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Everything You Wanted To Know About Storage Auctions Broken Down In 5 Minutes

Updated on March 25, 2013

Storage Auctions Broken Down In 5 Minutes

What Is A Storage Auction?

Think of it like a house going into foreclosure. When someone doesn't pay their mortgage the house is auctioned off. Similarly when someone doesn't pay for a storage unit the contents of their unit are auctioned off. You and the general public then have an opportunity to go to the storage facility and buy units that are auctioned off. Your not allowed to enter the unit and you aren't allowed to sort through the merchandise. You get to look from the door and kind of guess what the contents hold and bid accordingly.

How Do I Find Out About Storage Auctions?

There are a number of ways to find out about upcoming storage auctions. First you can call the facilities directly. If they have an auction they will tell you, if not they may offer to put you on a list to find out about upcoming auctions.

Second you can check the legal section of your local newspaper. In most areas storage facilities are required to post a legal listing notifying the owner of the unit the stuff is being auctioned off and that's another place you can find out about upcoming auctions.

Lastly there are a number of websites where you can find this info. Many are paid websites where you have to pay for lists however there are a few free websites out there. AuctionZip is a great free site where you can search by zipcode. FreeStorageAuctionLists is another great resource for finding free lists of storage auctions for all 50 states.

What Should I Bring To A Storage Auction?

You don't need to bring much. Bring a lock to lock up the unit if you wind up buying one. Before the auction the previous owners lock is cut off so you will need your own lock. You should also bring a high powered flashlight so you can look deep into the unit. Bringing a smartphone is a good idea as well. If you see something of value in the unit you can always do a quick Google search on your Android Phone to see what an item is worth and bid accordingly. You should also bring a pair of gloves, storage units are often dusty and dirty. You don't have to bring a truck, you can always buy a unit and worry about transporting goods later but bringing a truck will be a waste of gas, especially on days when your on an auction circuit visiting a dozen or more facilities and driving to different cities to attend auctions.

How Do I Sell Merchandise If I win?

A variety of ways to sell merchandise and make money. Craigslist is a great way to sell locally, it's also good for larger items that aren't practical to ship on ebay. Ebay is another option, ebay gives you a huge audience and though fees are high you can often find more buyers for unique items and get top dollar. Resale Shops and Pawn Shops are a good way to get rid of merchandise but you will be getting bottom dollar. If you're just looking for a quick flip though they can be good resources. Flea markets are also a great place to sell. Old clothes and things that are too difficult to resell can be donated for a tax break.

Where Can I Learn More?

If you're interested in learning more about storage auctions check out The Storage Auction Forums. It's a great forum where you can read posts or ask questions of other members. There's also a great ebook on Amazon called "How To Make Money With Storage Unit Auctions." It's only $2.99 at regular price, however it regularly goes on Amazon special where you can get a free Kindle download.

What Can I Expect To Find In Units?

Lastly I just wanted to touch upon what kind of expectations you should have for what you find. If you watch the storage auction tv shows, you probably have overinflated ideas of what you find in storage units. Money can be made, I've made upwards of $5,000 off unite I only paid $300 for, however more often than not it's clothes, bedding, kitchen goods, and general household items that you really have to hustle to sell.


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    • jgetsmoneyy profile image

      jgetsmoneyy 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      No problem, glad you enjoyed the hub. I also run a site called FreeStorageAuctionLists.Com we have a blog section with more tips and advice and we also post auctions for all 50 states for no charge and no need to sign up for anything. We dont hav the largest selection of auctions but have a good number and its good to get you started. Check it out and thanks for commenting.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      True to your word, you taught me a lot in five minutes of reading. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences!