StorageBattles.com and StorageTreasures.com, online-auction websites serving self-storage businesses and auction hunters, have merged under the StorageTreasures name. The combined company has more than 3,000 self-storage facilities signed up to hold lien sales online and a database of 750,000 registered buyers nationwide, officials said in a press release.
"The merger of these two companies makes perfect sense for both companies," said James Grant, founder of StorageBattes.com who will serve as CEO of the merged business. "StorageTreasures.com has great name recognition, SEO and online visibility, and is by far the leader in storage-auction listings in this industry. StorageBattles.com has a product that was first to the market, a significant client base and substantial internal infrastructure. [The merger is] a really good consolidation of talents, resources and market share."
The companies have averaged more than 3,000 online auctions combined each month, and officials said they expect to nearly double that amount this year. Last summer, StorageTreasures.com surpassed 500,000 members in just over two years of operation.
"Who wants to stand at an onsite auction in Phoenix when it's 115 degrees, or in Boston when it's snowing?" Grant asked. As for storage operators, they typically recoup just 50 percent of money owed with a physical auction, but our online auctions bring in an average of 117 percent of the debt due."
StorageTreasures.com founder Lance Watkins was instrumental in the introduction of A&Es reality television show Storage Wars, which is often credited for increased turnout at live self-storage auctions. "Three years ago almost nobody knew about self-storage auctions," Watkins said. "The industry largely pretended it didn't exist. Most bidders were professionals in a tight-knit community who had little competition and sometimes colluded to keep bids low. That all changed with shows like Storage Wars. They brought auctions out of the closet."
Company officials acknowledged that the TV series popularity has also created headaches for self-storage operators who have had to contend with large auction crowds and inconvenienced tenants blocked from accessing their units. These factors, along with numerous buyers walking away from auctions empty-handed, have helped spur the popularity of the online-auction business, the company said.
StorageTreasures.com is a free storage-auction locator and self-storage facility finder covering the United States and Canada. The website offers auction schedules and site-specific guidelines for auction hunters and self-storage owners alike.