How To Buy Abandoned Storage Units

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When someone fails to pay the rent on a storage unit for three months straight, the storage facility seizes the unit and its contents. Since sorting and selling the items in an abandoned unit is time-intensive, storage facilities simply auction the units off to random buyers. you’ll find live auctions in your area and attend them in person, or bid online through one of the popular auction sites.

Finding Live Auctions

Contact storage facilities in your area to seek out out once they host auctions. Search online to seek out storage facilities in your area. Call each facility one by one and ask once they host their abandoned unit auctions. After they provide you the date and time, ask what percentage units are being auctioned off. Most storage facilities host auctions on abandoned units every 1-6 months, so jot the dates and times for every auction down and pick some auctions to attend.

  • Generally speaking, you’ll have more luck finding a deal if there are tons of units being auctioned off. If you’ve got to settle on between 2 auctions, pick the auction with the very best number of obtainable units.
  • Facilities typically wait until they need 10-20 abandoned units to host auctions. Larger facilities may host auctions every 2-3 months, while smaller facilities usually wait 4-5 months to host auctions. The exception is when the storage facility runs out of obtainable units and wishes to release some space.
  • These auctions are usually free, although larger auctions may require alittle entry fee.

put aside 3-4 hours for an auction and convey some cash. Most auctions take a while , so block off 3-4 hours on your calendar for the event. remove the maximum amount cash as you’re comfortable spending at the auction. the worth of abandoned units can range from $25-5,000, so only take the cash that you’re willing to spend.

Most storage facilities only take cash payment for their units, but it’s still an honest idea to only bid cash albeit they accept credit cards or checks. It’s easy to urge over excited when people start bidding and you get trapped within the moment, but sticking with a budget will make sure that you don’t overspend.
the costs for storage units fluctuate wildly supported what people are willing to gamble on. On rare occasions, the costs can exceed $5,000. This happens when a unit appears to contain rare collectibles or expensive electronics.

Take a flashlight and phone with you to form appraisal easier. you’re typically not allowed to enter an abandoned storage unit or touch its contents. this suggests that you’ll got to believe visual inspections from the sting of every unit’s doorway. Since storage units are dark, take a flashlight to ascertain the things at the rear more clearly. Bring a phone with you just in case you would like to seem up the worth of things within the unit before bidding starts.

for example, if there’s a box labelled “Beanie Babies 1994,” you’ll perform a fast online search together with your phone to urge an estimate for what the box is worth. confine mind, the box might not contain what’s on the label, but you’ll get a touch about what could also be in there and choose if it’s well worth the gamble.
Bring some padlocks with you also . If you finish up buying a storage unit, you’ll need locks to secure your unit until you’ll pick the things up.

Bidding on Units

Inspect each unit to assess its contents. an outsized unit with many items isn’t necessarily valuable and alittle unit with a couple of boxes isn’t necessarily valuable. Online, carefully inspect photos to assess them. After the auctioneer opens the door, use your flashlight to look at each a part of the unit. search for the labels on the boxes and assess the dimensions of the luggage and boxes to work out what could also be inside.

Inexpensive items like toys, old televisions, broken furniture and garments are usually not worth buying.

Online, you’ll not have much because there are usually only 2-5 photos for every auction. Carefully inspect the pictures to ascertain hints of what could be hidden within the background.

Find Storage Unit Auctions in Your Area

You can’t buy storage units if you don’t know where storage owners are holding auctions, so you’ve got to contact storage facilities in your area to find out once they are having storage-unit auctions. Many storage facilities hold auctions several times a month. you’ll also check local classifieds and storage facility websites, or subscribe an email newsletter which will notify you of future storage-unit auctions. confirm you recognize the sales terms, which in most cases require you to pay and filter out the unit within 24 to 48 hours.

Explore Your Sales Avenues

Before you purchase storage units, you ought to know the perfect avenues to sell the items in those units. Online sales through auction websites like eBay or advertising websites like Craiglist are options no matter where you reside . Other options include selling at flea markets, garage sales or pawnshops. For heavier items, you’re more happy selling locally to avoid large shipping costs which will make it harder for you to realize a profit.

Learn the worth of Common Storage-Unit Items

Although it’s impossible for you to understand exactly what items you’ll find in abandoned storage units purchasable , you ought to research the pricing of common items found in these units. for instance , many abandoned storage units purchasable feature furniture, books, jewelry and home items . Knowing the range of costs for these things on auction websites can assist you determine the way to price the things you sell for profit.

Rent a Truck or Van

Arrange for a truck or van to make sure that you simply simply can load all the things within the event that you win a bid on an outsized storage unit. Renting this vehicle beforehand will prevent time once you buy the abandoned storage unit. it’ll also assist you avoid any possibility that you simply will run out of your allotted time to load your goods.

Set a Spending Limit

Before arriving at the auction, set a spending limit. this might sound difficult because you’re essentially bidding blind, without knowing the worth of what’s within the unit. However, an honest rule of thumb is to estimate the worth of a unit by assigning a dollar amount to every box. for instance , if you assume that every box up a unit is worth $15 and there are 10 boxes during a unit, the worth would be about $150.

Your spending limit would then be below that $150 so you’ll obtain a profit. during this example, if you would like to double what you spent on the auction, your limit would be $75.


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counting on where you reside , you’ll probably got to pay taxes on storage units you purchase . Keep records of what percentage units you purchase and what you create off of them when it comes time to pay your taxes.

How To Buy Abandoned Storage Units

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