Storage Auctions

Yet more thoughts on the viability of online storage auctions

Offline MovieMan

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The following was a response to a thread about the top 10 storage auction forums/etc in force today, but I figured it should enjoy its own presence here, so here it is.

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One measure I would be interested in seeing is the percentage of storage facilites that currently use ANY online auction sale technique as opposed to the ten's of thousands who somehow see the "old" (read "tried and true") technique of having a live body talk to other live bodies about buying a unit.

The following figures are hypothetical but may give an idea of the "impact" online storage auctions currently make on the rest of us who go to auctions....whether frequently or infrequently.



Remember, the figures used in the spreadsheet above are hypothetical; they use the appx # of storage facilities in the USA (according to the SSA), an easily identifiable number like 1,000 or 100 (or 4) for a number of auction listings on any of the current online auction sources and a simple math equation to show what the percentage of those auctions are as a relationship to the number of facilities available to have auctions one way or the other.

The spreadsheet above does NOT represent the fact that not all facilities even have auctions, etc. It does not have anything to do with "SEO" (search engine optimization) etc. It is simply my assesment of the potential of the business...or possibly the LACK of potential based on what I reasonably believe is the current state of the industry.

Offline Travis

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Re: Yet more thoughts on the viability of online storage auctions
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2013, 07:35:44 PM »
One thing you have to keep in mind is that the online storage auction industry is a relatively new niche.

I bet if you asked 50% of storage facility owners about online storage auctions their reply would be "online what?" My point being, it's going to take several more years for this industry to move into the mainstream.

Not only are there still a lot of legal issues that need to be addressed but we're asking an industry to change the way they have been doing business for decades. 

When I launched VSA, I never expected it to be an overnight success. I knew that it would take years of hard work to get established. I see the big picture and I'm a very patient person.  ;)

Looking at this spreadsheet, I suppose the industry's progress looks miniscule; however, it also shows the tremendous opportunity for growth.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Yet more thoughts on the viability of online storage auctions
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2013, 10:59:45 PM »
One thing you have to keep in mind is that the online storage auction industry is a relatively new niche.

Yes, I think your said the other two outfits had been around about two years.

I bet if you asked 50% of storage facility owners about online storage auctions their reply would be "online what?" My point being, it's going to take several more years for this industry to move into the mainstream.

I bet if you asked them 98% of them they wouldn't know what an online auction was.

Not only are there are still a lot of legal issues that need to be addressed but we're asking an industry to change the way they have been doing business for decades. 

Yikes !  Legal issues? I thought you had those worked out for your site.

When I launched VSA, I never expected it to be an overnight success. I knew that it would take years of hard work to get established. I see the big picture and I'm a very patient person.  ;)

The others haven't promoted it enough in the last two years? And that was when the TV shows were hot.  Yes, a long haul ahead for VSA.

Looking at this spreadsheet, I suppose the industry's progress looks miniscule; however, it also shows the tremendous opportunity for growth.

The glass half full approach eh?  Yes, miniscule is a good word for its growth over the last 2 years..those guys don't know how to promote like you do.  ;D Polyanna had a good outlook too. Remains to be seen (over the next 1.5 years I guess) what 4 years worth of promoting auctions online will look like.


In text above, Travis comments are in black and my responses are in blue.

Re: Yet more thoughts on the viability of online storage auctions
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2013, 11:53:14 PM »
It may still be to early to make the call, but at the moment I am hoping the 'online storage auction' market goes the way of the dinosaur. It is already obvious the prices in my area are going several times online what they would in a live auction setting, and giving more people a chance to view/bid is only a bad thing for the locker buyer.

Offline Travis

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Re: Yet more thoughts on the viability of online storage auctions
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2013, 08:07:23 AM »
Quote by: MovieMan

Yikes !  Legal issues? I thought you had those worked out for your site.


I should have been more specific. We have have all of the legal issues worked out with our site; however, there are still concerns for storage facilities who want to have "online only" lien sales in states where the legality of online storage auctions is questionable. I'm hoping that, in the future, the self storage associations will encourage our lawmakers to add clear and concise language to our lien laws.

Re: Yet more thoughts on the viability of online storage auctions
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2013, 02:39:25 PM »
I bought 4 lockers online a couple of months ago and as a whole I made some money, but if I broke down the sales from each locker bought on that day, I did really good one 1 and either lost or broke even (best case scenario) on the other 3. However, I did buy all 4 lockers for under $600. One of the lockers was virtually a total loss, roaches everywhere. We saved the items that roaches couldn't get into (not many) and chucked the rest out. While I'm soured on online auctions at the moment, I can't help but keep my eye out for any opportunity to buy!


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