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How Self Storage Auctions Work

By Edited Apr 29, 2015 0 0

A self storage auction is a golden opportunity for bargain hunters to find great merchandise at extremely low prices. These auctions exist because of tenants who fall behind and eventually default on their rental obligation. The storage company gives the tenant a number of warnings but if they are not heeded, the organization is legally allowed to auction off the contents of the lot as a means of recouping their lost rent. This may seem to be a harsh solution and many companies go to great lengths to avoid it. In fact, the owner of the lot can pay the outstanding bill right up until the second the auction commences. However, companies are often left without a choice which is great news for the public.

Number Of Auctions
There are a surprising number of self storage auctions in the United States. In California alone, more than 25% of the 3,000 or so self storage facilities hold an auction every month. It is estimated that more than $3 million is spent by Californians on self storage auctions per annum. Although the storage unit may contain items worth keeping, most people attend the auction in order to sell the contents at a profit on sites like e-Bay etc.

Finding Value
Although some great bargains can be had, it would be incorrect to suggest that every auction provides nothing but value. The fact that those who own the possessions contained within the unit couldn’t be bothered to pay rent is often a sign that there are few items of real value inside. However, mistakes are made and for one reason or another, there are occasionally goldmines on offer for a fraction of their true worth.

Auction Tips
If you are intent on taking part in a self storage auction, be sure to arrive in plenty of time. This is because all bidders are asked to sign a ‘terms and conditions’ sheet prior to the auction. The majority of auctions are of the traditional kind with all bids accepted from those in attendance. On rare occasions, there may be ‘silent’ bids which involve each bidder writing down a number with the highest bid taking home the unit. You must bring valid photo identification and also a resale license or else you will be forced to pay sales tax.

There is an element of mystery to the proceedings because bidders are only allowed see inside the lot from the doorway. No one is permitted to set foot inside and inspect the goods. Although you are not bidding ‘blind’, there is some risk involved as you only have a vague idea of what’s inside. Also, you will be bidding on the entire lot, not single or multiple items. The bids normally begin at $1 before quickly shooting up. Going by nationwide statistics, $300 is often enough to win the bid.

The Aftermath
If you are the successful bidder, don’t expect any help when it comes to shifting the items! You are solely responsible for removing every item contained within the unit. You are given a specified time limit which varies according to the facility. Once you take away all the items, the unit must also be swept clean.

The process of bidding on and winning the contents of a self storage unit at an auction can be tiring but if you’re lucky, the effort may reap significant financial rewards.   However, you may find yourself in need of some storage as well!  You can save money with a pods promotional code and have the convience of storage at your own home.

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