An Overview of Storage Unit Auctions

If you’ve seen any of the reality TV shows featuring auction hunters in the United States, I bet you’re pretty excited to learn about how you can get in on the action, too. Well, storage unit auctions have been around for quite some time now, but it’s only recently that people have begun paying more attention to the potential profits of a well-stocked storage unit.

Why does it happen? 

Many people wonder why private companies are auctioning off storage units. Well, the answer is simple: the original renters of the storage units have not been good customers. If the monthly rental payments have not been forthcoming, storage unit companies have no other choice but to levy a foreclosure on the storage units.

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If the renters still don’t pay their dues, the private company that owns the storage facility will announce a storage unit auction in the local papers. Once word gets out that two or three storage units are up for grabs, both novice and seasoned auction hunters flock to the scene.

Sometimes, an auction will get cancelled half an hour before it is set to begin, because the original renters suddenly arrive to pay their monthly rental. Storage unit companies cannot continue an auction if the renter pays up; in such cases, all auction hunters must move on to the next storage unit that is up for auction.

What to expect during an auction

Unlike estate auctions, storage unit auctions are less formal – all bids are given verbally, and the people just stand around a storage unit that is being auctioned off. The highest bid will, of course, be the winning bid.

The storage unit manager then requires the winning bidder to pay for the storage unit that he has just won.

Usually, winning bidders only have up to two days to clear out the contents of a storage unit, so it is best if you drive to the storage unit auction on a truck or a van, as you will need all the space you can get to haul away the contents of a storage unit.

A single storage unit can measure 5’ x 5’. You can pack a lot of stuff in such a small space! During a live auction, the storage unit manager (who is sometimes also the auctioneer or the guy manning the bids), will break open the lock of the storage unit and show contents to the audience for a short while.

Often, you will only have a few second to peek at the contents of a storage unit before the bidding starts. You have to be very observant to benefit from this small window of opportunity.

You need to look for signs of potential profit, such as big appliances and stuff that you can easily sell online (i.e. books). Don’t make this mistake of bidding all your money on the first storage unit. Do that only if you have clear evidence that the storage unit contains high-value items.


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