Interested in attending or bidding at a storage auction? Here are answers to some of the questions you’re likely to have:

What’s the crowd like at a storage auction?

Most people who successfully make a profit bidding on storage unit auctions either own, have relationships with, or are active at flea markets, pawn shops, and consignment stores. With the rise in popularity of storage auction shows on television, more and more people who are simply curious or are looking for either a new hobby or a new career outlet are attending. Also, all bidders must be 18 years of age.

What happens when I arrive at the storage facility?

We will then go over the rules of the auction before opening the Unit(s) to be Auction (Copies Available).  The door of one storage unit at a time will be opened, allowing a few minutes to look inside and size up the contents. Bidding for each storage unit will open and close individually until each unit has been auctioned off.

What should I bring as a first-timer?

Come prepared with what you’re willing to pay — you’ll be expected to pay onsite if you win a storage auction. You’ll also want to bring a flashlight, to help you identify what’s inside the storage units from the outside. Cameras and video recording equipment are not allowed.

Can I look inside a storage unit before bidding?

You can look inside, but you can’t step inside or touch the items. Storage units are auctioned off in their entirety, rather than item by item. You’re bidding on the full contents of the storage unit, and much of what’s inside won’t be visible.

What are the most common valuable items found in storage units?

General household goods such as furniture, appliances, tools, high-end electronics, and occasionally, automobiles. Remember that you could find nothing but junk, or you could find a treasure.

Any other advice for a first time bidder?

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. You’re required to vacate the storage unit within 24 hours, so don’t bid on a big storage unit without a plan in place to clear it out.

Does a rookie really have a chance of competing with professionals?

It’s true that people that profit off of bidding at storage auctions and selling the contents will carry a bankroll with them to allow them to buy anything, but an auction is a free process where everyone stands on equal ground.

How do I pay if I win a storage auction?

Auctions are cash only, and bids must be paid onsite immediately after the auction. Winning bidders may also be required to pay a security deposit to ensure that they’ll remove all items from the unit within a 24 hour time period.

If the original owner shows up after the auction concludes, do they still have rights to the storage unit’s contents?

No, with some caveats. Westside Storage will try to accommodate requests that occur within 48 hours of the storage auction. The buyer’s contact information will never be given out to the former tenant, but the tenant may grant permission to give their information to the buyer if they would like to buy back the contents of the unit.  In addition, the buyer is required to return to the storage unit facility bank and tax statements, legal records, yearbooks and photographs that are deemed to have no resale value, to be returned to the original owner.

Why does the law require storage facilities to auction unpaid units?

Every state has different ‘lien laws’ relating to storage facilities, but as a general rule, the only way for a storage facility to recoup unpaid rent is through a storage auction. Before auctioning off the contents of a storage unit, a legal notice must be mailed to the last known address of the tenant, and sometimes an advertisement is placed in local publications in print or online. With these terms met, the storage facility may proceed with an auction to satisfy unpaid debt.

How do I find out about locations and times of storage auctions?

Right here! westsidestorage1.com lists all upcoming auctions on our website and in the Valencia County News Bulletin, Legal Notices.

Do you plan to sell your storage units via online auctions?

Maybe. The legality of that is still being hammered out at state and federal levels, so until it’s clear what’s allowed, we will hold only traditional, in-person auctions at this time.