Whether this is your first storage auction or your hundredth, you should make it a point to arrive early. If the auction is scheduled to begin at 11:00 AM, for instance, arrive no later than 10:45 AM. This will give you plenty of time to complete any necessary paperwork (usually required for first-time bidders), and you can get a feel for the storage units and other bidders. The bottom line is that you should arrive early to all of your storage auctions, as that extra 15 minutes can make a world of difference.
We’ve talked about this before on the Storage Unit Auction blog, but it’s worth mentioning again that most self-storage facilities only accept cash for auctions. I’ve seen guys who were thrilled to be the winning bidder, only to discover that they couldn’t pay for the unit because they didn’t have cash. This is a cash business, so bring it with you if you plan on bidding.
Sizing Up Units
Arguably, the most important element in running a successful storage auction business is knowing how to size up units. Blindly bidding without any real sense of direction is a recipe for disaster, so you need to look at the contents of the unit. While each and every self-storage facility is different, most will cut the lock on abandoned units so bidders can peek inside. You won’t be able to touch anything, but you can scan the visible contents for anything that’s valuable. Look for things like plastic bins (instead of cardboard boxes), lockboxes, safes, gun cases, instrument cases, luxury brand name products, and other high-end collectibles. It may take some practice, but you’ll eventually learn what’s of value and what’s not.
Bring a Truck
Why do you need a truck to bid on storage units? Well, there are two reasons worth noting: for starters, the unit may contain large valuables, such as television or furniture, that require a truck for transportation. Another reasons why you should bring a truck is because it will make cleaning out the unit easier and less time consuming. As the winning bidder, it’s your responsibility to clean out the unit within 24-48 hours. Failure to do so could result in your name being blacklisted, meaning you won’t be able to participate in future auctions at this facility.
Have any other storage auction tricks you’d like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!