A little over a month after announcing the launch of its mobile app, eBids has officially rebranded to Lockerfox. Founded in July 2014, the online self storage auction company is less than a year old but has already undergone massive changes. The change in the name is also accompanied by the introduction of new enterprise features.
"This rebranding underscores our ongoing commitment to building an online storage auction platform that provides an easy to use, fast, fun experience for auction bidders and self-storage facilities.", says CTO Peter Allen.
Based in North Carolina, the company was initially targeted to self storage facility owners and operators in the Charlotte area. The premise was simple – encourage self storage personnel to use its online service as an alternative to hosting auctions at the facilities’ physical location.
According to a press release issued by the company, Lockerfox’s rebranding efforts are meant to bring a dynamic new approach to the world of self storage auctions, one that focuses on an easy and clean user experience.
"When we looked at practical issues of everyday facility and auction management, it became clear that mirroring the customer's operational structure in Lockerfox would bring benefits," says Allen. "Self-storage facilities can be grouped into regions and divisions, with the benefit of ensuring consistent auction configuration across the enterprise", he notes.
Signing up and viewing auctions on Lockerfox is completely free of cost. No credit card is required to sign up. However, buyers are charged a 10% buyer’s premium at the end of the auctions. The winning bid is then paid directly to the self storage facility, in-person at the time the unit is claimed and emptied. Buyers are given 72 hours to pick up the items in the unit after bidding has ended. If the tenant pays for the self storage rental before the auction closes, then all bids are canceled.
Self storage operators can use the service free of charge as well and there is no cancellation fee for canceling an auction. A 10% fee is charged at the end of the auction. Currently, Lockerfox is running a promotion where self storage operators can run up to six auctions at no cost.
For self storage operators, paying 10% of the sale price over to Lockerfox is quite a good deal since the company is basically doing all the heavy lifting. Online auctions eliminates a lot of the work involved in hosting an auction on-site at a self storage facility. For buyers however, paying a 10% fee in addition to the cost of the unit may be a bit steep. Traditional bidding sites, like industry leader eBay, do not charge when an auction is won. The fee may be a deterrent for those who wish to utilize the service. But, others may not mind paying extra for the convenience of participating in a self storage auction from the privacy of his or her own home.
Lockerfox will be releasing more features in the first quarter of 2015 that will allow self storage operators to centralize auction policy management based on states or regions.