Storage Auction Etiquette: What You Should Know

selfstorage14Attending a storage unit auction for the first time can be daunting, and oftentimes confusing, experience. You must know the written rules, as well as the unwritten rules, to succeed in this competitive business. The written rules are relatively easy to obtain and can be usually be acquired through the self-storage facility’s front office; it’s the unwritten rules that typically go unnoticed. This week, we’re going to dive into this subject by revealing the unwritten etiquette of storage auctions.

Only Bid What You’re Willing To Pay

I know this is common sense to most people, but it’s worth mentioning that you should only bid what you’re willing to pay for a storage unit. Some people may bid ridiculously high amounts just to win the unit, only to realize soon after that they’ve made a mistake and shouldn’t have bid that much. So instead of paying the facility, they tuck tail and run. In situations such as this, the auctioneer typically grants the second-highest bidder as the winner.

Keep Verbal Bidding Tips Quiet

If you have a partner or friend at the storage auction to whom you would like to provide bidding advice, keep it quiet and low-key so other bidders don’t hear. Verbally announcing bidding tips is poor etiquette that may anger both the auctioneer and other bidders. There’s nothing wrong with offering advice to your partner, but this should be done discreetly to preserver the integrity of the auction.

You Are Bidding On The Entire Unit

Bidders aren’t allowed to pick and choose what they want to bid on. Most self-storage facilities include the unit’s entire contents in the auction, meaning the winning bidder is responsible for hauling off or disposing of everything inside. Whether it’s valuable or not, the winning bidder must clean out the storage unit (usually within 24-48 hours).

You Must Return Personal Items

Most self-storage facilities have a special clause which states that items of a personal nature are to be returned. If you come across things like school yearbooks, photo albums, identification cards, etc. take them to the front office. There’s really no point in keeping personal items anyway since the real value is in items and products that appeal to a larger audience.

Did we leave out any key points of storage auction etiquette? Let us know in the comments section below!


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