Storage Auctions: Insider Secrets You Should Know

approved-01Storage Auctions Must Be Publicly Announced

Most states and jurisdictions have laws requiring self-storage facilities to publicly announce upcoming auctions. This can typically be done by placing a small ad in the local newspaper, or by creating an announcement online. If you’re thinking about embarking on a buy-sell storage auction venture, you should use this to your advantage by seeking upcoming auctions in your area. Knowing where to look for these announcements will give you the upper-hand on your competitors, allowing you to spot auctions first.

You Must Return Personal Items

Granted, many people turn a blind eye to this rule, but it’s still a rule nonetheless. If you come across any birth certificates, social security cards, photo albums, or other personal effects, you must return them to the storage facility, who is then supposed to try and contact the owner. I know what you’re probably thinking: aren’t I entitled to all of the contents in an auctioned unit? Not necessarily, as personal item such as these must be returned. The good news is that you are free to keep everything else, and besides personal effects have little-to-no ‘dollar’ value, making them pointless to keep. If you come across any of the aforementioned items, be kind and return them to the facility’s front office.

Valuable Items are Often Hidden

Don’t assume that you’ll see the most valuable items in a self-storage unit the moment the auctioneer cuts the lock. On the contrary, people usually hide or bury their valuables so they aren’t visible. This is why it’s a good idea to look at the unit as a whole to determine whether or not it is worth bidding on. Units with premium heavy-duty storage containers as opposed to cardboard boxes may hold items of greater value than storage units riddled with worn-down boxes. Pay close attention to the details such as this to base your bidding strategy on.

Be Prepared To Clean

Many storage auction seekers are surprised to learn that they are required to clean out the contents of any units they win at auction, and failure to do so could result in their name being blacklisted from future auctions. If you’re going to attend a storage auction, bring plenty of cleaning supplies and set aside enough time to thoroughly clean the unit. This means removing any and all items, whether they are of value or not, and leaving it nice and tidy for the future tenant.

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