Finding Better Storage Auctions



As a result of “reality-based” television shows covering storage auctions, public interest in them has skyrocketed. Large crowds of bidders are showing up at auctions that used to accommodate only one or two dozen buyers. This has caused a massive increase in the prices buyers are paying for storage units, which allows for thinner margins of profitability.

Below are some tips to help you locate and attend better storage auctions that may have a higher profit potential:

Profiling Units Prior to Auction

Some veteran buyers will scan the local newspapers to review the classified ad listings posted by the facilities that are holding auctions. In most states it’s legally required for these self storage companies to make a public announcement concerning their upcoming auctions. Often these announcements have the names and unit numbers of the storage lockers that are to be sold.

These buyers will use the Internet to quickly research background information on the names of the unit holders. If they find someone who is a doctor, lawyer, or business owner or someone who is otherwise successful, they will note the unit number and details to be recalled during the auction.

Selecting Auctions to Attend

In most cases, attending storage auctions in affluent areas with a higher cost-of-living will yield units that contain more profitable and easier-to-sell items. You will often find larger crowds and higher prices at these auctions; however, there may be a lot of very profitable units to be had, even with the higher costs.

Many veteran buyers believe that there are excellent units to be found in all areas, regardless of income or affluence levels. It’s important to remember to pass on units that don’t meet the criteria you’ve developed.

Locating Smaller Storage Auctions

It’s still possible to find smaller storage auctions where only a few to a dozen people are present. These may be more commonly found in out-of-the way places and in rural areas. Many smaller “mom and pop” self storage businesses advertise their auctions in obscure places, which can result in much smaller crowds and lower prices for good units.

A search on Google Maps for “self storage” should bring up nearly every facility in your area. Seek out the smaller, independently operated facilities and contact them directly via phone or email. Ask about their next scheduled auction and whether or not you can be put on an email list for notification.
 

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