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4 Tips to Survive Your First Storage Auction

October 12, 2016

Storage Wars is one of those TV shows people will sit down to watch for hours. If you’ve heard about any storage auctions in your area you wanted to go to, you should probably brace yourself for reality before you go. It won’t actually be like how you see on TV. Yes, there can be some bantering back and forth between a couple people over a unit, but not in the manner the professionals do it in. If you’re planning on attending an auction or just want to know more about the process, here are 5 tips to prepare you for a real self-storage auction. 

Don’t Expect to Always Find Treasure

On TV, it’s not a success unless they make a massive profit. While occasionally you might discover something of value, don’t expect it. Just be grateful if it does happen. And if you do find some things of value, even if it’s something small, do your research on the best places to sell those items to get the most money out of what you bought. Otherwise, you may end up getting stuck with a yard sale selling it all off for a quarter.

Bring a Flashlight

As you’ve seen on TV, you aren’t allowed to step foot into the unit before the bidding starts. All you get to do is peer inside. That’s where your flashlight comes in handy. Shine it into all the dark corners and see what you can find. Also, don’t forget to use your nose. If the owner of that unit was a smoker, you may not want their belongings to stink up your house, car, or garage—wherever you temporarily decide to store everything.

Return Personal Items

If you happen to find personal items in your unit, such as someone’s wedding pictures or a “baby’s first Christmas” item, it’s common courtesy to return those items. Remember, it’s not that the owner didn’t want those things. They just didn’t have the money to keep paying rent on the unit. They likely wouldn’t have remembered about such family treasures, considering one may only pull such things out occasionally. When you find these types of things, return them to the facility manager who will have the contact information of the owner to return them. 

Be Prepared to Wait

Also unlike TV, you can’t start unloading your unit while the auction keeps going. You typically have to wait until the end of the business day to start clearing out the unit. That extra time will let you get prepared to unload however much there is in the unit. Going into an auction, you don’t know how much you’ll end up with. That’s why it’s best to wait until after the auction to worry about how to take the stuff home. 

If you’re looking for a storage auction to get involved in, come see us at U-Lock-It Storage in Madison, AL. Just call us at (256) 373-5495 for information on when our next auction will take place!