About two years ago, Si Harbottle of AmeriTex Auctions, Bryan, Texas, says his storage-unit auctions attracted about six to 12 people per sale. Now, some auctions get more than 100 attendees.
Harbottle attributes the increase in customers to the economy — he says people are looking for ways to earn a living, and the contents of a storage unit are relatively inexpensive investments that provide good resale opportunities.
The good thing for Auctioneers, Harbottle says, is that prices per unit have increased as more customers attend the auctions. Some storage units that previously brought $200 can now attract as much as $1,000, he says.
Despite the increased popularity of storage-unit auctions, Harbottle says he is still conducting about the same amount of sales as he has for the past few years.
Likewise, no additional auctions are presenting themselves for Luther Davis of Davis Auctioneers LP, Burleson, Texas. Davis has conducted the sales for about 13 years.
Like Harbottle, Davis says the auctions are attracting more people; however, storage facilities are now more willing to work with tenants who are behind on their rent.
They are more likely to come to a settlement with renters who owe back rent and fees.