Category - Storage Auctions 101

Should Children Be Allowed To Attend Storage Auctions?


As storage auctions gain in popularity, they begin to draw a wider audience than its usual clientele. Auctions are more crowded than ever, and it's becoming much more common for families to attend auctions together. In some cases, parents even allow their children to bid on units as a lesson in money management and responsibility.

While bringing your kids to a storage auction isn't illegal, some auctioneers, storage facilities and other bidders may frown upon it. Before choosing to bring your children to an auction, it's a good idea to understand the pros and cons.

Benefits of Bringing Children to Auctions:

  • You don't have to worry about arranging childcare and can spend all day at the auction if necessary
  • Your older children can help you clean out the unit and load merchandise
  • Auctions give you an opportunity to teach your kids about responsibility or even help them make their own money with a small resale business

Drawbacks of Bringing Children to Auctions:

  • Many storage facilities do not allow children on their premises due to liability concerns. Their insurance policies might not cover accidents, so they'd want to reduce the likelihood of accidents by forbidding children or requiring them to be closely watched.
  • Many fellow bidders may disapprove of children at auctions because they can disrupt the proceedings.
  • Younger children might slow you down and make if difficult to get your unit cleaned and all of the items loaded and removed from the unit.
  • Auction hunting is often long, exhausting work. You'll be on your feet for several hours and may need to endure hot weather or other inconveniences that your children may not be prepared for.

It's best to check with the auctioneer in advance whenever possible to see if there will be any issues with bringing your kids to the auction. If in doubt, it might be a good idea to find someone to watch your children while you're bidding, at least the first few times you scope out a fresh auction. As you get more comfortable with the storage facility, auctioneers and fellow bidders, you might feel more comfortable bringing your entire family.

So, how do you feel about children being at storage auctions? Leave your interesting and creative responses in the comments section below.

Storage Auction Forums: A Resource for Newbies and Veterans Alike

Storage Auction Forums

The Online Storage Auctions Forum is the web's largest storage auction community, and it has over 4,000 active users and nearly 35 thousand posts. Many of these users come and go, but a core population remains to discuss the nitty gritty reality of the storage auction and resale lifestyle. If you're involved in storage unit auctions and want to learn more as a beginner or share your experience as a pro, is an invaluable resource for news, information and socialization.

There are obvious benefits in joining the forum when you're an auction newcomer:

-- You can ask the questions you're too embarrassed to ask in person

-- You can do research in advance and save yourself the trouble later

-- You can figure out and emulate the habits of successful resellers

-- You'll find links to other resources and information that can help you become a pro

The "Noobie Center" is one of the most active places on the forum and for good reason. Many newcomers join just to ask questions here before going on their way; others stick around to provide their own insight to fellow newbies as they gain more experience.

Of course, newbies aren't the only ones who can benefit from the forum. Most of the regular membes who check in frequently are long-time storage auction veterans, and they've discovered the many benefits of using this forum:

-- You can share advanced tips and tricks with other users

-- You can catch the first glimpse of industry news and gossip

-- You can network with other buyers and sellers

-- You get the satisfaction of showing newbies the ropes

Being a long-term member, you're bound to make friends and start to establish as your "home" on the Internet. Because the forums cover so many topics, you're sure to find something to interest or surprise you, even if you consider yourself a well-seasoned professional.

The forum covers multiple topics of interest to auction-goers, including places to share auction experiences, discuss weird and wacky finds, and show off your best discoveries. You can also take advantage of our knowledgeable network of members to get information about auction questions that you may be unfamiliar with, like how vehicles are handled at an auction or what to expect at your first shipping container sale. There's even sections dedicated to reality TV and storage auction news so you can stay on top of the newest developments.

One of the most valuable resources offered by the forum is the opportunity to network with other buyers and sellers. Local forums for regions across the U.S. and around the world provide a way to meet others in your area, and sections of the forum are devoted to every kind of sales method imaginable from Craigslist to flea markets. You might even find a buyer among the fellow forum-goers looking to add to his collection!

What Can You Find at a Storage Auction?

Find Storage AuctionBy now, you’ve probably guessed that the reality shows like Storage Wars and Auction Hunters are exaggerated and fictionalized. The odds of coming across an incredibly rare artifact, signed one-of-a-kind memorabilia or historically significant document in a storage unit are pretty low, although such things do occasionally happen and tend to make headlines when they do. Just because you’re not likely to become a millionaire from the contents of a single storage unit, though, doesn’t mean it’s not worth attending an auction. Smaller items can and do add up, and storage units can be filled with a number of valuables if you know what to look for.

The type of items stored in a facility will depend in part on the neighborhood the unit is in. People store things for many reasons, and their reasons might affect what they’re keeping inside. For example, if the storage unit is in a common vacation town, it might belong to someone who summers there rather than living there full-time. If so, it might be filled with more sporting, fishing, hunting or other specialty equipment than housewares. Storage units in Hollywood do have a higher chance of holding celebrity memorabilia, although don’t get your hopes up too much.

Most of the time, the items you find will be more mundane. There are a few main reasons people get storage units:

-- They’re moving and need a place to keep things while they’re settling in.

-- They moved from a bigger house to a smaller one and need extra space.

-- They’re undergoing a divorce or other life change and need to keep their items tucked out of the way.

-- They simply have too much stuff to keep in their home.

Of course, for a storage unit to come up on auction, it must be abandoned. The tenant must have ceased paying rent; the auction can only proceed if no other method of settling the debt is available. Units are abandoned for several reasons:

-- The tenant passed away.

-- The tenant went to prison, was deployed or otherwise had to leave his belongings in the care of relatives, who forgot about them.

-- The tenant fell on hard times financially and couldn’t afford to make rent.

Most of the time, there are a few items you can count on being in some or all of your units: furniture, small appliances, electronics, household items and clothes. Antiques, artwork, office equipment and tools are also not uncommon. All of these can be resold if you’re patient. Some of the more valuable items can be sold individually on Craigslist or eBay; smaller items are better sold in bulk at a yard sale. Other common items, like tax records and family photos, pop up in most storage units. These can often be left with the facility manager to be returned to the tenant if he ever comes back looking for them.

The tenant’s circumstances will affect what type of things you’ll find in a unit. A unit rented by an elderly man with a lot of extra belongings and no heirs will look very different from one rented by college student who couldn’t afford her rent. This element of suspense is what makes this sort of modern treasure-hunting so exciting. So approach your first few auctions with an open mind and you might be surprised by the types of treasures you might find.

Storage Auctions

Storage Unit Auction

Storage Unit AuctionIf you’ve never attended storage unit auctions in the past, you may be uneasy about your first auction. Understanding how they work can prevent you from being nervous and set you on the right path for success. Storage auctions aren’t difficult to understand, but they can be a little intimidating at first. Here’s what you need to know:

-- Storage unit auctions happen when a tenant fails to pay the rent for his unit. After the facility attempts to contact the delinquent tenant, the unit is put up for sale. The sale must be advertised publicly and auctioned to the highest bidder.

-- Most storage facilities save their delinquent units to sell them all at once to reduce hassles and maximize bids.

-- Storage facilities aren’t out to profit from auctions. Most are lucky to break even. They mostly just want to empty out the unit so that they can start renting it out to someone else.

-- When you arrive at the auction, you’ll have the chance to look inside the unit, but you can’t enter it. Bring a flashlight so you can see what you’re looking at.

-- Bidding will start after everyone’s had a chance to see the unit, and it’ll continue until no higher bids are placed. This can take a while if there’s a lot of people there or if the unit is particularly attractive.

-- If you have the high bid, you’ll need to pay the auctioneer after the bidding. Be sure to bring cash as checks and credit cards are not accepted.

-- After you win the unit, you’ll have about 48 hours to empty it out, so be sure you have somewhere to store your items.

Once you get down the basics of storage unit auctions, perfecting the art of bidding takes a bit of time and practice but it’s not difficult. Your biggest goal is to research the type of items you’re likely to find and figure out what will sell for the most on the resale market. Once you know what an item is worth, you’ll be able to keep your bidding in line to maximize your profits.

Online Storage Auctions

Storage Online AuctioneersIf you've been in the storage auction and resale business for long, you've probably heard about online storage auctions, at least in passing. These auctions are the newest trend in resale, and they're growing in popularity as people learn about their convenience and take full advantage of them. If you've never taken part in an online auction, though, you may be reluctant to try it out. Fortunately, it's easy to participate in an auction -- and it costs nothing aside from the cost of the winning bid itself.

How Online Auctions Work

Online self storage auctions take place when a unit is photographed and placed on a site where bidders can view the unit and make bids. The bidding process is similar to eBay and other online auction sites. At the end of the auction, the bidder exchanges money with the person auctioning off the unit, and goods change hands.

Until recently, online auctions were prohibited in many states due to lien laws. Now those laws are being revised to allow facilities to put units for sale. Additionally, there are ways to sidestep the lien laws, such as running an online auction in tandem with a live auction. Finally, private sellers can take advantage of online auctions as well, so not every auction you see will be a lien sale.

Do Online Auctions Cost Anything to Attend

In terms of cost, this varies depending on what auction service you use. Some of the auction sites do charge fees to both buyers and sellers. They may collect a bidder's personal information and charge for each bid or transaction. Others may take a percentage off the top of the winning bid and pocket that money.

Not every site works that way, however, and you can save money by using a site with no overhead cost. The fastest-growing of these is, a site dedicated to developing online storage auctions without taking money from the pockets of buyers or sellers. acts as a mediator between buyers and sellers. It offers a platform for users to engage in auctions and purchase items, and it also enables users to leave feedback and participate in the world's largest storage auction community. It does not, however, collect any credit card information or otherwise charge its users.

San Antonio Storage Auctions

San Antonio Storage AuctionsThe first step to starting a resale business is finding merchandise to sell, and San Antonio storage unit auctions are a good place to begin your search. You never know what you might find within an abandoned storage unit, and you may be able to identify very profitable items. Before you can succeed with storage auctions, though, you’ll need to know where to find them.

San Antonio is a big city, and storage auctions in San Antonio occur year-round at all of the local storage facilities. One of the easiest ways to figure out when the next auction will be is to call the storage facilities themselves or check their websites. This will often yield an auction schedule that you can refer to when making your plans. However, not every facility has the time or patience to field these questions, so you might want to do some more independent research before giving it a try.

One good source for San Antonio storage unit auctions news is the local newspaper. By law, storage facilities have to advertise their auctions, so the paper will have plenty of notices. For best results, try to check a mixture of major city papers and smaller suburb papers. Some of the best auctions are those that haven’t been advertised very thoroughly.

Another option is to use an auction listing service for the state of Texas or the country. Be aware that country-wide services usually aren’t as thorough as state-based ones. You’ll probably need to sign up for an account and pay a subscription fee, but getting an accurate schedule without spending hours on independent research makes it well worth the cost. For the complete storage auction schedule for the San Antonio area, we recommend

Austin Storage Auctions

Austin Storage AuctionsAs the capitol of Texas and self-proclaimed center of “weird” in the state, Austin is diverse and unique. This makes it a great place to live but also an excellent destination for treasure hunters of all kinds looking to score interesting finds at storage auctions. Whether you’re a long-time Austin resident or just plan on visiting for a few auctions, the storage sales in the city shouldn’t be missed.

Of course, before you can plan to attend storage auctions in Austin, you’ll need to know where they’ll be held and at what time. Building a schedule of upcoming auctions is the first step to starting any auction-hunting or resale business. If you know where to look, you can find an auction happening every week in Austin, and knowing which of these will be worth your time will save you money and hassles.

When you start your search, you might want to try the facilities closest to you. Their convenience may mean that you’ll visit them often and develop a relationship with the facility owners, so it makes sense to attend auctions close to home. Keep a list of what facilities you see nearby and check to see if they have a website listing auction schedules. If not, consider calling the manager to get an idea of when auctions occur.

For auctions further from home, you have a few options. If you know of any auctioneers in the area, you can use their websites to find upcoming Austin storage auctions. You can also check local newspapers, both big and small, to find ads for sales. By law, storage facilities must post these ads in advance of the sale, so you should be able to get some details for a variety of units that way.

If you’d rather avoid the hassle of digging up all of this information on your own, there’s an easier way to find storage auctions in Austin. Use the services of an auction listing site like to gather information about upcoming auctions and plan your route. While many sites exist, most are national and offer limited results, so be choosy about what service you use. AuctionsTX is the largest and most comprehensive listing for Texas, and it provides its results in an easy-to-follow format that makes planning simple. If you’re looking to get serious about storage auctions, it’s a service that’s well worth investing in.

Fort Worth Storage Auctions

Fort Worth Storage AuctionsFort Worth storage auctions can be a rich source of used items for personal use or resale. Whether you’re looking to furnish your home or want to make some money selling on eBay, a storage auction can be a great place to start. Before you begin treasure-hunting, though, you’ll need to know where to look for storage auctions in Fort Worth.

By law, all storage facilities must advertise their auctions in a public space. Traditionally this means a local newspaper, but facilities are increasingly relying on virtual communication methods, like posting auction schedules on their websites. This means that there are multiple sources for auction information, and you may need to try several options before settling on the best fit for your needs.

Scouring local newspapers is a good place to start. Aside from the major Fort Worth and Dallas papers, you’ll also want to look in some of the smaller local publications. This is because ads are cheaper in small papers, and storage facilities may not have the budget necessary to advertise in the biggest papers. Looking at a variety of news sources will maximize your odds of finding good sales.

A more direct option would be to contact the storage facility directly. Most facilities hold auctions on a regular schedule, such as monthly or biannual auctions. Calling the manager and asking about upcoming auctions can give you up-to-date information. Bear in mind however that Fort Worth is home to many facilities, so this can become very time-consuming if you don’t limit your inquiries to only those facilities closest to you. Additionally, facility managers are busy and may not welcome your call, especially if the information is posted somewhere more accessible.

With increasing frequency, storage facilities and auctioneers alike are posting their auction schedules online. Before calling any facility, check the website. You might also want to check the website or social media profile of any auctioneers you might know of in the Fort Worth area. This will help you to find Fort Worth storage auctions.

A more efficient method of finding storage auctions in Fort Worth is to utilize an auction listing service like the one on These services gather data on every auction in an area and provide it to you in a simple, easy-to-read format that can be immediately put to use. AuctionsTX is particularly valuable as it’s based in Texas and offers only auction information for that region, so it can be the largest and most thorough site of its kind. By relying on their staff, you can trim the time you spend preparing for auctions and focus instead on the fun part: Attending the auction and finding yourself some treasures.

Dallas Storage Auctions

Dallas Storage AuctionsIf you’re new to the storage auction business, you may not be sure where to get started. Dallas is a large city filled with a number of storage facilities, and each one of these has its own auction schedule and quirks. Trying to keep track of all of that information while hunting for a promising auction can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, there are a few tools at your disposal when it comes to finding storage auctions in Dallas. Your first option is the most direct: Speak to the storage facility manager or review the facility’s website. This is an especially good idea if you live near the facility and plan to attend its auctions frequently. Most storage facilities hold auctions on a regular schedule, so once you get into the rhythm it should be easy to attend the sale each time. Check the website first; if it has no auction information, try calling the manager to get an idea of when the next sale might be.

Instead of getting your information from the storage facility, your other direct option would be to get information from a local auctioneer. Most auctioneers post auction schedules on their websites, and following where an auctioneer will be working next to lead you to a good sale. Of course, Dallas is home to many auctioneers, and if you follow just one, you might miss out on some great opportunities.

Your best bet for finding storage auctions in Dallas is to keep an eye out for notices as they’re posted in local newspapers. Better yet, use a service to do that work for you. With so many auctions taking place throughout the Dallas area and so many papers to keep track of, you’d spend a lot of time trying to follow them all on your own. An auction listing service does the hard work and provides the results to you in a simple, easy-to-read format.

Many auction listing services claim to give great results, but AuctionsTX is the biggest and most complete directory of storage auctions in Texas. By focusing purely on Texas, the site is able to deliver its utmost attention to auctions throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and other major Texas cities. The result is a thorough listing of auctions that you can use as the blueprint for your Dallas storage auction plans.