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.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Two questions. First I found a computer in the storage unit, and would like to contact the vendor and get the software package that was initially installed on the machine. Have there been any problems doing this other than stolen items? How can one find out if an item is stolen or leased?

    Second, one of the units contained a considerable amount of original art. I have tried to contact the artist, but may have difficulty. If my research into copyright law is correct, I cannot take pictures of the art and put it on eBay or publicly display the art such as you would do at an art gallery. Has anyone a suggestion that might help.

    Any ideas are appreciated

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