Buying delinquent storage units at auction has been a lucrative pastime for those in the know - some crafty 'pickers', as they're known in the industry, have been at this for decades.
There are the obvious rewards when you strike it rich - most storage unit sales are configured such that the winning bidder takes possession of the unit in its entirety, making it possible to obtain several thousands of dollars worth of goods by outlaying only a few hundred bucks.
However, there's also a number of difficulties associated with the traditional self storage auction format. For one thing, it can be difficult to get a comprehensive list of all the upcoming storage sales in your area. For another, even if you do know when and where the sales are going to happen, you need to physically make it to the host facility in time.
And then there's no guarantee you're actually going to win anything - or that there's even going to be anything that's worth winning at all. The traditional means of buying storage lockers involves a lot of sweat, guesswork, financial risk and discomfort.
For these reasons, a couple of enterprising industry insiders are shaping a new trend that's likely to become the standard for repossessed storage sales moving forward. It is now possible to buy storage lockers online, and there's a number of distinct advantages to doing things this way.
For one thing, the online marketplaces for self storage lockers go out of their way to make the units easy to find and sort by their geographic location. You only want to bid on units that are reasonably close to you, knowing that, should you win it, you will ultimately be responsible for making the drive out to pick everything up.
Secondly, and most importantly to seasoned auction buyers, these websites feature several full color photos of the goods inside each locker, taken from different angles. The value of this seemingly insignificant feature cannot be overstated.
Instead of jostling for position in the crowd at a traditional auction, hoping to get a ten second glimpse of the unit if you're lucky, you can take your time and study the contents from home to your heart's content, researching the value of the items you see inside, to ultimately determine whether or not a given unit is going to work for you.