Storage Auctions

The Future of Storage Auctions Has NOT arrived; online auctions will not prevail

Offline Travis

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Ri-i-i-i-i-i-ght, because all facility managers walk around with the auction crown with an internet capable laptop or tablet in their hands. :D

I meant once they get back to their office, goofball.  ;D

Offline Travis

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In my state, Georgia, an online auction isn’t a valid way of executing the lien law so it’s a moot point anyway. I’m only looking at it from the aspect of easily determining a starting bid for the “real” auction.

An online auction run simultaneously with the in-person auction would be perfectly legal in Georgia.

But that's a good point. If the auction was online and the bids were too high, you could save time and gas or find another auction to attend. Not only that, having pictures online would allow you to preview the units. If there is nothing of interest to you, then you didn't make a trip for nothing.

Offline alloro

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I meant once they get back to their office, goofball.

The auction would be over at that point and would exclude the online bidders from bidding higher. To me it just seems like a clunky way of doing things.

Offline bwd111

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Only time will tell if online auctions will "make it" in the long run. I don't think they will. Travis has his sources he goes by and the four major auctioneers in my area are my sources. They don't hold out much long term hope for online auctions either, but what do they know?

The fact is that EACH interested party has their own perspective on any business and it is colored by their personal interest; to wit:

1) Travis has a vested interest in seeing online auctions succeed so his new website will succeed "free" or not.
2) Regular auctioneers have a vested interest in seeing online auctions fail...their interest is obvious.
3) We as auction buyers are the ones who will determine if online auctions flourish or not...personally, I'm not buying   into onlines for the following reasons:

a) I don't feel I can get a good enough view through pictures (I don't care how many they post)
b) Until smell-o-vision comes to the internet and they can effectively give me the smells of a locker in question. Sorry.
c) The sense of what the buying crowd feels about a locker can not be measured in online auctions.
d) I can't talk to a storage manager (or other buyers) about a locker or locker owner history before making a bidding
    decision.
e,f, g, h, i, etc) other members here can provide other reasons I haven't thought of.

Sorry, I'm just not buying online auctions and I mean that in more ways than one.
Would you buy this auction online with the smell? storagebattles.com/itemdetail/2672/a-1-access-storage-towne-storage.html

Offline Travis

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The auction would be over at that point and would exclude the online bidders from bidding higher. To me it just seems like a clunky way of doing things.

Well, until our law makers add clear and concise language to our lien laws allowing online storage auctions, it's the best option we have. Keep in mind, in states where online storage auctions are currently legal, they don't have to have the live sale as well. Over the next few years, I think most states will clarify their lien laws and this won't even be an issue.

Offline Travis

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LOL! Now you’re just playing with semantics. Of coarse there is nothing that says it isn’t legal to have auctions running on the ‘net and in person. However, the “Real” auction is the one that is held per our Georgia State Statute and not per the “Virtual Statute”.

FWIW, our lien law states the "Real" auction must be held at the storage facility or at the nearest Bla, bla, bla…

Hey, I'm not knocking your concept. I like it! Like I said, using the online auction environment would be great as a good starting point for a minimum "Real" auction bid. That is as long as the winning bidder shows up for the "Real" auction.

No matter how many times you state it does, the online auction environment (LOL! Internet Law) cannot, and never will, supercede Georgia (or any other state) law.

Hey, I just realized that you came up with a great name for your domain. “Virtual Storage Auctions”, as in, not in the realm of “Real Auctions”. Very cool how you did that Travis… Good Job Man! I think I get it now…

I appreciate the support...I think.  ;D

Look at it like this. More and more cities and government agencies are moving their property auctions online. Just this month, ICE moved their auctions to a website. More and more counties are moving their "real property" auctions to an online format. If they feel it's appropriate to auction off people's homes online, why not their storage units?

I based my decision to create this website because of the comment made by the attorney for the Texas Self Storage Association. She stated that she didn't feel that an online only storage auction met the lien law requirements in Texas; however, she stated that online auctions used as a supplement to the live sale at the facility would be acceptable.

I know that running an online auction alongside a live sale isn't the ideal scenario, but until our laws are modified, it gives storage facilities who are located in states where the lien laws are ambiguous a legal alternative. 
 

Offline bwd111

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I meant once they get back to their office, goofball.  ;D
Now That was funny.

Offline MovieMan

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Would you buy this auction online with the smell? storagebattles.com/itemdetail/2672/a-1-access-storage-towne-storage.html

I think you posted this same question in three threads...2 for sure, so I'm answering it everywhere I see it.

1) I will never buy an auction online.
2) Buying decisions are not made solely on the basis of smell, never have been never will be.
3) I wouldn't buy the car you showed in the link even if it was here in California and not in UT. I am not a car guy.

Offline bwd111

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I think you posted this same question in three threads...2 for sure, so I'm answering it everywhere I see it.

1) I will never buy an auction online.
2) Buying decisions are not made solely on the basis of smell, never have been never will be.
3) I wouldn't buy the car you showed in the link even if it was here in California and not in UT. I am not a car guy.
Dont have to be a car guy to make money cause you sell the car. Thing I dont like about online is 9 days to bid on unit? I like 5 minutes to look at unit and only cash you have in hand that day. I wish my state would stop going to the online way! Having 45 units online is too much

Offline MovieMan

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Dont have to be a car guy to make money cause you sell the car.

I have little knowlege about cars and no interest in buying and selling them. Sure, I could look it up online (even at a live auction) but that wouldn't tell me if there was an engine in it, if it would run when attempting to start it, how long it had been since it was last started, if the keys were available, if there were past due DMV fees (from 1985, wow !), what the fluids were like after all that time, etc, etc, etc.

Nope, not for me whether there or here...I'm not a car guy.


Buyers on the site are informed when there is a lien sale taking place online and at the facility. Buyers are also informed that they will need to contact the facility 1 hour after the in-person sale to find out if they were outbid at the live sale. Also, the storage facility can press a button and notify the highest online bidder that they were outbid at the live sale.

im a bit lost so this isnt proxy bidding like ebay ? max bids are shown in the online auction?

Offline Travis

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im a bit lost so this isnt proxy bidding like ebay ? max bids are shown in the online auction?

Yes, the buyer has the option of using proxy bidding. No, max bids are not shown to anyone. I'm not even sure if I can see them. (Remind me to look into that.) When an online auction is used as a supplement to a live sale, the opening bid at the live sale will need to be higher than the highest online bid. If no one bids at the live sale, the online bidder is the final winner. Once the manager logs into his/her account, they can press a button notifying the highest bidder that they were the highest bidder overall. If the online buyer doesn't pay, the facility can see the bids of the second, third & fourth place bidders as well as their email address and phone number.

The "Sealed Online Bids" site failed (well, merged with "Storage Battles") , and so will this one........

WHY, MAY YOU ASK??????

If you look at the prices the units are selling for online, they are going for OUTRAGEOUS money. Way more $$$ then a "live" auction, even with the huge crowds since the proliferation of the TV reality shows. And don't forget the buyer's premium fees and tax!

The site claims that the units are not touched, and left in the same condition the tenant left them in. But if you look closely at the pictures, items are moved around by facilities (of course to get better pictures of the merchandise). This is no different then "highgrading"- rearranging a unit by placing expensive items in front.

If a facility manager sees a jewelry box or gun case in a room, you don't think they will turn a blind eye, and then go to the next box of clothes or stuffed animals, do you?? Of course not. It's human nature. BUT IF THEY TRULY DO NOT WALK INSIDE A LOCKER (like they are supposed to do), THIS WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE.

I get a big laugh when units that would sell at a live auction for, say, $400, sell at an online auction for $1300 by the time the fees and taxes are added in. At a live auction, there is the ability to see who you are bidding against, and where the bids are going. Who knows who is placing bids from their computer? How about ANYONE WITH A COMPUTER AND ACCESS TO THE SITE?

Yes, this obviously means the facility owners, managers (or anyone else with a vested financial interest in the locker proceeds) are placing SHILL BIDS, thus artificially driving up the prices, and making more profit for the business. In my area, the owners and managers that are using this company are (generally) the "rulebreaker" types. You know, the spammers that list their auctions 15-20 times on Craigslist without deleting old listings, per CL rules.

The newbie "guppies" are clueless as to what amount of money one must pay for a unit to make a profit, and are taking the bait. WELL, FOR NOW. Just as at a live auction, there are people who think this is a "get rich quick" business, and fall by the wayside after blowing hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on junk.

One thing for sure- NO EXPERIENCED BUYER WOULD DARE BID ON A UNIT WITHOUT SEEING IT CLOSEUP, and especially without knowing who is bidding against them. The concept of online storage auctions is a good one on the surface, but the format is ripe for scammers and unscrupulous people in this economy.

When people realize the true lack of transparency and accountability, online unit auctions will go the way of 8-track tapes. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A LIVE STORAGE AUCTION!!!!!

Offline bwd111

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I would try to buy the car at a in person auction - for sure if the residue isn't something bad.

However, at this particular online auction I would not even try it. Why? They showed a Utah inspection sticker from 1985 on the windshield. That's almost 30 years ago and could be the last time the car was on the streets. Combine that with the unknown residue on the car, I think it isn't that great of a deal. Big unrepairable problems can be found on a car that has been in storage for 30 years. Did you notice there wasn't any pictures of the interior?

Sometimes the detail of the pictures is a good thing or bad. Depends on how you are looking at it.
But you can get a crate motor next to nothing and corvette central and ecklers has all stuff corvette stuff reason I know this is I'm a corvette owner. If a person can get is vette for 3,800 a guy could make some money. But you are correct the picture dont show inside but do show speedometer and to me they are hiding something and when I called they would not answer about the interior. Still a good find thou

Offline MovieMan

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THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A LIVE STORAGE AUCTION!!!!!

Well, I wouldn't put it in all caps myself, but I still have to agree. I don't think online auctions will ever be the ONLY choice for auctions, NOR do I believe they will be the PREVALENT choice.  As the poster said...there is no substitute for a live  storage auction.


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