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Where are the Best Storage Auctions and what should you bring so you don't look like a Greenhorn.

Updated on August 17, 2019

Situations That can Provide you a Great Buying opportunity

There are many factors to consider when looking for auctions starting with weather conditions. Many people won't tolerate standing for long periods of time in freezing temperatures for an auction let alone the additional hours of grueling bone-chilling work loading and unloading a large storage lockers, to be followed up with a white knuckle drive pulling a loaded trailer on icy roads in a snowstorm. Attendance will always be low in the winter because people simply have no way to store large amounts of merchandise for long periods in bad weather, many sell at outdoor flea markets and garage sales during the summer months so they need to be able to buy and sell quickly.

Extremely hot weather will also keep attendance numbers down because temperatures inside storage units can reach in excess of 110° on hot days. This problem is multiplied by the fact that most storage facilities are surrounded by asphalt that retains and creates a lot of additional heat inside and outside you're working area. This presents a clear health hazard for many people especially older folks.

You should always consider the month, day, and even the time of an auction. The last week of the month tends to be when people have run out of money so they have less to gamble buying a storage unit. The opposite seems to be the case when it comes to the day of the week it is usually better to go early in the week because people tend to be broke after the weekends. Time Is very important because many people can't attend daytime auctions because of their jobs.This is why you always see much higher attendance during weekend auctions.

Holidays are another great opportunity to hunt for auctions because many buyers are out-of-town on vacations plus it's no secret most people are just tapped out of money especially after the holidays especially during the Christmas season followed closely by tax season.

Give Yourself Extra Time to Make it to the Storage Auction

It's always wise to give yourself extra travel time when driving to auctions, this is one example why. I was on my way to an auction and found myself stuck in a traffic jam due to construction work on the highway. I had no choice but to exit and drive the back roads to the auction. Due to the delay I had to called the manager at the storage office and asked her if it would be possible to stall the auction for a few minutes. Fortunately I've known the manager for a long time she knew I was one of the better bidders so she was willing to hold things up. When I pulled into the facility she was just in the process of walking everybody out of the office towards the first locker. Thanks to Deb I did not miss any of the units being auctioned off.

Top Ten Tips What to Bring to a Storage Unit Auctions

This is my top 10 list of things you would be wise to bring to the auction.

1. it all begins with a flashlight, this is an absolute necessity especially at indoor storage facilities it never ceases to amaze me how many times I've looked into lockers only to find they don't have any working lights inside and when it comes to flashlights bigger is better so you can clearly see merchandise way in the back. Inexperienced people come to auctions all the time and then end up asking to use yours and that's not good.

2. A good pair of leather work gloves is a must everything you can imagine is found in lockers example mouse droppings, used hypodermic needle's, roaches, filthy clothing, dirty housewares, chemicals, broken glass, mattresses with bed-bugs pee and blood stains.

3. During the unloading process you can get cut and scratched so it stands to reason the next thing you should always have on hand is an emergency first aid kit with disinfectant and bandages .

4. Always bring an umbrella, warm hat and an extra jacket.

5. If you're really serious about buying lockers buy a pair of carpeted floor dolly's. These doilies have four wheels and can carry up to 800 pounds each here's an example how they are used. Say you've bought a locker that has a couch set inside but you have no help to move it, well that's not a problem just lift each end of the sofa up slide a dolly underneath set it down and away you go. You can then easily push the couch or appliance right out of the locker up the ramp and into your trailer.

6. Always bring ropes, bungee cords, adjustable ratchet straps to tie things down inside or outside your trailer. These are excellent for securing big pieces of furniture and appliances you don't want sliding around.

7. Trailers don't forget to do a safety inspection on your truck and trailer before you drive to the auction, check tires for correct air pressure and that tail lights are working properly. Make sure you have a spare tire and jack so you don't get stuck along a busy highway with no way to fix it.

8. Always bring a broom dust pan and trash bags to clean up the locker. Most storage facilities need a cleaning deposit paid up front when you pay for your locker. This assures that you will remove the entire contents of the locker including all the trash before you get your deposit back.

9. Don't leave home without your GPS and cell phone. There's nothing more nerve-racking than driving around lost trying to find and make it to a new auction on time, plus the wife might want to check in on you.

10. The last thing I recommend to bring is some fresh water and food. It can get extremely hot inside of those units in the summertime it's important to keep yourself hydrated so you don't pass out.

Bring Plenty of Cash to the Auction

Remember the old saying "every dog has its day" well I guarantee you there will come a day when everything at the auction is going your way and you want to buy them all not bringing enough cash is a common mistake that timid inexperienced people make at auctions. In conclusion being properly prepared to attend storage auctions will certainly make your whole experience safer easier and more rewarding. Good luck in your new-found hobby or business adventure.

How to Find Auctions in Your Area

First start by looking in your local newspapers and local shopping guides. Call or walk into storage facilities and ask if they have auctions most will be happy to give you information many will even put you on their email contact list and let you know of upcoming auction dates. Last but not least go online there are many auction locator sites on the web. I have posted links in the capsule below of two such sites. All public storage auctions get posted publicly by law a couple of weeks before the sale.

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    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      What an interesting job! These are good suggestions, including how to deal with an aggressive bidder. Maybe someday I'll have the chance to bid on a storage trailer. Thank you for sharing!


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