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You may have heard from friends who go to self storage auctions to buy collectibles, antiques and other items for next to nothing. Self storage facilities schedule auctions on a regular basis, to sell property of storage customers that fell behind on rental payments or abandon their property.

The law allows the operator of a self storage facility to put a lien on all property stored in the facility. If a tenant does not pay his rent the storage facility will schedule an auction to get rid of the personal property and recover some or all of the money owed by the tenant.

Self storage auctions are usually announced in a local newspaper of general circulation. In Columbus the paper of choice for all kinds of auctions is the Daily Reporter – the legal newspaper of Central Ohio.

Self storage auctions have to be advertised for 2 weeks before the actual auction takes place.

At the day of the auction interested buyers gather at the facility. First, you will have to sign in on a bidders sheet. Most self storage facilities require a cash deposit of $25. You can get the deposit refunded when you emptied the unit you purchased or, if you don’t purchase anything.

All payments have to be made in cash. The amounts are rather small, so cash is not a big issue.

Next, the storage units that will be auctioned off are opened by the auctioneer or the manager of the facility. You are not allowed to enter. You can only assess the value by looking at the content from the outside.

Then the auction starts and the auctioneer will ask for bids. Typically, self storage auctions are absolute auctions. This means that there is no reserve or minimum bid. However, the facility may deny any bids which they deem too low or unreasonable.

Just like with any auction the highest bidder wins the content of the storage unit. The winning bidder has to pay cash and must remove the contents of the unit the same day.

Some self storage facilities require that you sign a lease agreement after you win a bid. This allows them to charge rent, if you don’t remove everything on the day of the auction. Other facilities simply use your deposit to secure that you will empty the unit.

Self storage rooms can be a true treasure coves. People leave all kinds of antiques and collectibles in a facility. Sometimes they simply don’t want to deal with their belongings or don’t have a place to put them, so they decide to abandon the property.

On the other hand, you may find a lot of trash in a self storage unit. Be prepared to dump the stuff you don’t need. Most of the time you will find the little treasures that get you excited, and you can either sell them on Ebay or Craigslist and make a nice profit. Or just keep those collectibles for yourself.

Thanks for reading the Columbus Storage Blog

Feel free to contact Kurt Novak

Phone (614) 395-7375

Email: knovak@westbeltstorage.com