What do you know about self storage auctions? No matter what your knowledge level we’ve got a few things you should be aware of.
All About Storage Unit Auctions
Storage unit auctions allow the public to bid on the contents of a storage unit that was rented by someone who stopped paying the monthly rent. The storage facility manager will work hard to prevent a customer’s belongings from being sold at auction, contacting them numerous times via phone call and email well before the auction date. They really don’t want to sell personal belongings! They want to work with their customers to avoid an auction, which usually brings in far less money than the customer actually owes. By avoiding the auction process, the storage facility gets their past-due rent, and the customer keeps their possessions and, hopefully, will continue to rent the storage unit.
Storage auctions typically don’t resemble the bidding wars that you see on TV. The storage facility does not allow the high-tension that you see on TV between some of the most well-known auction bidders. It’s good for ratings, but not good for your average storage facility. Auctions are usually low-key and civil. The auctioneer will inform the bidders of the laws in their state regarding auctions, then will proceed to sell the actual units. Once the lock is removed and the door is opened, bidders are not allowed to enter the unit, as there is a potential that something valuable may be removed without the auctioneer’s noticing, like jewelry, etc. The auctioneer will then give the bidders a few minutes to peek into the unit to assess the contents, then the auction begins.
Winning bidders must pay for their purchase with cash, sometimes paying a 10% Buyer’s Premium in addition to their winning bid. Therefore, a bidder who secures a unit for $100 will have to pay $110 to the auctioneer. After securing the unit with their own lock, a bidder usually gets 48 hours to clear the entire contents of the unit, including removing all debris and trash. If the unit is not completely cleaned-out, the storage facility has the right to refuse to let that bidder participate in future sales.
You never know what you may find in an auctioned storage unit! Recently, a storage unit that was sold in Alabama had a very nice surprise for the winning bidder. The unit didn’t have much in it, didn’t look like there was anything of value, but strewn throughout the unit were a few McDonald’s hamburger bags, among some other trash. The surprise? Inside those hamburger bags was $3,800 CASH! And the unit sold for just…$25.
This insider self storage tip was brought to you by Tellus Self Storage Arlington! Located in Madison, Alabama Tellus Self Storage Arlington offers both Climate and Non-Climate storage units for all your self storage needs.