Albuquerque Storage Auctions: Tips and Insights for First-Timers - Xtreme Storage

Published on 10/15/2023

1.      Albuquerque Storage Auctions: Tips and Insights for First-Timers

Storage auctions have become a popular and intriguing phenomenon, thanks in part to reality TV shows like "Storage Wars." These auctions offer a unique opportunity to discover hidden treasures within abandoned storage units while providing storage facility owners with a means to recoup unpaid rent. If you're a first-timer considering participating in Albuquerque storage auctions, this comprehensive guide will provide you with valuable tips and insights to help you navigate this exciting venture.

Understanding Storage Auctions

Storage auctions occur when a storage facility puts up the contents of a delinquent tenant's storage unit for sale to the highest bidder. These auctions are typically held in public, allowing anyone interested to participate. While the contents of storage units remain hidden until the auction begins, participants are given the opportunity to inspect the unit's exterior before bidding.

Here's a step-by-step overview of how storage auctions typically work:

  1. Delinquent Tenant: When a storage unit renter falls behind on payments, the storage facility usually provides a grace period. If the tenant fails to catch up on payments within the specified timeframe, the facility can place the unit up for auction.
  2. Public Notice: In compliance with state laws, the storage facility is required to provide notice to the delinquent tenant and the public about the impending auction. Notices are often posted online, in local newspapers, and at the facility.
  3. Auction Day: On the scheduled auction day, participants gather at the storage facility. The auctioneer begins by opening the unit door and allowing bidders to take a quick look inside (without entering). Bidders are not allowed to touch or move items within the unit.
  4. Bidding: Bidding then commences, with participants competing to place the highest bid on the unit. The highest bidder wins the contents of the storage unit.
  5. Payment: The winning bidder must pay for the unit immediately, often in cash, and may also be required to pay a buyer's premium (a percentage of the winning bid).
  6. Cleaning Out the Unit: Once the unit is paid for, the new owner is usually given a specific timeframe to clean out the unit completely. Anything left behind is typically disposed of by the storage facility.

Tips for First-Time Albuquerque Storage Auction Participants

If you're considering attending a storage auction in Albuquerque for the first time, here are some valuable tips to help you get started:

1. Do Your Research

Before attending an auction, familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations governing storage auctions in New Mexico. Each state may have slightly different rules, so it's crucial to understand the specific requirements and procedures in Albuquerque.

2. Attend Multiple Auctions as an Observer

It's a good idea to attend a few storage auctions as an observer before participating as a bidder. This will give you a better understanding of the auction process, the auctioneer's style, and how experienced bidders operate.

3. Set a Budget

Determine your budget for storage auctions and stick to it. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of bidding, but setting a limit ensures you don't overspend.

4. Bring Cash

Many storage auctions require cash payments, so be prepared with enough cash on hand to cover your potential purchases.

5. Dress Comfortably

Storage auctions can be physically demanding, as you may need to move items out of the unit quickly. Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear.

6. Bring Necessary Tools

It's a good idea to bring tools like a flashlight, a lock, and packing materials (such as boxes and packing tape) to help you inspect and secure your purchased items.

7. Inspect Units Carefully

Take a close look at the storage units you're interested in bidding on. While you can't enter the unit or touch its contents, you can observe from the doorway. Look for signs of valuable items, such as furniture, electronics, or boxes that appear well-packed and organized.

8. Don't Let Emotions Drive Bidding

Avoid getting caught up in the excitement of bidding wars. Stay disciplined and bid based on your budget and the perceived value of the unit's contents.

9. Be Prepared to Haul Items

Winning a storage unit means you'll be responsible for removing its contents. Ensure you have a plan and the necessary transportation to move the items promptly.

10. Manage Expectations

Remember that not every storage unit will contain hidden treasures. It's possible to find valuable items, but it's equally possible to discover units with mostly common or everyday belongings.

11. Be Respectful

Maintain respectful and professional conduct during the auction. Remember that the previous tenant's belongings are being sold due to unfortunate circumstances.

Insights for First-Time Albuquerque Storage Auction Participants

Beyond these tips, it's helpful to gain insights into the world of storage auctions. Here are some additional considerations:

1. Unseen Contents

Storage units are often sold "as-is," meaning you're bidding on items without knowing their exact condition or value. It's a gamble, but that's part of the allure for many participants.

2. Abandoned Items

Some storage units may contain abandoned or forgotten items that are not worth much. It's essential to manage your expectations and not assume that every unit holds valuable items.

3. Resale Opportunities

Many storage auction buyers are resellers who specialize in selling items they've purchased at auctions. If you plan to resell items, research market values and demand for different types of goods.

4. Storage Costs

Keep in mind that after winning a unit, you'll need to factor in the cost of renting a storage space if you don't have an immediate use for the items. This cost can eat into your potential profits.

5. Legitimate Auctions

While most storage auctions are legitimate, it's wise to be cautious of scams or suspicious auctions. Stick to well-known storage facilities or auctions organized by reputable companies.

6. Community and Networking

Participating in storage auctions can introduce you to a community of fellow buyers and sellers. Networking with others in the industry can provide valuable insights and opportunities.

7. Legal Responsibilities

As the buyer of a storage unit, you become responsible for its contents, including any outstanding debts or legal issues related to the unit. Be aware of your legal responsibilities as the new owner.

Popular Storage Auction Facilities in Albuquerque

Albuquerque offers several storage facilities that regularly conduct storage auctions. Here are a few notable options:

  1. Extra Space Storage: With multiple locations in Albuquerque, Extra Space Storage often hosts auctions for delinquent units. Check their website or contact local facilities for auction schedules.
  2. Albuquerque Self Storage: This facility conducts auctions for delinquent units. Auction information is typically posted on their website or at the facility.
  3. Armoured One Self Storage: Located in the northern part of Albuquerque, this facility hosts storage auctions periodically. Keep an eye on their website for upcoming auctions.
  4. Private Sellers: Some individuals who purchase storage units at auctions may resell items online or at local flea markets. Consider exploring resale opportunities from these private sellers.


Albuquerque storage auctions offer an exciting and potentially profitable venture for those interested in discovering hidden treasures within abandoned storage units. As a first-timer, it's crucial to do your research, attend auctions as an observer, and approach the experience with a well-defined budget and realistic expectations.

While there are no guarantees of striking it rich in storage auctions, the thrill of the hunt and the possibility of finding valuable items make it a fascinating endeavor. By following the tips and insights provided in this guide, you'll be better prepared to navigate Albuquerque's storage auctions and potentially uncover remarkable finds while enjoying the adventure along the way.

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