For those of you who are new to the storage auction arena, there are things you need to know in order to be prepared for your next storage unit auction. These are just a few tips that could save you time & money and help you avoid a great deal of frustration.
On a good day in larger cities, there might be several different storage facility companies having an auction. Always print out your auction list at least a day in advance. Our service allows you to print out the storage auction list for the entire week. This gives you time plan a route for the auctions you want to attend. After you have your route planned, I recommend that you call the facilities to make sure that the auction hasn’t been canceled. Some auctions get called off if the tenants get current on their past due charges before the scheduled auction date. Nothing is more aggravating than arriving at the storage facility, only to find out that the tenants paid at the last minute.
It is a good idea to bring your entire auction list along just in case you have to make a detour. If an auction gets canceled or there are just too many other buyers in attendance, you can quickly find another auction to attend.
You’ve heard the old saying that the early bird catches the worm, well, it’s true. Always try to be at least 15 minutes early to an auction. This will give you time to sign in & possibly ask the facility manager questions about the units for sale and the delinquent tenants. Another good reason to get an early start is that you don’t want to miss an auction because of traffic or other delays. Most auctions start early in the morning and they usually begin at the time advertised. Also, early auctions typically have fewer people in attendance because of morning delays and because, quite frankly, some of your competition likes to sleep in.
If you will be attending a series of auctions in a day, go ahead and fill up your gas tank in advance. I also recommend that you bring some food and drinks with you. Some of the auctioneers move so fast, from one location to the next, that if you have to make a pit stop, you could miss out on a unit or two.
I recommend that you keep multiple padlocks with you and to keep some back ups in your car. On average, 3-4 locks on your person, will probably be sufficient for most people. At my buying peak, I kept about ten locks with me at all times. Color coding or numbering your locks & keys can save you a lot of time as well. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find the right key for a lock, after you just purchased a unit, and the crowd has moved on to the next unit. Some of these facilities are like mazes, if you fall to far behind, you can even lose the crowd completely.
If you plan to attend storage auctions on a regular basis, you should purchase a quality, rechargeable flash light. I cannot stress this enough, this can make the difference between losing and making money in this business. I purchased a high intensity discharge, rechargeable flood light for about $30 and it has more than payed for itself.
Several months ago, I saw a really interesting unit which had high end furniture and a flat screen television stand in it. I couldn’t believe that the television wasn’t in the unit. The auction was about to close and at the last minute something caught my attention in the back of the unit. I shined my flood light on it and instantly, I knew that it was a 55 inch Samsung LCD television. I raised my bid by $25 and I won the unit for $325. My competition hadn’t seen the television because their flash lights didn’t emit enough light or because they didn’t bring a light with them at all. That television was less than a year old and had a retail value of over $1,700. Plus, I made over a thousand dollars reselling the furniture. Not bad for a day at the auctions.
Most rechargeable flood lights even come with an adapter which allows you charge you battery in between auctions. Believe me, you will need it. Another reason to avoid traditional flashlights is that battery powered flashlights lose power quickly and replacing batteries every day can get expensive.
If you buy a unit and you are planning on moving the contents the same day, you should bring a dolly, trash bags, a wide push broom, latex gloves, rope, tie down straps, moving blankets, tarps, boxes, plastic storage containers & even a set of bolt cutters.