Keeping Your Cool When the Bidding Heats Up

Let’s face it. Part of the fun and thrill of a public self storage auction is the excitement. People are shouting back and forth. Hundreds of dollars are changing hands from one minute to the next. The auctioneer’s voice is booming through the speaker and pounding the tight spaces of a storage facility’s hallway. The thrill of the hunt comes through as powerfully as if you were on the trail of a prize buck – and you are. Does that filing cabinet have a golden wedding ring in it!? Does that laptop in the back work or is it junk!?

The split second decisions, the competitive bidding wars, the desperate last attempt to edge out a vicious competing auction hunter because you’ve got “that feeling” about a particular unit and you want it no matter what!


It’s no surprise, then, that tempers can flare quickly, and seemingly without warning at a self storage auction. When people start putting their money on the line, and the excitement and adrenaline begin to set in all around the bidding circle, bidders can begin to get aggressive or even hostile toward one another, especially when someone feels as though another bidder is “out to get them”.

While it’s understandable that fast moving money, competition and visions of jackpots can all swirl together to create the perfect storm of frustration, there are a couple of important reasons to never lose your cool at a public storage auction. Keeping your cool, even if you lose out on a big score here and there, will definitely pay off big time in the future. Here’s why:

The property managers of storage facilities always retain the right to ask anyone to leave the property at anytime. Tasked with maintaining order, decency and a positive storage experience for everyone on the property, these managers sometimes, in the normal course of their duties and interactions with storage tenants, will have to issue warnings or ultimatums to curb unwanted behavior.

The same thing goes during a storage auction. When you attend a storage auction, you are crossing onto private property. The storage company is basically inviting you as a guest because they want as many well-behaved bidders to attend as possible. That’s because by the time they’re holding an auction, they’ve already been losing money on the delinquent accounts that they’re trying to recuperate through the bidders. The more bidders present, generally speaking, the higher the amounts the company can expect to get for each auction unit.

Therefore, they’re allowing you to visit their property with the implicit understanding that you’ll behave yourself, bid on units, win or lose, and then leave. Even those bidders that win units often have to leave a security deposit with the property manager in order to guarantee they will entirely clean out the auction unit they’ve won and leave in a timely fashion.

The point is that, just because you’ve come to a public storage auction with some cash in your pocket and an intent to bid on units, does not give you carte blanche to do whatever you want or behave badly. You can and will be banned from further auctions at that facility. This means you’ve essentially cut yourself out of potential future products if you’ve irritated the management enough to have them ban you.

One of the best ways to irritate the management is to get into altercations with other bidders. The property manager has already had several months worth of irritation dealing with delinquent customers by the time an auction rolls around, and they want the auction day to go smoothly and end quickly. Be polite, civil at all times, pay for your won units in full, empty them, say “thank you” and leave. Keep your cool and you’ll keep your channels of revenue open!

Do believe that irritated property managers will also call up other self storage facilities in the immediate area to alert them to troublesome and unpleasant bidders so they can add you to their blacklist as well!

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