About Us


About Storage Auctions

In the United States, most self storage facilities hold storage auctions or lien sales to vacate non-paying tenants according to their enforcement rights that are outlined within the laws of each state. In California there are 3,000 plus self storage facilities, out of these 3,000 plus self storage facilities there are an average 800 facilities that will hold a storage auction or lien sale in any given month. Each site will have a different amount of units or lots to offer for auction. We estimate that over $3,000,000.00 changes hands at these 9,000 plus auctions a year. These auctions are opened to the general public with most bidders’ buying for the purpose of reselling for profit. Storage auctions are a great way to buy secondhand merchandise for pennies on the wholesale dollar. If you are someone who sells at flea markets, garage sales or on e-Bay, you will probably find storage auctions to be one of your best sources for merchandise.


How Do Auctions Work?

Storage auctions are different then most types of auctions. Most auctions are “live” or “verbal”, very few are silent (sealed bids). When attending a storage unit auction, be sure to arrive 10-15 minutes early. Before the auction starts, the self storage facility or auctioneer will have a sign in sheet. The facility manager or Auctioneer will announce their company’s rules and will go over the terms and conditions of the auction, which will often vary with each site. Cash is the acceptable form of payment and sales tax will be charged if the buyer cannot show a valid resale license and proper identification. Most sites will also require a cash deposit which is collected on each unit sold. The deposit is collected to ensure that the buyer will remove all the contents within the specified time frame which is set by the facility and is fully refundable based upon clean out.
Bidding starts once all attendees have viewed a unit. Viewing is limited to the doorway entrance only. Bidders are not to touch or enter the unit. Bids sometimes start out as low as $1.00 and can proceed upwards with the property being sold to the highest bidder. Don’t forget that if you are the winning bidder, you will be required to remove all contents of the unit purchased within the time specified by the self storage facility. Most facilities do not allow the use of their garbage cans or dumpsters. Use of a facility dumpster can often result in losing your deposit and also the possibility of being banned from any of their future auctions.


What Can I Expect To Find?

You really never know what you will find. Most items are general household goods, furniture, electronics, clothing and personal records. Bidders do find money, jewelry, antiques and collectibles at these auctions. It is not uncommon to find someone’s whole household or business in a unit, with that in mind, you never know when you might stumble on someone’s life collection of who knows what! Remember you are usually viewing the property from an open entrance into a storage unit or container; this means that boxes and plastics storage containers can yield anything. Some units are packed so tight that you won’t have the luxury of getting a view of the items that are behind what is blocking the entrance area.