First off, reality television shows usually don’t mimic reality at all. And so it is with storage auctions. Yes, these auctions can still be incredibly entertaining, especially when you’re the highest bidder!
If someone has rented a storage unit and has defaulted on his rental payment, the storage company can auction off the stuff in the unit as a way of getting the rent they’re owed. These auctions are probably one of the best ways to get into treasure hunting, but there are some things you should know beforehand.
The thing is, no one is allowed to actually step into a unit that has its contents up for auction. You can peer inside, but that’s as far as it goes. Here are some things to look for when scoping out the unit’s innards:
How’s the dust?
The door’s been opened and you’re looking inside. If the dust has readily settled on the items in the unit, it’s likely all the original items have been untouched for quite some time. But the dust should be undisturbed everywhere. Then there’s a strong chance anything of real value is also still there.
Are things wrapped in plastic?
If items have plastic around them, especially furniture, it could be an indicator of value. It’s likely anything wrapped professionally is on the more expensive side. Why else would the owner have had the items stored this way?
Do the things you can actually see look like they’re in good shape?
If the things you can spot that aren’t in boxes look like they’re in finer form, it may be that the rest of the items are too. For instance, if you spot one antique, you can probably anticipate others. At the same time, inexpensive-looking junk likely means more of that as well.
You’ve won your unit. Now what?
As you’re going through the items you’ve won and you think there may be things of value, consult a good appraiser. You don’t want to sell yourself short. That item you might think is worthless could actually be worth thousands or vice versa. The more units you win, the more experienced you’ll become. But, as with most things – practice makes perfect. And with that, the fun increases!
If you have questions about self-storage or storage auctions, the professionals at UltraStor would be happy to answer your queries. Call them up today.