How to Buy Repossessed Storage Units

by Lea Winters ; Updated July 27, 2017

Storage companies put a clause in their contracts that allows them to sell the contents of a unit if the lessee does not pay his monthly bill for a certain period of time. The storage companies sell the contents of storage lockers through auctions and direct sales to recoup the lost money.

Step 1

Contact the storage facilities in your area and ask when they hold storage auctions. Larger storage facilities typically hold sales once a month; smaller facilities hold auctions a few times a year. Many facilities also advertise notice of public sales in local newspapers.

Step 2

Arrive at the storage facility at least 15 to 20 minutes before the auction start time. Most storage facilities will require you to review their auction rules and sign that you agree to the terms and conditions of the auction.

Step 3

View each storage unit before the auction starts. The auctioneer will cut the lock on the unit and allow interested buyers an opportunity to look at the storage unit before bidding begins. The majority of auctioneers only allow you to glance inside the units; you cannot open boxes or move items before purchase.

Step 4

Bid on storage units. Storage unit auctions are typically live with bids starting at a set price, usually $1. Interested buyers then bid until the unit is sold to the highest bidder. The high bid will vary from unit to unit, with some going for hundreds of dollars.

Step 5

Pay for the unit you purchased. Most storage facilities only accept cash as payment, although it varies. You will also have to pay sales tax if you cannot provide a valid reseller license.

Step 6

Remove all items from the storage unit in the time period specified by the storage facility. Because they normally want to reuse the storage unit for another customer, they want the items removed as quickly as possible. Most also provide trash containers for items you do not wish to take with you.

Tips

  • Always confirm that a sale is still scheduled before traveling to the facility. The auctions are subject to change or cancellation without notice. Bring a large truck or trailer to the auction in case you need to haul large items such as furniture.

About the Author

Lea Winters has written professionally since 2003. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, covering entertainment, style and beauty topics. Winters holds a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Science in international business from the University of Nebraska.