If a storage facility in your area is advertising an auction, you might consider going. The hope is always that you'll buy something of value for a super low price and be able to sell it for a profit! But successfully bidding at a storage auction is not always as straightforward as you might think. If you want to be successful, follow these tips.
Bring a flashlight.
Before the bidding starts, you'll typically only have a few minutes to quickly glance over what might be in a unit. Usually, this is done from a distance. Since the storage units are not always lit, you may have a hard time seeing what's inside if you don't bring your own flashlight to shine a little light on the situation.
Bring a lock.
Unless you plan on hauling everything in your purchased unit away immediately, you'll want to bring a sturdy lock along with you. This way, you can secure your newly owned unit with confidence that the old owner won't come back and try to take the things – which they might do if you just leave their lock in place.
Be prepared to pay in cash.
Storage auctions are a way for storage unit owners to make back at least a little of the money that they've lost to customers who stopped paying. They usually want to obtain these funds as seamlessly and efficiently as possible, so they don't often accept credit cards or checks. Plus, bringing along cash to spend will ensure you don't accidently pay more than you're willing to. If you only have $250 in cash, that's the most you can pay for a unit!
Don't get caught up in the excitement and over-bid.
Remember – you don't want to pay what the items are actually worth! If the bidding price is approaching what you estimate might be the actual value of the items, it's time to back off the bidding and let someone else take the items home. Storage auctions are only a good deal when you get a good price – not when you're overbidding because you just can't bear to see someone else win.
Bring a helper.
The process of bidding on storage units moves quickly. Bring along a helper, as they can help you see what's in each unit and decide if it's worth bidding. Two sets of eyes are better than one! They can also help keep you in check if you're tempted to over-bid.