Essential Auction Day Rules

The wait is over. The day is here. Your truck is gassed up. Your trailer is hitched. You have all your tools packed up and ready to go. Cash in pocket. It’s auction time.

The thrill of the bargain hunt is just beginning, but many auction hunters slip up in their excitement and turn what could have been a lucrative day into a disastrous termination of possibility? What am I referring to exactly? Permanent bans from all future auctions!

Continue reading “Essential Auction Day Rules”

Capitalizing on Boat Storage

A lot of newcomer storage auction hunters often ask me about the availability of vehicles being stored. Is it possible to win a delinquent tenant’s car at  public storage auction? In short, yes it is! Plenty of auction hunters have had great success buying up the vehicles left by delinquent tenants at public auctions and re-selling them for big profits.

But what about boats? Even veteran storage auction attendees are guilty of overlooking a fantastic market with potential for serious profits. Continue reading “Capitalizing on Boat Storage”

Bill’s Big Score

My buddy Bill just returned from a local storage unit auction, where there was a turn-out of about 35 people. He ended up nabbing a big score was recounting some of the details of auction day to me. Unfortunately, this auction was a little on the light side when it came to the units. There were only 4 storage units that were still sufficiently delinquent come auction time Continue reading “Bill’s Big Score”

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 Continue reading “Keeping Your Cool When the Bidding Heats Up”

The Most Important Storage Auction Tool You Can Carry

As you become more and more acquainted with storage auctions and their procedures, you will start noticing certain patterns with the more and more auctions you attend. Certain familiar faces will keep turning up again and again; these are the dedicated auction hunters that make a good portion of their living doing it.

You will also start to watch these veterans and you’ll discover advanced tactics that they employ in order to give themselves a bit of an advantage over other bidders. There are a couple things, you will also begin to notice, that are okay to do when you’re attending a storage unit auction, and there are plenty of other things that are definitely not okay.

One thing that isn’t really spelled out anywhere, but has become sort of a de-facto staple of the auction hunting world is Continue reading “The Most Important Storage Auction Tool You Can Carry”

What You See Is Not What You Get

One thing that takes many storage auction attendees a while to figure out is that, just as with books, people and cars, what you see isn’t always what you get. Our natural tendency is to assume that the biggest units mean the biggest profits – after all, wouldn’t you rather 300 square feet of stuff for your money rather than only 100 square feet? Maybe. But the fact of the matter is that, in the world of storage unit auctions, it’s not always the case that bigger is better.

In fact, nabbing that 10×30 unit for $300 more might have accomplished nothing more than saddling you with 300 square feet of worthless trash, dirty stinky clothes and a massive headache – now that you’re responsible to the storage facility to remove all of this garbage!

Our basic consumer training tells us that we always want Continue reading “What You See Is Not What You Get”

Scouting it Out

There’s a common mistake made by many new storage auctions attendees. It’s an easy mistake to make and completely understandable. New storage auction attendees show up with a wad of cash in their pocket and expect to strike it rich on their first go. Now, while this enthusiasm is great and while it’s a major part of what makes this industry so exciting, it’s also the best way to lose your money upfront without achieving any major return.

Scout it out first! That’s right. Show up to as many storage unit auctions as you can in the first couple of weeks so you can get a good solid feel for the operations and processes that you’ll encounter when it comes time to start bidding with your hard earned cash. For one thing, many people that are new to storage unit auctions underestimate exactly how frenzied and quick the entire auction process can be.

It’s frenzied and fast for a reason! Continue reading “Scouting it Out”

Bill the Air-Conditioning Expert and Part-time Storage Auction Guru

Bill and his wife have lived on the Big Island of Hawaii for over a decade. While Bill’s usual 9 to 5 is installing air-conditioners, as well as diagnosing and servicing the heating and air-conditioning systems of his loyal clients, he has picked up a side hobby in the past few years that has recently started to pay him large dividends. What, you ask, could top a busy and well-trusted specialist’s usual salary? Well, buying and selling the proceeds of self storage auctions, of course!

Bill has been a regular fixture at many local self storage auctions over the past few months. He comes prepared with a few hundred bucks cash and a powerful hand-held flashlight that he uses to examine the contents of the storage units up on the chopping block. Many advanced storage auction buyers and sellers come prepared with similar hand-held flood lights so that they can get a better idea of the contents of a unit without violating the auction rules and stepping over the threshold of a unit.

Bill attended several auctions in the last few weeks in the Kailua-Kona area of Hawaii. He told me that his efforts had been paying off recently. One auction that he won a couple of months back was for Continue reading “Bill the Air-Conditioning Expert and Part-time Storage Auction Guru”

Keep Your Cool At Storage Auctions

How to ensure you’ll walk away with more money than you came with.

It’s important to remind yourself, before you attend a storage auction, that it’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of the auction and the inevitable bidding wars that will occur. However, the key to making storage auctions profitable for yourself is to decide ahead of time exactly how much money you’re willing to budget for investing into storage units you think contain valuables.

If you set your investment budget ahead of time, and only bring that much cash with you Continue reading “Keep Your Cool At Storage Auctions”

Storage Auction Craze Spreads to Hawaii

With more and more mainlanders being struck by the storage auction bug, this money making pastime has started making a splash in the pacific, as Hawaii residents start attending more and more self storage auctions. Self storage facilities have provided essential public services, especially in Hawaii where large sections of the demographic are transient, and where moving your home and family to or from the middle of the ocean poses unique logistical challenges.

Are increased storage auctions in Hawaii the result of a depressed economy? Some folks seem to think so. Hawaii was especially hard hit by the global financial crisis as consumers all over the world tightened their belts and refrained from spending money on anything non-essential, like tourism. Deprived of one of it’s most crucial sources of income, Hawaii has seen deep and widespread impact on the health and sustainability of local economies. Forced out of business by a dried-up tourism industry and unable to find enough work to sustain their bills, many local businesspeople have had difficulty paying their bills.

With mortgages, utilities and food taking precedence, many monthly rent bills have piled up for Hawaii’s storage customers, leading to an increase in the frequency and breadth of self storage auctions. Residents with a little extra cash available are capitalizing on this trend, and storage auctions in Hawaii have become something of a miniature gold rush for locals that know how to spot valuable storage units and turn their contents into more cash. Hawaii’s self storage lien laws allow storage facilities to sell the contents of their non-paying customers’ storage units in order to recouperate some of the money lost on uncollected rent.

Making money off of storage auctions is as easy as keeping abreast of where and when they are happening, and showing up with some pocket money to buy defaulted storage units with. The winners of these storage auctions then go on to sell their winnings piece-by-piece in yard sales or on the internet. Placing items they’ve retrieved from storage auctions online is a way to sell them all over the world. Some auction winners use eBay while others have had success with local forums and other online marketplaces.