It seems like everyone is talking about storage auctions these days. But Storage Wars has provided more than just a fresh topic of conversation around the water cooler - many storage facilities are changing their policies and states are revising their storage lien laws.
Here's the low down on the changes & tips on how to adapt.
#1 Some facilities are charging entrance fees to keep the crowd at a manageable level. Usually the fee will be around $5. Some facilities however, charge as much as $50 and the amount is only refundable if you win a unit! Avoid these facilities if you are going to observe and learn....and inquire about any entrance fees ahead of time so you don't waste gas money. On the other hand, if you're going to bid, an entrance fee might pay off if that means fewer bidders. If you're in that boat, the higher the entrance fee the better, so long as there is a unit you want to win at a price you're willing to pay.
#2 Other facilities might only allow the first 25 or 50 people to attend the auction, or require online registration. If you're organized and on time, these auctions mean fewer bidders without paying an entrance fee. Plus, you won't have to wait in line in the manager's office if you register online! Complete your profile and upload a photo to register online using StorageTreasures.com
#3 More and more facilities are beginning to charge a buyer's premium. Smart Stop for example is charging a 10% buyer's premium. Your $100 bid is now really $110. We suggest you decrease your bid by the amount of the premium. So bid $90 with a $9 buyer's premium and you'll pay $99. Most bidders will not calculate this in advance, so you might have to pay more at facilities with buyer's premiums. But fewer people might attend, and fewer bidders usually means lower bids.
#4 States are revising their state lien laws. Sometimes this benefits you as a bidder but other times it protects the tenant. Nevada for example, has now added provisions that provide additional protection to certain "protected property" of the tenant, which generally consists of items containing sensitive information such as socials or bank accounts. If the storage facility fails to properly return or dispose of such property, the purchaser is actually under a legal obligation to return such protected property.
Stay tuned ... next week's email covers a way to reach out to others during these tough times we're living in.
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Here are a few links you might find useful:
Professional Self Storage Auction Tips
How To Locate A Storage Auction
Self Storage Units Containing Cars