Last Updated on July 14, 2022 by Jude Robert Caratao
Abandoned storage units can be a great place to find hidden treasures, or they can be a total bust. It all depends on how you go about purchasing one. Take time to consider your options and do your research to make sure you’re getting a good deal on a storage unit that may contain valuables.
So, how do I purchase an abandoned storage unit? If you’re considering purchasing an abandoned storage unit, there are a few things you need to know. First, you’ll need to find out if the unit is actually abandoned. Next, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to auction off the contents of the storage unit or if you’re going to purchase the unit outright. If you choose to buy the abandoned storage unit outright, you’ll need to contact the storage facility and make an offer.
In this post, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to purchase an abandoned storage unit and what to do if you find something valuable inside. Let’s get started!
An Overview of the Business
Before we dive deep into discussing how to find and purchase abandoned storage units, let us briefly go over what the business looks like.
The storage unit industry comprises two types of businesses: self-storage facilities and mobile storage companies.
Self-storage facilities are stationary warehouses that store your belongings in a designated space. These units can be as small as a closet or large enough to park a car in.
On the other hand, mobile storage companies deliver a storage container to your home or office. You pack up the container with your belongings, and the company stores it in their warehouse.
When you need your belongings back, you simply request that the company delivers the container to your location.
There are many reasons why people use storage units. Some use them to declutter their homes, while others use them for business purposes. Whatever the reason, people typically rent storage units on a month-to-month basis.
When people stop paying their storage unit rental fees, the facility has the right to auction off the contents of the unit in order to recoup the lost rent money. This is where you come in. As an investor, you can purchase these storage units at auction and resell the contents for a profit.
How to Purchase an Abandoned Storage Unit
If you’re interested in purchasing an abandoned storage unit, there are a few things you need to do:
1. Find Out If the Storage Unit Is Abandoned
The first step in purchasing an abandoned storage unit is to find out if it’s actually abandoned. This can be tricky, as some storage facilities will try to sell units that are not truly abandoned. If you’re unsure, you can always contact the storage facility and ask if the unit is abandoned.
The easiest way to find out if a storage unit is truly abandoned is to look for a notice of default or abandonment on the unit’s door. This notice will typically list the tenant’s name, the date of the last payment, and the amount owed. If you see this notice, you can be sure that the unit is abandoned.
Another way to find out if a storage unit is abandoned is to look for units that have been left open or unlocked. This is usually a good indication that the tenant has abandoned the unit.
Finally, you can also ask the storage facility manager if they have any units that will be auctioned off soon. The manager should be able to give you a list of units that will be auctioned and the date of the auction.
2. Decide If You’re Going to Auction Off the Contents or Purchase the Unit Outright
Once you’ve found an abandoned storage unit, you’ll need to decide if you’re auctioning off the contents or purchasing the unit outright.
If you decide to auction off the contents, you’ll need to contact the storage facility and ask if they’re holding an auction. The facility should be able to give you a date and time for the auction.
If you decide to purchase the unit outright, you’ll need to contact the storage facility and make them an offer. The facility will either accept or reject your offer.
If your offer is accepted, you’ll need to pay the storage facility and then you’ll be able to take possession of the unit.
3. Understand How Storage Auction Works
Before you start bidding on storage units, you need to understand how storage auction works.
Storage auctions are typically held on the premises of the storage facility. When you arrive at the auction, you’ll be given a list of units up for auction.
The units will be open for inspection, and you’ll be able to look inside each unit. However, you won’t be able to touch or remove any of the items in the unit.
Once the inspection period is over, the auction will begin. The auctioneer will start the bidding at a minimum amount, and then people will start bidding on the units.
The person who bids the highest amount will win the auction and will be required to pay for the unit.
4. Clean Out the Unit and Remove Any Trash
Once you’ve purchased the abandoned storage unit, it’s time to clean it out. This process can be time-consuming, so you’ll need to be prepared for it.
First, you’ll need to remove any trash in the unit. This includes any food, clothes, or other items that are no longer usable. Once you’ve removed the garbage, start cleaning out the rest of the unit.
Next, you’ll need to sort through all of the belongings in the unit and decide what to keep and what to sell. Keep any valuable items that you think you need for your own use. You can sell everything else.
5. Remove The Contents of The Unit Within the Specified Time Frame
Once you’ve won the auction, you’ll need to remove the contents of the unit within the specified time frame.
Depending on the storage facility, the time frame will vary, but it’s typically 24-48 hours.
If you don’t remove the contents of the unit within the specified time frame, you’ll be charged a daily rental fee.
6. Choose A Method for Selling the Contents of The Unit
To make money out of the storage unit auction, you’ll need to choose a method for selling the contents of the unit.
The most common method is to have a garage sale. This is where you set up all of the items from the unit in your garage or your front yard, and people can come and purchase them.
Another popular method is to sell the items online. This can be done through classified ads websites or auction websites like eBay.
You can also choose to donate the items to a local charity. This is a good option if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling the items.
Are Storage Auctions Profitable
With the rise of storage units, storage auctions have become quite profitable.
However, it’s important to remember that you won’t always make a profit from storage auctions. There’s always a risk involved, and you could end up losing money if you’re not careful.
The best way to increase your chances of making a profit is to do your research and know what you’re doing. If you’re new to storage auctions, it’s good to start off by bidding on lower-priced units.
As you become more experienced, you can start bidding on more expensive units.
It’s also important to remember that the contents of the storage unit are usually sold as-is. This means that you won’t be able to return any of the items if you’re not satisfied with them.
Inspect the Unit Carefully Before You Bid on It
Storage auctions can be a great way to make some extra money. However, you need to be aware of the risks involved. If you’re not careful, you could lose money instead of making a profit.
One of the most important things to do before bidding on a storage unit is to scrutinize it. This will give you an idea of what’s inside and how much it’s worth.
It’s also a good idea to ask the storage facility if they have any information about the contents of the unit. This can be helpful if you’re not familiar with the items that are inside.
Remember, you’re usually bidding on the unit sight unseen, so it’s essential to do your research before you commit to anything.
What Should I Look for When Purchasing a Storage Unit?
There are five critical things you need to consider when purchasing an existing self-storage unit: They include:
- Location: This is perhaps the most critical factor to consider before buying a self-storage unit.
- Overall condition of the storage unit.
- Competition: As you evaluate your target options, assess the relative competition you may face from other investors.
- Upside potential.
- Information integrity.
Abandoned storage units can be a great way to make some extra money. However, you need to be prepared for the process.
Make sure you understand how storage auction works and that you have a plan for selling the contents of the unit. With a little bit of effort, you can make a tidy profit from storage unit auctions.