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How To Bid Like A Pro At Unpaid Self-Storage Auctions

Posted December 19th, 2014 in Self-Storage Auctions by Valerie

Just like Indiana Jones never went on a treasure hunt unprepared, you’ll want to be armed with some expert tips before heading off to an unpaid self-storage auction. Fortunately, SpareFoot Blog has a handy guide on bidding like a pro at unpaid self-storage auctions.


Photo credit: Scott Meyers Self Storage Investing / iW / CC BY


See some of our favorite tips below!



  • Find a storage auction to attend. There are a multitude of online databases and calendars for unpaid self-storage auctions, but we also have a list of upcoming auctions on our website. See them here.




  • Bring the right tools. SpareFoot Blog suggests taking a flashlight, since many storage units are dark, a lock in case you won’t be able to move all of the items in the storage unit at once and cash, since many self-storage companies don’t accept credit or debit card payments.




  • Be realistic. Once the bidding starts, SpareFoot Blog suggests keeping in mind that a $300 bid may only get you $75 worth of items. On the other hand, the unit could be worth much more than expected. Do basic math and don’t get caught up in the emotion of the situation.


Take a look at more tips from SpareFoot Blog.


Comments Off on The Best Times To Go To Unpaid Self-Storage Auctions

The Best Times To Go To Unpaid Self-Storage Auctions

Posted December 19th, 2014 in Self-Storage Auctions by Valerie

Deciding when to take part in an unpaid self-storage auction isn’t as simple as just finding out when it will be least crowded. There’s a lot to consider, including weather, time of day and the holidays.

Photo credit: Colby Stopa / IWoman / CC BY

According to an article on HubPages, weather is probably going to be an important factor in the best times to go to unpaid self-storage auctions, but it’s also the most unpredictable factor. Standing outside in freezing temperatures, extreme heat, rain or snow for a long period of time is bad enough, but you also might have to spend hours unloading your storage unit and hauling the items away. “I can tell you, from my own personal experience how difficult it is to drive a loaded truck and trailer in snowy and icy conditions,” the author of the article said.

If you’re willing to brave adverse weather, however, you’ll stand a better chance at conducting a successful bid. The unpaid self-storage auction will undoubtedly be less crowded if the weather is acting up, giving your chances at winning a boost.

The same can be said for the holidays. More people on holiday vacation means less people at auctions. There may be fewer auctions during the holiday season, but the ones that do happen may be worth a visit.

Read the article for more helpful tips.


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Burt Reynolds Memorabilia Auction Brings Oddities To The Block

Posted December 11th, 2014 in Auction News by Valerie

Burt Reynolds and Loni AndersonPhoto credit: Alan Light / Foter / CC BY

A large auction of Burt Reynolds memorabilia recently completed. And while a Burt Reynolds auction might be as exciting to you as a Justin Bieber charity auction, there were some quite interesting pieces that crossed the auction block. According to Business Insider, Reynolds wanted to put his items up for auction because he doesn’t have room for everything anymore. Reynolds also cleared up rumors about his tabloid-fodder bankruptcy and penchant for plastic surgery, saying neither rumor was true and that he just wanted to share his world with his fans. We picked out some of our favorite odd items from Reynolds’ auction to share with you:

Florida State University Construction Hat – Burt Reynolds calls Florida State his alma mater, so apparently he received a personalized construction hat at some point during his career. A good gift for those Seminoles fans in your life – as long as they don’t mind that it’s been on Bo “Bandit” Darville’s head.

Burt Reynolds Nameplate – Think of it as an early April Fools’ gift for your favorite co-worker. Swap out his or her nameplate with Burt Reynolds’ and try to convince everyone new in the office that Burt Reynolds is really the name of the person sitting at the desk. Fun for days.

The Old Burt Reynolds Rolodex – Not only a financial investment, but also a time investment. Who wouldn’t want to scroll through and see if the numbers for Loni Anderson and Dolly Parton still work?

Voided American Express Card – We scratched our heads about this one. Sure it has Burt Reynolds’ name on it and his handwriting on the front from the word “VOID,” but this might be the craziest thing up for auction.

Mounted Brown Bear – Scare your friends and family the next time they come over for game night when they see the mounted bear in your living room. You can either make up a story of how you defeated the bear with your bare hands or won it in a Burt Reynolds auction. Either way, they will wonder if you’re telling the truth.

Drunken Thank You From Katharine Hepburn – Pretty self-explanatory. Burt sent Katharine a bottle of whiskey, she drank the whole thing, wrote him a thank you soon after, now you can relive that special moment.

Hundreds of items went on auction from Reynolds’ personal collection, and most went for more than the appraised value. Not bad for a random assortment of items.


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Auctioneer Renews License In Illinois

Posted December 5th, 2014 in Thomas Hayward by Valerie

Thomas Hayward, president of Thomas Hayward Auctioneers, recently had his Illinois Auctioneer license renewed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Division of Real Estate (IDFPR) – License number 441000988.


Not only is the renewal process costly to maintain, it also requires twelve hours of approved continuing education (CE) every two years. It also requires the IDFPR to have all bank accounts examined and conduct criminal background investigation on the licensee.

You may be wondering, why auctioneers are licensed? In regards to the Illinois Auction Law, it states: we seek to establish minimum standards and competencies for auctioneers regarding their legal and ethical responsibilities to the public, their clients and fellow auctioneers and to protects consumers from fraud and unscrupulous practices by individuals lacking the skill and knowledge to conduct auctions.


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Expert Advice On How To Successfully Bid At An Online Auction

Posted November 26th, 2014 in Bidder Tips by Valerie

Do you like participating in online auctions because of convenience and enjoyment? With safe and secure servers, it may make online auctions easier, too. With this straightforward shopping easily accessible, online sellers know that the Internet is going to be a target for many people out there. If you want to sell an item on the internet but don’t know where to start, Dr. Lori offers some great advice on how to get the best return.

Bidder TIpsPhoto credit: Saad Faruque / Foter / CC BY-SA

Do you know everything about your item? This is a common mistake that most people overlook, but it may be the most important. Research what you have and what it’s actually worth. People are looking for an accurate and detailed description about the item they’re interested in and will want to know its true value.

Are you biased toward the item? It’s recommended that you always get your item appraised before you put it up for auction. Get it appraised by someone who does not want to buy your item so you have a neutral decision to go off of. If you do choose to get the item appraised by someone who may be interested in it, they may try to deceive you and say that it’s worth a lower price that it actually is.

Don’t know how to determine a price? After doing your research on the item, you should have a value in mind that you would like to sell it for. Your asking price should reflect the amount you would be happy with if you sold your item.

Who are you trying to sell the item to? Different items sell differently depending on where you’re located and who is in the market for that item there. It’s important to start out with a broad range about potential markets.

What is this auction dummy people keep referring to and why do I need to avoid them? Simple enough: an auction dummy is a bidder for hire. These dummies are not interested in purchasing an item, they are just trying to create a bidding war to drive up prices. Be aware that these auction dummies usually use a free web based email account, such as Yahoo or Gmail, to try and disclose their identities.

What if someone is really convincing? People may try to weaken your strategy or your item by mocking your marketing or stating that your price is too high for your item. These people could be just trying to trick you into reducing your price to get a better deal. Go with your gut and stay firm with your asking price.

Is my privacy a concern online? It’s always important to be protective with your information, but if you are selling online, it’s always a good idea to have one main address to give online, such as a USPS post office box or UPS mailing station. Do not use your home or work address as a return address or to accept an online payment.

If you’ve been wanting to sell something online but haven’t had enough information to do so, hopefully these tips have helped you be more confident in the process. There are a lot of positive outcomes with online auctions, just keep these tips in mind and you will be successful.

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Professional Storage Auction Advice From Skilled Vintage Hunters

Posted November 21st, 2014 in Bidder Tips by Valerie

Vintage collectibles are a popular trend among small retailers nowadays. If you don’t have time to look through a storage unit or have had no luck in finding the perfect piece, you may have visited some of your local thrift shops or flea markets. Those businesses know to stock their stores with trendy mid-century furniture, prints and other findings that will appeal to a variety of customers. You may be wondering: how are they able to find some of these exclusive, stylish pieces? shares great inside advice from some vintage experts on how to find the perfect piece and also how you can tell if the piece is truly authentic.

VintagePhoto credit: Bergen Public Library / Foter / No known copyright restrictions

Bill and Sacha Douglas, the owners of small thrift shop in Ontario, California, Douglas + Son, have a great method on how to be successful in shopping for thrifty, vintage items. Their passion for old, 1960s memorabilia, such as historical maps and encyclopedias, mid-century chairs and many other treasures, is perfectly reflected in their store. They say it’s all about determination, gut instincts and a little luck.

“You have to picture the piece all cleaned up and restored. There are a lot of good pieces hiding under their worn out, abandoned looks,” Bill Douglas said in regards to how he finds those buried treasured pieces.

Next time you find yourself at a storage auction, don’t forget about those pieces that could be tucked away and out of site from the world. Those items could be great; they may just need a little TLC before making a great feature piece in your home.

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How To Find Bargain Deals At Storage Auctions

Posted November 14th, 2014 in Bidder Tips by Valerie

It’s not always easy finding a great bargain at an auction, but most people can admit that it’s a great feeling when they walk away with a great deal. There are a lot of important details to remember about auctioning, bargaining and how to successfully negotiate. It’s also important to know where and how to look for those great bargain items at auctions. This article from CBS Pittsburgh, offers some great information on how to find and bid on those treasured bargains at auctions.

Bargain DealsPhoto credit: TommyClicks / Foter / CC BY

Do Your Research – Although you won’t typically know what types of items you will find in a storage unit, it is important to know what items could be valuable or “treasured items.” Research items that are being sold or featured frequently and look up the price people are paying for them. If people don’t know how much the item is worth, you could end up getting a great bargain out of it.

Price Matters – After doing research, it’s important to have an amount you’re comfortable with spending at an auction. It’s important to stick to that price point and bid on items that you know their worth. A lot of times people end up overpaying for an item for a variety of reasons, but one reason is because they may think an item is worth more than its actual retail value. This could lead to a bidding war which would end up driving the price up more than originally expected.

Be Thrifty – Remember that most storage units belonged to someone at one point in time so there are a lot of useful items. Make sure to look closely at units; they may have the perfect item or antique for you!

Get to a storage auction today to find that great bargain item you’ve been searching for! Keep these great tips in mind to help you negotiate and bid more effectively to get the most bang for your buck.

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How You Should Act at An Auction

Posted November 6th, 2014 in Bidder Tips by Valerie

The holiday season is creeping up fast and if you haven’t had a chance to shop for gifts yet, don’t worry! Storage auctions have a variety of items that could make the perfect gifts for anyone without breaking the bank! Don’t worry if you haven’t ever attended an auction before, these great tips from Neal Realty and Auction will help you through the process! Grab some friends or the whole family and come check out one of our auctions to find the perfect gift for your loved ones!


Bidding at Auction


Arrive Early – By getting to the auction before the crowd, you can scope out the rest of the competition as well as see some of the items that may be displayed. This will help you decide on which items you actually would like to purchase and what an appropriate price to bid for the item. It’s also important to keep an open mind going into an auction since you may not know what will be inside the containers prior to them being opened.

Set a Price Limit – It’s important to know how much an item is actually going to cost and how much you are willing to spend going into an auction. Write it down so you can stick with it when the bidding begins. This will help you to not overpay for an item and also help you remember there will be other items similar to bid on.

Be Confident – Although auctions are thrilling, they can also be nerve-racking. If you find yourself interested in an item, don’t be hesitant to start the bidding on that item. This will show competitors that you are serious and up for the challenge. Other competitors may back off and then you’re able to buy that item at a bargain price.

Have a Strategy – There are many successful ways to bid at an auction, but it’s important to find the way that is most comfortable for you. Remember, your competitors will try the same tactics as you, so be smart about it. Be dominant and know when to drive the price up but also know when to stop.

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Tips On How To Better Prepare For An Auction

Posted October 31st, 2014 in Bidder Tips by Valerie

Whether you’re an expert auctioneer or a novice, there are ways you can prepare and make the most of your auction experience. It’s not just a simple as bidding and paying, it’s about knowing ahead of time what to do in any auction situation. offers up some awesome tips:


1. Know What Documents To Have
First of all, it’s important to know what type of documentation you might need at any auction – make sure you research ahead of time what paperwork you need to register for an auction and to bid and win. Don’t wait until the last minute on any auction related errands or to obtain those documents because you might not have time the day of to get everything done.

2. Ask An Expert or a Friend
If you’re feeling baffled about the whole auction thing, ask for help! There are many experienced auctioneers who would be willing to give some insight on how they do it. Another option is to ask a friend to ride along and be by your side to assist you with the process.

3. Beat The Rush
If you’re worried about traffic or long lines, make sure to leave a little earlier to avoid the crowds. By getting there early, you will be able to scope out the other competition and create a strategy. If you show up late, you won’t have the advantage of knowing your competition which may add to more unwanted frustration.

4. Pick The Right Spot
Location does matter at an auction. You will want to position yourself carefully. “Take a corner position so you can survey all your competition,” says Jonathan Chancellor, editor at Property Observer. Being able to see all your competitors is another good way to get ahead in the game.

5. Know Your Price
Before you head to an auction, make sure you know how much you’re comfortable with bidding and what your highest limit is. It’s important to think about this ahead of time to be better prepared so you don’t end up overpaying or overdrafting.

6. Keep Your Cool
Be confident – but don’t get too caught up in all the mayhem! Although it may be hard to hold in your excitement when bidding for an item you really want, just remember to be subtle and not let your competitors know just how bad you want it. If you feel like you’re getting too engaged in the moment, take a moment to re-evaluate the item so you know when to stop.

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Top 5 Online Bidding Auction Mistakes to Avoid

Posted September 29th, 2014 in Bidder Tips by Valerie

Online auctions are a great way for beginning bidders or experienced bidders with little free time to find some great auction items. However, just because you’re bidding from behind a computer screen doesn’t mean there isn’t strategy to these online auctions. Here are some beginners mistakes from to avoid:

Online Auction

Photo credit: Search Engine People Blog / Foter / CC BY

1. Get into a bidding war: You’ve found the item you want and are desperate to make it yours, but a bidding war is not the best strategy. Instead, the winners of online auctions run out the clock and make the final, winning bid at the last second.

2. You don’t read the auction details: Always read the auction details to assure you don’t miss anything. Sometimes sellers will increase the shipping and handling costs and include this information only within the auction details.

3. Don’t check the seller’s feedback: Look up the seller’s reputation before bidding on an item. If he/she has received a lot of complaints, most likely the seller is not someone you should be buying from.

4. You don’t research the item: It’s an amateur mistake to get caught up in the online auction excitement and not research the item you’re bidding on. Check it out online and see what it’s worth and if it can be bought elsewhere.

5. Falling for scams: Because you don’t get to physically see your item before bidding, it’s hard to know if it will really look like the image the seller posted. Again, this is why it’s important to take note of the seller’s feedback and be wary of scams.