How to Earn Money with Storage Unit Auctions

User Review
2 (1 vote)

When a storage unit renter defaults their monthly payments for an extended time, the storage facility confiscates the unit together with all its contents. According to reputable self-storage news magazine, there were up to 52,000 storage facilities in the US in 2018, accounting for 2.3 billion square feet of rentable space.Over the past decade, storage units have become quite popular in business and residential markets. The rise has also seen a surge of  storage unit auctions. In these events, the public is allowed to participate in open auctions of the storage unit and its contents. Below are a few insights on how you can make money from public auctions of storage units.

  • Find out where it is going down

The first step to making money from storage unit auction is bracing yourself for the action and starts with getting to where the business is happening. It is essential to have the first-hand experience and watch how public auctions take place. Learning the process and system will make it easier to understand the trick used to short-change bidders and strategize on how to avoid falling victim. You can lookup auctions in local newspapers or online to arrive on time for the action. There are plenty of self storage units that go into auctions each year, with due diligence you might be able to score a high prices unit for pennies on the dollar.

  • Find your markets

Once you have been to a couple of public storage units auctions, you should be able to tell what products and merchandise are abundant and easy to sell. The next step is to identify the markets where you will sell your products, should you choose to invest. This includes every platform from eBay and Craigslist to local auction and antique shops, clothing consignment shops and flea markets. You want to have a plan of what you will do with the unit’s contents in case you win the bid since you only have a few days to empty everything or risk forfeiting the win. It is also essential to set up your retail fit with modern order management, banking technology to start making profits soon after winning the bid.

  • Purchase only what is visible

You should always be wary of empty storage units, which may imply the owner already took away valuable items. Instead, bring along a flashlight, steep tool, notebook, padlock and any other item that can help identify what is in the container and safely lock up once you win the bid. As a rule of thumb, you should only purchase what you can see instead of fantasizing about what could be inside the other boxes stacked behind. Calculate a quick estimate of how much you will sell the products and spend no more than 50% of that amount when bidding.


Making money from the $65 billion storage unit auctioning industry is all about learning the process and how it works. No rush decisions are necessary, especially as a beginner. Experts recommend that you stay meticulous and protected as you sort through the items. There is no reason to be scared about “bad” areas or ignore what’s in the junk. Storage unit auctions offer a quick market to start selling everyday items that other people once loved-enough to purchase. Once you identify a market and know the code, the rest is making sound pricing decisions that can fetch real profits.