What Are Storage Battles?

Storage battles, carried out by the website storagebattles.com, are online, eBay-style auctions for abandoned self-storage lockers. They are inspired by the A&E reality television series, "Storage Wars," and other storage locker auction shows.

Storage Battles provides a way for owners and operators of storage facilities to auction abandoned property as allowed by law without the hassles of large crowds of buyers at the facilities. With the popularity of "Storage Wars" and other programs, storage facilities found themselves mobbed with novice buyers, straining their ability to successfully run auctions, as well as blocking the hallways and angering tenants who needed to access their own units.

Facilities post photos of units for auction on the Storage Battles website, and buyers bid on them over a set amount of time. Winning bidders are charged 10% of the auction price by Storage Battles, and given the contact information for the facility. They pay the facility the cost of the unit in cash, as well as any associated cleaning fees and taxes. They are then free to take the goods out of the locker, which they have 72 hours to clean out. "The Self Storage Blog" reports that storage facilities, which used to average only 50 percent of owed rent on each unit auctioned, are now averaging 117 percent of owed rent, meaning the site has actually allowed facilities to make slight profits on abandoned units.