Who's Who at A Storage Unit Auction

In every auction that takes place, there are people who are there that you need to know. They are the ones who have the control over the event and they will determine how much you are able to know about the “stuff” you are bidding on and how well you will make that bid. A Storage Unit Auction is a bit like shooting in the dark. You are allowed a 30 second peek into a garage full of stuff that is normally packed up in bags and boxes and, for the most part, you are guessing at the contents. You rely on instinct and experience to make an educated assumption as to whether you should bid. But, if you know the players, there are certain game plans you can strategize by having all the tools and the cast of characters ready.

Auction: A method of selling property in a public forum through open and competitive bidding. Also referred to as a public auction, an auction sale or a sale. A Traditional Auction is an auction that is conducted in front of a live audience at a physical location where the items for sale are located. It can also be called an On-site Auction. During a live auction, an auctioneer will be in charge of calling out auction items and running the bidding. Attendees place bids by shouting out amounts of money, raising bid paddles, or otherwise somehow capturing the auctioneer’s attention. An Online/Virtual Auction is an auction that is for online bidders only and is not conducted in front of a traditional live audience. Online auctions are basically digital silent auctions. Photos of the items are featured on an auction site for bidders to browse. Participants have to register and submit their credit card information before they can place a bid. These auction types may have reserve items in which the auctioneer's bid in order to protect the reserve. An Estate Auction is the sale of property left by a person at his/her death. An estate auction can involve the sale of personal and/or real property.

Bidders An On-site Bidder is a bidder who is physically participating at the auction venue. Absentee Bid/Proxy Bid is a bid on an item that a bidder leaves without being physically present. LiveAuctioneers allows a bidder to leave a bid on any item listed online by clicking "Bid Now" and entering a bid amount. All bids are kept confidential from the auctioneer and other bidders. At the time of the live auction, the bidding system will attempt to execute your bid at the lowest cost possible. Absentee Bidder A person who may not attend the sale but submits, in advance, a written or oral bid that is the top price he/she will pay for a given property.

Bid Assistants These are individuals who are positioned throughout the attendees at the auction to assist the auctioneer, spot bidders and assist prospective bidders with information to help them in making their buying decision. They are allso known as ring men, bid consultants, bid spotters, or groundsmen.

Auctioneer This is the person whom the seller hires to direct, conduct, or be responsible for a sale by auction. This person actually "calls," "cries" or "auctions" the items at an auction, recognizing bidders and acknowledging the highest bidder. Each item is assigned a starting bid amount, equivalent to about 30-50% of that item’s market value. The starting bid dictates the minimum amount that the first bidder can bid on the item. And the Auctioneer is the one who is going to start with that bid and carry out the process until there are no more indications of bidding.

Clerk This person is employed by the principal auctioneer or auction firm to record what is sold, to whom and for what price. The person who is responsible for the accounting and paperwork at an auction sale.

Consignee This is the auctioneer or auction house operator who has the goods that have been entrusted by another (consignor) for sale at auction.

Consignor This is the person or authorized agent who owns the goods and consigns those goods to an auctioneer. The consignor is the seller.

Storage Unit Facility Manager The person who runs the entire storage facility. They are normally not involved with the auction itself. The Facility manager may help the auctioneer and the auction company with organization, parking and after auction necessities such as clean up.

Storage Unit Facility Front Office Manager This is the person who runs all the details of the auction activity. They will generally take the money from your winning bid and give you the receipt for your taxes. They will also collect the deposit money for the unit and return it to you once you have the unit cleaned out.

Auctions can be overwhelming at first. It can feel a bit confusing and like you are caught in the middle of a crowd going the wrong way. But, like most interesting occasions, there are rules and common languages to learn and understand. If you take the time to learn the rules and the language, you’ll soon find yourself bidding with the best of them.

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