If you’re new to the storage auction business, you might be wondering just what in the world a “blind” auction is. Failure to familiarize yourself with terms such as this is a recipe for disaster, as other bidders will take advantage of your lack of knowledge. Winning profitable units at auction requires proper planning and education, which is why it’s important for newcomers to learn the terminology used in this industry. So, what is a blind storage auction?
A blind storage auction is exactly what it sounds like: the auctioneer allows bidders to bid on storage auctions without thoroughly inspecting the unit’s contents. Since bidders are prohibited from physically touching or otherwise handling the unit’s contents, they are forced to make educated decisions based on what they can see. Some blind auctions allow bidders to see, but not touch, the unit’s contents, whereas others prohibit bidders from touching or seeing the unit’s contents.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to blind storage auctions. The primary advantage — from a bidder’s perspective — is the potential to win auctions with highly valuable contents. If the items are hidden, the winning bid will likely be lower. This means a higher return on investment (ROI) for the winning bidder.
It’s not uncommon for storage units to contain hidden jewelery, cash, sports memorabilia, guitars, artwork, firearms, and other valuables. Just because you don’t see them when the auctioneer cuts the lock doesn’t necessary mean the unit is void of valuables. Seasoned storage unit hunters often look for other signs of a valuable unit, such as the use of plastic containers (instead of cardboard boxes), name-brand products, cleanliness and organization. If you notice any of these elements during a blind auction, you may want to consider bidding higher, because there’s a strong chance of it containing valuables.
The downside to blind storage auctions is that they can be somewhat unpredictable. Since bidders aren’t given the opportunity to rummage through the unit before bidding, they have to use their best judgement regarding the total value of its contents. If you bid too high, and the unit contains few items of value, you may end up losing money on the auction.
To recap, a blind auction involves the auctioning of a storage unit while prohibiting bidders from touching or handling its contents. This is the preferred auction format for most self-storage facilities.