Can Anyone Attend A Storage Unit Auction?

by Travis Lane on March 19, 2012

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Recently, some of our new members were embarrassed to ask what they thought were some really dumb questions like “can anyone attend storage unit auctions?” or “do I have to pay an entry fee” or “do I need a special license to buy a storage unit?” Since everyone who uses this blog is at a different level in the learning process, I want everyone to feel comfortable to ask anything you like, no matter how basic you think it is. Remember, the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.

Basically, anyone can attend a storage unit auction. Children under 16 years of age are discouraged by some auctioneers and facilities due to the liability; although, this is rarely enforced. There are no special licenses needed. Every now and then, you may need to show valid state identification, although this is rare as well. If you are planning on reselling the items that you purchase and you have a sales tax use permit, by all means bring it. If you don’t have one, you can apply for one on the Comptroller’s website or you will need to pay sales tax on any storage units that you buy.

There are no upfront fees charged to attend an auction. All you need to do is arrive before the sale begins and sign in on the sheet located in the facility manager’s office. Some facilities & auctioneers may require you to sign an acknowledgement of the rules and a waiver of liability. We were all beginners in the storage auction business at one point. Most of the facility managers, auctioneers & the other buyers at the event will be happy to answer any questions you may have, so don’t be afraid to ask.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

davo arakelyan March 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I am 14 years old and my brother is 16 years old, will we get in?

Reply March 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Let me start out by telling you that most of your larger storage facility chains do not allow children to attend their auctions for reasons of liability. Although these larger chains have this policy in place, it is rarely enforced. Some auctioneers have a no children policy as well. My daughter has been attending auctions since she was a few months old and we have only had one auctioneer who had an issue with her being there.
Most of your smaller chains and independent storage facilities don’t have a no children policy in place. I believe that as long as the child is well behaved and accompanied by an adult, there shouldn’t be any issues. I know a young man who is twelve years old and uses his own money to buy storage units. His mother uses the auctions to teach him to be responsible with money and I commend her for doing so.
As far as you and your brother are concerned, and as long as you have a parent with you, I don’t see it being a problem unless the auctioneer or storage facility specifies that no children are allowed to attend. I have only been to a few auctions that actually asked for identification before the auction began, so you should be alright. If you are planning on attending an auction without your parents, and you try to purchase a unit, the auctioneer or storage facility manager could refuse to sell it to you if they notice you’re under 18 years of age. Either way, don’t bring any unnecessary attention to yourself and try to blend in with the crowd. Even if the auctioneer does notice you, the worst thing he or she can do is ask you to leave.


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