Things to Know Before Attending a Storage Auction

4351196974_e0c2b806b3_zWhere is the Self-Storage Facility Located?

I know this probably sounds like common sense, but it's still worth mentioning that you should identify the address of a self-storage facility. Blindly driving to where you "think" the auction will be held is a recipe for disaster. So, find the street address of the facility and use Google Maps or your preferred GPS/navigation service to find turn-by-turn directions. If the facility is a long ways away, you may want to choose other, closer auctions instead.

How Many Units are Up For Auction?

Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that facilities with multiple units for auction are more beneficial to bidders such as yourself. With more units on the auction block, you'll have more opportunities to score a valuable unit. It's just that simple. But how exactly do you know whether or not a facility will be auctioning off multiple self-storage units? The easiest way to find this information is to call and ask. Once you've acquired a list of storage auctions in your area, spend a couple minutes calling them, during which you can ask how many units they intend to auction off. Some facilities may not know, or they may refrain from telling you. Others, however, will have no problem giving you this information.

What Forms of Payment are Accepted?

Don't assume that every self-storage facility accepts check as a form of payment. On the contrary, the vast majority of storage facilities operating in the U.S. only accept cash from the winning bidder of an auction. And if you happen to show up with an accepted form of payment, the unit could go to the next highest bidder. A simple phone call to the facility ahead of time should reveal its accepted forms of payment, and whether or not a cleaning deposit is required. When in doubt, though, you can count on the facility accepting cash.

What are the Bid Increments?

This tip is pretty much self-explanatory. Like most auctions, the price of a self-storage unit up for auction increased in "increments." The bid increments usually start low, often as little as just $10 bucks, but they'll gradually increase as people bid on the units. It's important to understand what the bid increments are and how they work before attending an auction; otherwise, you'll place yourself at a huge disadvantage when compared to the other bidders on site.

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