Every day on SelfStorageAuction.com, we host numerous self-storage auctions for storage facilities all across North America, and countless bidders arrive online to try to outmuscle other bidders from the storage locker they are most keen on. But how do you choose the right locker to bid on with so many to choose from? How do you choose one that is going to have contents you want within a bidding price-range you can afford? And how do you find all that at a facility that you can access easily in order to retrieve anything you do win?
Some lockers being auctioned, when you’re lucky to stumble upon them quickly, are an easy pick (although that probably means the competition for it is fierce as well), but often, selecting an auction can take time before actually placing a bid, and the most exciting part doesn’t start until you place a bid of course. At SelfStorageAuction.com, we want to help you get to the exciting part sooner, so with that in mind, we’ve compiled the following guide to help you make quick and informed decisions on selecting a storage unit worth bidding on.
Being prepared means knowing what you want; it means knowing what you’re looking for in a locker. There are a few types of bidders out there, and they all need to be prepared in their own ways.
If you’re looking for specific items for your personal (or business) use, such as a living room set, then you must focus your efforts on locating potential storage lockers with those items inside only. Don’t be distracted by items that aren’t on your shopping list, in other words.
If you’re looking to resell items, then you’re looking more for value than you are any particular item, and you need to stick to that plan. Don’t be caught over-bidding on lockers with great contents, but contents with a value that fails to match the unit’s cost.
Of course, you could simply be window shopping, and being unprepared in this scenario is part of the allure of your process – but there is still preparation, as, at the very least, you should be prepared with a budget, knowing how much you are willing to spend and adhering to the limit. The same of course stands for the other examples. How much are you willing to spend on a living room set, or how much are you willing to spend to satisfy the inventory of your resale business? Come with as much of a plan as you can: be prepared.
The plan you come with will help keep you from being distracted from the real reason why you are at the auction – and it will also help speed up your process. No living room set in the locker? Then onto the next unit. Similarly, if you are viewing an auction that has already begun, and the bid is already beyond your budget, then move on.
Consider the facility first
Another way to speed things up is to begin your search by taking your time to know the facilities available to choose from. Sure, you want the facility to be within a reasonable driving distance (in the event you win a locker), but think of the facility’s location from a different perspective: is what’s stored inside a facility, and its value, affected by the facility’s location?
Not always, but certainly if a facility is closer to a more affluent neighbourhood, then the odds of its contents being of higher value are increased. Most tenants rent storage units nearby where they live or work, so knowing the facility’s neighbourhood can be advantageous to uncovering the type of unit you are looking to bid on. Likewise, a storage facility in an industrial area is more likely to have lockers with tools and heavy machinery than a facility with a residential area, so looking into auctions at such facilities first makes sense if you are hunting for equipment.
Once you’ve done your homework, prepared a plan, and figured out where to begin your search, it’s really about how well you read the images the facility provides online for you. Here are some of our favourite tips to keep in mind while investigating storage units up for auction:
Furniture wrapped in padding or plastic wrap often indicates furniture worth protecting, so while you cannot see it, it is reasonable to think it is of decent quality.
Some items naturally come in sets, so the sofa that peaks out above from the back you can only see the bottom of is a likely match to the upholstered chair near the front that you can see.
Old boxes are not simply dirty – they could be old because they contain something worth saving for a while. Old indicates items that have been stored in the space for quite some time, and tenants only pay rent for a long time if the contents are worth it.
Similar to the last point, dust and cobwebs mean that items have not been disturbed for some time, and that the tenants have therefore been renting for some time. Old is generally good.
Organization is often a good sign as well. If contents are tossed in haphazardly, then they could not have cared much for those contents. If they’re neatly arranged or stacked together, then someone cared about the contents.
Take clues for items you can’t properly see from items you can see. If the locker appears to have a theme, such as fishing, camping, and outdoor recreational gear, then there is a reasonable possibility other items could include tools, collectibles, or cottage equipment.
Bidding on storage auctions is a huge amount of fun, but it is always most enjoyed when you are able to win lockers that provide you with the value you are looking for. At SelfStorageAuction.com, we aim to provide you with the most enjoyable storage auction experiences, which is why we wanted to share these storage auction tips with you.
Now that you’re armed with the right knowledge to get your auction game going, head over to our registration page to complete your free SelfStorageAuction.com profile, and start bidding on lockers in no time!