Comments Off on The Top 20 Cities for Self-Storage Auctions

The Top 20 Cities for Self-Storage Auctions

Posted January 26th, 2015 in Self-Storage Auctions by Valerie

A survey by SpareFoot Blog has identified the top 20 cities for live self-storage auctions. The study compiles data from both the U.S. Census Bureau and the Storage Unit Auction List. Topping the list is Marietta, Ga., a city about 20 miles outside of Atlanta. Contenders for the list must have a population of at least 50,000 and a high number of self-storage auctions per capita.


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


A high-density population and large number of storage businesses in Marietta, Ga. lead to an increased demand for available units. All in all, Marietta had 346 self-storage auctions in 2013 – equating to 0.00593 per resident. A new Georgia law that allows storage operators to send auction notifications via email has also increased awareness and demand for available containers. According to Anne Ballard, president of the Georgia Self Storage Association, “the new process has cut operating costs and made it much easier to have lien sales. And when it’s not so cumbersome, you can have more of them in a shorter period of time.”


The state of Florida also boasts a high number of self-storage auctions – dominating the list with 12 cities represented. In Florida, the lien process can begin just 30 days after rent is past due – expediting the auction process tremendously. Many other states will give tenants 60 days notice. The hot and humid climate may also play a major factor in Florida’s high number of self-storage auctions. Basement and attic storage are out of the question because of high sea levels and humidity – again resulting in an increase in demand.


The top 20 cities, ranked, are:

  1. Marietta, Ga.
  2. Pensacola, Fla.
  3. Ocala, Fla.
  4. Sarasota, Fla.
  5. Fort Myers, Fla.
  6. Bradenton, Fla.
  7. Orlando, Fla.
  8. Spring, Texas
  9. West Palm Beach, Fla.
  10. Columbia, S.C.
  11. Smyrna, Ga.
  12. Pompano Beach, Fla.
  13. Las Vegas
  14. Daytona Beach, Fla.
  15. Lakeland, Fla.
  16. Miami
  17. Frederick, Md.
  18. Kissimmee, Fla.
  19. Greenville, S.C.
  20. Gardena, Calif.

Read more on the SpareFoot Blog.

Comments Off on Storage Auction Items Remain Mysterious

Storage Auction Items Remain Mysterious

Posted December 31st, 2014 in Self-Storage Auctions by Valerie

The popularity of television shows like Storage Wars and Auction Hunters, the latter in which Thomas Hayward can often be seen directing the proceedings, have increased the attendance at events like this December 10 auction at PODS in Norwood, Mass. But, an increase in attendance does not always translate into better sales.

According to a recent article on Wicked Local Norwood that featured Thomas Hayward and storage auctions, many of the storage units are simply repossessed from peoples homes and are not opened until the day of the auction, resulting in either a heck of a deal or a big bust. After all, the top seller of the PODS auction was a unit purchased for only $100.

Hayward added, “Some days, there are hundreds of people and everyone is bidding, other times, only two people show up…and they can get a screaming deal.”

Additionally, according to the article, Ted Mihos attended the auction and recommended carrying both cash and a flashlight because you never know what you could find inside the storage unit. Mihos also suggested Googling the previous owners of the units to get an idea of what could be inside.

Ultimately, storage auctions are a gamble. The purpose is to help the previous owners pay off their debt and although the actual auctions are not exactly what you might watch on TV, some interesting items can be found.

Photo Credit: Brad Cole Continue Reading »

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

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.


Comments Off on 10 Storage Auction Mistakes To Avoid

10 Storage Auction Mistakes To Avoid

Posted September 22nd, 2014 in Self-Storage Auctions by Valerie

Auction-hunting takes some practice to perfect, but there are several obvious mistakes that you can avoid making at storage auctions. Here are some tips from to get you started:

Storage Auction

  1. Make sure to bring cash. Auction items are paid for in cash, not by check or credit and you cannot run to an ATM after bidding. Bring enough cash to buy what you bid on.
  2. Don’t bid on a unit you don’t want. Never bid unless you’d be okay bringing the items home.
  3. Bring your own locks. If you win the bid on a storage unit, you will need to put your own lock on it. Buying one from the facility could be quite expensive.
  4. Don’t bid on everything. Think before you bid, you can’t take it back.
  5. Reconsider bringing the family. Auctions are outdoors, time-consuming and dirty. Leave the bored teens and impatient spouses at home.
  6. Have a place to store your items. After you have won a unit you will need to be able to haul it away or store it somewhere. Have a plan before hand.
  7. Research. You should know which items will resell well or are valuable.
  8. Dress accordingly. Like we said, auctions are outdoors and dirty. You will also be standing for long periods of time.
  9. Bring a large vehicle. You will need a big enough vehicle to haul away the stuff you just purchased. If not you may need to rent the unit until you can get one.
  10. Don’t expect to always make a profit. Not every unit you purchase will turn a profit for you. Learn for your mistakes and move on. You have to keep a sense of humor about bad buys in this business.

These tips and more can be found here.

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Storage War Steals

Posted September 1st, 2014 in Self-Storage Auctions by Valerie

When you’re bidding on storage units, you truly never know what you will get. This week we wanted to share some of the neat items our bidders have stumbled across.

These stellar shoes were quite the find for lucky auction hunter. I hope they were the right size!


This bidder was pretty excited to spot this! She’ll need to get it appraised to see if this Louis Vuitton is the real deal or not.




A handy man’s dream! This industrial tool chest was stocked full of nice tools.


Sometimes bidders come across items that are on the quirkier side, like this over-sized bobblehead! Who’s to say what the bidder could come across in all those boxes though.

storage auction

Bidding on a storage unit you haven’t been able to explore can be seen sometimes as a risk but in the end the bidders usually seem pleased with the outcome. As you can see the items greatly vary. Make sure to see our post for first time bidders if you have not yet been to an auction!

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Comic Books At Auctions

Posted August 25th, 2014 in Self-Storage Auctions by Valerie

Comic books have been increasing in popularity at auctions. Ebay, Comic Connect and Heritage Auctions are a few of the top comic auction sites. Here are some tips from to help you bid wisely.

1. Classic titles are the best investments, as the they have the largest fan bases.

2. Make sure you seek appraisal to see the real time value of the comic, that way you know what is reasonable.

3. Providing a picture will help in selling your comic and help put bidders at ease.

4. Keep in mind that older does not always mean more valuable.

5. While pristine conditions are well sought after, tattered comics can still be worth quite a lot. If you’re selling online make sure that you adequately describe the condition to the bidders.

To date the most expensive comic auctioned was the very first Superman comic and went for $3.2 million, which is the the highest to date.

auction item

Comments Off on What Beginner Bidders Should Expect

What Beginner Bidders Should Expect

Posted July 7th, 2014 in Self-Storage Auctions by Valerie

With shows like Auction Hunters creating buzz about self-storage auctions, there have been a lot more beginner bidders coming to these auctions. While competing with experienced bidders over storage units may seem intimidating at first, everyone should feel welcome to test out their skills at an auction– you never know what you may end up with!

Thomas Hayward Leading AuctionThomas Hayward leads a self-storage auction on Spike TV’s Auction Hunters.

What to bring:

Bring a flashlight. These storage units are dark, closed-off spaces and any bit of light you can shed on the items will go a long way.

Bring locks. Once you purchase your unit you want to keep all of your auction-finds protected from theft. Lock up your storage unit to make sure everything you just bought stays in tact.

Drive a truck. Sometimes a truck bed is all you need to transport the items from your purchased, but a moving truck or trailer is always a safe bet to assure transportation.

What to expect:

Have a pre-set budget. Auctions move quickly, so it’s good to know your budget and stick with it. This will help put the items into perspective and understand if they are worth your bids based on your budget.

Don’t get wrapped into the heat of the moment. Auctions can get competitive, but it’s important to focus on your plan and your budget. Don’t bid on something you can’t afford or realistically wouldn’t have the time to sort through.

Have fun! Last but not least, enjoy the auction. Even if you don’t end up with the most profitable items, remain hopeful. While bidding does take skill, there’s a lot of luck involved and maybe one day soon, you’ll come across an auction-treasure!

Check out some of the upcoming self-storage auctions near you: Thomas Hayward Auctioneering Schedule

Comments Off on Demand For Spanish-Language Auctions Is Growing

Demand For Spanish-Language Auctions Is Growing

Posted June 23rd, 2014 in Self-Storage Auctions by Valerie

According to Thomas Hayward, president of Thomas Hayward Auctioneers, the demand for subastas, or Spanish-language auctions is growing across the United States. As savvy sellers know, it’s easier to communicate with potential buyers when you can speak their language.

A subasta auction featuring The Beatles
Photo credit: Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires/ Foter / CC BY

Hayward, who runs one of the few companies in America with extensive experience performing Spanish-language auctions, has conducted successful subastas across the United States as well as Puerto Rico and Mexico. Like English-language auctions, subastas can be performed for corporations, small businesses, nonprofits and individuals alike.

Hayward said, “It’s very important to understand the cultural differences that make subasta auctions so unique. You’ll have to generate buzz in different ways than you’d have to for English-language auctions.”

To get the word out about your subasta, Hayward recommends placing ads in Spanish-language newspapers and websites, sending emails and direct mail marketing pieces to mailing lists and conducting calls to prospective bidders.

As seen on Spike’s Auction Hunters and SyFy’s Hollywood Treasure, Thomas Hayward is a world-famous auctioneer, traveling across the globe auctioneering at an array of events from nonprofit fundraisers to storage unit foreclosures. He specializes in lien auctions for moving and storage, self-storage and portable storage industries and throughout his 10+ years in the industry, has been accredited for his talents by 18 institutions.