If this were the case, you’d see a lot more people bidding on storage units. The fact is that some units contain valuables, and others don’t. It’s up to you to determine whether or not a unit is valuable, and if so, how much to bid. Performing a visual valuation on a unit isn’t an easy task, but you’ll eventually learn which items to look for.
You can check out some of our previous blog posts for more bidding tips, but here are a couple tall-tale signs of a valuable storage unit:
- Plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes
- Music instruments
- Lock boxes and safes
Facilities Use ‘Moles’ To Jack Up Bids
Some people believe that self-storage facilities hire moles to place fake bids at auctions, raising the bid price for others. Thankfully, this is just a myth with no real truth behind it. It’s in the storage facility’s best interest to promote honor and integrity within its auctions, as this encourages people to attend. Granted, the facility may earn a couple extra bucks (initially) by hiring a mole, it would ultimately hurt their business in the long run. With that said, it’s not uncommon for seasoned storage hunters to make large bids in an attempt to muscle out new faces. So if you’re planning to attend a storage auction for the first time, beware of this tactic.
All of The Auction Money Goes To The Storage Facility
You might be surprised to learn that only a portion of the revenue earned from a storage auction goes to the actual storage facility. If the unit’s previous (not delinquent) owner owes $700 in back rent, the facility is only allowed to keep a maximum of $700. So, the facility may auction off the unit, generating a total of $1,000. The facility can keep $700, and the remaining $300 must be mailed back to the owner.
You Can Remove The Unit’s Contents as You Please
Time is of the essence after you win a storage unit auction. Most facilities give winning bidders a maximum of 24 hours to clear out the contents of the unit. Depending on what the unit contains, this may or may not be an easy process. Units with lots of large furniture require a truck and at least another set of hands. The bottom line is that you need to make sure you are prepared to clean out any unit on which you bid.