The Why's and How's of Online Auctions: Webinar Takeaways

by Taressa Dominguez, TSSA Director of Education & Marketing
June 15, 2020

You may be familiar with auctions, but there is still a lot to learn about online auctions.  Some of you may be practiced at using the new auction format, but for many there is still some mystery to the process and the results it can bring your self-storage business.   TSSA hosted a webinar with Lonnie Bickford,; Cassie Dodgen, Pinnacle Storage Properties; Ann Parham, The Parham Group/Joshua Management; and Ross Pfiefer, Hixon Properties, to discuss the basics of online auctions and how they use it to benefit their businesses.  Here are a few key points we learned: 

  • More eyes on your auction.  On average in Texas, reports that units will receive 150-500 online views. Units with more valuable contents can get much higher than 1,000 views. 
  •  Schedule online auctions in advance.  Having a clear, set schedule allows your managers to communicate clearly to tenants that the auction is on a predetermined date, and the unit will go to auction if payment is not made prior to that date.
  •  Use the power of photos.  Pictures of the unit are incredibly impactful in auctioning off units. recommends submitting at least seven photos—one main photo of the overall unit, a few closer-up images of the unit, and up-close shots of valuable items that will bring in bidders. 
  •  List out the contents of the unit.  Online auction platforms allow you to list the contents of your unit. With newspaper ads, you may be limited by space to only describing the unit contents as “household goods” but the online platform allows you to list “washer and dryer” or “sewing machine.” It helps bidders search and gives you the chance to highlight items you know will gather interest.
  •  Your auction, your way.  You can still set your own auction rules using online platforms.  If you want a 72-hour clean-up with a deposit and no dumpster privileges, then you can set those rules for your auction. 

To learn more about online auctions, visit the TSSA Resource Library  to watch our webinar recording. If you would like to post your auction on TSSA’s website, in addition to the legally mandated newspaper advertisement, visit here.

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