Online Auctions – A Last Resort To Get Storage Fees Paid

Capital Self Storage is the ACT’s largest Self Storage operator and has provided Self Storage to the ACT and Queanbeyan community for 25 years.

With over 2,400 Self Storage spaces across 4 sites, inevitably there will be times when customers do not pay their storage fees.
Self Storage spaces are administered by a Self Storage space agreement, provided by the Self Storage Association of Australasia.

In the agreement, there are requirements for payment of the Self Storage space and if those payments are not kept up to date there are methods of recovery of the Self Storage fees that are agreed to by the customer at the time of signing the agreement. There is generous time given to pay the account.

Each and every customer at Capital Self Storage has these terms and conditions explained to them and provided to them in writing at the time that they move in.

“We have a written, verbal, and SMS reminder system for each and every customer who do not pay their storage fees on time”, Ian Oliver, Managing Director of Capital Self Storage said.

99% of customers pay their fees on time and occasionally a customer might get behind with their fees and often a friendly reminder from our managers to pay the account is sufficient.
Oliver said “Unfortunately there are a few customers who do not respond to our calls, SMS or letters. Our communications with these customers are industry standard and it’s not until we have exhausted every opportunity to contact the customer and the alternative contact that they provided at the time of rental, that we have no option but to dispose of their goods.

All Bids, an Online auction site is one of the methods that we use to dispose of customers goods that Storage fees have not been paid for. We have found that an online Auction is a true test of the value of these goods and in some circumstances the nonpaying Storers will receive monies back in excess of their storage fees for goods sold”.

Where goods are sold and the payment received does not cover the outstanding Storage fees, court action to recover the balance can be instituted. This is rare though.

“Self Storage is an ideal place to store all sorts of items regardless of the value of those items and we offer insurance to cover those items in the unlikely event of a loss. We value our customer’s goods highly and take significant measures to protect them at all times, but every now and then goods have to be sold to recover storage fees that remain unpaid”. Oliver said.

Self Storage auctions have been popularized in the US by shows such as “Storage Wars” and currently Australian Self Storage operators do not conduct on site Auctions like them.

Previous to Online auctions, contents of Self Storage spaces that needed to be sold would be sent to a local auction house for general disposal at regular general auctions.

The online auction process provides an opportunity for abandoned contents of Self Storage spaces to be auctioned to the highest possible value, reducing the nonpaying Storers financial loss.

“These auctions are few and far between for us and it represents a handful of spaces across thousands of customers annually”. Oliver commented.