In just about every single town in across the country and no matter what size the town you are more than likely going to find at least on self storage facility where people store all of the things they don't seem to have room for. There are times where the people that pay for this storage will end up defaulting on their payments and after a certain amount of time, everything in the unit becomes property of those that own the facility. Since they lose money by keeping the items there they have to end up putting the items that are stored up for auction.
You won't find a database or a website that will list when these places hold auctions since each facility has a right to choose their own way of advertising and how they will hold these auctions. So probably the easiest way to find an auction like this is to simply go through your local yellow pages and and start calling the different places to see if they have any auction schedules.
There is a legal requirement however, in most states in the United States, to put a notice in the newspaper about these kinds of sales, ones that are due to default in payment. So you might also want to check your newspaper as well under “Legal Notices”, do this on a regular basis and you are bound to run into these kinds of auctions, as well as a lot of other different default sales.
These kinds of auctions are generally done right on the site where the property has been stored. They will either hire a professional auctioneer or they may just have one of their employees for the storage company conduct the auction.
When you decide to go to one of these events, make sure that you arrive early. You want to have plenty of time to be able to look at the unit that has the property up for sale. You also need to understand although they may let you look over the property, it is only from the outside of the unit. They will not let you go in the unit to look at all of the items stored there. You also are not allowed to open any boxes or containers that there might be.
Make sure to take plenty of cash with you when you go to one of these kinds of auctions because they usually only accept cash from the winning bidder. You also need to understand that if you are the winner that you will be expected to remove the items within a certain amount of time. So, before you start bidding make sure that you find out from the person holding the auction how long you have to remove the items. It could range anywhere from 24 hours to a week.
It's important that you know all of the guidelines and special requests of the auctioneer. For instance in a lot of cases, if the storage unit happens to hold things like photos and personal papers and documents of the person who rented the space, you are required to return those to the people who run the storage units because these need to be returned to the owners should they come by at a later date and ask for such items.