Self-storage auctions are more than just reality show fodder, they’re an actual reality in our $22B industry. SpareFoot, the online self-storage marketplace, launched a new nationwide auction directory website that lists more upcoming auctions than any other free service of its kind.
In general, potential auction-goers have had little choice but to check local print newspaper listings to discover upcoming events. With SpareFoot’s live searchable database of auctions, users can sort local search results by distance from zip code or by how many days away auctions are. Listings are pulled from hundreds of newspapers that publish their Public Notices online.
The immense recent popularity of storage auctions, sparked by hit TV shows Storage Wars and Auction Hunters, helped inspire the project. And customers frequently call and email SpareFoot’s support team with questions about auctions. Tony Emerson, SpareFoot’s SEO Analyst, found search volume for the phrase “storage auctions” rivals that of broad search terms like “self storage” and “storage units.”
With all this growth, SpareFoot isn’t the first to enter the auctions directory space. Competing sites either require facilities to pay a fee to be listed, or feature limited functionality or limited inventory for free. SpareFoot Auctions is the most comprehensive free storage auction list available. A benefit of the effort is that it will help drive web traffic to the company’s website and make a branded impression on these visitors.
Of the approximately 10,000 abandoned storage units auctioned off nationally every month, SpareFoot Auctions lists between 35-50% of these, and that reach will only expand. Plans include adding a Notes section to provide unit descriptions and number of units up for sale, as well as interactive RSVP. SpareFoot will also integrate back-end functionality so facility owners and managers can easily add and promote their auctions on the site.
“We eventually want to serve as a resource to help facility operators improve the auctions process to the point that they look forward to having one,” Emerson said.
Update: SpareFoot no longer hosts the SpareFoot Auctions site.