Storage Auctions

Storage Auctions

“Oh. You work at a Self Storage company? You must see a lot of crazy auctions, right?”


Over the past few years, there have been some very interesting and entertaining shows on cable centered around self storage auctions. I admit that I have seen them and there are a few characters/buyers that I cheer for more than others. Of course, my work is more aimed at helping people store their extra items, not having other people bid on them.


But sometimes, it happens. Some storage units remain past due or have been abandoned and in accordance with state self-storage lien laws, we need to clear them out to make way for new tenants. Enter: the auction.


If You Want to Participate in a Public Storage Auction

Typically, public auctions are scheduled once a month and are advertised in the local newspapers with as much info as possible. Approximately 15 minutes prior to the start of the sale, bidders must sign in and wait for the auctioneer to go over the rules.


Rules? What Rules?

Best to know the rules before you arrive. If you’ve seen any of the shows, you know that all bidders are not allowed to enter the unit or touch anything inside from the doorway. This is just one of many rules and auction etiquette for public storage auctions, including:


  • Bidders are bidding on the entire unit as a whole, not item by item.
  • The auction of each unit is open (not sealed bids).
  • Unit is sold to the highest bidder.
  • Winning bid must be paid in cash immediately.
  • A deposit may be requested by the site at their discretion until the unit is cleaned out.
  • The winning buyer is typically given 24-48 hours to clean out the unit or rent it under their name.
  • Vehicles are typically sold “for parts only”–we do not obtain a title to turn over to the winning buyer.
  • The buyer must return personal items (photos, legal documents, tax records, identification, etc.) to the rental office to return it to the tenant.
  • Any stored firearms must be turned over to local law enforcement.


Going, Going, Gone

Have you been to a storage auction? Any successes? Would you consider attending a public storage auction this year?


Jessica Johnson