4 Tips to Survive Your First Storage Auction


Have you ever watched Storage Wars or any of those other storage auctions on TV and wanted to be a part of the fun? There are storage units for sale all over the country. But of course, you'll want to make your first auction a good experience.

Here are 4 tips to survive your first storage auction.

1. Manage expectations

Buying storage units can be quite the lucrative business if done properly. Of course, you shouldn't expect to see the same profits that you see on television. But how do you make the most out of the experience?

Research the storage facility and the location to help manage expectations. Storage units in more affluent areas are more likely to have more expensive items. Other people will know this, too, so expect the bids to be higher than usual, too.

After you've done your research and bought a unit, be sure to examine the items carefully. Some people might miss treasures because they didn't pay close enough attention to what they bought. Research well so that you know what you have.

When you have found something valuable, take the time to sell it properly. Find a buyer who is willing to pay what your treasures are truly worth instead of selling it at the nearest pawn shop for quick cash.

Most importantly, do not expect to find expensive items in every single unit. You also want to remember the cost of moving the items in the unit and travelling to the unit. You also want to remember that these auctions can take a long time, so expect to wait. Bring drinks, snacks, and some sort of entertainment for while you wait.

2. Observe first
Storage auctions can be extremely exciting. Many people don't want to demonstrate patience and learn about auctions before they start bidding, but it's a great way to learn how to succeed.

Go to an auction or two simply to watch what happens and immerse yourself in the experience. Talk to the other people bidding to learn any tricks that they might have. Be mindful that it is a competitive environment and not everyone will be helpful and friendly. If you do find someone to teach you the ropes, speak up! Ask your questions and state your opinions. You might find that your new friend has an insight that you didn't consider.

Watching will also allow you to become familiar with the process when you do start bidding. If you look out of place or unfamiliar with the procedures, people might notice that and use it against you by up-bidding a unit or encouraging you to buy an unappealing unit. Pay attention to how people talk and interact with each other. Pay attention to what they are bringing with them and what they leave at home or in the car.

3. Stick to your budget

Before you go to an auction, know how much money you are willing to spend. Auctions can get quite hectic. Make a point to stick to your budget. In order to stick to your budget, stick with units that are cheap enough to give you some leeway in the case of a vicious bidding war. Don't buy a unit that has a good chance of hitting your budget quickly.

Also, you don't have to buy every unit you see. In fact, you should be selective. Only bid on the units that have items you know that you can use or sell quickly. Remember, winning the auction is only the beginning of the adventure. You still have to move the items and sell them. You also don't want to buy a mediocre unit at the beginning of the day only to find out that you missed out on an even better unit because you blew your budget. You don't even have to buy anything if you don't find the right match!

4. Maximize visibility

When you first get a glimpse at the storage unit, you will see the large items immediately, and you will have to guess what is in boxes. The trick is to see past these items to determine what other valuables might be in the unit. Make sure that you wear your glasses or contacts. Bring a flashlight to help illuminate dark corners and other hard to see spaces. You also want to look for clues as to what might be in the boxes and places you can't see. It can be a good idea to bring along a friend or someone else with a good eye. Be careful not to let other people hear your discoveries, though!

An auction can be quite uncertain. You don't know exactly what is in the unit you are about to buy. However, you can use these tips to make it the best experience ever and hopefully make a profit at the same time. For more information, please call Real Storage at 403 234-7325 or contact us here.