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The Skinny on Storage Auctions

Updated on November 11, 2016

To The Highest Bidder!

You never know what you will find at a storage auction so make sure and bring a large truck or van.
You never know what you will find at a storage auction so make sure and bring a large truck or van. | Source
Bidding on auctions can be fun but also very tedious. Take your time and use good judgement.
Bidding on auctions can be fun but also very tedious. Take your time and use good judgement. | Source
Sometimes, hundreds of people show up trying to win a storage unit. Start bidding low as possible.
Sometimes, hundreds of people show up trying to win a storage unit. Start bidding low as possible. | Source
Storage Wars is a television show based on storage auctions. It shows participants who have made it to the top.
Storage Wars is a television show based on storage auctions. It shows participants who have made it to the top. | Source

How It Works!

The following are the steps to participate in a storage auction.

1. Locate Auctions: There are several ways to locate auctions in your area. You can look in the phone book or yellow pages and call each storage location. Just ask them the time and date of any upcoming auctions. Another way to locate the auctions, is to look in your local newspaper in the classified section under legals. The best way to locate storage auctions is definitely the internet. I recommend using Auctionzip.com because it will show you all upcoming auctions in your state and then break it down to your surrounding cities.

2. Attend Auction: Make sure when you attend an auction that you show up at least 30 minutes early to sign in and fill out any paperwork that you may have. Be sure and bring a moving truck or truck and trailer to pick up any merchandise that you may win. Also, bring a flashlight so that you can see into the storage units. You will not be allowed to enter the actual unit with the auction going on so, you will need to be able to see as well as you can in the backs of the units.

3. Bid On Storage Units: The auctioneer will let everyone look into each storage unit, one at a time. You can not touch anything in the building but, you are able to look in it and use a flashlight for a better view. After everyone looks into a unit the bidding war begins. Basically, bids start very low (hopefully) and slowly rise as more bidders participate. The less people that shows up the better off you are when attending these auctions.

4. Load it Up: Once you have won your units you have to go to the front desk and sign paperwork and pay for your unit. You typically have 48 hours to pick up your finds and it is advisable to bring a pad lock to lock the unit in case you have to make two trips to the storage facility. The whole fun to me is getting to see what you have won. Also, to see if there seems to be anything in the unit that looks like it might be worth money.


What About The Public?


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Storage Auction Rules

Although the rules change to a degree from location to location the basics usually remain the same.

1. No touching inside the storage units when bidding. You can look and bend in the unit just do not touch any merchandise at all.

2. Cash or Credit Card only for auction payments. Varies per auction location and storage unit company. They will let you know the rules beforehand as well before you go in to the auction itself.

3. No food, drinks or smoking during auctions.

4. All winning units must be completely cleared out within 48 hours on winning.

5. Show up 20-30 minutes early to sign in and prepare for the action of the auction.

6. The units that you purchase, must be paid for before you leave the auction.

Note- If unsure about the rules it is always best to ask as some places may have site specific rules and regulations.

Have You Ever Been To One?

Have you ever been to a Storage Auction?

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How Do I Sell My Stuff?

After you win an auction you may decide to keep the stuff or sell it. If your going to sell the items from the storage I have a few recommendations:

1. Internet- Use Craigslist, Ebay, Amazon, Yahoo and even Facebook and Twitter to sell all the items you want without having to pay a dime and you will reach a larger audience. Also, when using the net you can post pictures of each thing that you sell.

2. Flea Market- The Flea Market is a great way to sell items that you can not sell very well online such as clothing. Flea Markets are open on Saturday and Sunday and they are very cheap to rent space. They are great for selling clothing items which is the largest amount of merchandise that is acquired at a storage auction.

3. Newspaper- Newspapers and The American Classifieds are two great ways to advertise the things that your selling. Just place a very detailed ad in the classified section.

4. Store- Overtime, once you start to make big money it will be time to get a store for even better success. Make sure to get a location that has a high traffic flow.

5. Word of Mouth- This method is tried and true and it has withstood the test of time. Tell everyone that you come in contact with about all the storage items that you have and you may be surprised at the responses.

Storage units can be won for as low as five dollars and as high as $50,000. If your willing to put in the effort then you will make a profit bidding on auctions and selling your product to the public.

Storage Auction Items

Clothing
Shoes
Jewelry
Outdoor Equipment
Appliances
Sporting Goods
Electronics
Furniture
Exercise Equipment
 
Collectibles
 
Ten of the top items bidder on at auctions.

A Look at Storage Auctions

How Storage Auctions Work

They are catching on!

Storage auctions are really starting to catch on.With the help of the Storage Wars reality TV show, I do not know that everyone would exactly understand what we do.

Our main goal is like every one else in this business, who just wants to make it. To find that one item that you really do make a little money on, enough to put up for a rainy day or even better the next storage auction. Each time you want to definitely make money and be able to put that money up. The money will start adding up over time. Each auction, allows you to do that.

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 4 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Interesting hub, Leslie. I've always been curious about such things and this satisfied my curiosity. Voted up, useful and interesting