Believe it or not, self-storage units have been known to hide "treasure". Why else would people pay top dollar to purchase a storage unit? After a 30 to 60 day waiting period, storage facilities normally auction off the owner's locker in order to pay for their rent deficit. However, auctioneers do not let buyers inspect the merchandise before the bidding takes place, creating an environment similar to the risk-taking within gambling. In order to experience a successful self-storage auction, be sure to follow these tips:
1. Based on experience, auctions tend to reach overpriced numbers in the morning. In other words, be patient. If you attend a morning auction, let the other clueless folks bid and overpay, while you sit in the back with a smile on your face knowing that you're one step ahead of the game.
2. Always stick to your budget and avoid overspending. What is the point of an auction? People compete against each other to pay more, which is fine if you have the money, but detrimental if you don't. Of course, you can have a good time and enjoy the upbeat environment of an auction, but don't get carried away. If it's your first auction, use what you experienced as a tool to help you with your next auction. In other words, think first, pay last.
3. Let go of your pride. Do not try to start or participate in a bidding war. Unless you have the financial wealth, you are basically screwing yourself into the ground. Most people think an auction is a game, but how wrong they are; it is a business forum to help you profit, not how high you can pay.
4. Carry a pen and paper, a laptop, or any device that records during auctions. The human brain tends to slip up and forget essential information, but a recording device will help you jot down locations, the best prices, the highest bids, etc. Put it on record, so you don't forget. Forgetful people can never be one step ahead of their competitors.
5. For obvious reasons, it feels awesome to attend an auction where the bidding is lower, but don't forget about quality. Remember, usually as prices go down, so does the quality. Since quality is essential to profit, in addition to the price, find an auction that provides a fair balance between the two.
6. Don't be one of those people who do things spontaneously; this tactic does not work for any auction, especially self-storage auctions. Plan ahead! I cannot stress that enough. Due to the nature of self-storage auctions, any of these auctions can be cancelled the night before or the day of. Someone might not have paid self-storage rent for 30 days, but paid the full amount back (with interest or late fees) right before the auction. Make sure to have a back-up plan to avoid wasting time and transportation fees. Another option is to get close with an auctioneer. Auctioneers sometimes to 10 different locations in one day, so simply ask them if the next auction is cancelled or follow their route.
Click on this link to watch a Youtube video with live footage at the American Self-Storage Auction: American Self-Storage Auction