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  • Winning Bidder asking Questions about Contents of Unit

    Still new to the Auction process... We have completed an online auction for a Unit with a Boat and other items. The winning bidder is now calling asking questions about the boat and what the inside of the boat looks like, etc. So what happens if he goes to the Unit and decides he doesn't want it and wants his money back. How would I handle a case like this? Anyone had this happen? If so, could you please tell me how you handled it? I just want to be prepared. Thanks!!

  • #2
    I don't sell vehicles, boats, campers, motorcycles, etc.

    If its in the unit when I cut the lock, I post as part of the auction that the item(s) are not for sale and that they will be removed when the buyer shows up to verify our lock and seal are on the unit. Those items are then towed away. They [tow company] then follow the law in contacting the customer and informing them that they have their item and can pick it up once the balance has been paid at my property. They then pay the tow company for charges as well. If they don't do any of this, the tow company can then get a title and sell it.

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    • #3
      Did you use an auctioneer service? If so, they can help. Bottom line, you can get stiffed by an auction buyer. NO, they do not get their money back! But some will cherry pick a unit and leave the unwanted stuff behind. So you'd be stuck dealing with that and obviously ban them from further auctions at your property. It helps to make friends with a local "junk" hauler and have their number on speed dial. If/when you get stuck with leftovers post auction give them a call. Worst case scenario, you have to put the leftovers in your dumpster weekly until you can dispose of it all or call in an extra dumpster and just be done with it.

      Is the boat licensed and did you get DMV clearance to lien sale it? Or is it just a simple row boat, or fishing boat? That can make a big difference too.

      Best wishes, I hope you don't have to go through any of the above.
      Gina 6k
      twitter.com/GinaSixKudo
      VM: Four-Oh-Eight- Seven-Eight-Oh-Eight-Oh-Seven-Nine
      [email protected]



      You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!
      I am not an attorney, just an experienced manager who is willing to share what I have learned. Your thoughts, practices or opinions may vary and neither of us may be right.

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      • #4
        I'm not going to comment regarding the boat, just the fact that a unit was auctioned. No, a buyer can not request their money back, however if you made a mistake and they bid on something that was not right I would let them back out. An example would be you have multiple units up for an online auction but in the process of uploading the pictures you put unit 3's pictures on unit 1's listing and never actually showed unit 1 pictures. I've seen that happen with careless managers. Otherwise if you did everything right and a buyer is just not "happy" with what they got, to bad... As I told my bidders when I conducted live auctions in Tx, you're buying the good, the bad and the ugly, no exceptions. I've had our Vegas property call asking this same question as someone bought a unit that ended up having rat droppings all in it, same thing told to them. You bought it, it's now your rat droppings, if you want your cleaning deposit back it must be empty, clean, no lock. If something like that happens and the customer is nice about it i'd suggest offering them use of the dumpster but they're not getting out of the sale.

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        • #5
          The unit should have a anti-tamper tag (auction tag) on it with your overlock. DO NOT OPEN until it has been paid for (and cleaning deposit collected) - if you open it, not in their presence, they could accuse you of removing items from the unit (theft). The cleaning deposit and clean out time and amount to be paid should be on the invoice you will receive from the auction company. It should be cash (everything should have been on the auction listing) and check all bills (a bill checker with magnetic check and UV/white light is the better than a counterfeit pen). We do not provide gate codes - they have to check in with the office (or honk at the gate) to get in and out and office hours only. Lock all empty units nearby so they can not throw trash into an empty unit. All auctions should be as-is/where-is - you can not guarantee anything. If it is a boat on a trailer, then (in my state) that is two separate items. The boat is Dept of Fish and Game (they license the watercraft, etc) and the DMV is the trailer. The title/ownership for both should have been checked prior to the auction. We had a boat/trailer auction - boat was owned by someone different than the trailer. We had to contact them first - if they wanted to pay back rent and take their boat or trailer back (tenant had never registered in their name - either item - so they still legally were owned by the registered owners). There is also a form (2 of them), a two-part carbon that we purchased from the state self storage association, that needs to be completed, one for the boat and one for the trailer (like a bill of sale - but a little more involved, for the sale of real property) that the bidder will need to register the trailer and to register the boat (one copy is for you and the other for the winner). Ours were not in a unit - so when it asked for the sale price, I split it in half (half for the boat and half for the trailer). These items all needed sales tax which was different than the rental tax for storage which is lower. I usually tell the bid winner to bring a jack and air compressor (the tires are usually low or flat).

          He has to pay before he can go in the unit. If he decides he does not want the items - he has lost his money and can forfeit the items and you can resell or trash. Try and document everything that is said if possible (put in the unit notes - for future reference). This person is trying to set it up so they can look at the stuff before they pay and that is a no-go. He has entered into an agreement to purchase the items, as-is, and remove them. Document, document, document everything with this person (have a witness, if possible - another manager, etc.).

          Good Luck!!

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          • #6
            No refunds

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            • #7
              They HAVE to pay cash up front for the winning bid and the refundable deposit. Don't like it. Too bad. It is stated that way in my account at Bid13 website.
              "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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              • #8
                All of our winning bidders sign a "mini lease" and pay cash before gaining access to the unit. They basically sign that they are taking possession of all the contents and must empty the unit including garbage by xx date or they will owe us for the months rent and/or disposal and cleaning fees. We collect a $100 deposit. If they get to the unit and don't like what's in there, too bad, I have the cash, you signed paperwork.

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                • #9
                  All auctions should be cash only with a cash cleaning deposit. We do $100 for the deposit. If you don't clear out the unit within the 72 hours, leave items behind or leave the unit dirty, you don't get your deposit back. There are no refunds on auctions, no exceptions.

                  If the boat inside is a tiny thing that doesn't require registration, you should be good. If it has a registration number, or needs to be registered and you didn't go through the process with the DMV or equivalent department so that the auction winner can register it and didn't note in the auction that the boat is not included, then you're probably going to have to do a refund for that.

                  We ran into that issue a couple years ago when the district manager and I misunderstood the law regarding lien sale of cars in a storage unit. That person got a refund since there was almost nothing else in the unit and we had the car towed.

                  As far as anyone asking about the contents, I just refer them to the auction where they can see the pictures. I never give anyone info on what's in the unit until after I have their money and a signed bill of sale.
                  A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

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                  • #10
                    My deposits are cash and $100 for 5x10 or smaller and $200 for 10x10 or bigger.
                    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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