A few years ago, reality TV turned its attention on the self-storage business. Heavily scripted shows like Auction Hunters and Storage Wars depicted the auction process as a veritable treasure trove of antiques, lost artifacts, and other valuables. It is not. Read on to find out how the process really works, and what you need to know before you attend a U-STOR auction.
Our Legal Obligation
It’s important to note, we consider an auction to be the final inevitable step we have to take when someone defaults on payment. Before a tenant’s storage unit is released for auction, U-STOR managers take numerous steps in order to reconcile the situation, starting with a 30-day past due letter. Then, the U-STOR team makes every effort to locate and notify the tenant about their required payment including further letters, phone calls, text messages, etc. Finally, an ad is placed in the legal notice section of the newspaper. If the tenant still does not pay the delinquent rent, the manager, along with another employee, can legally cut the lock and assess the contents, but only from the threshold of the unit. No one is allowed to touch the items inside.
No Auctioneer. No TV Cameras. The Real Deal.
During the hype of the storage barrage in 2010 when auction goers were portrayed on television as savvy get-rich-quick entrepreneurs who swapped frenzied bids while a loud auctioneer increased the tension of the moment, we noticed a brief spike in our auction attendance. That is until they found out an actual U-STOR auction is quite subdued. No auctioneers, no live bidding, and no big reveal.
Where do I find out about the next auction? Each month, auction notices will be placed in the newspaper, on the website, in our newsletter, and shared on our social media channels – Twitter and Facebook. You may also add your name to a list of interested bidders who receive phone calls before each auction.
How do I bid? Bids are silent and placed in sealed envelopes until auction day.
Can I look in the storage unit up for auction before I bid? Yes. A member of our U-STOR staff will accompany you to the unit and allow you to look inside, but no one is granted entrance into the unit.
Can I look through the boxes or other sealed containers? NO. Absolutely no entrance is allowed.
How do I know if I was the highest bidder? On the day of the auction, all the sealed envelopes are opened. The highest bidder is called at that time. At that time, they have 48 hours to pay the listed bid and remove all items from the storage unit.
If you have further questions about the auction process or would like to be placed on an interested bidders list, please call any of our seven U-STOR locations.