TV shows like Storage Wars have made more and more people aware of the potential treasures that can appear in storage auctions; what was once a somewhat rare interest is growing into a mainstream hobby, and with that growth comes more and more people looking for the best auctions to go to. Of course, there are a few factors to keep in mind: although it may seem like a good idea to go to auctions for the most popular self-storage facilities, these events tend to have a much higher level of competition—meaning you might miss out on the best opportunities. Finding lesser-known auctions means that you can get to one where you won’t have to spend large sums of money to compete—and you may find treasures that you might not have otherwise ever stumbled across. There are a few tactics to keep in mind in your hunt, which we’ll share with you below.
Get the Right Information Sources for Storage Auctions
If you never bother with your local area newspapers, you may want to start if you are really interested in getting an edge on the competition. Ads for big auctions are often placed in major newspapers, but smaller facilities and those that simply don’t want to pay the high premium for major newspaper ad space frequently advertise their auctions in local newspapers. By keeping a sharp eye out, you may be able to find a great auction that not many people know about.
Another option, if you’re willing to spend a little money, is to sign up for an auction listening service. These services provide comprehensive listings of as many storage auctions as possible in your area, usually in exchange for a small fee. If you’re willing to trade time spent hunting up a good auction for money, it’s a great deal.
Reach Out To People Who Love Storage Auctions
As in most business transactions, storage auctions are held by and attended by people. While you may feel a little awkward at first, sometimes a great find is nothing more than a phone call away. Contact the owners of small, local storage facilities to find out if they might be having an auction or sale soon; make a good contact with them and you might even get a call from them when they’re ready for the next sale. Another great resource is other buyers. Of course storage auctions are a competitive space, but many people like that aspect of the hobby—and they’re happy to give someone they have gotten to know the details on an upcoming sale. Of course, keep in mind that there are some people out there who might fight dirty to keep their edge—take advice and information with a grain of salt until you know you can trust the other person.
Finally, you can simply visit auctioneers’ websites. Many auctioneers in any given area will post their schedules on their sites, which gives you some advance notice in terms of when to expect an upcoming event. The great thing about this is that even amongst professionals, this isn’t a common-knowledge tactic—this can give you a great edge. Preparation can be a major factor determining your success in a self-storage unit auction; do your research and know what you can expect.