|By Marketwired .||
|February 10, 2014 12:14 PM EST||
SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- (Marketwired) -- 02/10/14 -- Auctions of abandoned self-storage units made famous through reality television shows are moving to a new battleground -- online.
StorageBattles.com, North America's largest and fastest growing online self-storage auction company, is merging with StorageTreasures.com, a web-based national self-storage locater and auction services.
The new company will bring efficiencies and significant cost savings to self-storage facility owners, who no longer need to hassle with on-site auctions. It also offers a relatively painless alternative to storage auction buyers, who now can sit at home and bid online for photographed units from across the nation.
"Who wants to stand at an on-site auction in Phoenix when it's 115 degrees, or in Boston when it's snowing?" said James Grant, the founder of StorageBattes.com who is now CEO of the newly merged company, which will be rebranded as StorageTreasures.com and be based in Scottsdale, Ariz.
"As for storage operators, they typically recoup just 50% of money owed with a physical auction, but our online auctions bring in an average of 117% of the debt due," said Grant, who has operated his own storage facilities in Arizona for 20 years. "That's a significant return investors and storage operators should pay attention to. Not only does it help with the loss of income, but it also increases the valuation of the facility."
The founder of StorageTreasures.com, Lance Watkins, was extremely influential in the introduction of A&E's hit reality show "Storage Wars" and his California facilities were often featured on the show along with the StorageTreasures.com logo.
"Three years ago almost nobody knew about self-storage auctions," Watkins said. "The industry largely pretended it didn't exist. Most bidders were professionals in a tight-knit community who had little competition and sometimes colluded to keep bids low. That all changed with shows like Storage Wars -- they brought auctions out of the closet."
But the TV series created a huge headache for storage facilities flooded by crowds drawn to on-site auctions, which tied up staff for hours and annoyed customers trying to access their units. It also was frustrating for bidders, most of whom walked away empty-handed after traveling long distances, wasting time and money.
The solution was obvious to these self-storage veterans: Online auctions.
Today the combined company has more than 3,000 self-storage facilities signed up to hold their auctions online -- from large publicly traded companies to mom-and-pop operations, and a database of 750,000 registered buyers nationwide. It currently averages more than 3,000 online auctions a month and expects to increase that by nearly 100% in 2014. With the national Self-Storage Association estimating there are 2 million auctions a year, the potential for growth in the online market is phenomenal.
"The merger of these two companies makes perfect sense for both companies," Grant said. "StorageTreasures.com has great name recognition, SEO, and online visibility, and is by far the leader in storage auction listings in this industry. StorageBattles.com has a product that was first to the market, a significant client base and substantial internal infrastructure -- a really good consolidation of talents, resources and market share."
StorageTreasures.com is a free, social site to find live on-site storage auctions at any self-storage facility across the United States and Canada. Members also can bid on storage units online from participating facilities. StorageTreasures.com has revolutionized the way in which the contents of self-storage units are marketed and publicly auctioned after the lessee has failed to pay rent. The site fills the gap between the operational systems that the industry currently utilizes and the public buyer who may be interested in the contents of a unit that is going to auction. The tools StorageTreasures.com provides allows the storage industry not only to comply with, but to exceed the intent of state laws governing the self-storage industry, protecting tenants and bidders alike. For more information please visit http://www.storagetreasures.com.