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Self-Storage Auctions: Big Screen To Reality


Along with the popularity of self-storage sites, such as our incredible locations at Vaultra, self-storage auctions have become popular with viewers over the past several years. With the rise of shows such as Storage Wars in recent years, it’s no surprise that self-storage is experiencing its moment in the spotlight. Although much of what is depicted on these shows is exaggerated (hey, that’s showbiz), the auction concept remains strong in our industry. As rents are not always paid, after a certain period of time and legal notices, storage operators choose to auction the contents of said units to the highest bidders. Here’s Vaultra’s guide to the self-storage auction and everything that you should know- especially if you want to ensure that your own goods are not auctioned off!


Attendees are instructed of the rules. Then, storage units are opened and bidders are allowed to look inside, without touching or handling any of the contents. Since many items are not visible, bidders rarely know what they are bidding on, until after they purchase it.


The highest bidder wins the contents of the storage unit and must immediately pay after the auction is finished. After the payment has been made, the winning bidders are often given 48 hours to remove the contents.

Legal rights:

Legally, self-storage payments are contractual obligations and a lien can be placed on the unit as little as 30 days after a missed payment. The facility is then obligated to make several attempts to the delinquent tenant through the phone, email, or mailed notices. If the facility is unable to reach their customer, the winning bidder is entitled to legally owning all of the items, with the exception of specific personal items like photographs, tax records, passports, etc.

Tips to avoid being auctioned off:

If you are a self-storage tenant, make sure that your balance is paid on time and that your contact information is up to date. If you are interested in learning more about self-storage auctions, contact our team at Vaultra, as we are happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Photo: QuinceMedia–1031690