The popularity of online auctions is at an all-time high. Shows like Storage Wars and Auction Hunters have brought self storage to mainstream entertainment so that it can be enjoyed by all. An auction can introduce new customers to your self storage business who would have previously never visited. The Internet has made it easier to set-up and manage self storage auctions. Here are a few tips in order to get you started:
• Use lots of pictures – Since potential buyers will be unable to see the unit in person, pictures are invaluable in the auction process. The type of pictures will depend on the type of auction you will be conducting. For example, in some auctions, buyers are not able to have a detailed look at the contents of the unit before placing a bid. In these cases, you should have a wide shot of the unit, without giving too much away. If you will be revealing the contents of the unit before bidding begins, then take good, close-up shots of the items in the unit that create the best selling points – electronics, jewelry, etc.
• Include a thorough description – Even if you include adequate pictures, a description of the unit is still needed. Take this as the opportunity to be as detailed as possible in order to attract bidders. The items in the unit that are high in value should be noted clearly in the description. You may also choose to include the condition of the unit since this could influence how much money people are willing to bid. A unit that has been kept in immaculate condition would likely have items that are of value as well.
• Determine duration and starting price – These fine details could potentially make or break the auction. If a unit is not in the auction for a reasonable length of time, then you may miss potential bidders would may have found it at a later time. Also, the unit’s starting price should be low enough not to scare away bidders but still enough to meet your reserve. Since you are bidding off units to recoup on rent, setting the unit price to at least what is owed would be a safe way to still collect the money you need and also to potentially earn more if the unit sells for a higher price.
• Make a listing early – A lot of variables exist in the auction process so it is always best to list a unit as soon as you know the available sale date. Listing early gives delinquent tenants the chance to pay up and for bidders to get sufficient time to peruse the contents of the unit before making a decision.
Ultimately, the success or failure of an online self storage auction will depend on the organizer. He or she will get out of the process as much as is put into it. Paying attention to certain key elements of the listing will attract more buyers, which will in turn increase profit and lessen the debt.