1 - How do I reset my password?
Go to My Account, click on Settings then scroll down to ‘Account Password & Security’. Input your new password in both boxes. The Password Requirements must be followed. The red “x” will turn green when each requirement is met.
Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.
2 - What are the fees to use this service?
It is completely free to register as a Facility Manager. There is no commitment, contract or membership fee associated with a seller account.
However, we do charge a seller premium of 10% on every auction unit sold. Additionally, there is a $20 fee if an auction is cancelled on the day after the auction has started.
3 - How do I pay your fees?
The Seller Premium
The seller premium is collected upfront from the winning buyer. The amount owed to StorageTreasures is deducted from your auction proceeds.
For example, if your seller premium is 10%, the buyer would pay StorageTreasures 10% (of the sale price) when the auction ends, and the remaining 90% (of the sale price) would be due at the facility. This is so we do not have to invoice the facility after the sale. The seller premium is referred to as ‘Purchase Deposit’ on the invoice. See How-To Understand Invoices.
Cancellation fees can be collected as follows:
- Complete the billing information under Settings. An invoice will be emailed to you with an option to pay online or you can mail a check; or
- Provide a credit card number to our CPA. The cancellation fees will be charged to your card periodically. A receipt will be emailed to you.
4 - Which web browser works best on StorageTreasures.com?
We recommend Google Chrome, Firefox or Edge web browsers. StorageTreasures is not compatible on Internet Explorer.
5 - Can I set up multiple facilities to be managed under one user account?
If you have multiple facilities that you need to manage, we can assign all of the facilities to your user account. The Facility Manager would only have access to their respective store. District or Area Managers can be linked to a group of facilities they manage. There is no limit to the number of users that can be assigned to a facility account.
Linking user accounts to multiple facilities can only be set up by your Account Manager, BDM or Customer Support. A Facility Account spreadsheet may be needed if there are several users, which can be provided to you.
7 - What is LegalNoticeLocator.com?
LegalNoticeLocator.com is a free online publication website that is managed by StorageTreasures. If your State lien laws allow online publications, then you can publicize your lien units on this website.
Join an Auctioneer Webinar Series presentation hosted by Auctioneer Cheli Rosa on the third Thursday of every month at 3pm ET. Register and Join a StorageTreasures Webinar in the Help Center for Facilities.
8 - What is the difference between "Save as Draft" and "Post this Auction Now"?
When you reach Step 3 of the posting form, there are two options:
"Save as Draft" saves all data entered so far and creates a Draft Auction that can be edited and posted at a later time. This draft auction can also be deleted.
"Post this Auction Now" immediately posts the auction live on the website regardless of the start date/time. Once an auction is posted it can be seen by anyone accessing the site. See How to use the “Save as Draft” Feature.
9 - How long should my auction be open for bidding?
Based on historic auction data, the length of time an auction should be open for bidding is 10 days for the best results.
10 - How long does a bidder have to clean out a unit?
You can set 24, 48 or 72 hours in your Default Auction Settings. This is the amount of time that the bidder has from when the auction ended, to pay for the unit and remove all items. The cleanout time is stated on the auction posting and on the Paid Invoice. The Paid Invoice also indicates the date and time the cleanout expires. We recommend 48 or 72 hours to allow bidders time to travel to your facility and finish clean out.
If a buyer fails to clean out a unit by the end of the cleanout time, consider giving them a call and ask them if they need an extension to finish cleanout. It is better to have them clean out the unit then you having to dispose of the trash or other items left behind. Remind them of the cleaning deposit you are happy to refund once they’re done.
The other option is to remove their lock and take possession of the unit by adding your lock, and then report them to ST as a cherry picker. You would retain the cleaning deposit for disposal costs.
11 - How many photos should I take?
Based on years of historical auction data, taking at least 10 photos is shown to bring higher sale prices. Take photos of the entire unit, then the four quadrants, and zoom in on notable or marketable items to entice bidding. More photos often equals higher sale prices!
12 - What is a tamper tag?
The tamper tag assures the bidder that the unit has not been opened since the photos were taken. StorageTreasures’ tamper tags are Chateau tags that are stamped with a unique number. Adding a tamper tag to your auction units is optional; however, it is highly recommended. It provides the bidders with assurance that the unit has not been opened since the photos were taken.
After the auction photos have been taken, close the unit and add your lock. The tamper tag is placed over or next to the lock. You would then add the tamper tag number on the auction posting form. When the auction has ended, an invoice is generated showing the unit number and tamper tag. Collect the bidder’s payment and take them to the unit. Have the bidder confirm the unit number and tamper tag number match what is stated on the invoice before opening the unit. If the tamper tag is missing, the bidder can refuse the sale.
StorageTreasures provides complimentary tamper tags, in sets of 25. To request tags, fill out the Tamper Tag Order Form. You should receive your tags within 1-2 weeks via USPS.
13 - Is tenant information visible to bidders?
No. Tenant information that you input in your auction posting is not visible to the bidders.
14 - Can I edit my auction after it is posted?
Yes, you can edit an auction as long as there are no bids placed. Once bids are placed, you would need to contact Customer Support, your BDM or Account Manager if you need further assistance. Keep in mind, if the edits you wish to make drastically change the auction description or photos, we will not be able to assist with changes. The auction will need to be cancelled and reposted.
15 - How do we opt-in to Charity Storage?
Charity Storage is a partner of StorageTreasures.com. From My Account, go to Facility Mgmt, then Edit the facility account. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. Check the box to opt-in to Charity Storage. Charity Storage will appear on your Facility Homepage. Then, designate an empty unit to collect donated items, or convert a non-lien unit to a charity auction unit. When the unit is full, post the unit as a ‘charity auction.’ A portion of the sale proceeds will go to a charity of your choice.
A Charity Storage Representative will contact you for your desired charity, explain the program, and answer any questions that you may have. Visit CharityStorage.org for more information.
16 - What is a staged unit?
A staged unit means entering a unit and strategically moving items to appear more attractive to increase the value of the auction. Although state lien laws do not prohibit entry into lien units, we recommend against staging units for the best results.
By not entering a lien unit and moving items around, this provides a true perspective of what the tenant stored in the unit. Bidders refrain from bidding on units if they believe that the unit was entered, as they assume valuable items have been removed by facility staff.
It is acceptable to stage a non-lien unit auction. You may have items left behind by former tenants or abandoned goods from previous auctions which can be combined into one unit. Trash or empty boxes should be discarded and not included in these types of auctions.
17 - Can I auction a unit abandoned by a tenant?
Yes, you can! You would post the auction as a Non-Lien sale. We highly recommend that you do not enter the unit, and take your photos from outside the threshold, for best results. You can also state in the description that ‘the unit was abandoned by the tenant and was not entered at the time the photos were taken’. Alternatively, you could create a build-up unit with other abandoned items. Finally, post non-lien auctions for a minimum of three days for best results.
18 - Can I sell a vehicle at auction?
It depends on your state’s lien laws. If the state laws allow the sale of vehicles, you will need to perform a title search, to confirm that the tenant is the current owner and to see if there are any lienholders. Also, there will be forms that the DMV will require you provide to the winning bidder, so the bidder can obtain title. Please check with an attorney.
StorageTreasures hosts lien law webinars every month. You can Join a StorageTreasures Webinar and register for the next session. Lien webinars are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 3pm ET.
19 - What form(s) of payment should I accept from the winning bidder?
You can accept cash, debit, credit, check or money order. You will need to set the accepted payment method in your facility’s default settings, so the payment option will appear on the auction posting. Most operators accept cash only. See How-To Utilize Default Auction Settings
Example: If you accept credit cards but not debit cards, you will need to add a statement under Additional Information to that effect, to inform the bidders.
20 - Do I charge sales tax on my auctions?
Proceeds from storage auctions is considered ‘revenue’. Most operators do charge sales tax on their auctions. We recommend that you seek the advice of a tax professional.
21 - What is a Cleaning Deposit?
A Cleaning Deposit is an additional amount that you collect in cash and temporarily hold to ensure that the buyer cleans out the storage unit entirely. Once you verify the unit is empty and in ‘broom swept’ condition, the Cleaning Deposit should be refunded to the buyer. If the buyer paid the deposit via credit card, you would credit the amount of the Cleaning Deposit to the buyer’s card.
Typically, StorageTreasures recommends at least a $100 Cleaning Deposit. For larger units, consider increasing the amount.
The Cleaning Deposit amount will be displayed on the Auction Details page and will be stated on the Auction Invoice.
22 - What is an authorized pickup person?
An authorized pickup person (or APP) is an individual or individuals that can pay for and pick up units on behalf of the winning bidder. The APP’s name must be listed on the invoice, which appears just below the winning bidder’s contact information. The APP must present a valid ID that matches the name on the invoice.
23 - Bidder has a reseller certificate. How does that work?
If a bidder presents a reseller certificate, we recommend that you:
- Make a copy of the certificate. You can attach this to the invoice for your accountant
- On the invoice, subtract the sales tax amount from ‘Total Due at Facility’ and collect that adjusted amount. The ‘Remaining Bid Amount’ shown just above the sales tax amount on the invoice is another way to obtain the adjusted amount
- Notate the adjusted amount on the invoice.
- Have the bidder initial the adjusted amount and sign the invoice.
- Collect the adjusted amount
- Optional: Search the license number on your State’s Department of Revenue website to verify if the license is valid and current.
24 - How do I cancel an auction?
From My Account, click the Online Auctions drop-down menu and select Active Auctions. Locate the auction unit that you wish to cancel, click the Actions drop-down, then select Cancel. Select one of the provided reasons or choose Other and type in a valid reason why the auction was cancelled.
Note: Make sure you are cancelling the correct unit number. Once an auction is cancelled, it cannot be reinstated.
You can also cancel an auction after it has sold. Maybe the tenant paid their delinquent balance before the bidder arrived, or the unit contents do not match the auction photos.
From My Account, click the Online Auctions drop-down menu and select Sold Auctions. Locate the auction unit that you wish to cancel, click the Actions drop-down, then select Cancel. Select one of the provided reasons or choose Other and type in a valid reason why the auction was cancelled.
NOTE: If your tenant pays, cancel the auction as quickly as possible to avoid wrongful sales and reduce bidder frustration. Also, call the bidder to let them know that the auction was cancelled, in case they are on their way to your facility.
See How-To Cancel an Auction
25 - What if the winning bidder has a paid invoice but does not pick up the unit?
You can offer the unit to a backup bidder (BUB), you can repost the auction or you can dispose of the contents. Make sure that you have made every attempt to contact the bidder by phone and email before proceeding.
To start a BUB case, you will need to wait until the cleanout time (24, 48 or 72 hours) has expired. The cleanout time is indicated on the invoice. Once that time has expired, you can start a BUB case. Go to My Account, then click on Invoicing. From the drop-down, click Invoices. Locate the invoice, click Actions and select “Request Backup”. Select the reason and add notes including the Auction ID number and explain attempts to reach the bidder. See How-To Start a Backup Bidder Case for further instructions.
26 – What do I do if the Invoice shows ‘Declined’?
After an auction closes, the winning bidder’s credit card on file is automatically charged applicable auction fees. The bidder’s card must have sufficient funds to cover these fees. If the credit card declines, a ‘Declined’ status will appear next to the invoice details in your account. If 24 hours has expired since the auction closed, you can offer the unit to backup bidders. See How-To Start a Backup Bidder Case.
27 - Can a bidder refuse a unit?
Yes, a bidder can refuse a unit. Some valid reasons to refuse a sale are:
- Auction photos do not match the unit contents
- Bidder lives out of state (verify bidder’s state of residence on invoice)
- Bidder was in an accident, family emergency, sick, etc.
- If tamper tag is listed on the invoice but there is no tag over the unit lock when the bidder arrives at the unit
Depending on the refusal reason, the auction could be offered to a backup bidder or may need to be cancelled. If a bidder refuses a unit because they are no longer interested, they will be suspended. For clarification, contact Customer Support to assist with a solution.
28 - What is a cherry picker?
A cherry picker is a buyer that removes items that they want and leaves unwanted items behind. Typically, collecting a refundable cleaning deposit deters cherry picking and holds the buyer accountable, as they will want to be refunded the deposit. Always inspect the unit to make sure the unit is empty and broom swept before refunding the deposit. It is advisable to check nearby empty units, to make sure the buyer did not place unwanted items elsewhere.
29 - What is considered a bad bidder?
30 - How do I report a bad bidder?
To report a bad bidder, provide the Auction ID number, bidder’s name and a brief explanation of what happened with the bidder and email firstname.lastname@example.org, live chat on our website (during office hours) or call 480-397-6503.
NOTE: You do not need to report a No Show bidder if you started a BUB case, as the original bidder that no showed will be suspended automatically. Ensure that when you start the BUB case, you include details as to what happened with the bidder, attempts to reach the bidder, etc.
31 - Can a tenant bid on their own unit?
If you refuse to sell the unit to the tenant, then the auction must be cancelled. You most likely would need to start the lien process over before the auction can be reposted. Confirm with your upper management.
32 - Can I give the tenant the buyer’s phone number?
Absolutely not! Under no circumstances should you provide the tenant with the bidder’s contact information. The buyer’s information is to be kept confidential and not shared with anyone.
33 - Is the buyer required to leave behind any personal effects found in the unit?
You can request and encourage buyers to do the right thing and return personal items, but it is not required. Make sure and tell the bidder where you would like the personal items left, so you can return them to the tenant.
34 - What happens if a unit does not receive any bids?
You have three options when an auction unit goes unsold:
- Relist the auction as a Non-Lien sale
- Dispose of the contents
- Offer the unit to the last 10 bidders (from your previous auctions) to clean out the unit for free using the Unit Liquidation Program (ULP). See How to Start a Unit Liquidation Case.
35 - How do you advertise our auctions?
We use a variety of different methods to market units listed on our website. These include email campaigns, pay-per-click ads, and social media.
36 - What is a Commercially Reasonable Sale?
A commercially reasonable sale is a sale in which the storage operator has taken every measure they can to sell the property at a fair auction market value. For example, several states require you have a minimum number of bidders view your units. If you do not meet the minimum, your sale cannot take place because it would not be commercially reasonable.