Storage Auctions

My First Auctions

My First Auctions
« on: July 28, 2011, 10:25:34 AM »
Wasn’t sure where to put this, it fit here, Auction Stories, or the Lookey loo thread.  Anyway, move it if it seems better elsewhere…

I went to my first four auctions yesterday.  The first one easily had 90 people with about 10 bidders.  That isn’t counting the dozen or so children and infants.  The next three were in a circuit and were less crowded (about 40 people), but my guess is that most lookey loos went to an auction that had 20 units up.  The first auction, though crowded, was a pleasant experience as the auctioneer was friendly and allowed people to really look at a unit.  The last three (all done by the same guy, who I found out later is a regular in southern California) were not as fun.  He would not let your feet stop moving as you walked by a unit.  One guy (a regular) got down on his hands and knees to look under something and got barked at; because he was a regular, he barked right back.  More than once I heard people sharing information as to what they saw in a unit and complaining that they had no idea what they were bidding on.

My favorite unit of the day was a packed unit (10x15) that looked like a lot of junk in the front, but was clearly most of a household.  Bidding started at $100, then $125, then $150… then a regular just yelled out $1000 and it sold for that.  Other regulars were saying it would have gone for more if he hadn’t jumped in.  He scared away the competition and avoided the nickel and diming the noobies were doing.  Overall, prices were all over the map.  A couple units went for fairly cheap for good stuff to outrageous for what looked like junk.

I didn’t bid on anything, but in describing the experience to my wife, I have piqued her interest to the point she wants to go out with me next time I go (probably in a month or so). 

All in all, it was good experience, and I now have a better sense of what I would need to bid to get certain lockers.  I also spent the day as a sponge listening to the regulars talk about the business.  There was a reporter at one facility who was just talking to a regular.  I sat back and just absorbed everything he had to say while she asked the questions for me!  It was perfect.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: My First Auctions
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 10:33:34 AM »
Sounds like you might have learned a lot one way or the other; why wait a month to go again?

I know from your previous posts that you are as cautious as can be, but just GOING (not buying) can't hurt you can it?

I'll probably hear the $1,000 lkr story filter into my area as all of the regulars share that info if they were at an auction.
That high bid technique works most of the time, but sometimes not everyone is scared off and it goes up from there. I've seen it happen both ways when I've done it.


Re: My First Auctions
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 11:41:48 AM »
I'll be doing this strictly as a hobby.  I can't go more often as I have a 9-5 job five days a week, and, as you know, Saturday auctions are a rarity around here.  I just can't afford to take more than one day off per month or so.   :'(

Offline Travis

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Re: My First Auctions
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2011, 04:24:56 PM »
Actually, the smaller independent storage facilities, especially the rural ones tend to have their auctions on Saturdays. You might really be surprised how many auctions are going on in your area. Perhaps you should make some phone calls and get on their call lists.


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