Dealing with Aggressive Bidders at Storage Auctions

court-510750_960_720If you’ve been in the buy-sell storage auction business for any significant length of time, you’re bound to come across some overly aggressive bidders. From the moment the auctioneer cuts the lock, they’ll bid high in an attempt to scare away the competition. And if someone else jumps in with their own bid, they will continue to raise their bids. When this occurs, it can be difficult to turn a profit, as the inflated bid prices often exceed the value of the unit. So, how can you deal with aggressive bidders at storage auctions?

Choose a Budget Ahead of Time

The golden rule of bidding on storage units is to choose a budget ahead of time. In other words, you should decide exactly how much you are willing to spend before attending the auction. Maybe this is $500 or maybe it’s $5,000. Regardless, you need to set a budget so you won’t get sucked into a bidding war.

Keep Things Professional

Don’t make the mistake of allowing your personal feelings to cloud your judgement. It’s easy to feel compelled to raise your bid prices just because another bidder raises his or her. When this happens, however, it creates a vicious cycle in which the winning bid becomes inflated; thus, there is no real winner. To avoid this from happening, keep things professional and block out your personal feelings.

Base Max Bid on What You Can See

Some people may argue otherwise, but I’ve found that the most effective bidding strategy is to base your max bid only on the items that you can see. After the auctioneer cuts the lock, you and the other bidders will have just a few minutes to peek inside. You should use this time wisely by sizing up the unit’s contents, estimating its fair-market value. If there’s an aggressive bidder present, ignore him or her and instead base your max bid only on the total value of the unit.

Choose a New Storage Facility

If there’s a particular bidder at your favorite self-storage facility who continues to jack up the prices, perhaps you should try a different facility. There are tens of thousands of self-storage facilities in the U.S., many of which auction off the property of delinquent tenants. By diversifying your efforts across multiple storage facilities, you’ll have a better chance of coming away with a profit.

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