Category - Frequently Asked Questions

Storage Auction Q&A


If you have a question about storage auctions or our service, feel free to ask it here. You are also welcome to answer questions or add your opinion. Please post all questions and answers in the comments section below.


From: Nolton 

Subject: Question About Buyer's Premium Fees

You have mentioned cleaning deposits in your blogs. I have also noticed that some of the auction notices have a buyer's premium fee. What are the amounts of the typical premiums and what percentage of auctions do and do not charge this fee? Are there any other additional fees a storage unit buyer might have?

Response from Travis Lane /

About 30% of storage auctions will have a buyer's premium. Buyer's premiums are less common at storage auctions than other types of auctions. I have never seen a buyer's premium be less than or more than 10% at a storage auction.

Other than a clean out deposit and a buyer's premium, you will also need to pay state sales tax, unless you have a valid sales tax use permit. Also, in extremely rare cases, the auctioneer may charge a admission fee.


From: Nolton

Subject: Question About Merchandise You Can't Keep Or Resell 

What are the laws or rules concerning stolen or leased items in a unit? For example; you purchase a unit and you happen to have an item that was reported stolen or an item that was supposed to be repossessed but was hidden there. What other types of items might you find that you may not have the right to keep or resell?

Response from Travis Lane /

Before I answer this question, I would like to advise you that I am not an attorney. Please speak with an attorney before relying on any of the following information.

Other than guns and vehicles, it may be difficult to determine whether an item is stolen. If an item is obviously stolen, you should contact the authorities and let them search for the rightful owner. If the rightful owner cannot be located, there is a chance that you may get the merchandise back. If an item is leased, it may have markings on it which identify the lessor. I would recommend calling the leasing company in order to determine whether the merchandise has been purchased outright or whether it was never returned by the lessee. A lot of rental equipment/merchandise is sold after it has exceeded it's rental life. It is not uncommon to find power equipment, furniture, electronics & appliances that still have the leasing company's markings inside a storage unit.

If the storage facility is aware that there is a vehicle inside the storage unit, they will perform a title search and if a lien holder exists, they will notify them and give them an opportunity to satisfy the delinquent rent. If the lien holder doesn't satisfy the delinquent rent, the vehicle can be legally sold. Although most storage facilities sell vehicles like this for parts and without warranties of any kind, in most cases you can obtain a title.

If you find vehicle inside a storage unit that the storage facility was unaware of, I believe you can keep it; however, you won't get a clear title to it until you satisfy the lien. I am unsure whether the lien holder can still repossess the vehicle but I believe that your claim to it does not supersede the lien.

Guns, illegal drugs & hazardous chemicals are examples of things you may not be able to keep or resell. It is the buyer’s obligation to familiarize themselves with federal, state and local laws relating to the purchase, transportation and possession of their merchandise.

From: Leo

Subject: Is there a service similar to yours in San Antonio

Is there a service similar to yours in San Antonio, TX. or do you offer this service in San Antonio and surrounding areas, like Austin, San Marcos, New Braunfels?
Thanks and look forward to your reply.

Response from Travis Lane /

We currently offer our storage auction schedules to the Houston, Dallas / Fort Worth and San Antonio markets; However, we do have plans to expand into the Austin market by May 1st, 2012. New Braunfels is included in our San Antonio coverage area. San Marcos is not currently in our coverage area, because it is located in between Austin and San Antonio. Since I have received numerous requests to include San Marcos, I will have it added to our Austin coverage area. Update: The Austin schedule is now live.

Message Board

Message Board

Welcome to the message board. Feel free to talk about anything you like here.



Hi Everyone,
I finally won my first unit. My kids will hate me for a while, lol.
It cost me a bit too much to hire someone to help me unload it and 80% of what was in there was trash, but I had a hell of a good time looking through it. I had a yard sale the next day and sold what junk I did not toss out. I broke even with nothing to show for it, but had a blast. I would LOVE to see what other people found and if they made money. Please post ya’ll!

What Is The State Requirement For Sales Tax?

Sales & Use Tax Permit

Emily recently asked the following question:

What is the state requirement for sales tax, is it required or not? I have heard different stories.

Emily, as far as the sales tax is concerned, you have a few different options. Let me start out by saying that I'm not an accountant or an attorney and you should consult with a professional if you have specific question regarding this issue. 

If you don’t already have one, you can apply for a sales tax use permit on the Comptroller’s website. With a sales tax use permit, you don't pay sales tax when you purchase a storage unit, but you are responsible for collecting sales tax on everything you sell. If you don't have a sales tax use permit, you will need to obtain one or pay sales tax on any storage units that you buy. Even if you pay sales tax up front, you must still collect or pay sales tax on everything you sell.

If you are asking whether you have to pay sales tax or not, the answer is yes. Sure, this is an all cash business, and some people do try to cheat, but why take that chance? Records are being kept by the storage facilities and the auctioneers of every storage unit purchased. This information could be used against you if you ever got audited by the state.

I hope this answered your question.

Do The Storage Facility Employees Go Through The Units?

Emily recently asked the following question:

Hi, I'm trying to understand how all of this works. Since you guys seem to know what some of the lockers have inside, does this mean the storage facilities have already gone through the lockers and they could have taken out items they wish to keep for themselves?


Storage facilities in the state of Texas are required to provide a brief description of the contents of the storage unit in the legal notice that they have published. Some storage facilities choose to ignore this as they do some of the other requirements in Chapter 59 of the Texas Property Code, but we won’t get into that at this time.

Once the storage facility has made several attempts to contact the tenant for payment, with no success, they will cut the lock and usually inventory the contents of the storage unit based on what they can see from the door. Very rarely do they ever move things or open boxes.

Should you be worried about this? Not really. Most storage facility managers & owners are very honest and respectable people. I’m sure there are a few bad apples, as there is in any business, that do enter the unit and remove the valuables before the auction. However, if you are only bidding on what you can see from the door, what may have been removed from the unit will not effect you.

I hope this answers you question and alleviates your concerns.

How Do I Know Which Auctions Were Advertised In Smaller Local Newspapers?

Most large cities have multiple smaller cities and towns within them and most of them have their own local newspaper. Subscribing to and reading them all every day isn't an option. Don't worry though, we have you covered. At, we provide a comprehensive list of every storage auction occurring within Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin and their surrounding areas.

Over half of the storage facilities in these areas don't advertise in the large, mainstream newspapers due to the cost or because they are located in a suburban or rural area and aren't in the newspaper's coverage area. These other storage facilities typically place their public notices in  smaller newspapers located within their immediate area. Public notices placed in these local newspapers typically get less exposure, resulting in fewer bidders attending the event. These are the auctions you want to go to because when there is less competition, chances are you will be able to buy a unit at a better price.

So, how can you tell which storage auctions were advertised in smaller, local newspapers?

In our auction list, we highlight all auctions that weren't listed in the mainstream newspapers in bold print.

Where Can I Find Storage Unit Auctions in Houston, Texas? is the only service which provides a comprehensive schedule of every self storage auction in Houston, Texas and the surrounding area. It lists over 300 storage auctions every month including over 40 auctions that you cannot find on any other website. 

If you are a sucker for punishment, you can get storage auction information through several other sources.

There are handful of companies which provide storage auction listings on a national level; However, they fail to list over 85% of the auctions in our area. These companies are a waste of money.

There is a local business newspaper which lists about half of the auctions occurring in our area; However, the information they provide is incomplete and often contains mistakes. This business newspaper only lists the auctions of the storage facilities that pay them to publish their legal notices. Although they claim to publish notices for 99% of all storage facilities in the greater Houston and surrounding areas, over 700 storage facilities do not advertise with this publication. This is where picks up the slack. It supplies every storage auction that this business newspaper furnishes in addition to the auctions from the other 700 + facilities.

There are also a handful of auctioneers in our area that provide storage auction information on their websites. The storage auctions listed on the auctioneer's websites are basically the same listings found in the business newspaper mentioned earlier. They can be good resources for auction information involving the larger storage companies but, expect a crowd.

If you have a lot of spare time, you can call the storage facilities and most will be happy to provide information on their storage sale. There are also over 40 smaller local newspapers that you can find public notices in. The problem with this is the cost to subscribe to all of these smaller local publications would be hundreds of dollars every month. Even if the cost weren't an issue, it would require you to spend hours every day researching & organizing all of the legal notices.

If you are new to the storage auction scene, allow me to give you some advice that will save you a great deal of time and money. If you are an experienced storage auction buyer, you already know what I'm about to tell you. The auctions listed in the business newspaper mentioned above are swarmed with new buyers due to the popularity of the storage auction reality shows on television. Most of these highly publicized storage auctions have 50-100 or more people in attendance and it has become more difficult to buy a storage unit at a reasonable price. If you want to make money in this business you have to get off the beaten path and avoid the crowds. is really the only way to go. For about what you would pay for a burger & fries you can save yourself a great deal of frustration and be confident that you know about every storage auction in the greater Houston & surrounding areas.

Should You Do You Own Research Before An Auction?

A member recently asked the following question:

I am a annual subscriber to your storage auction listing service. I have read your blog and all the helpful information thru your links, including your beginner's guide. What I am wondering about is how to do more research on the units being sold. Do you need to access the public legal notice to get that information? Is it common practice to call the storage facility? Just want some tips on how to research more than likely what will be in the unit beyond what one can see.

This is an excellent question. First of all, thanks for being a member, we really appreciate you. Allow me to begin by explaining how the storage facility manager takes inventory of the contents of a storage unit scheduled for public sale. After a storage facility manager has given a delinquent tenant notice, they are required by Chapter 59 of the Texas Property Code to publish legal notice in a newspaper of general circulation for two consecutive weeks, which includes the name of the tenant, location, date and time of the sale and a description of the contents of the storage unit.

See the following example of an actual legal notice:

Demarques Tucker: furn Darrell Conley: furn, boxes, sprtng gds, applnces, TV/Stereo Equip LaTwanecia Willingham: furn, applnces Traqueva Langrum: hsld gds, furn, boxes, TV/Stereo Equip Adam Jackson: hsld gds, furn, boxes, TV/Stereo Equip Jacqueline Thurman: hsld gds, furn, boxes, tools Maria Rios: furn, dishes, boxes Geary Matthews: hsld gds, furn, boxes, sprtng gds, tools, TV/Stereo Equip Billy Greer: furn TeTierre Hamilton: hsld gds Jaime Mendoza: hsld gds, furn, boxes, sprtng gds, TV/Stereo Equip Maria Rios: hsld gds, furn, boxes Antrum Critterdon: hsld gds, furn, boxes, applnces; Stephanie Cannon: hsld gds, furn Andrea Williams: hsld gds, furn, boxes, sprtng gds, tools, applnces, TV/Stereo Equip Leonetta Green: hsld gds, furn, boxes, applnces,TV/Stereo Equip Tiffany Huitt: furn, boxes, TV/Stereo Equip Kenya Barnes: hsld gds, furn, boxes, account records Muriam Watkins: hsld gds, furn, boxes, tools, applnces, TV/Stereo Equip, accnt rcrds Tywanna Ferguson: hsld gds, furn, boxes.

Pretty monotonous right? Some people actually do read the public notices to get an idea of what is inside the storage units before the auction. But, once you have been doing this for a while, you realize that it is a gigantic waste of your time. I say this for a few different reasons.

1. Over half of the units advertised in the legal notice will not go to auction because the tenants will get current on their payments before the auction begins. Nothing is more frustrating than getting excited about a unit and then finding out that the owner paid the bill just minutes before the auction begins. It happens a lot.

2. The person doing the inventory does not enter the unit, open boxes or move things in order give a better description of the contents. This is why the descriptions are so vague.

3. We do the research for you, that's what were here for. Whenever there is a unique or valuable item in a unit, we list it in bold print. If there is nothing listed, it means that the storage facility did not list the specific contents in each unit or that the unit contains any of the following common items: furniture, appliances, electronics, household goods, clothing, tools, boxes, sporting goods, accounting records, etc. If there is a business unit for sale, and the contents aren't listed, we research the business for you, so you can get a better idea of what may be in the unit.

As far as trying to determine what could be in the unit beyond what one could see, research is most likely not going to help you. You will have to buy a lot of units to develop the skills and experience which will help you identify clues as to what may be inside the unit.

Yes, it is a common procedure to call the storage facility if you plan to attend the auction. Some people call the day before and some call the morning of the auction, but either way, it is strongly recommended that you call to make sure that the auction hasn't been cancelled. Also, this will give you an opportunity to speak with the property manager and you might even be able to get some inside information.

I hope this has been helpful and if you or anyone else has a question, feel free to post a reply or send me an email. Have a great day.

FAQ’s About Storage Auctions


Can I make money with storage unit auctions?

If you’re new to the storage auction scene, I’m sure your number one question is “can I make money doing this?” The answer is yes, but it comes with a catch. If you’ve seen the storage auction shows and it looks really easy to turn a thousand dollars into ten thousand in a matter of days, it’s not. Although these shows are entertaining, they do not depict the storage auction business in its true light. Now, I’m not saying you cant make a good living doing this, I’m just saying that the “dream units” they show on television are quite rare. You might have to buy 50-100 units for before a really good one comes along. Most storage units contain common household items like clothing, furniture, decorations, sporting goods, electronics, appliances, lawn equipment, tools & toys. The good news is, you can make a healthy profit reselling items like these, especially in a down economy where people are looking to save money. As long as you’re bidding conservatively, you can expect to double or even triple your investment on each unit. If you’re buying several units per month, that can really add up.


How often do storage auctions occur?

A lot of people are surprised when they realize that there are multiple storage auctions occurring almost every day of the week. There are usually several auctions being conducted in a typical day. On average, each storage facility is selling the contents of 3-6 storage units, although seeing 20-30 for sale at one facility, is not at all uncommon. There is no shortage of storage units on the auction block, especially in a down economy.


Are there storage auctions on weekends?

In the cities we cover, there are usually 2-7 different storage facilities holding an auction on any given Saturday. Sunday storage auctions are very rare and when they do occur it is usually because of a misprinted date in the legal notice. A majority of the auctions do occur Monday through Friday, starting as early as 8:00 AM and sometimes lasting into the evening.


Who can attend storage auctions?

Storage unit auctions are open to the public and anyone can attend. Anyone above the age of 18 may purchase a storage unit. Children under 16 years of age are discouraged by some auctioneers and facilities due to the liability; although, this is rarely enforced. If you have children you would like to bring, it is a good idea to call the storage facility in advance to find out if they are allowed to attend.


Do I need a special license or permit to attend storage auctions?

There are no special licenses or permits 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 will need to obtain one or pay sales tax on any storage units that you buy.


What methods of payment are accepted at storage auctions?

Most self storage auctions are cash only and you don’t have time to go to the ATM after the storage auction is over. Checks are are not accepted. Some storage facilities do accept credit cards as a method of payment at their storage auctions; However, it is a good idea to call the storage facility for the specific terms and conditions of the storage sale. I have heard others say that using a credit card to buy a storage unit at auction is a bad idea. I personally feel that if you are financially responsible and being conservative on your bids, credit cards can be a great tool for getting started in the storage auction business. If you have plenty of cash, by all means, bring it. Nothing hurts worse than missing out on a great storage unit because you didn’t bring enough money with you.


Do the storage facility employees go through the units?

Storage facilities in the state of Texas are required to provide a brief description of the contents of the storage unit in the legal notice that they have published. Some storage facilities choose to ignore this as they do some of the other requirements in Chapter 59 of the Texas Property Code, but we won’t get into that at this time. Once the storage facility has made several attempts to contact the tenant for payment, with no success, they will cut the lock and usually inventory the contents of the storage unit based on what they can see from the door. Very rarely do they ever move things or open boxes. Should you be worried about this? Not really. Most storage facility managers & owners are very honest and respectable people. I’m sure there are a few bad apples, as there is in any business, that do enter the unit and remove the valuables before the auction. However, if you are only bidding on what you can see from the door, what may have been removed from the unit will not effect you.

FAQ’s About Our Service


Steve asked: How do I know you have ALL the storage auctions in my area?

That’s a great question. We actually call over 3000  storage facilities every 2 weeks in order to provide you with the most reliable and up to date information available. We provide every storage auction listing that the newspapers do in addition to storage auctions that you cannot find on any other website. Not all newspapers publish their public notices online, especially newspapers in suburban and rural areas. Since we call the storage facilities on a regular basis, we are able to provide you with the schedule for these hard to find storage auctions.

I guarantee you that we provide the most comprehensive storage auction schedule available. None of our competitors even come close. To this date, we have had thousands of storage auction buyers join our service and I’m proud to tell you that we have never been asked for a refund.

Give us a try, if your not totally pleased with our service, I’ll refund your money.


When is the auction list updated?

The auction list is updated every Saturday evening, sometimes as late as midnight depending on the size of the auction lists. Rest assured, we have never missed our deadline.


Once I join, how do I get the auction lists and the e-book?

Once you become a member, simply click on the red login button that is in the upper right hand corner of the page. Once you enter your email address and password, you will have instant access to the auction lists and the e-book.


What is your coverage area?

Our service provides the storage auction schedule for all storage facilities within the Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin areas. Click here for more detailed information.


How does get it's storage auction information?

Our call center directly contacts over 3000 self storage facilities, bi-monthly, in order to provide you, the storage auction buyer, with the most up to date listings of every storage auction event occurring within our coverage area. We provide the name, address & phone number of the storage facility, the time and date of the storage auction and the number of units scheduled for public sale at the time the information was collected. The storage auction information is then presented to you in an easy to read, printer friendly, spreadsheet format.


FAQ’s About Making A Payment

making payment

What are the differences in you membership plans?

At, we provide the most comprehensive storage auction list available. Considering the wealth of information that we provide, our rates are extremely affordable.

Our free trial then $12.99 monthly subscription is a great option. You can try out the site with no strings attached. If want to continue your membership, you don't have to do a thing. If you want to cancel, you can do so at any time. This membership allows you to save a few bucks and you don't have to remember to renew every month. We bill you monthly for as long as you would like to remain a member. You may cancel at any time.

For those of you who would prefer to not have their credit card billed every month, we offer a one month only option for $14.99. In this plan, you are only charged once. After 30 days, our system will prompt you to renew your membership.

Our annual membership for $89.99 is the most cost effective plan we offer. This is the best option for someone who is serious about attending auctions. This plan averages out to only $1.60 per week. By selecting this option, you will be saving 50% off our regular monthly rates.

Can I Join If I Don’t Have A Bank Account Or Credit Card?

Yes, you can. You can purchase and use a prepaid debit card to make a payment. You can also create and add money to your PayPal account with MoneyPak. MoneyPak allows you to enjoy the benefits of PayPal without using a credit card or bank account. Pick up a MoneyPak at over 40,000 retailers for a service fee of $4.95 or less. Details

If you have a PayPal account, you can use it to make payment instantly or pay by eCheck using your bank routing and account numbers; However, e-checks can take up to 3 days to clear and our system will not allow access to our secure members area until PayPal confirms the funds have been released.

Can I Pay By Check Or Money Order?

Yes, you can. We do accept checks and money orders for annual memberships only. ($89.99). Please contact us by email for mailing instructions. Your account will be activated when payment has been received.

Need Assistance?

If you experience any difficulty while creating your account or making a payment, please contact us and we will be glad to help.