Storage Auctions: What Are They and How Do You Find Them? | Ready Steady Store (2023)

We've all seen TV shows like Storage Hunters and Storage Wars, but how fun are UK storage auctions really?

While we can't promise you an over-enthusiastic auctioneer or a million-pound fortune, visiting a storage auction is a great opportunity to pick up a bargain or an interesting piece of history.

Here we'll offer some insight and share our best tips on what a storage auction is and how to find one.

What is a storage auction?

UK storage auctions are becoming increasingly popular with bargain hunters looking for that next hidden item, as well as those with a general passion for looting storage spaces.

Storage units are often auctioned off when a customer is unable to pay their bills. While every effort is made to reach an agreement with the customer, storage units are often auctioned off to the highest bidder when this is not possible in an attempt to recover some of the debt.

What types of storage auctions are there in Britain?

There are two types of storage unit auctions available in the UK:

  • Online Storage Auctions –These are by far the most common in Britain. Unlike the American TV shows we all love, one thing you shouldn't expect to see very often is a personal visit to the storage unit as you walk through the various units. UK storage auctions are often conducted online on websites or via email.
  • Personal Storage Auctions –As we said above, personal storage auctions are not very common in Britain, but they still happen. Contact your local storage provider to inquire about upcoming promotions.

How do I find a storage auction?

Thanks to the internet, you can find storage auctions near you from the comfort of your own home. Most storage companies use platforms likeeBayIniBidOnStorageto sell units and will often give some details about their size and contents.

(Video) Are Abandoned Storage Units a Good Side Hustle?

Similarly, some companies will conduct their own private auctions with sealed bids, while others will employ auction houses on their behalf.

To learn more about upcoming storage unit auctions, contact storage companies in your area. Many will have a list or notify you when they are open for offers.

How does a storage auction work?

Storage Auctions: What Are They and How Do You Find Them? | Ready Steady Store (1)

Depending on the type of storage auction you attend, both have their own benefits.

Online auctions of storage units usually allow bidders to see a photo of the storage unit being auctioned, usually taken through the door, prior to the auction. Prospective buyers may not bid on individual items within the unit and may only bid on the purchase of storage units as a whole.

Online storage auctions are a convenient and stress-free way to bid on abandoned units. When you bid online, you can make more informed bids because you'll likely have more information about the items in the unit and more time to think about what price they'll sell for.

(Video) How To Buy Abandoned Storage Units & What to Expect

Attending storage auctions in person allows you to actually view the unit you are bidding on in person, although similar to the rules of an online auction, bidders cannot access the unit or get a closer look at its contents . Make an offer. Although you can see what's inside the drive, you can't insert it.

Once the auction is over, the winner has a certain amount of time to pay and must go directly to the unit and clean the contents themselves. Some storage companies require successful buyers to vacate storage units fairly quickly, with some providers giving buyers a 24-48 hour window before you're charged rent or interest on the unit.

Top tips for early bidders

When it comes to bidding at storage auctions, it can be easy to get carried away with the chance to discover valuable treasures for resale, especially if you're new to the world of online auctions.

However, bidding on storage auctions is a big gamble, as buyers often pay more than the content is worth. When evaluating the value of a storage facility, there are a number of things to consider.

  1. Set a price limit:Before bidding on a storage unit, you must set a maximum price or number of units to buy and not exceed it. This prevents you from making a last minute decision or bidding on too many units at once and getting overwhelmed.
  2. Note the content:Even if you only have access to a photo of the device, note the type of boxes or storage in them and if any larger items are visible. If everything is packed more securely or in matching or sealed boxes, things are more likely to be well looked after and of even greater value, and anything large and valuable can easily be sold.
  3. Bid only on conveniently located units:Come on, is it really wise for you to bid on this storage unit in the middle of the country? The contents of a unit are not yours until you arrive to collect them. You also have to factor in shipping, as you only have a certain number of days to empty the content.

What to do when you visit the storage location

Storage Auctions: What Are They and How Do You Find Them? | Ready Steady Store (2)

If you've just won a storage drive auction, you only have a certain amount of time to delete the drive's contents. Here's what to remember:

(Video) Storage Auctions Online Secret Bidding Techniques 2020

Check the rules:Before you go anywhere, be sure to check the rules before visiting the storage facility. This is especially important for online auctions. While some require all payments to be processed online, some private auctions may only accept cash. It's important to know what to do before you get your new storage drive.

Lock:If you travel a lot or leave the unit between pickups, you'll need a padlock to secure the contents.

Dozen:items in the unit may not be packed properly, so you should invest in boxes and packaging to make moving easier.

Transport:Depending on the size or contents of a unit, you may need to rent a truck or enlist the help of friends or family to move.

The most valuable finds at the self-storage auction

As we said before, buying a storage unit doesn't necessarily guarantee a quick fortune, but if you're lucky you might come across some valuables. Fans of Storage Hunters and Storage Wars will be familiar with the exciting prospect of hidden treasures lurking in abandoned units. And while most storage units up for auction contain common household items such as furniture, clothing or papers, some savvy buyers have hit the jackpot with their storage unit finds.

Original photos of Amelia Earhart –Amelia Earhart became famous as the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic in 1928. Earhart died tragically in 1937 while attempting to fly around the world. Fast forward to 2011, a California woman named Diane Tracy found a collection of original photos of Amelia Earhart in a storage unit she purchased. Each photo is believed to be worth £614 ($1,000).

(Video) SO EASY! They delivered storage auction boxes to my house. What did we find in the boxes?

Vintage Video Games -Another lucky storage unit buyer found a fortunewhen he appears in the showStorage Warsin 2017. The storage space the California man bought contained a selection of classic video games and console hardware. He didn't know it at the time, but the toys were worth over £40,000 ($50,000), making him quite a fortune.

Teddy bear full of money -In the rarest of stories, a homeless couple from Arizona needed some furniture for their homeless camp when they decided to make a winning bid of $10 (£7.20) for a storage unit that included an old sofa. The unit also contained a teddy bear which happened to be stuffed with over $300,000 (£215,000).

Storage Auctions: What Are They and How Do You Find Them? | Ready Steady Store (3)

Want to know when our next storage auction is? Why not follow us on eBay? We've previously sold units for as little as £20, so you might be able to haggle for a small price.

We have strict policies to ensure we do everything we can to protect our customers' assets. We want to assure all customers that storage auctions will not take place until all other options have been explored. If you have any concerns or concerns, please check out ourconditionspage orgetting in touchnow with a member of our team.


How can you identify a good storage? ›

Qualities of a good storage facility
  1. A good storage facility has a variety of unit sizes to choose from. ...
  2. First rate security. ...
  3. Robust insurance for your belongings in storage. ...
  4. Excellent customer service. ...
  5. Cleanliness. ...
  6. Convenient accessibility. ...
  7. A quality storage facility should have affordable pricing.
Sep 6, 2022

Who found 7.5 million on Storage Wars? ›

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.

What is the show where they bid on storage units? ›

Season one of Storage Wars consisted of 19 episodes, 17 of which were filmed at various self-storage facilities throughout Southern California.


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5. Treasure Hunting at Storage Auctions AND We FOUND 600+ BOXES OF VINTAGE Toys!
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