I Won My First Storage Auction. What Happens Next?

Photoxpress_15724856This is a question many new storage hunters ask themselves. It may not happen on your first trip, or even your second, but you will eventually win a storage unit at auction. As the winning bidder, you’re responsible for completing several tasks, some of which you may already know but others you may not.

While the rules regarding storage auctions vary depending on the facility, most require the winning bidder to remove all contents from the unit within 24-72 hours. Some people might assume that it’s OKAY to take the valuable items and leave the junk. If you read the storage facility’s terms, however, you’ll probably discover that the winning bidder is required to take all of the unit’s contents, even the junk. Leaving this stuff behind could send you on the fast track to being blacklisted, which essentially prohibits you from participating in future auctions held at the facility.

Of course, you’ll also be required to pay for the storage unit — usually immediately after the auction ends. Most storage facilities require winning bidders to pay before they can remove the contents. This is a precaution which ensures the storage facility earns revenue on its auctions. Again, accepted methods of payment vary from storage facility to storage facility, but most require cash. If you only have a credit card, debit card or checkbook, you could be out of luck. Even if you believe the storage facility accepts these alternate forms of payment, it’s always a good idea to bring cash just in case.

To recap, here are some general tips to follow after winning your first storage auction:

  • You must remove the contents of the storage unit within 24-72 hours.
  • In addition to removing its contents, storage units must also be cleaned (e.g. sweep the floors, remove trash, etc.).
  • Payment is typically required at the end of the auction.
  • Cash is usually the only accepted form of payment at storage auctions.
  • Familiarize yourself with the self-storage facility’s terms and conditions regarding auctions.
  • Bring a flashlight, cash, and a padlock to the auction.
  • If you don’t have own one, it’s probably a good idea to rent a truck when attending storage auctions. Should you win an auction, you’ll need to haul off the contents within the specified time frame.

Have you won a storage unit at auction? We’d love to hear your story in the comments section below!


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