The History of Storage Auctions | Storage Auctions
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October 13, 2017

People have been seeking storage solutions for thousands of years. The Ancient Chinese may have been the pioneers of the Self Storage industry. They developed a system in which they would place their belongings in clay pots, which would then be placed in deep gorges for later use. A few hundred years ago, the British came up with a more accessible solution where the banks hired stables in which the aristocracy could store their property when they travelled.


Self Storage transformed


By the 19th century, the Self Storage industry was transformed again, this time in the U.S. The Bekins brothers, Martin and John, of Omaha, Neb., built steel and concrete warehouses that would hold the property of recent immigrants until they found a place to settle permanently. By the 1980s, Self Storage centres had begun to soar in popularity, not just in the U.S. but around the world with facilities appearing in the U.K. and Australia, too.


Today, storage facilities come in all shapes and sizes with technologically advanced security features to keep their contents and visitors safe, and business is booming. There are nearly 60,000 Self Storage facilities worldwide with more than 3,000 in Australia. Industry revenue is estimated around $1.1 billion annually. Businesses, homeowners, renters, corporate travellers, students, and others can all make use of this convenient storage solution.


The reality of storage auctions


U.S. shows such as “Storage Wars” highlight one curious part of the storage industry: storage auctions. When property is abandoned in a Self Storage centre, an auction can be held for the contents of the unit. This is a fast, effective way to empty a storage unit, and buyers might just find a diamond in the rough.


When a storage unit is abandoned or the rent is unpaid or goes into arrears for three to six months, the contents can be auctioned to recoup the revenue. Unlike the TV show auctions, storage auctions in Sydney are primarily held online at iBidOnStorage, and bids are typically taken for five days. This allows all buyers an opportunity to bid on the lot of their choice.


The auction site will take pictures and post descriptions of the contents, but bidders are not allowed to go through the property in the storage lockers. The winning bidder then has the responsibility of cleaning out the storage unit. Most Self Storage facilities allow winning bidders up to 48 hours to collect their property.


Making the most of the auction process


To get the most from storage auctions in Sydney, have a plan ready before you start bidding. Because you’ve got access to detailed lists and photos, you can pick and choose which items you want and don’t want unlike the bidders on reality shows. Keep a price point in mind so that you don’t get carried away and exceed your budget.


Units can range from 3m³ to 90m³ units and can hold anything from books and tools to antiques and furniture. Storage auctions in Sydney are a great way to recycle, and they often start as low as $300 to $500 per lot. Strict contracts govern each auction to protect the Self Storage centre, the bidders, and the previous renters and ensure fairness. If you`d like to learn more about storage auctions near you, contact us today. 

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Storage Blog


"Each year thousands of Self Storage units are abandoned Storage auctions in Western Australia are held on a regular basis online through iBidOnStorage"


"Television shows like Storage Wars make bidding on storage units seem like an intense exciting pastime While this can be true it s important to keep in mind the people"

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