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It’s taken a lot of work, patience and perseverance, but the folks at StorageBattles have just made life easier on storage auction hunters and storage facility property managers alike. StorageBattles brings all the convenience and security of eBay to the excitement, profitability and potential for big scores that only storage auction units can bring to the table. No more squeezing into the car to make long trips on the weekends, no more fighting the crowd at a storage facility or making long journeys just to be disappointed by the kinds of units they actually have on offer.
If you’ve ever been down to a crowded storage facility on a hot auction day, and elbowed and shoved your way to the front to try to get a quick peak into the dark unit, you understand exactly how much of a game-changer this is for everyone in the industry. Having worked as a property manager before, I know that one of the toughest times as a manager is auction time.
Storage companies want to sell as much of their units off for as much money as possible, because they have already lost so much revenue as a result of their tenants’ inability to pay their monthly bills.
What most impressed me with the site when I first started looking through it is how much thought and effort has gone into to making the entire experience as easy as possible for buyers. Registering for StorageBattles takes under a minute, and you’re immediately browsing auctions that have been automatically selected for you based on your real-world proximity to the storage facilities holding them. Each listing page is flush with high res color photos of the insides of the storage units, taken from multiple angles. When you hover over the main photo attached to the auction page, there is a handy auto-zoom feature that brings the contents into even closer view.
You also get to see the current bid for the entire unit, along with a bidding history that tells you who is competing for the unit and what moves they are making. You even get a hand written description of the goods inside the unit from the posting authority of the company holding the sale.
This is information you’re not likely to get at a live auction on site, and is a major benefit of buying your storage units online. The next thing that StorageBattles does very well is make it easy to find storage sales that are physically close to where you live. This is very handy if you have a number of locations near you that you’re willing to drive to in order to increase your potential take. A merger of the two companies creates an unmatched excellence within online storage auction service.
Unless youa€™ve been living under a rock a€“ or refuse to turn on the television a€“ youa€™ve most likely come across the widely popular reality shows surrounding self storage auctions. A California poll revealed that storage facility operators began to see a steady rise in attendees for their auctions shortly after the debut of a€?Storage Warsa€?.
In a single episode of one of these popular reality shows, viewers can see as many as 10 units which appear to be at the same facility for one auction on the same day.
One very REAL thing which these shows get completely right is that no attendees of the auction are allowed inside the units.
With the wide exposure of reality shows, there are more bidders, which means more competition.
So, keep in mind that your total cost for one unit includes the following: the bid for the unit, the labor to empty the unit, transportation to get the contents of the unit off site, and disposal of any refuse once you leave the facility.
Dona€™t get me wrong, there are many cases out there where buyers have profited largely from a storage auction. Most people who benefit from a storage auction are those who own a second-hand store or refurbish furniture for resale. If you have any questions about self storage auctions and the auction process, you can contact us at any time and one of our friendly property managers will be glad to answer any questions for you. Sometimes [a storage] space is abandoned or after lengthy efforts the account remains unpaid. With more self-storage operators expressing interest in online auctions, The Storage Facilitator decided to examine their advantages, disadvantages and legal implications.
All else being equal, online auctions are more lucrative than traditional, in-person auctions. The online format lets buyers bid on several units at the same time from home, work or pretty much anywhere you can get an Internet connection.
Another advantage of the online auction format is that it actually prevents items from being sold at auction. When sending a lien sale notice by email, the facility owner adds a link to the online auction; then, with the click of a button, the delinquent tenant sees his or her items up for auction, watches the clocking ticking down, and is more motivated to come up with the money.
About five years ago, veteran self-storage auctioneer Wayne Blair ran a few online auctions.
Still, the legality is open to interpretation in many states. “The states will need to address this issue,” Blair said.
Until a disgruntled tenant files a wrongful foreclosure lawsuit against a self-storage facility after an online auction, state courts probably won’t be forced to weigh in.
That being said, Kaslow doesn’t expect to see much pushback from state legislators in the future. With help from the Self Storage Association, a handful of state legislatures have updated their lien laws to explicitly allow online auctions.
For the time being, Connie Heyer, legal counsel for the Texas Self Storage Association, recommends using online auctions as a “supplement to” rather than “in lieu of” an in-person auction. Finally, if your state has its own auction laws, familiarize yourself with them, as these laws certainly could apply in this complicated area. Welcome.The Storage Facilitator is the modern self-storage professional's destination for useful education, intriguing news, diverse expert perspectives, technology updates, and beyond. Get our free white paperThe Four Pillars of Profitable Self-Storage Management is an in-depth resource that empowers facility owners and managers to get more out of your business and stay ahead. The information contained herein has been obtained from third parties and we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information. The New Mexico Press Association is fanning the flames of the ongoing tussle over self-storage lien laws — and the self-storage industry is firing back. In a post on its website, the New Mexico Press Association, which represents newspapers around the state, takes on the self-storage industry over efforts to change the storage lien law in New Mexico. The association aims to block a proposed change in New Mexico’s public-notice provision for lien sales.

The [self-storage] industry’s thumb is already heavy on the scale of justice where its consumers are concerned.
Tim Dietz, chief operating officer of the Self Storage Association, confirmed his group and the New Mexico Self Storage Association are lobbying to revise that state’s storage lien law. Regarding publication of lien-sale notices in newspapers, Dietz told The Storage Facilitator: “Classified advertisements are a $1 billion industry, yet because of obvious factors, such as a more broad reach electronically, much of the traditional advertising has migrated online.
For years, the now-struggling newspaper industry has depended on lien notices and other legal advertising for a considerable chunk of revenue. In the handful of states where public-notice requirements have been relaxed, Greenberger hasn’t heard an outcry from self-storage consumers.
Mandating publication of lien-sale notices in newspapers actually takes money out of tenants’ pockets, according to Greenberger. The New Mexico Press Association maintains that changing public-notice requirements in its state and elsewhere erode consumer trust in the self-storage industry.
Dietz defends the self-storage industry’s campaign to modernize public-notice requirements for lien sales. The press association fears that altering New Mexico’s public-notice requirement would erase “checks and balances” designed to protect self-storage customers. Greenberger said public notices in newspapers might have been a good way to attract bidders to storage auctions “back in the day,” but they’ve never resolved the issue of alerting tenants whose rent is overdue and whose belongings are set to be auctioned. I do but I concede I am in the minority I have not seen the auction listings on craigslist. Taking just 1 newspaper, the Albuquerque Journal, has lost 50,000 Subscribers since 2006 – down from 150,000! Do you wish your storage auctions looked more like those on reality TV, with crowds of buyers vying to outbid each other, win a unit and put more money in your pocket? If so, consider tapping into the power of online marketing to bring more bidders to your facility. One of the biggest benefits of hiring a professional auctioneer is that you get auction promotion as part of the deal, said Rich Schur, chief operating officer and champion auctioneer at Storage Auction Kings, which handles auctions at self-storage facilities in four states. For example, Storage Auction Kings has its own email lists, social networking presence and SEO strategies, Schur said.
But all auctioneers are not created equal: Make sure you hire one who’s good at marketing, Schur said. Facility managers for Universal Storage Group, an Atlanta, GA-based storage operator with more than 50 facilities, make weekly marketing visits to retailers—such as antique shops, junk dealers and flea markets—as well as apartment complexes, real estate agencies and schools, said Anne Ballard, president of marketing, training and developmental services at Universal Storage Group. To promote upcoming auctions, Universal Storage Group sends email blasts to its list, Ballard said.
One of the best ways to promote your auction is to place an ad on an auction listing website, Schur said, because that’s where buyers look.
Most buyers don’t sift through the classified ads to find auctions, but it can’t hurt to advertise your sale on local online classifieds, Schur said. Notices about upcoming auctions should be mixed with other types of content, especially information that would be useful to your social media followers, Schur said.
Universal Storage Group doesn’t use Facebook ads but does post notices about upcoming auctions on a facility’s Facebook page and, in some cases, its Twitter account, Ballard said. When the big day arrives, don’t let bidders leave without learning how they found out about your auction so you can pinpoint what works and what doesn’t, Schur said. We’re very excited to announce that you can now browse and purchase entire delinquent storage lockers online.
Putting your auctions online brings tremendous value to your business while reducing so many of the common headaches that come around auction time.
Sometimes getting an ad in the legal section of the local newspaper and putting up flyers on telephone poles is about all that managers can do. You get to shift a lot of the common inquiries to the website and allow it to do a good portion of the heavy lifting for you. He’s leveraged his boots-on-the-ground experience to bring storage unit sales into the digital era. This makes it a cinch to peek around inside, get a sense of what’s up for grabs in a given unit, and even price out the likely resale value of the most lucrative items you see inside.
Instead of trying to guess whether or not your intuition about  that dim object  in the corner is correct or not, you can simply read a declaration of the major items inside the unit you’re considering.
To this end, the site will use your profile’s address to find sales that are near your home. Now, thanks to the excellent service at StorageBattles, you no longer have to drive all over your state in search of repossessed storage lockers for sale – you can browse from the comfort of your own home, and only make one trip when you win something. Please use newer version of your browser or visit Internet Explorer 6 countdown page for more information.
On average, operators would have 15-20 sign-ins for an auction before the show first aired, but now they are reporting as many as 75 sign-ins for a single auction!
This is a common sense thing because it eliminates the possibility for theft of or damage to the contents. In April 2011, a storage unit went to auction in southern California which held a nearly pristine copy of a€?Action Comics No. Furniture, appliances and clothing are typical items you will find inside almost every storage unit. I think it’s awesome that mini storage units have been on the rise since the beginning of these auction shows. No longer do buyers have to spend time and money traveling to facilities to bid on auctions. Representatives of SmartStop Self Storage say their online auctions free up two to three manager workdays every month that otherwise would be spent on traditional auctions. For example, laws in Texas governing online storage auctions were written back in 1984, when the Internet was in its infancy. He speculates that the only group with a potential economic interest in preventing updates of state lien laws could be traditional auctioneers. 1, 2013, self-storage operators in North Carolina and Maryland will be able to hold lien sales through online auctions.

By using online bids as starting points for the in-person process, self-storage operators can ensure they’re complying with state lien laws. This white paper identifies major trends and best practices in rate management, occupancy analysis, rental contracts and profit management.
As it stands now, state law requires that notices of storage auctions be published in local newspapers. That’s because any advertising costs are subtracted from auction proceeds—all of which must be handed over to the renters whose units are sold. In return, consumers expect to reclaim the property in good condition,” the press association says. He first moved to Austin in 1999, when downtown Austin wasn't nearly as lively as it is today.
Using the Internet to get the word out about your auctions can be cheap, or even free, and can pay off for your business. To find out, do a search for the auctioneer and look at his or her online presence—for example, the website, blogs and social media networks. The managers collect business cards, then enter the email addresses of people they met into a contact database, Ballard said. The upgrade lets you upload your logo, photos of units being auctioned, and information such as your auction rules. Our friends at StorageBattles are kicking off a new trend that is going to sweep the industry.
You just register, bid, pay online for units you win, and drive to the facility at your convenience to claim your loot.
When you choose a facility you get large full color images of all their storage units that are currently up for sale.
You can be handling your daily business while folks are browsing storage units for sale online without any interruption.
You can also use the on-site search function to break-out all the current auctions by location.
The A&E series a€?Storage Warsa€? debuted in December 2010, and since then multiple spin-offs have taken flight. Ita€™s important to remember that storage operators never want to auction a unit, as it only affects them negatively. Producers of the popular series a€?Storage Warsa€? have admitted that over 400 hours of footage is shot for every one hour that makes it on screen.
Attendees can simply look into the unit and are not permitted to touch anything inside the unit.
And unless the buyer can resale the items (the ones in good shape anyway, because trust me many things are broken and damaged) for more than they paid at auction (minus disposal and labor costs) they could still lose money on it. And, although not likely, there is always that small chance you could find the next $2 Million comic book! I wonder what kind of stuff people would find if they decided to auction off my own storage unit. They talk of finding collectable cars or recently even a treasure chest containing a collection of Spanish bullion!!! At Kennards Self Storage we aim to make each experience as simple and user friendly as possible. He educates operators about the risks, provides a legal disclaimer and encourages them to examine their states’ lien laws. The proposed update would allow public notices to be published online as well as in local newspapers. I would rather have my rent any day than to have to auction a unit and as the attorney said, the newspapers don’t provide any safeguard.
Schur said he uses these ads regularly, and he recommends paying by click rather than by impression. There’s a really slick zoom in interface that allows you to get an excellent up-close look at the inside of the unit, on your own terms and timeline. Because of the popularity of these shows, the interest level in actual storage auctions has risen to an all time high. Basically they have to bid on what they see, and what they think may be inside of boxes and furniture or underneath visible items.
If you havena€™t been to a storage auction yet, it is definitely worth a visit just to see it for yourself. That’s why we have simplified the auction process and transferred the whole experience online. Lisa Torraco, a Republican from Albuquerque, is sponsoring the legislation (Senate Bill 311). These past due renters are deadbeats and I doubt they read the paper anyhow, the general public doesn’t.
Basically, they edit the show to look like one auction is much larger than it really is, and that it all takes place at one facility on one day.
And, just like the shows portray, all of the contents of a unit are sold to a single bidder as one transaction. In almost every auction, there will be garbage to dispose of from inside the unit, for which you as the new owner are now responsible. For the papers, it’s all about a last gasp effort to collect their revenues just as an auction is a last gasp effort to collect from a deadbeat.
Pennsylvania and Maryland, where all our Moove In Self Storage facilities are located, require the contents of one unit to be sold as a lot a€“ meaning if you win the bid, you now own everything inside that unit.
Unfortunately, it was later discovered to be stolen from actor Nicolas Cagea€™s home in early 2000.
There are only a few states, including Alabama and Kansas, which are required by law to sell items one at a time.

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