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Researching Auctions Prior to Going

Researching Auctions Prior to Going
« on: May 03, 2013, 03:02:09 PM »
I have seen on the tv shows that some of them mention that they were deciding on how much to bid based on the information they learned about the person who was renting the unit.  They would say things like this one was rented by an elder, or this one was rented by a antique shop owner, etc.  Is it possible to find out this kind of information and if so how do you get it??

Offline Alias300

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Re: Researching Auctions Prior to Going
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2013, 03:18:24 PM »
Short answer: Public Notices

Harder then it seems.  Depends where you live and the laws.   Some areas don't even need to post public notice if there was a "proven good faith effort" to contact renter.  If they do, you still need to find the notice which means going thru multiple papers *daily*.  (You may be doing this anyway to find the auctions, i dont. and Some can be found online).   After that its like skip tracing.

It doesn't even matter to me.   The extra time to research vs the limited insight?  I bid on what is showing. 


Re: Researching Auctions Prior to Going
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2013, 03:55:15 PM »
Thanks for the great advice!

Re: Researching Auctions Prior to Going
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2013, 05:14:46 PM »
here in North Florida..the Jacksonville online paper has some notices online, as does the local government website ( legal notices).... the best tip I got was that if you see the same last name, at the same or close facility, listed SEVERAL times that could mean business stuff ( my kinda stuff)..and ..... the Managers at the facility where I keep my stuff always let me know what's coming up..they work for an owner of 18 facilities ( North & Central Fl) and a lot of the employees at different sites talk on the phone daily,, my biggest score came from this contact..so I'd suggest getting in touch often with your network of contacts and put feelers out.

Offline alloro

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Re: Researching Auctions Prior to Going
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2013, 11:16:50 AM »
I have seen on the tv shows that some of them mention that they were deciding on how much to bid based on the information they learned about the person who was renting the unit.

That's TV show fluff, don't waste your time trying to research a tenant. Even if you can find the information you need, it doesn't mean things are what they seem.

Offline Alias300

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Re: Researching Auctions Prior to Going
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2013, 12:00:42 PM »
I'll add that in the times I've tried to research owner it hasn't helped.
First, (HERE)  they rarely post names in public notice.  When they do there isn't enough info to trace it.

If there is a name that's uncommon enough and partial addy, only occasionally can you gleam much info in search.
Divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure.....still doesnt tell you much.

Major down side is all the time you invested (and possibly money since its not needed but time saver to use pay sites to search public records) and then the owner pays up or locker is mostly empty.....or research shows owner was a <something that could make unit good> and turns out its filled with his dead mothers junk he didnt want to throw away due to memories......

About the only time it helps is if say you find he was a antique dealer and in back there is stacked up covered furniture.  Now you can have a bit more insight of possibilities.   Still a gamble.  You don't KNOW it's antiques....could be all the broken worthless crap he's picked up over he years.



To me, not worth the time spent.    And this from a guy that will spend hours researching a horse and pass races just to lay a $2 wager.   ???


Offline Travis

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Re: Researching Auctions Prior to Going
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2013, 12:33:41 PM »
I think Alias summed it up. It's a gigantic waste of time.

It's almost impossible to locate these people without an address, social security number, etc., especially in larger cities with multiple people with the same name.

If it's a company unit, I'll definitely look them up. But even this backfires since some people rent the unit in their business name and fill it with personal items. Probably so they can deduct the cost of storage on their taxes.

Even if you find out information about the tenant like he/she was a doctor or lawyer, that doesn't mean there is going to be anything valuable inside. You might end up with a unit full of medical or legal records.

If you're going to spend time reading the legal notices, focus on big ticket items or patterns. Also, it's a good idea to pay attention to whether there are multiple units owned by the same tenant. This way, if you buy one of them, you can be on look out for things you might need in the other units. For example: additional pieces to a bedroom set, chairs & leafs for a dining table, etc.

Re: Researching Auctions Prior to Going
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2013, 06:48:41 PM »
Best thing you can do is form a good relationship with the facility management and employees. Many facilities cut the locks prior to auction day and they get a look at what's in the unit. (around here anyway) Whenever I call to confirm an auction, I always ask the management if there's anything good out there. The ones I have a good relationship with give me the goods. The others I'm working on buttering up. A box of donuts goes a long way!

Offline alloro

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Re: Researching Auctions Prior to Going
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2013, 06:53:51 PM »
A box of donuts goes a long way!

I think you're confusing storage unit managers with cops. :)

Offline rulesforrebels

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Re: Researching Auctions Prior to Going
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2013, 01:20:44 PM »
good in theory, i hear of people doing it, tried it myself once or twice but honstly i think its a waste of time. i think people hope to find out some big sports memorbilia collector died and has a unit for auction or something but try researching a few names and you'll most likely soon find out you either find nothing interesting or just find yellowpages listings and myplace websites

Re: Researching Auctions Prior to Going
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2013, 02:01:46 AM »
Being somewhat of a hack with computers, researching the units prior to the auction seemed like second nature to me.  I did it at first quite a bit.  Going to live auctions and talking to folks, I quickly found that the old pros don't bother.  The more time I spend doing auctions stuff the more I realize the value of my time and researching auctions doesn't pay.  (with one exception)  I usually print a list of the units that had legal posted and take it to the auction.  If the legal says there were 20 units and there's 22 when you get there, don't bid on the other two. 

The only way a facility gets extra units to auction is something shady.  (private sale, staged, unit full of abandoned trash from cleaning the facility, etc)   The only thing you'll buy in these units is an education.


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