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Ohio Lien Law Update - Are Credit Cards Okay?

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  • Ohio Lien Law Update - Are Credit Cards Okay?

    Ohio has updated the lien law beginning September 30th which is now allowing online lien sales. My question is: Since we can have online lien sales, can I take a credit card payment off-site, over the phone, from the auction buyer?

  • #2
    I personally would not.
    Terms are always CASH ONLY on site. and I still make the auction buyer supply to me his/her current non expired DL and I copy it and I collect a wet signature.
    You must protect yourself, the facility.

    Keep us posted with your final decision.

    Also keep in mind, any auction buyer would still need to supply to you a $100. cash deposit! You are collecting a cash deposit, to ensure buyer completely clears out unit.

    Cash for balance of unit won AND cash for deposit!
    Period.
    No debate.
    No discussion.

    Good luck.
    Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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    • #3
      I'm with Lady on this one. They could do a chargeback and you have to fight it and possibly lose, as well. We do our auctions online and storage treasures takes their fees via card, but the buyers must show up here with a cash deposit and the balance of the sale in cash.
      Different scenario, but we also only accept cash, money order, or cashier's check for any tenant that has had their lock cut and in auction status, for the reason listed.

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      • #4
        The online auctions that I list allow me to set the terms. The size of the unit, unit number, amount due, etc is entered then you set the cleanout time, deposit and tax (if applicable). You then list the items in the units and then provide your facility information or a list of rules for the auction and auction pickup/cleanout. Then upload photos and set the auction end time. Review a couple of times and then post the auction.

        I have created 'templates' for my facility information, so I can just copy and paste, for different cleanout times and different deposits. My smaller units have shorter cleanout times and smaller deposits. For my largers units, I collect a $200 cleaning deposit and give 2 or 3 days to clean it out. I have always collected cash, the bidder provides a credit card to the online auction house for any buyer's premium or fee's associated with winning the bid. After the bidding is over, the auction house collects the auction fee's from the buyer (not you) and then sends an email to you for the invoice (the amount the buyer pays to you at the facility).

        I always photocopy the ID and match it with the winning bidder or their authorized pick-up person(s).
        I have always collected cash and check all bills $20 and above.
        For the past year I have increased my cleaning deposit and have always had empty and clean units to look at when the auction buyer is done (years ago I got stuck cleaning out a unit after the auction winner did not come back - he lost his $100 deposit on a 10X15).
        I have never listed a unit beyond a week, most are 3 or 4 days and over a weekend.
        My auction end times and cleanouts are always when the Managers are working, I do not want the assistant to deal with auction winners.
        Take very clear pictures of the items in the unit, especially big ticket items.

        IMPORTANT - In a live auction, there is a chance a delinquent tenant will be paying for their unit at the same time the auction is occuring. In online auctions, there is a time window from when the online auction ends to when the auction winner pays (my state allows the delinquent tenant to cure their account before the auction winner pays in person). I have had to cancel online auctions when a tenant pays but have not had to deal with a tenant paying in that window. So you want to reach out to the tenant, numerous times (as well as follow your state lien and auction statues/laws) and be clear about where (what website) and when that auction is happening. I am not concerned about the tenant buying back the unit or using a straw buyer, there are enough bidders in my city that I usually get a fair price for the unit and I want the unit back to rent again.

        I went to the online auction website a number of times, looking at other auction listings, to see what I wanted to include in my facility information and have revised it over time. You will also get a good idea of do's and don'ts for the listing and pictures. I NEVER include in the listing a picture that shows the unit number or auction tag, I used to, but now I do not want to give some types of persons ideas. The auction tag information and unit number are on the invoice the auction buyer receives.

        I would start with one or two auctions listings, so you can see how much time they take and go through the process. You can review/preview your listing numerous times before you list it, once it is listed (I believe? you can 'edit' the listing as long as there are no bids - once there is a bid, you can not edit the listing and would have to cancel the auction and re-list to make any changes - there may be a cost in cancelling an auction, check with the online auction house you decide to use).

        I am a firm believer in online auctions - I feel I get more for the unit and do not have a bunch of people wandering around my facility.

        Additional - I DO NOT rent the unit to the auction buyer. Since my normal rentals do not require a deposit, I do not care to get stuck with a unit of trash after the auction buyer cherry picks the unit and I now have no deposit to keep.
        Last edited by KeelHauler1994; 16 September 2021, 12:35 PM.

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