After you have located the storage auctions that you want to participate in, then you need to prepare for the auction itself. Many storage unit facilities cancel their auctions on the very same day when the auction is scheduled to take place. Often, renters will go in and pay up on the morning of the auction, and then the auction is cancelled. So, you always want to be sure that you call the storage facility on the morning of the auction to see if they are still going to happen. It wouldn’t even hurt to call and confirm just before you head out. It will definitely save you from driving all the way out there, then finding out that the auction has been cancelled at the last minute.
Try to arrive at the auction early. I usually get to an auction about a half hour early. This way I can confirm that the auction is still on, sign in, and then get myself prepared for the event.
There are several “tools” that you want to bring with you to an auction. The most important “tool” is money. A majority of storage facilities do not accept payment by personal checks, or with credit cards. The amount that you want to take with you will depend on how much you actually want to spend. Many people make the mistake of taking a big wad of cash with them, only to get caught up in the moment and going way overboard with their bids. Set an amount in your mind exactly what you want to spend that day, and don’t take more that that amount with you. When you examine a unit, come up with a maximum amount in your mind that you are willing to bid on a particular unit, and don’t go over that amount.
Some of the other tools you will need to bring with you are as follows:
1 ) A truck to haul away your “loot”, should you win a unit.
2 ) A good, bright flashlight so you can see into the unit.
3 ) Gloves to protect your hands and keep them clean. You will be surprised at some of the gross things you can find in someone else’s storage unit 🙂
4 ) A small, lightweight step stool that would be easy for you to carry around during the auction, if possible. This will give you an advantage over the other bidders if you can get a better, up-and-over look into the unit. You might just see something valuable that other people overlooked.
5 ) If you live in a rainy state, bring an umbrella to keep you dry.
6 ) A padlock to immediately lock up the unit after you win it.
7 ) A hand truck in case there are heavy items that you need to move around.
8 ) Moving blankets to protect nice pieces of furniture.
9 ) Bring a broom and some trash bags. Many storage facilities require you to clean out the unit after purchase, and they may possibly charge you a fee if you do not clean the unit. Most places will not allow you to use their dumpsters either. Depending on the condition of the unit, you may end up needing to make a trip to the dump to get rid on any junk and trash from the unit.
If you have a family member or friend who can help you, it’s always best to bring help. You can take turns carrying around your step stool, and they can also help you load up and clean. Sometimes a unit can be overwhelming for one person to handle.
If you have never been to a storage unit auction, it may be wise to go to an auction at least once, before you do bid on any units. Educate yourself so you do not make any “rookie” mistakes when you do actually bid for the first time. Observe other people, what they bring with them, how they bid, and what kind of prices units bring based on what you can see. Like any job, you cannot be good at your job until you get a little training. One auction should really give you an idea of how things work, and you will also feel more comfortable when you do bid for the first time.