Storage unit Auctions

Storage unit auctions can be a real crap shoot in some areas and some states depending on the auction laws and if the storage companies follow those laws. In most cases if the renter becomes over due on rent up to three months or more the units are locked by the company and the renter is sent a notice of sale at a specific time if the rent is not caught up. I have saw rent paid just before a auction began to save their valuables. The rental companies usually hold auctions every two or three months depending on the size of the company and how many units are past due.
Once the auction is set and the unit has been opened the person cannot claim their items unless they are willing to bid on them and in some states they are not allowed to even do this.

Where do I find out about storage units?
Storage auctions can be a treasure throve for the person who does their homework and spends time working up a routine for attending these auctions. I always keep a list of phone numbers of the local rental places and keep track of when they will be holding auctions. Usually they are held every three months in this area and there will be at least one each weekend or on a weekday evening. You have to watch the local newspapers for the smaller rental companies and then the ad will be a two or three line ad hard to find unless a auction company has the contract to work the auction and then the ads might be larger.
How does the storage unit auction work?
Try to be at the location of the auction at least thirty minutes early to make sure you are signed in and have a bidders number assigned by the auction company. Remember the renter still have an opportunity to pay up past due rent up to the start of the auction so there may less than advertised units to be auctioned. The units are normally auctioned off on at a time to the highest bidder. The larger the unit the higher the high bid depending on the contents. Each unit is opened and the bidders are allowed a few minutes to view the contents. Always keep a flashlight with fresh batteries whenever you take in a storage auction. The units are always dark inside and if you attend an evening auction there will be even less light available to view the contents. In some states the bidders will be allowed to step inside the units to inspect the contents but generally the bidders are not permitted inside and must make a quick inspect from the front of the unit. After you have made the high bid and won the unit the rental company usually requires the unit to be emptied within twenty-four hours and broom sweep clean. Everything must be removed from the storage property including all garbage. Always work with the storage company leaving clean empty units and this might help in getting longer times to remove the contents at later auctions. Of course you can rent the unit yourself on a monthly basis so always make sure you have a spare lock with you just in case you luck upon a large well filled unit you can't empty within the required time.
What can I find in storage units?
Storage units are usually rented by individual people for their personal belongings and of course there are businesses that rent the units for overstock and older equipment. You never know what is actually inside of the unit as you are only allowed to view the very front of the unit. The unit may be full of stacked boxes at the front so there is no way of knowing what is in the back of the unit. I have found complete households in the larger units and sometimes I find boxes of junk I have no choice but to pay to get rid of at a local dump. While making the initial inspection along with the other bidders look for certain signs that will let you know if the unit is worth bidding on. Are the contents stacked in a neat orderly fashion. Are the boxes taped and labeled. Has the large furniture been covered to prevent damage. Finding money, antiques, furniture, collectibles is not unusual and in some cases with complete households personal collections of odd sorts. I have found collections of knifes, beer cans, star wars and other collections. You never know what can be found in these units and this is what makes it so interesting. I once bought a complete photography shop with all the developing equipment plus cameras and film for less than three hundred dollars. Units full of garbage bags filled with what appears to be wearing apparel along with other boxes and items is not a good investment unless the unit sells really cheap.
Disposing of unit contents.
Sometimes the bidders fever can get you into real trouble when you bid on a unit full of furniture and you have no way of disposing of the larger items such as washer and dryer and other large furniture pieces. Always make sure you have an outlet for furniture before you bid, paying storage fees on what you buy eats up profit real fast. I move the larger pieces through fleamaket vendors at a reduced price to them. This allows me to buy the larger units and still get the collectibles and other pieces I can sell on eBay.
Links that may help

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