Storage Auctions

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

Offline MovieMan

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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.

efg etc . 
 The facility owners in my area are more concerned with getting the unit back onto the available inventory than they are with getting even with the rent . They arent going to want to wait a week or 10 days for an online auction to run , get paid and cleaned out. Especially when they are turning away new clients because they are out of 5x10s or 10x10s

Offline Travis

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2) Regular auctioneers have a vested interest in seeing online auctions fail...their interest is obvious.

That's because Storage Battles and Sealed Online Bids excluded auctioneers. Why were they excluded you ask? Because they don't want to share their commission with an auctioneer. We realize that auctioneers are an integral part of the storage auction business which is why auctioneers are encouraged to use VirtualStorageAuction.com. Since we're free to use, we're not concerned about their commission. The auctioneers can keep their money in their pockets where it belongs. 

3) We as auction buyers are the ones who will determine if online auctions flourish or not

I totally disagree. Online storage auctions are very convenient for facilities. Plus, they recover more money than they would with a traditional sale. It's just a matter of time before online storage auctions become the industry standard. If a majority of storage facilities start holding their sales online, buyers will follow.
 

...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)

I beg to differ. With the zoom feature in these photos, you can see things that you wouldn't be able to with the naked eye.

b) Until smell-o-vision comes to the internet and they can effectively give me the smells of a locker in question. Sorry.

If you purchase lockers based on how they smell, you're missing a lot of good opportunities.

c) The sense of what the buying crowd feels about a locker can not be measured in online auctions.

I have never let the crowds reaction to a unit influence my buying decision. I'll buy anything I can turn a profit on regardless of what anyone else thinks. However, you can gauge the popularity of the units being sold online by looking at the bidding activity which is located below the unit's description.


d) I can't talk to a storage manager (or other buyers) about a locker or locker owner history before making a bidding
    decision.

You have to question people's motives when they tell you something about a unit or a tenant. I base my buying decisions based on what I can see in the unit. Anything else is gambling.

Sorry, I'm just not buying online auctions and I mean that in more ways than one.

That's okay. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. You seem to be doing better as a picker anyway.  ;D

Offline MovieMan

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We'll have to agree to disagree.

I certainly don't buy lockers based SOLELY on how they smell, but it IS a consideration. I've seen junky looking lkr pics on some of the online auctions and the ability to smell them MIGHT make a difference. You said you buy based on what you can see and you promote the zoom feature of photos. On the other hand I wonder if the photographers take a picture of the pot in the corner with urine or worse inside. Editing is what it's all about and the photos will show the best items that's for sure.

As to letting the crowd make a decision for me, that doesn't happen either, but I don't think even you can deny that knowledge about the former lkr owner from the manager or from people who knew the former lkr owner can be denied as a helper in making a decision.

I have known former locker owners (some of whom have been auction buyers or flea market sellers) and I can assure you I didn't bid based on that knowlege. Meanwhile other buyers who didn't know those facts were buying based on "what they could see" .... stage or not, they didn't know.

It will be interesting to see what other buyers here think about online auctions as a viable opportunity or a future leader in sales of auction lockers.

I have absolutely nothing to gain by stating what I think about the online auctions. Can you Travis legitimately say the same thing?


Offline Travis

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efg etc . 
 The facility owners in my area are more concerned with getting the unit back onto the available inventory than they are with getting even with the rent . They arent going to want to wait a week or 10 days for an online auction to run , get paid and cleaned out. Especially when they are turning away new clients because they are out of 5x10s or 10x10s

They don't have to wait any longer than they normally would. They still have to place legal notices in the newspaper. The auction can begin whenever they're ready.

Offline MovieMan

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quote author=Travis link=topic=3875.msg25412#msg25412 date=1364223930]
They don't have to wait any longer than they normally would. They still have to place legal notices in the newspaper. The auction can begin whenever they're ready.
[/quote]

If I read the legal notices correctly they might say: Auction, April 5, 1 p.m. (at such and such physical address).
People show up, auction happens, money paid, lkr cleaned out. Lkr available to re rented out to a new person.

A legal notice for an online auction MIGHT read like this (I hardly read them, so this isn't totally accurate).

Online auction of Lkr #456 to be held online STARTING April 5, 1 p.m. and ending April 15, 1 p.m. (followed by details on URL for online auction, terms of payment, etc, etc.

Seems like there's some lag time in there to me for re-renting the lkr, but maybe I'm just plain wrong as I am the average schlub who buys used to buy these things on a fairly regular basis.

I wonder if it isn't easier for an online buyer to back out of a deal than it is for a person who actually attends. There is a certain anonimity to the online experience after all. AGAIN, I don't know all the details about registering, bidding, etc as I have no interest in pursuing this avenue of buying. I think buying a lkr online is different than buying something from eBay online.

As to picking items (as opposed to buying lkrs) yes, THAT works for me as it's all right in front of me. I won't promote that kind of buying here (as I have no vested interest in doing so) but if someone hasn't tried it, they might want to.

Offline Travis

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I have absolutely nothing to gain by stating what I think about the online auctions. Can you Travis legitimately say the same thing?

I don't see why that is even relevant. It's not like I'm making a commission on these units. I truly believe in online storage auctions and VirtualStorageAuction.com. If I didn't, I would be investing my time and money making it happen. It's been a long time since I have been this passionate about something.

Offline Travis

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If I read the legal notices correctly they might say: Auction, April 5, 1 p.m. (at such and such physical address).
People show up, auction happens, money paid, lkr cleaned out. Lkr available to re rented out to a new person.

A legal notice for an online auction MIGHT read like this (I hardly read them, so this isn't totally accurate).

Online auction of Lkr #456 to be held online STARTING April 5, 1 p.m. and ending April 15, 1 p.m. (followed by details on URL for online auction, terms of payment, etc, etc.

Seems like there's some lag time in there to me for re-renting the lkr, but maybe I'm just plain wrong as I am the average schlub who buys used to buy these things on a fairly regular basis.

I wonder if it isn't easier for an online buyer to back out of a deal than it is for a person who actually attends. There is a certain anonimity to the online experience after all. AGAIN

A online buyer could back out just as easily as someone could leave an auction without paying. On our site, if a buyer doesn't pay a storage facility, their IP address is blocked from using the site again. The advantage of an online storage auction in this situation would be that the storage facility can still contact the next highest bidder.


No, the notices are more like this: ABC storage facility will be auctioning off the following units on VirtualStorageAuction.com. Auction begins on March 28th and ends on April 5th at 12:00 PM.

Or, for states where online storage auctions are questionable. ABC storage facility will be auctioning off the following units on VirtualStorageAuction.com and conducting an In-Person sale. Online auction begins on March 28th and ends on April 5th at 12:00 PM. Live Sale begins April 5th at 1:00 PM. Units will be sold to the highest overall bidder.

As you can see, it doesn't take any longer than a traditional sale would.

Offline MovieMan

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No, the notices are more like this: ABC storage facility will be auctioning off the following units on VirtualStorageAuction.com. Auction begins on March 28th and ends on April 5th at 12:00 PM.

Or, for states where online storage auctions are questionable. ABC storage facility will be auctioning off the following units on VirtualStorageAuction.com and conducting an In-Person sale. Online auction begins on March 28th and ends on April 5th at 12:00 PM. Live Sale begins April 5th at 1:00 PM. Units will be sold to the highest overall bidder.

As you can see, it doesn't take any longer than a tradition sale would.

Yes, a live auction buyer could back out and the auctioneer would be able to sell the unit RIGHT THEN to the 2nd highest buyer (if the 2nd highest bidder hadn't left the scene) (there is another thread about that happening). On the other hand the online auction buyer could possibly wait a bit (day or two) to decide to pay or not? Is THAT possible? If he backed out two days after the auction ended, then then the 2nd or 3rd bidder had changed their minds as well, the day count starts to add up.

I think the TIME FACTOR here is an important issue for facilities which the point one of the posters above was making.

In your quote directly above, I just don't understand how the online auction is happening just as fast a regular auction. It has a 5 or 10 day spread as opposed to the one hour live auction. Again, maybe I'm just dense. Maybe some other posters here will have something to say one way or the other that will make me more enlightened.


Offline alloro

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In your quote directly above, I just don't understand how the online auction is happening just as fast a regular auction.

Depends on the timing. If the storage facility completes the required legal hurdles, it doesn't necessarily have a live auction the same day. It could be 2 or 3 weeks before the auctioneer or regional manager comes around to conduct the auction. With the online auction, it could be posted within 24 hours and be completed before the live auction would've taken place. Like I said, it depends on the timing.

Offline Travis

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Yes, a live auction buyer could back out and the auctioneer would be able to sell the unit RIGHT THEN to the 2nd highest buyer (if the 2nd highest bidder hadn't left the scene)

The auctioneer won't realize that the buyer has left until everyone has finished paying. Everyone is gone at that point. The chances of the second highest bidder still being there are slim. At least with an online storage auction the facility has access to the second and third place bidder's email addresses and phone numbers.

On the other hand the online auction buyer could possibly wait a bit (day or two) to decide to pay or not? Is THAT possible? If he backed out two days after the auction ended, then then the 2nd or 3rd bidder had changed their minds as well, the day count starts to add up.

Sure it's possible, just like it's possible for a live bidder to change their mind and leave without paying. Just like it's possible for a second a second or third place bidder at the live sale to change their minds as well.



I think the TIME FACTOR here is an important issue for facilities which the point one of the posters above was making.

In your quote directly above, I just don't understand how the online auction is happening just as fast a regular auction. It has a 5 or 10 day spread as opposed to the one hour live auction. Again, maybe I'm just dense.

The auction online auction would begin before the auction date and end on the auction date. Remember, these notices are sent out 3-5 weeks in advance. Maybe the following example will help you understand. This is an actual legal notice.

Legal Notice of Public Sale
To be held at:
StorageBattles.com
Begin Date: March 30th,
2013 1:00pm
End Date: April 8th, 2013
at 1:00pm
American Mini Storage;
pursuant to Chapter 59,
Texas Property Code, will
hold a public auction online
at StorageBattles.com of
delinquent storage units to
satisfy operatorís lien: Unit #
2008 Douglas Crisp; Unit #
2048 Ernest Ramirez; Unit
# 3048 Jean-Marie Ruddy.
Unit contains contents of
household goods. All units
to be, sold in entirety to
highest bidder: All contents
must be removed same day,
Payment due immediately
upon bid acceptance. American
Mini Storage reserves
the following rights: (1) to
refuse any and all bids; (3)
to cancel the auction at any
time for any reason. Contact
Jennifer, Manager at 713-
957-3666.
3-21-2013 & 3-28-2013

Offline MovieMan

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The auction online auction would begin before the auction date and end on the auction date.

Like I said...maybe, I'm just dense, but the single line above straightened that aspect out for me. I still have questions about the process, but I went to a piece by piece auction for a couple of hours and I'm going to take a few hours off here to actually do some work !


Offline alloro

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An interesting aspect of the new site is the ability of running both auctions at the same time and ending the online auction just before the in person auction.

If you do that then the unit sold online and cannot be auctioned off again in person.

Offline Travis

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If you do that then the unit sold online and cannot be auctioned off again in person.

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.

Offline alloro

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Also, the storage facility can press a button and notify the highest online bidder that they were outbid at the live sale.

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


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