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In the United States, most self storage facilities hold
storage auctions or lien sales to vacate non-paying tenants
according to their enforcement rights that are outlined within the
laws of each state. In California there are 2900 plus self storage
facilities, out of these 2900 plus self storage facilities there are
an average 800 facilities that will hold a storage auction or lien
sale in any given month. Each site will have a different amount of
units or lots to offer for auction. We estimate that over
$3,000,000.00 changes hands at these 9,000 plus auctions a year.
These auctions are opened to the general public with most bidders’
buying for the purpose of reselling for profit. Storage auctions are
a great way to buy secondhand merchandise for pennies on the
wholesale dollar. If you are someone who sells at flea markets,
garage sales or on e-Bay, you will probably find storage auctions to
be one of your best sources for merchandise.
Does The Auction Work?
Be sure to arrive
10-15 minutes prior to a scheduled auction. Before the auction
starts, the self storage facility or auctioneer will have a sign in
sheet and a set of their company’s rules going over the terms and
conditions of the auction. Terms and conditions will vary with each
site. Most auctions are "live" or "verbal", very
few are silent (sealed bids). Cash is the acceptable form of payment
and sales tax will be charged if the buyer cannot show a valid
resale license and proper identification. Storage auctions are
very different then most types of auctions. Usually you are
bidding on the entire contents of a unit or lot. Units or lots are
usually viewed 1 by 1 with the viewing limited to the doorway
entrance of the storage unit or container. The bidding starts after
all bidders have had a viewing of the property. Bids sometimes start
out as low as $1.00 and can proceed upwards with the property being
sold to the highest bidder. Based on our experience average lots or
units seem to sale for under $300.00. Don't forget, the high bidder
must remove all contents of the unit purchased within the time
specified by the self storage facility. Facilities do not allow the
use of their garbage cans or dumpsters and units are expected
to be broom swept clean.
Can I Expect To Find?
You really never know what you will find. Most items are
general household goods, furniture, electronics, clothing and
personal records. Bidders do find money, jewelry, antiques and
collectibles at these auctions. It is not uncommon to find someone's
whole household or business in a unit, with that in mind, you never
know when you might stumble on someone's life collection of who
knows what! Remember you are usually viewing the property from
an open entrance into a storage unit or container; this means that
boxes and plastics storage containers can yield anything. Some units
are packed so tight that you won't have the luxury of getting a view
of the items that are behind what is blocking the entrance area.
Can I Find Out Where The Auctions Are Taking Place?
You can find out through various sources where storage
auctions take place. There are legal notices in newspapers, web
sites and auctioneers who all provide very limited schedules of self
storage auctions. By using all these sources it is impossible to
find out when and where all these auctions will be conducted.
Calling the different self storage companies will yield you the
highest results. For the last 10 years the best source for storage
auctions in California has been our monthly newsletter, California
Storage Auction News. We do all of the work for you, each month
we contact by phone over 1,000 different storage companies in
California. We also receive direct information from the auctioneers
as well as the self storage facilities that are conducting storage
auctions. Our newsletter is in an easy to read format, sent out
first class US mail with periodical e-mail updates.
Information Will Help Me Become Successful?
one day ahead.
auctions are subject to cancellation in the event of settlement
between the landlord and obligated parties!
Many delinquent tenants will wait to the very last moment to satisfy
their obligation. When you phone
the site to confirm that the auction is still going as scheduled,
inquire about how many potential lots or units might be going up for
auction, don't forget that it is still subject to change! If you
subscribe to California Storage Auction News you will
see days where there are 10, 20, 30 or 40 sites holding auctions
within a close drive of a geographical area. These are good
days to go out because it tends to thin out the crowds and potential
- If you are planning to earn good money with the storage
auction game, you need to be consistent! The more storage
auctions you attend, the better your percentages get with purchasing
units. With the amount of auctions listed in California Storage
Auction News you can sometimes view up to 70 units or lots a
day, your percentages of finding a good purchase gets much higher if
you have a chance to view more units! It's the old numbers game!
For less than twenty cents a day California Storage Auction
News will be your best investment for information needed in
finding storage auctions. There are no other required tools except
if you purchase a unit, most sites require the high bidder to use
their own padlock to secure the unit they purchased. Your second
best investment besides California Storage Auction News would
be a strong flashlight. Viewing the units or lots from the entrance
area is almost impossible to do without good strong flashlight.
Solve the Puzzles - The
way a lot or a unit looks can clue you into potential value. Add up
the total scenario; Is there name brand merchandise? Are the boxes
sealed and taped? Are the boxes sealed and re-taped? Do the boxes
appear to be purchased for storage or does it look like they came
from the back of your local grocery store? Are the boxes carefully
marked with content information? Do the boxes have a moving
company's name on them (professional movers can be expensive)?
Are there any addresses visible on any of the boxes or suitcases
that appear through out the unit (A Beverly Hills Address would be
interesting)? How is the condition and quality of the furnishings?
Does the furniture appear to be a complete household? Can you see
any ornate or antique looking furniture table legs? Is there a lot
of dust settled high on the contents of the unit, this could mean
someone has paid rent on the storage space for a several years. Have
a patent number chart to check ages if patent numbers
are visible. You can find a link to a Patent number date
chart in the blue section on the left side of this page.
Add up in your mind the total
dollar amount that you can see.
like an investigator!
5. Marketing and Sales -
When you start purchasing units it is a good idea to have a
solid marketing plan. We honestly believe that e-Bay is one the best
ways of selling your higher valued merchandise providing that it is
cost effective for shipping. Small classified newspaper ads will be
your best source for larger items such as couches, entertainment
centers, refrigerators, washer and dryers and household electronics.
Consider starting a rental business with the used appliances that
you find. If you DO NOT like to hold garage sales or sell at flea
markets, sale off the "flea market" property in bulk. If
you spend some time at the flea markets you can build a vendor list
of potential re-sellers. Knowing how to price used
merchandise, antiques or collectibles is very important. Analyze the
inventory thoroughly when you purchase a unit, it is easy to sell
used vase for $5.00 that is worth $500.00. Web-site auctions
like e-Bay and Yahoo often have current auction prices on items that
are exact or similar, these prices really do establish a current
market value and should help you establish a solid asking price for
your merchandise. If you cannot find an item at either of those two
auction sites, try using a Webferret. A Webferret provides a
handy and efficient way to find information on the Web by searching
a multitude of search engines all at one time. You can find a link
to a free Webferret in the blue section on the left side of this
here to watch a CBS segment on Auctions.
storage auction news assumes no liability, in the information
contained here. We recommend that buyers beware. If you use
this site, you do so at your own risk. All state and federal laws
apply and compliance is your responsibility. All state and
federal taxes that may apply are the your responsibility! All who
use this site agree to release California storage auction news from
any liability, from any cause whatsoever, and to indemnify and hold
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or arising from the use of this site which may be alleged to have
damaged any parties. By using or subscribing to our services, all
parties agree to this release and indemnification California storage
auction news. California storage auction news shall have the
right to suspend services to any person or persons at anytime, and
for any reason, without notice. Please e-mail us or call us with any
comments or suggestions or questions you may have.
Good luck and good hunting!