Learning The Storage Auction Landscape

You've watched folks win storage lockers at auctions televised on reality TV, and you think you're ready to try your hand at the lifestyle. You shouldn't have any difficulty finding an auction, as Canada is home to some 3,000 self-storage facilities. The auction goers sure make it look easy on TV, and you hope to find similar success.  

However, you realize many participants do this for a living and know the tricks of the trade. You're concerned this could put you at a disadvantage when bidding. Here is some help in learning the lay of the land for self-storage auctions so you can come away a winner:

Local Rules 

Self storage in Canada is regulated by province, and there are some restrictions on selling someone's goods even if that individual stops paying for the unit. In some cases, the law will support the locker holder who defaulted on their contract. 

Before participating in any auction, ask the storage facility owner if you can see the paperwork that proves they are allowed to auction off the abandoned items. Otherwise you could find yourself in the middle of a struggle to keep the items you thought you purchased from the auctioneer.  

Online Auctions

Before you make it to the big time, you might want to give online auctions a shot. These platforms run similar to any other online auction you might have participated in, and you will get good practice on valuing a unit.

The site provides you with photos of the interior and exterior of the locker so you get a sense of what's inside. Each auction has a duration that lets you clearly see the time left on the sale. The current bids are displayed so you know what you'll have to pay to win the unit. The unit goes to the highest bidder at the end of the auction.

Live Auction

The real excitement begins when you make it to your first live auction. Before you arrive, decide on a genre. This will define the types of items you're looking to buy. If you don't define what you're looking for, chances are you won't know your locker when you see it. 

When the bidding starts, go for it. However, don't overbid. Have a maximum price in mind that you're willing to pay. You'll be less likely to bid on emotion if you give yourself a limit. Try and keep a low profile so you don't spark a competition with any of the other bidders. Otherwise you may have to shell out more money because of some rivalry. 


Visit your local self-storage facility to learn the auction schedule. Ask to be added to any distribution lists for auctions, and also become friendly with the auctioneer. Let him know you're interested in knowing about any under-the-radar auctions that might not be widely publicized. To learn more, contact a company like Southbend Storage Solutions with your questions.