Storage unit auctions – worth the risk? Mistakes to avoid - SimplyStoring (2023)

If you are a die-hard fan of TV shows, you must have seen TV shows likeStorage WarsInStorage hunters. These shows follow a group of people who make a lot of money buying the contents of abandoned storage units that come up for auction. But what exactly are storage auctions and how do these people make their money? If you're excited about storage auctions and want to learn more about them, you've come to the right place.

IsBulletinAre auctions worth it?The simple answer to this question is “yes if you do everything right.While we can't promise you a million dollar fortune, visiting a storage auction is always a great opportunity to score a bargain or a vintage piece of history that you won't find anywhere else. However, making money from storage unit auctions requires hard work and patience. If you're not careful what you're doing, you can lose a lot of money or end up with a pile of junk you can't sell.

In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about storage auctions and orthey are worth it. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know.

How do storage auctions work?

A storage space is only auctioned if the tenant remains in defaulttheir monthly rent.This often happens when the owner of the rental unit dies and the family doesn't know about the storage space, when the owner is fighting a divorce, or when they face financial hardship due to an unexpected life event such as a medical emergency.

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If the outstanding balance is not paid within a certain time frame, the management of the unit will first lock the storage unit to deny access to the owner and then wait a certain number of days before auctioning off the items to recoup some of their losses .

Typically, the number of days between delinquency and auction varies from state to state.In most cases, it takes anywhere from 30 days to 90 days for items to be auctioned.

Prior to the auction, the storage manager must send an email to the tenant informing them that the contents of the unit will be auctioned if they do not pay the amount due.

The storage unit management must then advertise the auction for at least two weeks, providing general information such as the unit number, the exact date of the auction, the reason for the auction, and a general description of the contents.

On the actual day of the auction, bidders get a quick look at what's in storage, but aren't allowed inside.They must agree to bid based on what they can see from the outside and guess what else is inside.It's a big gamble because the unit can be full of treasure or full of junk.

An experienced auctioneer is on site to guide the entire bidding process. Generally, a storage unit can sell for as little as $1 or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the number of bidders.

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The winner pays an additional $100 or an additional $200 ifcleaning deposit.This amount will be refunded once you have properly emptied and cleaned the unit. Please note that winning the bidding process will make you fully responsible for everything in the unit.

What can you find in a warehouse?

Perhaps a better question would be:what can't you find in a warehouse?The truth is that the storage auction is mostly based on guesswork and pure luck.Even if you take a look at the unit before the bidding starts, you can't tell for sure what's inside.

What you read online are mostly stories of storage auctions that have found priceless treasures and even boxes of cash in the winning units. Others have racks of designer clothes, jewelry,antique, celebrity memorabilia and even crates of expensive itemswine.

However, with every story of hidden treasures you read, keep in mind that there may be hundreds of tales of misery that you don't get to hear because people like to talk about their successes rather than their failures.

In some cases, in an abandoned warehouse you will find only useless documents, broken bicycles, useless cutlery and torn clothes.

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But the biggest secret to making money with storage auctions is knowing where to resell the itemsa reasonable price.

While some items may be everyday items that don't seem like they're worth a lot of money at first glance, you can always get a decent amount if you sell them in the right place.

Once you have a few storage auctions under your belt, you can earn a decent income or even a full-time income from the side hustle.

Where should you resell storage auction items?

A significant number of people who participate in storage auctions say soeBayit's their favorite outlet when they watch itthey sell unusual items.Something about this global platform makes it an attractive option for people to sell odd or rare items.

However, if you find an item that still has a barcode, consider listing itAmazonbecause it can bring you a relatively larger amount.

Other details should be on your business Facebook page orCraigslisttargeting local buyers.You can always find a Craigslist equivalent depending on where you live.

For items you can't keep or sell for yourself, consider donating them to people who might want them.

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For personal documents such as tax documents, family photos, etc., you will be given the contact details of the previous owner so that you can link the items to them and hand them in if you wish.

How can you make money with storage auctions?

As mentioned earlier, it is possible to make a decent oneincome from storageauctions. However, it's not as easy as reality TV shows make it out to be.

You need to understand the whole process, and especially the bidding process.Watch various storage auctions to watch and learn without bidding. See how the whole process goes and what the experienced guys overdo and avoid.

Pay close attention to what bidders bring to make the process easier. If possible, approach the winner after the auction and ask what they will do with the contents of the storage space.

Ask them if they think they overpaid or got a good deal.Talking to a few experienced bidders shortens your learning curve and helps you avoid some common mistakes.

Before you start offering yourself, you need to have a solid plan.Learn how to move things in the shortest amount of time and how to sort them.

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In most cases, new bidders get caught up in the bidding process and end up winning a space before they even know how to handle the content.

Consider if you are taking time for youfree up storage space, the rest automatically goes to the storage facilityunless you renew the monthly contract to buy a little more time.

Make sure you have a clear plan before you go to the auction or you will end up spending a lot more money than you bargained for.

Think ahead about where you're going to put things, how you're going to get everything set up quickly enough, how you're going to move things around, and where you're going to get the truck to get things out.

Can I bid online?

Storage auctionsare slowly evolving from traditional in-person auctions to online auctions. This is an advantage for many people because they can still focus on their full-time work without having to worry about attending an in-person auction.

With an online auction, you can take a few hours off without traveling and place your bid online.Online storage auction sites make it relatively easy to appraise each unit because the facility is responsible for taking photos of the abandoned units and posting them on their site.

But you should never trust the pictures 100%, because they don't tell the whole story. Sometimes online auctions are a lot like a treasure hunt: a roll of the dice.

As with in-person auctions, take the time to learn as much as you can about online auctions before bidding.You might make a few mistakes, but things get better once you learn how things work in online auctions.

Last word

While storage auctions are a worthwhile adventure, they are not a get-rich-quick scheme or an easy way to make money. To succeed, you have to do a lot of work and understand the risks of the whole process.

However, it can be a great way to earn a decent side income once you gain experience and build relationships with storage facility owners, auctioneers and others who can help you make informed decisions.


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