Storage unit auctions continue to be a popular hobby. Thanks to the popularity of Storage Wars and Auction Hunters, the crowds at storage auctions across the country have grown. The participants are looking for that “treasure in the trash”. It is important to keep in mind that storage unit auctions happen because renters default on the rent payment for the storage unit. The facility owners notify the renters far in advance (as well as multiple times) that their unit is going up for auction. The facility management is trying to recoup the lost rent on the unit by putting it up for auction. In most states, the highest amount bid on the unit is the total amount owed on the storage unit. In the majority of cases, the amount that is bid on the storage unit in auction is lower than the amount that is owned on the storage unit.
If you are new to going to storage auctions, there are some good tips to follow when attending and bidding on storage unit auctions. We have mentioned before that you will need to bring cash, a flashlight and a way to remove the items in the unit you have purchased. If you are bidding on other units at the storage facility, you will also need to bring locks to lock up your new possessions. You will have 24-48 hours to remove the items from your storage unit. When attending storage units it is important to have a strategy and a set budget in mind. Don’t over bid on units your first time out. Do your research on the neighborhood of the facility and the possible value of items in a storage unit. Also, have a plan in mind about what you are going to do with the items that you just bought. Are you planning on reselling them to make a profit? Then, you will need to figure out where to sell them and how much value they have.
There are some things that you can look for when you get your brief glance at a storage unit during the auction process. Following some of these guidelines will help you in making the correct bids.
1. Look at the organization of the storage unit. If the boxes are stacked nicely in similar sized boxes, it means that someone took the time and care with their items. If the items are in trash bags and flimsy boxes, then they might not contain valuable items.
2. Are the boxes in the storage unit labeled with the contents? If there are contents written on the boxes, that could give a hint to what is inside the boxes.
3. Spot the most identifiable object in the storage unit when you are getting your brief glance at the unit. This would include electronics boxes, tools, construction equipment or even musical instrument cases. Units that have a lot of commercial business items could be very good for resale value.
4. If there is a general layer of dust and dirt covering the items in the unit, it could mean that the items have been there for a while and could be valuable.
5. Watch the other bidders for their reactions to the items in the storage unit. Hopefully, they will not be “bluffing” in their reaction to raise the bidding amount. Don’t fall for that type of games. Stick to your set budget!