9 Tips From the Pros for Conducting Self-Storage Auctions

a green and grey self storage umit.

Self-storage in the US is auctioned off when a renter fails to pay the monthly rent. This frequently occurs when someone dies, and their family is unaware of the unit, when someone has a medical emergency, or when someone is going through a divorce.

If the outstanding balance is not paid by a specific date, the unit is auctioned off so the owners can recoup some of their losses. An auctioneer is present to oversee the bidding process.

A storage unit could sell for $1 if there is only one bidder, or it could sell for thousands if there are many bidders and the storage unit appears to be valuable.

If you win the bid, you have 24 to 48 hours to empty and clean the unit. You will get the cleaning deposit refunded if you meet the deadline. You must pay for the unit, sales tax, and the cash deposit, so bring several hundred dollars if you are the winning bidder.

Here are 9 pro tips for conducting self-storage auctions:

1.    Learn the process of conducting self-storage auctions

One of the best ways to start storage auctions is to attend a few auctions, not to bid but to observe the process. See how the process works and what people bid on and don’t. Please note what other bidders bring with them to ease the process.

2.    Research the self-storage units

It is necessary to do research work and inspect your self-storage units before placing them in the auction. You can do the research work yourself or let the top self-storage companies in Hastings, NE do this work for you. By doing this, you can have a rough estimate of the starting bid value of the units.

3.    Make full preparations

The process will be a cakewalk if the preparations for the auction day are on point. Make sure to follow all the legal steps. Send for the required notices and lien laws. Also, check for the last moment payment right up till the start of the auction.

4.    Don’t perform the role of the auctioneer

Hiring a professional auctioneer can increase the bid value of your products by a considerable margin. Avoid being the auctioneer of your self-storage auction. You can easily hire a professional auctioneer by contacting the top self-storage companies near your locality.

5.    Decide the display rules

It is essential to decide the post-auction rules for self-storage before the auction. Decide the post-auction regulations and make sure to hand out copies of them. Here are some of the rules:

  • The buyer has to empty the unit, and that too, within the stipulated time.
  • Pay the cleaning deposit.
  • Restrictions on the use of the facility dumpsters.
  • Rules for viewing units.
  • Termed and conditions involved in the sales.
  • Bidding rules.
  • Payment methods, rules, etc.

6.    Recruit enough staff members for the auction.

Recruit enough staff members to assist the auction manager during the auction. Let the manager be in charge of the auction, and don’t engage them in something else. Staff should look over the post-auction rules.

7.    Manage the crowd effectively.

An auction cannot be conducted successfully in chaos. Try to manage the crowd of the bidders through the staff members. Also, make sure to keep a record of the bidders present in the auction.

Also, avoid being too frank to the buyers who try to befriend you to know the details of the self-storage unit contents.

8.    Try to ensure the integrity of the units

Bidders should not be allowed inside the units that should be viewed from outside. This is important to ensure the integrity of your self-storage units. Also, ensure that the units are secured using security tabs and locks.

9.    Watch out for conspiracy

Sometimes bidders agree among themselves and decide not to bid against one another. These conspiracies ruin the auction environment completely, so avoid these types of bidders.


Self-storage auctions are not a get-rich-quick scheme or a quick way to make money. It takes a lot of effort, time, and experience.

It can still be an excellent way to supplement your income, especially as you gain experience and establish relationships with the best self-storage companies, auction houses, and other people who can assist you in selling the self-storage units.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.