Storage Auctions: Everything You Need To Know | Access with self-save (2023)

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With the rapid growth of self-storage use in the US in recent decades, a new craft has emerged that has captured the imagination of the masses: storage auctions! Whether you've read about it in the news or watched TV shows like Storage Wars and Auction Hunters, few Americans have ever heard of this modern phenomenon. If you're interested in exploring a potential new revenue stream or just curious about what all the fuss is about, read on for detailed answers to some of the most common questions about participating in storage auctions.

Storage auctions

Why do warehouses hold auctions?

Storage auctions become a necessity when people who rent units fail to pay rent or vacate their units. When the account is delinquent for a certain period of time (specified in the contract), the provider is forced to freeze the content and auction it off so that it can clear the space for rent and try to recoup the lost rental income. to be worth. . These procedures are strictly governed by national laws and regulations. Therefore, the specific terms will likely differ whether the storage auction is in NJ or elsewhere.

A few things to know about self-storage auctions:

  • Facilities are required to publicly disclose the lien sale and allow the lessee to pay their outstanding bill and claim their assets until the auction begins.
  • All winnings will be added to the account balance. Any excess amount due will then be refunded to the hirer. The repository does not make a profit on auctions.
  • Because of the time, cost, and emotion involved in selling one's belongings, property owners often view auctions as an ill-fated last-ditch effort to pay off an outstanding balance. In most cases, every effort is made to return personal items such asfamily photos, memorabilia and the like to their original owners.

Who can attend public storage auctions?

While seasoned auction professionals deplore the increased competition, almost anyone can attend a self-storage auction. At each event, you'll find an eclectic crowd that ranges from shopkeepers and antique shop owners to eBay and Craigslist sellers to seasoned personal collectors, treasure hunters and the just plain curious. However, there are basic requirements such as: all applicants must be 18 years of age or older, complete and sign a registration form and provide appropriate legal identification.

(Video) Storage Auctions Online Secret Bidding Techniques 2020

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How can I find a storage auction near me?

Since storage auctions must be publicly announced, finding them is the easy part. Try searching online for phrases like "storage auctions near me" to find listings of locally scheduled events. The real trick is to identify the auctions that are actually worth watching, meaning they are more likely to feature the kind of items you are interested in buying. Some strategies for your chance to win the best self storage auctions in NJ and the US include:

  • Scan the local classified ads in the newspaper
  • Network with other buyers through social media, online forums and groups
  • Connect to storage facilities near you so you never miss an announcement
  • Join a service that specializes in sending quality auction listings
  • Look for auctions in higher income areas

Storage Auctions: Everything You Need To Know | Access with self-save (2)

What do I need to know about participating in storage auctions?

Like most things in life worth living, the more prepared you are to attend a warehouse sale, the better your chances of success. You learn through practice and experience, but the checklist below should cover the basics of being a ready bidder.

  • Read the rules in advance and check all the information provided by the organization hosting the auction.
  • Plan to arrive at the event early so you have plenty of time to register.
  • Bring cash! While some companies accept payment by credit card or check, cash is always king.
  • Be prepared to take away what you bid and win. After purchase, you usually have 24 to 48 hours to empty the device.
  • You have a place to sort and store and a strategy to turn your inventory into a net profit.

What happens when a storage auction starts?

When you arrive at a storage auction, you will be asked to register and join the other bidders at a designated location. During the registration process, the auction host will review the rules before guiding the team to the individual units to be auctioned. At this point the unit is opened by cutting the lock on the door or otherwise unlocked and bidders are given the opportunity to quickly inspect the contents. Under no circumstances should you physically enter the unit, open storage containers, or manually inspect items.

Once everyone has had a chance to view the item, the bidding starts immediately. Be prepared, as the action unfolds quickly, often in less than two minutes. This process continues until all scheduled units are sold. If you win, you must make the appropriate payment and follow the agreed procedure to leave the venue.

How do I become a storage auction professional?

Judging by the popularity of TV shows related to storage auctions and the overall increase in attendance, there is clearly a call to get in on the action. However, it's important to remember that bidding on self storage units can be more difficult than it seems. To make sure you're up for the challenge, consider the following tips for a successful storage auction:

  • Look and learn. All the preparation in the world is no substitute for the real thing. Be prepared to bid if a "can't lose" situation arises, but otherwise stay on the sidelines and keep your eyes peeled to see how seasoned professionals go about their business.
  • Find a mentor. While it may not be in their best interest to give away secrets, it can be a valuable asset to make a few friends who know how to run a storage auction. If they welcome you, try offering to buy them lunch or lend them a hand loading their truck to get on their good side. At the very least, you're likely to hear some great stories about legendary auction wins and losses and learn a little more about the unique subculture and jargon.
  • Set a budget. Bidding for storage is almost always a gamble, so be sure not to risk what you can't afford to lose.
  • Keep your expectations in check. As you've probably seen on TV, even the best bidders have bad days. Finding a rare piece of art or valuable antique is almost one in a million. Most people are happy when they finally see a net profit.
  • Know what you're looking for. Like the expert who can spot a fake Gucci bag from 100 yards away, research what a promising storage item looks like and learn as much as you can about the types of items (like furniture or photography gear) that interest you most. What separates the real winners from the losers is the ability to assess and recognize value at a glance.
  • Perfect your method. From the types of auctions you attend to how you bid against the competition, it's all about testing and tweaking to develop this winning formula.

Now that you know the basics, it's time to find a storage auction near you and decide if unit bidding is right for you.


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What is the most valuable item found in storage auctions? ›

The most valuable find on Storage Wars was a cache of cash: $7.5 million dollars hidden inside a locked safe. The winning buyer of the locker found the safe inside after the auction and took it to a locksmith. When the safe was opened, the new owners were stunned to find a fortune in cash inside.

What is the most money found in a storage unit? ›

Dotson explained that a woman came up to him and told him that her husband had bought a unit from him, which contained a safe of unknown contents. The woman said they'd hired experts to crack open the safe and when they finally did manage to get it open, they discovered that the safe had contained $7.5 million in cash.

Do people actually make money from storage auctions? ›

Storage auctions can be a lucrative endeavor if you are willing to put in a little leg work to understand how they function. If you can find a storage auction, you will likely find things you want or that others will want, so you get a profit.

How long before storage unit is auctioned Texas? ›

Legal notice of sale published once in each of 2 consecutive weeks in a newspaper in the county where the storage unit is located. The sale can take place 15 days after the notice has run.

What sells most in an auction? ›

primer on which types of items typically sell well at auctions.
  • Precious Gems and Jewelry. Jewelry and precious gems also tend to see high sale prices at auctions. ...
  • Sports Memorabilia. Any sports memorabilia, mainly if a star autographs it, is likely to do well at auction. ...
  • Toys & Comic Books. ...
  • Antique Timepieces. ...
  • Fine Art.
Feb 1, 2022

Where do you store valuable items? ›

You can rent a safe deposit box to keep your valuables, important documents, and sentimental keepsakes secure. When you rent one, the bank gives you a key to use. You'll want to hold on to this key in a safe place because if you lose it, the bank will have to charge you to install a new lock.

Who found $7.5 million in storage unit? ›

A MAN bought a locked storage unit for $500 from Storage Wars star Dan Dotson and later discovered it contained $7.5million. The contents of the numerous lockers auctioned on Storage Wars vary greatly, with a number of interesting finds.

How profitable is buying storage units? ›

The annual income of a self storage business can range from $365,000 to $800,000. However, how much money you make hinges on several factors, such as the facility's location and size, whether or not you had to take out a loan to buy it, and the range of services you offer.

Who owns most of storage units? ›

Public Storage takes the number one spot as the largest owner of self storage properties in the US, owning over 2,800 locations in 40 states. Most of these are found in California, Texas and Florida, but the company has also expanded into Western Europe.

Why do people abandon storage lockers? ›

According to the Xtra Storage company, there are six reasons why people abandon their storage units: financial hardships, divorce, extended hospitalization, untimely death, imprisonment, or the renters simply forget about them, often when they relocate to some other community.

How to make money buying storage lockers? ›

Making money in this business takes knowledge of how items will sell, as well as implementing smart bidding strategies.
  1. Find Storage Unit Auctions in Your Area. ...
  2. Explore Your Sales Avenues. ...
  3. Learn the Value of Common Storage-Unit Items. ...
  4. Rent a Truck or Van. ...
  5. Set a Spending Limit. ...
  6. Arrive Early With Cash. ...
  7. Sort Through Your Items.
Jan 31, 2019

How do storage auctioneers get paid? ›

Storage companies must pay to both advertise the auction and for the services of the auctioneer, and often only keep about 50% of what the winning bid is.

What happens if I cut the lock off my storage unit? ›

No, you can't cut a lock off of a storage unit. It's against our policies and, frankly, could cost you a lot more than just the cost of a new lock. (Especially if you accidentally damage the storage unit's door.)

Are storage fees subject to sales tax in Texas? ›

Your facility has the duty to collect sales tax on all rents and charges received for vehicle or trailer parking or storage. Your facility needs to collect the monies from the customer and remit them to the state.

How do I evict someone from a storage unit in Texas? ›

The safest option is to simply terminate the tenant's contract by sending TSSA Form E-1, “15-Day Notice of Termination of Storage Space Rental Agreement.” With this notice, you do not have to give a reason as to why you are asking the tenant to vacate, which is particularly helpful in case you are feeling uneasy about ...

Who found the $7.5 million dollars on Storage Wars? ›

A MAN bought a locked storage unit for $500 from Storage Wars star Dan Dotson and later discovered it contained $7.5million. The contents of the numerous lockers auctioned on Storage Wars vary greatly, with a number of interesting finds.

What do the auctioneers get on Storage Wars? ›

Storage Wars' Dan Dotson takes a 20% commission on every storage unit he auctions. If you're a fan of A&E's Storage Wars then you've probably wondered how much money Dan and Laura Dotson take from every storage unit they auction off.

What is the most common auction? ›

The most common type of auction, the English auction, is often used to sell art, wine, antiques, and other goods. In it, the auctioneer opens the bidding at a reserve price (which may be zero), the lowest price he is willing to accept for the item.

How do they sell the stuff on Storage Wars? ›

On each episode of the show, professional buyers bid on storage units and then resell everything of value at their own consignment stores or to buyers directly.


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