Storage Auctions

Storage Auctions, And Why We Hold Them

3589287You've likely seen or heard of reality shows like "Storage Wars" and been curious as to what it is. Well, at its core, A&E's "Storage Wars" is about storage auctions.

What's the point of storage auctions, you ask? A storage auction is the only way that a self storage facility can legally clear a unit in order to be able to rent it again. When a unit remains unpaid for a period of time, and multiple contact attempts have failed, facilities begin the process of placing a unit in lien.

 

National Storage Solutions follows a very strict process dictated by state law that includes registered mail and public postings. A tenant can keep their unit by catching up at any time before the “fall of the gavel.” 

Who can purchase a storage unit?

Anyone over the age of 18 can buy a unit at one of our auctions. While many of our attendees are professionals who resale the items they buy, we have many first timers who show up at each auction. There are no special terms or licenses necessary to bid on a unit.

Why can’t bidders enter a unit?

The auctioneer allows all of the bidders time to examine the unit being sold for a few minutes before the auction begins. Bidders have to view the unit from the outside in order to expedite the auction process and to prevent the removal of items before it is auctioned.

What should I bring to a storage auction?

If you are looking at attending your first auction, there are a few things you might bring. First, a small flashlight will certainly help you see back into the dark back corners of a unit to check for valuable items. Second, a good pair of gloves will be welcome when you start sifting through the unit you just won. Don’t forget to bring cash. You never know what may spark your interest and you don’t want to go home wishing you had bid on that valuable unit.

How do you win a storage unit at auction?

The quick answer is to simply outbid the other interested buyers. Of course, there are certainly strategies that help to increase your chances.

What are the rules of the auction?

While everyone is welcome, there are a few rules that everyone needs to follow. All bidders will be required to sign in at the office before bidding begins so make sure you arrive early. Most facilities will give you a bidding number to identify yourself with. You will get to examine the unit before bidding begins, but you will not be allowed inside the unit. 

If you win, you will be expected to pay for the unit as soon as the auction is over. If the facility requires a cleaning deposit, it will be collected at that time. Most of the time you have 24-48 hours to empty the unit after you have won. Be sure to check with the manager so that you don’t lose your deposit.

How often are storage auctions held?

In short, we have auctions as often as necessary. The legal process can take up to 60 days, and tenants can bring their units up to date at any time until the auction is complete. The number of units in the auction can vary drastically as well. We usually have 6-8 units in auction, but have had in excess of 20 many times.

Are there any special permits needed to attend a storage auction?

There is nothing we require in order to bid at an auction other than being over 18 years of age. If you are planning on reselling items found at auction, you will need to bring a sales tax use permit. Otherwise, you will be required to pay sales tax on any units you win.

What forms of payment are accepted at a storage auction?

Most storage facilities choose to auction on a “cash only” basis, although this may differ from facility to facility. It’s a good idea to call ahead to confirm the payment types accepted. Cash is always accepted and you can never go wrong by coming prepared with this payment method.

Do storage facility employees go through the units?

In the State of Texas, storage facilities are required to publish a legal notice with a brief description of the contents of the units up for auction. While we are legally allowed in the unit, we typically take inventory from outside the unit. Certain items (vehicles, firearms) have different requirements that compel us to enter the unit and get additional information. Generally speaking, we like to leave it in the same condition we found it.

We hope that we have answered your questions about storage auctions, but if we left any off, please feel free to contact our offices. One of our friendly staff members will be able to assist you.

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