How Online Storage Auctions Work: Your Guide To Great Bids

online storage auctions

What Are Online Storage Auctions?

An online storage auction is an auction involving defaulting automatic storage units. Typically, tenants fall behind in their payments or leave items behind causing a default. Each state requires a certain amount of delay before the unit can be auctioned, typically within 30 to 90 days.

Defaulting storage units are then auctioned for the highest bidder to recover the rental fees the storage company has lost. All items are sold in bulk like the entire unit, not sold separately. With the mass price of the units, their chances of making a profit are high, leading thousands of people to participate.

How Do Online Storage Auctions Work?

Regardless of which site you choose for your first bid, online storage auctions are similar across the board. When you start your search for the first time, you’ll notice a few things about each drive listing right away:

A selection of photos: Each listing will include a photo of the storage drive or maybe even some, depending on the contents of the drive.
Remember that the storage drives that are full will include content that you cannot see. This is why it is important to read the listing carefully before bidding.

A time limit: Each auction will only last a certain period of time. This time limit varies according to the website and the wishes of the storage company.

Description: Each unit will have a description of what appears to be included in the listing. The auction company or storage company will do its best to communicate an accurate representation of what is available.

Location: The location of the storage unit will always be listed with the company name. Some sites also include the storage company’s time schedule so that you can guarantee withdrawal.

Capture time limit: You only have a certain amount of time to clean your storage drive. This varies depending on the company of the storage drive and most is only 48 to 72 hours after purchase.
Some other things to keep an eye on are a cleaning deposit, the size of the drive and the value of the current bid. During the auction, bidders will bid and withdraw until the auction ends and a winner receives the unit.

Bidding for the First Time

First thing first, you need to choose a platform or a website. Most sites require you to sign up before bidding. After that, you’re ready to go.

When searching for a drive, be sure to re-check the location and content to ensure it’s exactly what you’re looking for; there’s no way back after you buy a storage drive. Once you find a drive that you’re happy with, you’re ready to make your first bid.

Most auction bids occur in increments each time, which means that you cannot place a bid that is only $1 higher than the previous bid. Most sites require a minimum bid of $10. You can stick around and bid manually or you can choose to place a proxy bid, that is, set a maximum bid and the system bids to keep it at the top until it reaches your maximum bid. Setting a proxy bid allows you to continue with your daily tasks without checking the auction too often.

You will continue to bid until you reach the maximum or until you win the unit. In case of your win, you will need to take the necessary steps to pick up your items and pay for your unit. Most companies will require a cash payment at installation; however, some allow you to pay with a debit or credit card.

Be sure to pay for your unit in a timely manner. You run the risk of losing your unit if you don’t pay on time.

Before you visit the facility, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Call first: Call the facility so they know when to wait for you. Make sure you are there before the time limit.

Bring some tools: You will want to bring garbage bags, gloves and other cleaning tools to help you move your items. Boxes are a great idea too!

Bring a truck or trailer: You will have many items to pack and take with you. Be sure to bring a truck or trailer with plenty of space.

Bring a padlock: If you need to leave and come back later, you’ll need to lock your unit.

Online storage auctions are a great way to find some amazing bids without participating in a physical auction.


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