Self-storage auctions popular among second-hand retailers
Mystery of what’s inside intrigues bidders
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
It is a hot, balmy afternoon at Burke Self Storage in Pasadena and close to 40 people are making small talk while waiting for the facility’s public sale of 18 units up for auction to begin.
For some of those waiting, the Pasadena auction is the third auction they’ve made that day, with one final one to go.
Public auctions, like the Burke auction, have become popular events in the Houston area, especially among second-hand retailers. The rewards on reselling the contents of a unit for a greater profit far outweigh the risk, most will tell you.
State law does not permit anyone to venture inside a storage unit once it has been put up for auction. Each unit is bid on and won by the highest bidder.
The bidding can start at $1 and end in the thousands, said Houston auctioneer Ken Garcia, who oversaw the Pasadena auction. Garcia estimated his firm conducts more than 4,000 public auctions annually.
The units put up for bid in Pasadena were placed on the public auction block months ago because the owners of the units failed to pay their monthly rental storage fee, Burke Self Storage Manager Aurora Rodriquez said. Owners are notified of the auction by certified letter and then given the option to respond. If they don’t, the units are placed on the public auction block.