Storage Auction Tips: 10 Things to Know Before You Go

1 Comment(s) | Posted | by Norm Kotoch, Jr. |

Storage Auction TipsHave you ever attended a storage auction? For those who enjoy the thrill of finding something new, bidders can discover a whole world of unique and interesting things in abandoned units.

We’ve recently updated the Storage Auctions page on our website with upcoming auctions, and took the opportunity to gather a collection of questions and resources for your first (or next) auction.

10 Commonly Asked Questions

1.     Can I look through the unit first? Most facilities do not allow auction goers to enter the unit for safety reasons. However, you can usually view contents from the unit’s doorway, or check with the facility beforehand to see if they post unit contents on their website.

 2.     Can I just purchase a few items from a unit? Units are auctioned off as just that—a whole unit. When you place a bid, you’ll be responsible for the unit's contents in its entirety.

 3.     How do I bid on a unit?  Auctions can either be live or silent. At Security Self Storage, we hold silent auctions, where the bidder marks down a bid after viewing the unit and turns it in. The bids are then reviewed, and the highest bidder is notified on-site.

 4.     Is there an age requirement? You must be 18 years of age or older to bid on a unit. However, guests 16 and up can attend.

 5.     Do I have to put down a deposit? Cash deposits are usually required to hold the unit for the bidder. In the case that the bidder does not fully remove all items or does not return, the facility has the necessary funds to clean out the unit. If the bidder does vacate on time, they’ll receive the deposit back.

 6.     How much will the deposit be? A deposit can range from twenty to a couple hundred dollars, depending on the facility. We require a $100 deposit.

 7.     What does a unit typically sell for? This depends on the size of the unit, as larger units usually have more items in them. This can also vary from under one hundred to over one thousand.

 8.     How do I pay? You’ll likely need cash for both the deposit and unit payment.

 9.     Will the facility provide transportation? Bidders who win the unit auction must provide their own transportation for the contents.

 10.  How long do I have to remove contents?  Check with the facility, as this can vary by location. At Security Self Storage, we prefer to have the unit cleared the day, but are willing to work with buyers. You can also choose to rent the unit for an additional month to make the proper pick-up arrangements.

Look for Hidden Treasures

Like garage sales or antique hunting, storage auctions are great opportunities to search for unusual items that you might not otherwise come across. It’s a good idea to prepare yourself beforehand with what to expect, especially if you haven’t been to an auction before. Even if you leave empty-handed, you’re sure to have a unique experience.

Check out our schedule of storage auctions for more information, which are hosted at our five Northeast Ohio facilities.


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  1. Jeff Curtis's avatar
    Jeff Curtis
    | Permalink
    I have been considering going to a storage unit auction for a while now. Thanks for the good questions and answers. I didn't know that every unit was auctioned off as the entire unit. It is good to know that if you win the auction, you are in charge of transportation for the items you have won. Thanks for the help!

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