You need to be prepared when heading out to a storage auction. Time is of the essence. Here is what you should bring when you find storage units for sale.
Cash - The vast majority of storage unit owners will not take credit cards or checks on the day of the auction. You need to have those paper bills, and a lot of them. You will not be allotted extra time to run over the local ATM. Make sure you have your personal auction budget of the day available in cash. Even if you are attending an auction to observe rather than bid, keep in mind most facilities will require a refundable deposit to attend the auction. This will be returned at the end of the auction, or when the property has been cleared if you are the winning bidder.
Flashlight - Some facilities do not provide good lighting, or any lighting at all in some cases. Have a flashlight handy for those few minutes you will be allowed to get a sneak peek inside of the unit.
Padlocks - The facility owner will need to cut the previous renterís padlock to conduct the auction. Depending on the amount of property within the unit and how you are moving it, you may need to make a few trips to completely clear out the unit. Bring a few padlocks of your own to ensure safekeeping while you are away from the unit.
A truck - Most storage units are big enough for larger items that will fit in the trunk of a car. Line up a truck prior to the day of the auction. Your time will be limited for clearing the property. You may only have 24 or 48 hours. In some cases, you may only have until the close of business to clear the unit out. Donít wait until you win a bid to plan the logistics for relocating the property.
Trash Bags and Boxes - Some storage unit renters are not the best at organization. You may find the property strewn about with no method for easily transporting it. Bring trash bags and boxes with you for easy organizing, packing and/or disposing of the items contained within the unit.
Hand Tools - Screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers can come in handy if there are large items that need disassembled for moving.
An Extra Hand - Do not attempt to clear an overflowing storage unit on your own. Remember, your time is likely limited. You may also be dealing with large items, electronics or furniture. Bring along a friend to speed things up and assist with the heavy lifting.
Tony Emerson is a Marketing Analyst at SpareFoot.com, the world's largest marketplace for self storage. SpareFoot started out reselling storage units in Austin, TX in 2008, and has since expanded to the entire country.