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Bidding On A Storage Unit? 2 Tips To Navigate The Auction Process Like A Pro

After binge-watching reality television shows that center around purchasing abandoned storage units, you might be ready to cash your latest paycheck and head to the closest facility. However, there is a lot more to bidding on abandoned storage units than most people think, and a few simple mistakes could end up costing you a lot of money. Here are two tips to help you navigate the auction process like a professional, so that you can make your cash count:

1: Bid Smart

On television, the people who purchase storage units always walk away with valuable baseball cards, antique jewelry, or safes stacked with extra cash. Unfortunately, finding a gold mine inside of a storage unit might not be the reality you are faced with after you purchase a space. In fact, Dave Hester, one of the stars of storage bidding show, recently stated that he caught producers of the show planting goods inside of storage units to make the show more interesting.

However, just because every storage unit won't be filled with valuable merchandise doesn't mean that bidding is a waste of time. If you analyze the contents of the unit before you throw your hat in the ring, you might be able to walk away with items you will really enjoy. Here are a few ways to bid a little smarter:

  • Inspect the Unit Carefully: If you are attending a live storage unit auction, you will have the opportunity to visually inspect the unit, but you won't be allowed to go inside. To make it easier to see contents in the back of the unit, bring a flashlight. However, since many storage facilities these days hold their storage unit auctions online, you might need to carefully inspect pictures and read through content inventory lists before you bid.
  • Do A Little Math: Although you might be tempted to get excited about that great-looking storage unit, do the time to calculate your break-even point. For example, if you think that you spot a bed frame and a new washer that you could sell for around $800, don't forget to subtract your own expenses, including your labor and what you will pay for the unit.
  • Don't Bid Early: If you really want to win a unit, you might be tempted to start belting out offers as soon as the bidding starts. Unfortunately, bidding early might prompt other buyers to bid on your space, especially if you act overly excited about the unit. Instead, wait until other buyers have argued about the price for a bit, and then throw out your best and final offer before bidding concludes.

Bidding intelligently might take a little more self-control, but it could really pay off in the end. If you can track down an excellent unit and get it for a decent price, you might be able to enjoy a healthy profit.

2: Be Prepared to Clear the Unit Quickly

After you win a storage unit, the facility will require you to clean it out within a reasonable amount of time. For example, your storage facility might ask that you clean out the space within a day or so. However, since some storage units are chock full of heavy furniture, stuffed boxes, and big bags of clothing, cleaning your space quickly might take a little pre-planning on your part.

Before you attend that storage auction, make sure that you have a large enough vehicle and enough help to physically move the contents of the unit. Check with on-site managers to see if they have on-site dumpsters available for buyers to use, or if you will need to move trash out with you. When you go to clean out the unit, always bring a few brooms and dustpans, so that you don't get in trouble for leaving the unit messy.   

By going into the auction process prepared, you might be able to walk away with a great storage locker without spending more than you need to. For more information about auctions in your area, contact a local storage company.