Storage Unit Auctions - The Adventure

Storage unit auctions happen just about any day of the week and keeping track of all that I want to attend has made me a map aficionado. Being a specialist on making my way to these auctions, has allowed me to attend many in one day. The part I like so much about these types of auctions, is that you never know what treasures you will find. Unlike a regular auction where you get to preview all items before they hit the auctioneer’s block, storage unit auctions only allow you to peek inside for ten seconds before the door shuts and bidding begins. In other words, your guess is as good as mine in the bidding process. So, over time, you have to become aware of certain things to look for to have a better chance of finding the really cool stuff!

A storage unit auction occurs when a renter of a unit has not paid the monthly fee and then the facility takes possession of the unit and all of its items as per the contract of the lease. The storage facility does not want the stuff inside the unit, they want the rent money that is due. So they hold auctions in order to recover that money. These auctions are normally held once a month and are sold to the highest bidder. At times, all money is recovered because the bids came in high enough and other times, the facility just takes what they can get. As for the bidder, there are both pros and cons to this process.  Because of the way a storage unit auction is held, you don’t know what’s in the unit, so you will be bidding on everything sight unseen. It’s a risk you’re taking. For many of us who attend these types of auctions, that is the thrill of the game! I have seen people bid hundreds of dollars on a unit only to find it is filled with old clothing and well used toys! And then I have seen other times where the bidder won a unit for less than $100 and found over $50,000 of antiques and jewelry. I would like to say that both of these is a common occurrence, but in reality, you spend a couple of hundred for a couple of hundred dollars worth of stuff!

When you attend a storage unit auction, it is absolutely necessary that you have a truck ready to go. If you win, you have just a few hours to load up your goods and get it out of the unit or you will have to pay rent! It is also a good idea to bring cash. Facilities rarely take a check and many do not take a debit or credit card. Unless you have a working relationship with the facility, cash is the best.

The best part of going to a storage unit auction is what happens after you win a bid, empty the unit and get it all back home. Going through the stuff and making money off of the items is not only fun, but it can be a good enough income to be self supporting. Listing on Ebay, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace and on other online auctions is exciting! Learning the value of the pieces eventually makes you an expert in your field. I have seen people accumulate enough interesting and unusual items just from storage auctions, that they have opened their own vintage shops!

When you are bidding on a unit, you have to keep in mind that there are many people attending the auction who have turned this into a job and a living. So, the more quickly you learn the ins and outs and the secrets of the bidding process and what to look for in the unit in your allotted ten seconds, the more successful you will be in winning and in selling. Look for fresh boxes and things packed neatly. Usually that means that the items have been packed and stored with care, so the chances are high that things have a value. Quickly train your eye to see in the dark corners for things like hutches or furniture. If furniture is covered in plastic, it may also be of value. Shelves, plastic tubs and rods for hanging clothing indicate that the items were taken care of even in storage. If you smell mold or paint, stay away. Whatever the smell, it has permeated the entire unit if you can smell it in 10 seconds!

Attending storage unit actions can be a true adventure! You never know what is hiding behind the sliding door and your future may change on a dime! It can be good for all involved. The facility regains lost money and you have gained items to sell! offers subscribers the largest database of storage auctions across the country, providing information on auctions in all fifty states and over 51,000 facilities. Established as the leading provider of storage auctions online, with over 10,000 each month and information on over 250,000 auctions, is on the way to providing the same results and information for you on all auctions across the country. We are a reliable industry standard for seasoned auction hunters and newcomers alike. Our trusted reputation has allowed us to partner with related businesses in the industry to provide our subscribers with further industry training and additional auctions. also brings you the most up to date industry information and helpful how-to tips, along with constantly updating our site, holding contests, and providing new, useful tools to ease your business needs. Check out our detailed auction handbooks on the industries involved, bidding strategies, where and how to resell, and a Blue Book valuation of the items most often found at auctions.

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