Digging For Treasure Through Trash: Making The Most of Storage Auctions.

Storage Wars

Storage Wars | Source

If you have had your ear to the ground lately, chances are you’ve heard of storage auctions. They are a great way of finding valuable treasures for a fraction of the price. Storage Wars, which airs on A & E, has given considerable attention to the self storage industry lately. The show is focused primarily on the persons who participate in these auctions and has the usual drama and excitement, which is a staple of reality TV. If you’re new to the whole self storage game however, we have valuable information that will get you on your way to bidding on and securing your own veritable treasure chest.

Storage auctions are held when a unit renter is unable or unwilling to fulfill his or her part of the contractual agreement. There are a variety of reasons why this may occur – death, the renter may no longer be interested in the items, or simply forgot about the unit. Whatever the case may be, one man’s loss or trash can be your gain or treasure, if you know where to look.

The process is fairly simple, when the unit is considered abandoned (the terms and conditions of this are outlined in the rental agreement), the storage facility has the opportunity to put the items up for auction to get reimbursement for the rent that is due. Now, here comes the tricky part – unlike regular auctions, you cannot see exactly what you are bidding on. Bidders are given a small peek into the storage facility but are not allowed the opportunity to rifle through the items to determine if they are valuable or simply junk. The advantage of these auctions is that the bids usual start low. In some cases, the items are auctioned off individually and persons are allowed to inspect them. In these situations, the items tend to fetch a higher cost and there is more competition.

You might be wondering how you can determine whether the unit is valuable or trash. The answer is that there is no concrete way to determine this. Storage auctions are a bit of a gamble but the mystery adds to the excitement. You might leave with a rare coin collection worth thousands after spending only a few dollars or you might spend hundreds and only leave with a soiled mattress. It is best to inform yourself of the process and be aware of the risk before you decide whether or not to participate.

Finding self storage auctions can also be a difficult task. These auctions are very well sought after and just finding a list of where to look might cost you. A simple Internet search will turn up several sites that will offer you a listing of self storage auctions. Much like foreclosure listings and police auctions, you may have to pay to gain access to a comprehensive list or register on a site in order to bid. However, if you’re looking for a low cost way to find these auctions, social networking sites can help. If you follow storage facilities on Twitter or ‘like’ them on Facebook, they often post updates of the details on when an auction will be held. You can follow all the self storage facilities in your area and check for those that update regularly.

Like every opportunity, there will be success and horror stories. There are persons who have made a large sum of money from the items they have bought in these auctions. However, there are persons who have lost a great deal as well. If you decide to participate, ensure that you are dealing with a reputable facility by taking the time to do some research before you spend your hard earned cash. Remember, it might be exhilarating finding items in these auctions for a bargain but you probably wouldn’t want to be on the other end. So, if you rent a self storage unit, ensure that your rent is paid before or on the due date in order to prevent your items from suffering the fate of an auction.