On March 17, 2016, from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM, South Pacific Warehouses Mini Storage will be holding a sealed bid auction. Although live auctions are the most popular of selling the contents of a storage unit and popularized through reality television, our auction on March 17th will be a sealed bid auction. In a sealed bid auction, bidders place their bids in a sealed envelope. Each person just makes one bid, and the highest bidder wins the unit. These are also sometimes called silent auctions. Storage auctions are run according to particular rules which are established by the storage facility itself while others are state-mandated laws:
- Before auctioning a unit, the facility must make a best faith effort to contact the owner and settle the debt. This process can take up to three months and includes phone calls and certified letters being sent to the tenant.
- All auctions must be announced publicly and held in a public location. This means that the unit’s contents cannot be seized by the facility owner or sold privately to another individual. Announcements must be published in a newspaper (The Mail Tribune).
- No one, including the facility owner, may enter the unit or disturb its contents until after the unit is sold. Just like you’ve seen on TV, bidders can look at a unit only from the outside prior to the sale. However, the facility owner is mandated by Oregon law to cut off the lock, take photographs of the unit, make a list of what they can visually see from the outside of the unit and seal it again with a new lock prior to the sale.
- Once the unit has been sold, the new owners generally has between 24 and 48 hours to empty it of its contents and sweep it clean or has the option to rent out the unit himself.
- Funds earned through an auction that exceed the balance owed to the facility must be returned to the unit’s original tenant. If this is impossible, the funds may be released into the state’s escheatable account, or the facility may hold them for a specific time period before being able to use them.
If you were ever curious to see an auction and would possibly like to participate in an auction, we invite you to come to South Pacific Warehouses Mini Storage on March 17 from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM. On-site managers Bob and Kathy Kaiwi look forward to meeting you and can answer any questions you may have on auctions.