efforts must be directed to creating apps that compel these two types of users. To do so, we have to analyze once they are on an app store, what keywords they use to search. Regina Leuwer, with expertise in marketing & communications, bring some light to the subject. She reached out Sebastian Knopp, creator of app store search intelligence tool appkeywords, who shared with her the data of unique trending search phrases. And according to that data, in 2017, there were around 2,455 unique search phrases trending in the US.

Now, if we study these data to get information, we will find that name of the app is critical to attract the attention of the users.

If your app belongs to non-branded category, then make sure your app name is similar to the common search queries but also unique in comparison with your competitors. So that when your app name is flashed, they click it on to it, finding it purposeful and compelling both.

Step 2. Installation

Remember your users are on mobile devices has limited resources, from battery to storage and RAM to Internet. Everything is limited. So better create an application that is easy to download or say get downloaded with 5 minutes. One critical advice here:

1. Keep the application file size small.

If you are a developer, use APK Analyser to find out which part of the application is consuming maximum space. You can also reduce classes.dex file and res folder that contains images, raw files, and XML.

Step 3. Onboarding

After the user has successfully downloaded your mobile application, don’t leave anything on assumptions. Guide them properly. This you can do through an onboarding process, where users can learn the key functionality and where to begin with the mobile app. Below are the 3 things you need to keep in your mind when creating an onboarding process for your users.

Short and Crisp: The entire guidance of features and functions should be completed within few seconds, with easy options loud and clear option to skip.

Precise Information: Don’t introduce them to the app. They already know what they have downloaded. The objective to inform about the key functions and features.

Allow Users to Skip: Let the tech-savvy users skip the intro. Your app is to meet their requirement and not to have a friendly session.

Step 4. Purpose and UI
Here, the stage is set for your app and it is the golden chance for you to impress your users. What is needed here is the collaboration between purpose and UI of the app. It totally depends on the problem-solving capability and ease of use of the mobile app. Interface design plays the critical role, allowing the users to access features of the apps easily and quickly to perform the task for what they have downloaded the app. When it comes to interface design, make sure that the design is interactive and task-oriented. Here are some factors that you must take care off while creating mobile app interface:

1. Usability: The Mobile phone is an epitome of convenience and if your users find it difficult to use your app, then there is no way there are going to make the space for it in their mobile phones. From screen size to the color of the app, there are many factors that are equally critical and need attention.

2. Intuitive: To create an intuitive User Interface, you have to read the mind of the users, and develop a model based on that. The next should be precise, clear and ‘obvious’ in an interface.

3. Availability: Key features should be hidden in the drop down menu or even if so, it should be obvious for the user to look into the drop-down. An intricate work of design and research is required to make essential features available for the customers and they don’t need to navigate here and there.

If you need more help with the user-interface and innovative ideas for a mobile app, write to me [email protected] and I promise to get back to you with interesting mobile app designs.

Grades of Engine Oil: Demystifying What They Mean

Every manufacturer has a specific recommendation or minimum requirement for the type of oil a given engine will use. You might wonder, what’s the difference between different weights, grades, and viscosity? What is the difference between 5W-30 and 10W-30? What do all of these numbers mean? Can’t you use any oil in your car or does it really matter?

Deciphering the Oil Code

Terms weight, grade, or viscosity are commonly used interchangeably and basically mean the same thing. They refer to the thickness or how easily the oil flows. Using a multi-grade 5W-30 oil as an example, this type is very commonly used in millions of vehicles. The first number followed by the “W” indicates the viscosity (or thickness) for cold weather temperatures. The “W” stands for winter. The lower this first number is, the less viscous, or thinner your oil will be in lower temperatures. Though it may seem trivial, the number is of major importance.

When engines first roar to life after turning the ignition key, the oil pump tries to push the oil from the low-lying oil pan to the top of the engine, to lubricate all of the moving parts (such as pistons, camshaft, etc.) Cold starts are the time of the hardest wear-and-tear imposed on the engine. The heavier (or thicker) the oil is, the harder the oil pump works and the longer it will take for the engine to receive the crucial oil lubrication it needs to prevent metal-on-metal friction upon start-up. So, a 5W- oil will flow faster and more easily than a heavier weight oil which would have a higher number like 10W- or 15W- oil.

The second number found after the “W” specifies the viscosity in hot temperatures. The higher the number means the thicker the oil will be at the optimum temperature. In older cars it was common to switch to different weights of oils depending upon the season. It’s a practice not as common today due to manufacturers building lighter-weight engines and using different engine materials than yesteryear. It is always recommended to follow the manufacturer’s fluid specifications found in your vehicle’s manual. Using a different weight of oil than what is recommended will likely result in decreased fuel economy or greater engine wear.

Are There Exceptions to the Rule?

The occasional exception to the “follow the manufacturer’s recommendation” rule comes into play when an engine has aged, and when the moving parts may have larger clearances between components. Thicker oils can sometimes improve performance and protection in such conditions, but for most vehicle owners, stick with the vehicle manual’s specifications.

What do the Manufacturers Say?

Some manufacturers will list a range of different types of engine oil dependent upon the climate where the vehicle will be used. A heavier-weight oil would likely be recommended for vehicles in southern arid areas such as Scottsdale, Arizona, while a lighter-weight oil may be better in cooler climates as can be found in Rapid City, South Dakota. Oil in South Dakota will obviously be subjected to colder engine start-up conditions during winter months than oil in Arizona during the same timeframe.

What is Straight Oil versus Multi-Viscosity Oil?

You should never use straight oil (SAE30, SAE40, SAE50, etc.) in a system designed for a multi-viscosity oil. Straight oils are used for smaller engines or older car engines manufactured before multi-viscosity oils were created. Even though snowmobiles, ATVs, and motorcycles have smaller engines than most passenger cars and trucks, straight oils are not to be used in such vehicles. Even regular automotive oils may not be appropriate due to specific engine designs, such as two-cycle versus four-cycle motors.

Take Care of the Engine You Depend Upon

All things considered, using the proper oil grade and changing your vehicle’s oil at regular, prescribed intervals are two of the most important preventive maintenance tasks you can do for your vehicle. Failure to do so can result in oil depletion, ultimately causing a seized engine. Most repairs related to improper or negligent oil management are both preventable and expensive. It is better to invest in good automotive service practices now than pay a painful repair bill later. Knowing the correct oil to put in your vehicle (and why) makes a good first step towards taking care of the engine you depend upon.

How to Change the Gear Box of Your Car

A gearbox is a mechanical way to transfer energy from one device to another. It is an essential ingredient of car. It has a system of metal gears that enmesh with each other and directly increase torque and reduce or increase speed in a motorcar. Generally these work with a special gear oil, which cuts down the friction between the metal gears for a longer life. Modern boxes last many years, but depending on the type of driving they may last longer or wear out. All have a clutch which is a plate which is synchronised with the gears to facilitate easy shifting of gears.

This plate or clutch can either be operated manually or automatically. In automatic cars the gear changes are synchronized with the speed of the car and change automatically. But a special slot is a requirement for a reverse gear or an uphill climb.

When to Change a Gear Box

Gear boxes last a life time, but depending upon the type of driving they may require repairs. In case one wears out or its gears break, the only option is to either change the item or repair it. Changing a box is a costly proposition; as such it’s always better to get it repaired. In both cases the box will have to be first removed. It can be fitted back after it is repaired. Gear boxes are mostly at the bottom of the car where they are located. Mostly they will be at the rear of the engine. To remove one is not easy and one will have to bend down under the car to remove a gear box.

Tools Required for Change of a Gear Box

Before starting to remove a gear box, it is imperative that the proper set of tools is available. These tools should be so placed that the person removing the gear box has easy access to them. It is preferable to keep them on an oil cloth close to the car within easy reach. The following tools will be required; a hammer, Torx set, sets of spanners, Socket set, Chisel to ping hub nut loose, Pliers and a girl friend to serve you tea.

Steps to Change a Gear Box

The first step is to drain the oil. This can be done by getting under the car and loosening the drain plug of the gear box. This is at the bottom of the car. A metal trough should be placed under the drain plug to collect the gear oil; otherwise the entire oil will spill and spoil the floor.

The next step is to remove the front wheels. This is essential so that the mechanic can have free and unfettered access to the box.

The third step is to try and down the gear box. This is done by unloosening the drive shaft hub nuts. These will require some effort and it is important that the correct size wrench be used. Follow up by removing the wishbone pinch bolt. By using a hammer the wishbone next to the ball joints is removed.

The gear box is normally kept synchronized with the engine with a set of bolts in a housing. These blots will now have to be loosened and removed. Once the drive shaft is disconnected, the mechanic would have finished almost 60% of the job. Ensure that you have a jack for the engine; otherwise it may fall to the floor.

Follow up by removing all linkages and pull the box away from the engine. The task is now complete and the box can be sent for repairs, which is a specialized task.

Fixing Back

Fixing the box is a greater pain than removing it. It will have to be held firmly, to position it in the housing and immediately the bolts must be tightened. Once it is in position the other linkages can be re-connected.