Bidding on storage units can garner a lucrative amount of extra income for the careful bidder. There are storage auction sales for used police department vehicles, governmental agency office supplies, and assortments of used furniture from individual storage businesses. The average storage auction sells the contents of storage containers when the owner is unable to make payments on the monthly fee. Some agencies use storage facilities simply as way to preserve space at their main locations. When the contents of these storage containers are no longer needed, an official may request to hold an auction of the contents to recoup the cost of the storage along with a small amount of the original items' value.
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Things you need
- List of storage auction locations
Perform a search for auctions located in your area (See the Resources section of this article). It is best to pick a location that is within a short driving distance. Most auctions require the participants to register their names and addresses.
Visit a location before the auction date and get a feel for the way the auction operates. Auctioneers are known for their fast-talking selling techniques, so be cautious and preview all the items before registering, if possible.
Arrive on the auction date at least two hours in advance. This will allow you time to view all the items and ask questions about items you might want to bid on, as well as glean any details that were not explained on your first visit. Be sure to register before bidding.
Attend the auction with a trusted friend. This will help you to avoid impulse buying or getting caught up in the excitement of the bidding process. Bid on items that you have thoroughly researched and that still have their original warranties, when available. Read shopper guides to determine whether a quoted price is a good value.
Arrange to pay for your items using a check or a credit card. Avoid using cash when possible. This may give you a way to return an item should you find that it is defective. Be aware that most auctions have a "no return" policy in place. Most items are usually sold "as is".
Tips and warnings
- Some auctions charge a fee for registering to bid on items. This fee is usually nonrefundable.
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- N.N. (n.d.) "About Self Storage Auctions". Retrieved Dec. 28, 2009 from www.storageauctions.com
- Vellequette, Larry. (July 30, 2008). "Speculators bid on items in unpaid storage units". Retireved Dec. 28, 2009 from www.scrippsnews.com
- N.N. (n.d.) "Mini Storage Unit Auction Strategies". Retrieved Dec. 29, 2009 from www.mini-storage-auction.com