Storage Auctions

Photos / Description Misleading

Offline Travis

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Photos / Description Misleading
« on: November 28, 2013, 07:21:46 AM »
Up until this point, I thought the photos of storage units being sold online were just as good as being there in person, if not better. Now, I still think that good photos have advantages over seeing the unit live; however, I really got fooled by the unit I bought yesterday. 

There was a really nice double pillow top mattress that looked like a queen, possibly even a king. Turned out to be a full size. There was also a chest of drawers that looked like an armoire. Turned out to be standard size.

Here is what really get's under my skin. In the auction description, the facility manager listed a dining table with 6 chairs. Turns out there were only 4 chairs. Now, that might not be a big deal if we were dealing with an average table, but this is a high quality set. Chairs alone would run you about $150 each if you were paying retail. Next screw up. The manager listed the mattress as a queen. Turned out to be a full size. Not a huge difference in resale value, but every penny counts these days. Lastly, the manager said there were 2 dressers. Nope. One chest and a nightstand behind the mattress. Major screw up. That's $250 out of my pocket.

Do you think the storage facility should have to pay for their misrepresentations?

Offline Travis

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Re: Photos / Description Misleading
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2013, 10:12:27 AM »
Actually, I've been doing some research. Under United States & Texas auction laws, the storage facility (acting as it's own auctioneer) is liable for misrepresentations. Their description constitutes a warranty.

They could even be sued for saying something like an item "looks as good as new," if it turned out not to be.

I mean, this isn't a huge deal but this is definitely cutting into my profit by $450. I sent them an email asking for partial compensation. If they aren't willing to cooperate, I think it's a slam dunk in small claims court.

Re: Photos / Description Misleading
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2013, 10:28:03 AM »
I think smalls claims court is like the Storage Wars the TV show onsite appraisal.  We all think it is easier than it is and after a ton of work and wasted time we are lucky to get half of what we think.

With photos and descriptions on online auctions, I am beginning to take Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.  I have been fooled in both online and live auctions since I started late this summer. 

We should fight for what is right but in the end you have to weigh the effort vs the reward.  When I look online I now use the description as a guide and do my best to cipher the photos.  Some facilities have great photos and some take awful ones.  Let the buyer beware!!!!

Offline alloro

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Re: Photos / Description Misleading
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2013, 12:01:22 PM »
Do you think the storage facility should have to pay for their misrepresentations?

In my trade (electrician) I often have to deal with wires that might or might not be live. Therefore, I have a voltage tester to test the wires myself before my hands go on them. Now if I touched the wires without checking them myself because someone told me they were dead, when in fact they weren't and I in turn got burnt, who's fault would it be?

Offline Alias300

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Re: Photos / Description Misleading
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2013, 01:58:22 PM »
In my trade (electrician) I often have to deal with wires that might or might not be live. Therefore, I have a voltage tester to test the wires myself before my hands go on them. Now if I touched the wires without checking them myself because someone told me they were dead, when in fact they weren't and I in turn got burnt, who's fault would it be?

Apples & Oranges.

If Travis bid on unit because picture showed a mattress HE *thought* was a king but really a twin....his bad.   But if your *told* its a king, facilities bad.  They should pay up.

If someone asks you to put in an outlet in kitchen, tells you wires have been run and up to code so you quote them $150 but you get there and wires are bad you don't run new wires for free, right?  You don't say: hey, you told me the wires were new but I should have known you'd lie to me so Ill wire it for free.

Ran into this all the time at the dealership.  You never say the brakes or tire are good, you say they still have X millimeters still on them.....you always give answers to make person make the assumption so your in the clear.

In Travis's case it would be something like:  large dinning table that can accommodate 6 people, dining chairs......

Never said six chairs were in there.  YOU assumed it.


Re: Photos / Description Misleading
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2013, 03:45:28 PM »
A solution to this issue would be a preview period in which potential bidders could view the units in person. Online liquidation auctions usually allow this the day before the auction closes. Hypothetically, the storage facilities could do the same thing if they're willing to set aside a few hours to oversee the viewings. It would give bidders the advantage of assessing the units in person & the convenience of bidding remotely, while limiting the liability of the storage facility.

Offline Travis

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Re: Photos / Description Misleading
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2013, 07:31:54 PM »
A solution to this issue would be a preview period in which potential bidders could view the units in person. Online liquidation auctions usually allow this the day before the auction closes. Hypothetically, the storage facilities could do the same thing if they're willing to set aside a few hours to oversee the viewings. It would give bidders the advantage of assessing the units in person & the convenience of bidding remotely, while limiting the liability of the storage facility.

Mike, that's a great idea. I think I'm going to add an option on OnlineStorageAuctions.com which allows storage facilities to set date and time for live inspection. 

Re: Photos / Description Misleading
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2013, 08:51:51 PM »
And this is why online storage auctions have such a major hurdle.. One misrepresentation and buyers will run from the scene!

Offline Travis

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Re: Photos / Description Misleading
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2013, 09:53:54 PM »
Now, even though they totally misrepresented this locker, I can't complain.

storagebattles (dot) com/auctions/detail/13110

Turns out, that washer and dryer set is the Maytag Bravos series. (High Efficiency, Top loading, with see through door.) That was a total surprise. I'm selling my washer and dryer and keeping these.

After I realized that the misrepresented dresser was really a nightstand, I was not happy. But, when I removed the blanket from the other item that was behind the mattress and realized that it was a 55" Vizio flat screen, that made my day.



Re: Photos / Description Misleading
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2013, 07:11:56 AM »

And frankly I doubt these folks have any interest in this forum...they are too busy conducting business and apparently doing as well as they can at it considering there is little if any competition.

There is no doubt they monitor this forum because I received an email from them asking to publicize my recent find of the Rene Brochard painting from one of their auctions. I passed on the offer but this forum was the only place I showed both the picture from the auction and the link to the SB auction.

I hope there is more competition as it would be better for the business.

I am a member of a couple of the storage auction forums but this is the only one I post in because it is the most active. There is no reason why the Storage Treasure forum should be less active than this one but it is.  Even if it just a handful of posters that make it so this forum is more active and informative than any other storage auction site out there.  So there is hope for Travis and his site.  All it would take is an Uncle Bob or Public Storage to make that happen.  In an ideal consumer world VSA would get one and SB would get the other, like I said competition drives innovation.

Selling online is the most important tool many of us have and we are always looking for ways to improve on that and I believe buying online will be the future.

Re: Photos / Description Misleading
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2013, 07:13:03 AM »
The ironic thing is that as I was defending online auctions the SB site is down :(


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