9 Tips To Mini Storage Auctions

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Mini storage auctions can be fun because you never know what treasure you’ll find. However, if you are new to the experience, you may benefit from the following tips from an experienced bidder on mini storage units.

1. Bring a Good Flashlight

Most mini storage facilities will not allow you to rummage through the unit. Instead, you are usually only allowed to view the contents of each unit from the door. Some units will be lighted, others will not be. Regardless, you will need a good light to view into dark crevices and corners.

2. You May Want To Wait Before You Bid

The final bid for morning auctions tends to be higher than for afternoon auctions. Therefore, if you wait until later in the day, you may be able to walk away with a better deal.

3. Be Prepared For Auction Cancellations

Those that rent storage units (like these in Sydney) have until just before the auction starts to settle their bill. If there is only one or a few storage units up for action, this could mean the auction will be cancelled at the last minute. Keep this in mind if you are planning on traveling a long distance to attend an mini storage auction event. It may only be worth it if there are a large number of units up for auction.

4. Bring a Padlock

If you win an auction, you will usually be required to remove the contents within 24 hours. Sometimes this means you may have to go borrow or rent a moving truck or trailer. You may also need to go recruit someone to help you move the heavier items. Since there will be no lock on the unit, you will want to have your own lock to secure the contents while you get the moving truck and/or help.

5. You May Be Able To Barter For Help

Often times, you will want to keep only some of the contents of a mini storage unit. If there are items you don’t want, you may be able to barter with other bidders at the auction to help you move what you do want in exchange for what you do not want. This is one of the many reasons it is always advantageous to stay friendly with your fellow bidders.

6. Bring a Toolbox

Inevitably, you’ll be sorry if you don’t bring along your toolbox. You never know when you’ll need a hammer to knock open an old rusty lock. You may need a screwdriver to pry something open. A wrench set and a good pair of pliers can come in handy too. And… don’t forget the scissors!

7. Bring Old Blankets and Tape

One of the best ways to protect furniture from being scratched is to wrap it with an old blanket and then run tape around it. This is what professional movers do. This can also help protect lamps and other fragile items during transport.

8. Smelly Mini Storage Units

If you come across a unit with a mysterious foul odor, this might be an excellent opportunity to get a great deal on some amazing treasure. Many bidders will avoid units that smell bad. However, the foul odor may just be emanating from one box of stuff that happened to have something perishable. The rest of the unit contents may be fine.

9. Mondays Vs. Fridays

In general, auctions held on Mondays go for a higher price than those held on Fridays. This is because professional dealers will always have more cash to spend on Mondays since the weekend is almost always their biggest sales days. You can often get great deals at mid-week auctions too.

Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be in a better position to find something great. Good luck.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

John Carston May 23, 2016 at 12:01 pm

A have a friend who started going to mini storage auctions not long ago so I have an interest in learning more about it. This post seems to have a lot of good information that could help me out with my first storage bid. I’ll have to follow your advice at my first auction and wait until an afternoon auction, be prepared for cancellations, and look for end of the week deals. Thanks for the helpful bidding advice.

Kate Hansen November 2, 2016 at 12:48 pm

People like to store old and important things in their storage units which could equate to money for you if it’s being auctioned off. I’d like to start searching for treasure in storage units that are being auctioned off. So I like how you suggest to go on a Friday versus a Monday since units are usually auctioned off for cheaper on Fridays.

judy wilson November 2, 2016 at 1:05 pm

I’ve heard that I can find some good antiques at storage unit auctions, so it helps to know what to anticipate ahead of time. I’m glad that you mentioned to attend one that has a lot of units that will be up for auction. This will help me avoid making a trip to an event that will eventually be canceled because of the lack of units. I’ll make sure to check the number of units that are available so that I can have a better auction experience.

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