Evergreen Auction Service

Storage buyer tips


Look for storage auctions that use a professional auctioneer, not a storage company employee.  Also find out if the auctioneer is from the local area - if not what means of contact do you have if a problem arises?

Don’t think that prices will be lower without having a professional auctioneer.  The prices may be lower for several reasons - the units don’t have much quality, the facility may have pilfered the units before hand.  Watch for boxes with flaps open - items obviously moved so that they can be seen better.  Ask yourself is this the way I would pack or store my items?

At an EVERGREEN AUCTION SERVICE storage auction I will go at a different pace, being patient with the buyers.  The facility wants as much money as possible out of every unit.  Most times the auctioneer is working on commission for the facility - so the more money they make the facility the more money they are making for themselves.

You should be able to register for a bidding number - that will help to substantiate that there were enough bidders present to make the auction a legal auction.

If there is a list of units available does the list match up to the units being sold?  Does the seal number on the list match up to the seal on the door?  If there are pictures do the pictures match?   If not  why not?  Again by using a professional auctioneer it will hold all parties responsible and accountable.  If a facility or auctioneer loses the trust of the bidders the buyers are unlikely to return to future auctions.

What happens leading up to a unit being auctioned?  In most cases the facility will cut the lock with the auctioneer present to insure that no one is going through the unit prior to it being sold.  No one is allowed inside the unit - either during this inventory step or during the auction.  Once a quick visual inventory is done by the facility their lock is put back on the unit with a numbered seal.  On auction day that seal will be broken off and the door will be opened for public inspection.  Once the unit is declared SOLD - the facility lock plus your lock will go back on the door again insuring that  the unit will remain the same as it was when it was sold.  Once you have paid for the unit the manager will remove the over lock and the fun begins.  You as the buyer should be filling out an inventory of items found in the unit and returning the personal items.  Neither the facility nor an auctioneer should be “going through” the unit before the auction for any reason.  This is a very sensitive area - the facility wants the unit to be the exact way the tenant left it in the event the tenant brings the past due balance current prior to the auction - thereby avoiding any claim of theft or other inappropriate behavior.   Locks are typically cut in advance to make sure there are contents to be sold in a unit.  You don't want to plan on an auction with 10 - 12 units only to find out that some of the units are empty.

Listen to the opening remarks about the auction.  When attending an auction conducted by EVERGREEN AUCTION SERVICE - I will always announce prior to selling a “manager” or “build up” unit, I will also disclose if the same tenant has more than 1 unit.

Find out ahead of time what type of payment is accepted.  At EVERGREEN AUCTION SERVICE we accept CASH or BANKCARDS (with a 3% convenience fee), however cleaning deposits are always required to be paid in CASH.  This would also be a good time to find out how long you will have to remove items.  Will the facility rent the unit on a daily or weekly basis?  Will you be issued a gate code for after hours entry?

Show up with the attitude that you are going to buy.  Bring enough equipment with you to empty your unit in 1 trip.  Remember the sooner you empty your unit the sooner you will get your cleaning money back.

If you see questionable practices going on.  Ask the auctioneer or mini storage manager why that is being allowed.  In Washington State the law is fairly clear about who can’t bid on or acquire the contents of storage units being sold.  
RCW 18.11 (auctioneers law) (1) It is unlawful for any person to act as an auctioneer or for an auction company to engage in any business in this state without a license. (2) This chapter does not apply to:  (g) An auction held under chapter 19.150 RCW;  auctions conducted for mini storage facilities are not governed by the auctioneers law.
RCW 19.150.80 (self storage law)   (4) No employee or owner or family member of an employee or owner, may acquire, directly or indirectly, the property sold pursuant to subsection (2) (a) of this section or disposed of pursuant to subsection (2) (a) of this section or personal papers and effects disposed of under subsection (3) of this auction. If an auctioneer condones policies in direct contradiction of the law report your concerns to the owner or management and if all else fails - don’t attend auctions conducted by that facility or auctioneer.

Last but not least - bring a flashlight for viewing inside the units, good walking shoes, umbrella during the rainy season (this is Washington), padlocks, sense of adventure, courtesy, and respect.  Be on time - we strive to start the auction’s at the stated time, your time is just as valuable to you as is it is to us.   If this is your first time - welcome ask questions, watch the regulars, make a bid even if you aren’t the winning bidder you will feel more a part of the action.  Remember at EVERGREEN AUCTION SERVICE auctions we try to maintain a family friendly atmosphere.  

If you still have questions contact us at info@evergreenauctionservice.com

Happy bidding!
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