Online auctions are the newest “best practice” in the selfstorage industry. Facility operators will leave the taxing auction job to website workers and focus on the day-today management of their assets by administering lien sales online. Here’s how online auctions can help a company, as well as some pointers on how to make listings more successful.


Online auctions have some advantages:

Since all bidding takes place online, facility owners are spared the liability and confusion that large crowds can bring to a live event. One will never have to think about having to reschedule due to bad weather.

Bidders must physically visit their facility to participate in a live auction. They can bid from the comfort of their couches using an online platform, avoiding the need to travel as well as the inconvenience of having to wait at an auction for long periods of time. The only time they will have to drive is to claim their winnings.

Buyers can look at photographs of unit contents for as long as they want and then place bids on the ones that attract them.

Owing to the ease of the Internet and the effect of online marketing, an online auction can obtain more than 1,000 views, while a live auction can attract just 20 people.

Some auction websites will promote auctions on one’s behalf, using social media, marketplace websites, and other methods to spread the word.

If a state’s lien laws warrant it, the only procedural provision is to put an ad in the local newspaper. One of the disadvantages of holding live auctions is that one usually has to wait until they have a large number of items to sell before they can draw a large crowd. While this is a wise tactic, it will cause one to lose time in returning those units to inventory. They can list a unit for sale as soon as it is legally possible with online auctions.

The majority of auction websites require buyers to pay a deposit as soon as they win. They also specify a clean-up period. This speeds up the process by incentivizing customers to pay their balances and collect their winnings.

Buyers often form alliances to regulate bidding at live auctions. Online auctions provide complete anonymity unless an auction website allows users to create a bidder name. Bidders will not be able to identify other bidders and will be unable to exploit the auction.

Reporting is another advantage. At the conclusion of each auction, some websites may include a report with summaries similar to those produced by management software programs. One can see how the auction performed at a glance, including the number of views, offers, and bidders, as well as the selling price and funds raised.

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