Storage operators should heed legal advice and lien laws before entering into self-storage auctions.

Amy Campbell, Senior Editor

June 24, 2008

2 Min Read
Intro to Self-Storage Auctions

A couple weeks ago, our local, small-town newspaper had gobs of notices for delinquent units being auctioned off at nearby self-storage facilities. These announcements seem to blend in with all the information packed into classified sections of most papers, but they stick out like sore thumbs when pages and notices are few—and when one happens to be fixated on all topics of self-storage. They especially stuck out because the state had recently passed a new self-storage lien law and I, having followed the bill's progress a bit, wondered if these publicizing self-storage operating/citizens had studied, understood and were playing by the new rules. Moreover, I realized I've never been to a self-storage auction, which leaves me feeling both ignorant and curious at the same time.

On the publishing side of things, we are often editing updates about lien law, interpretations and ways in which operators can navigate safely through storage auctions. For example, our legal brethren Jeff Greenberger is often setting our compass toward auction safety through his Legal Perspectives column, published bi-monthly in Inside Self-Storage, and via Legal Learning webinars offered by the Self-Storage Training Institute (next up: "What’s Wrong With Holding a Garage or eBay Sale in a Self-Storage Environment?" on July 8). These are all great resources for avoiding legal recourse, but not one article have I read thus far depicts the true auction experience. I'd have to fend for myself ... which means I'd have to turn to ...

You Tube! That's right, a couple clicks and keywords later and I was on my way to a sale by Lady Auctioneer in Hemet, Calif., which I could watch from start to finish, all the way to seeing the winner claim a unit full of patio furniture.

And this was only one of several auctions I could view, as well as other self-storage tidbits including Storage Auction Theme Song, and company promotionals that fellow editor Amy Campbell blogged about last week

It was a short trip to la-la land for several minutes, and did hold some entertainment value, but if I were a self-storage operator and not an editor, I'd be sticking with Jeff Greenberger's articles and webinars, as well as studying state lien laws, for the real education on self-storage auctions. Hopefully, if you are heading off delinquencies at a self-storage site, you'll do the same.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Senior Editor, Inside Self Storage

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