Frequently Asked QuestionsFAQ
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How do I bid?
First you will need to create an account, then you will need to follow the steps to complete the verification process. You can click here to create a free account. If you already have an account, and are still having trouble bidding, please contact our support department.
What does it cost?
It is free to create a Bid13 account and there are no monthly fees. The only time you will be required to pay is when you win an auction. At that time, there is an additional 15% buyer's premium, charged to the credit card you entered when setting up your account. For example, if you win an auction for $50, there will be a buyer's premium of $7.50 (plus applicable sales tax) charged to your credit card at the end of the auction.
Do you charge tax?
Bid13 operates out of Canada and is obligated to collect sales tax on the buyers' premiums we charge on any storage units sold in Canada. We do not charge sales tax for units sold in the USA. Additionally, you may be required to pay sales tax to the facility, on top of the final auction price. This requirement is dependent upon the state or province in which the unit is located, and whether or not you purchase the units as a business.
What happens when I win an auction?

When you win an auction, the buyer's premium will be automatically charged to your credit card. Once this payment is successful, you will receive an email with your confirmation code. You will be required to present this confirmation code along with your photo identification in order to collect the unit. Please call the facility to arrange a pickup time. Do not assume you can arrive at the facility at any time during their operating hours to collect the unit. Often, you will need to arrive at a specific time of day to meet with the manager who handles the auctioned units.

When you arrive at the facility, you will be required to pay the full price of unit, plus applicable sales tax. Additionally, you will be required to pay a refundable cleaning deposit. This deposit will be returned to you once the unit has been emptied and cleaned. Please remember to empty the unit within the time allotted by the storage facility.

Failure to completely empty out the unit within the specified timeline forfeits your cleaning deposit, and will result in your Bid13 account being banned. Additionally, please treat the facility managers with respect, they are humans who are just doing their job. Abusive behaviour will also result in your Bid13 account being banned.

My buyer's fee didn't go through, how do I fix this?
If you believe there is an issue with your card, you can enter a new card in your account. Click on My Account, and then click on Contact & Payment. On this page you can enter information for a new credit card. After you have entered in a new card, go to the Auctions Won page and click the Retry Payment button. If this doesn't work, or you believe there is nothing wrong with your card, please contact our support department for assistance.
How do I know if I'm the current highest bidder?
When you place a bid, you will be immediately notified on the screen whether or not you are currently the highest bidder. Additionally, the current highest bidder's username is displayed on the auction page.
Why don't you film the cutting of the lock?

Bid13 encourages every storage facility to film the cutting of a unit's original lock. Sometimes this isn't always possible, depending on local lien laws. Typically, a facility will cut the lock nearly immediately upon a tenant being one pay period overdue and replace the lock with their own lock. They do this to prevent the tenant from breaking in to their own unit, without paying their overdue rent. The lien process can take several months, and a number of certified letters, phone calls are required before the unit is legally available for auction. When that time arrives, the facility will finally film the unit. This is why not every facility will appear to cut the lock in the video.

Please keep in mind that you should always bid based on the value of the items that are visible in the video and photos. Do not bid on what might be hidden in the back of the unit that you can not see. If you stick to this basic rule, you will always succeed at storage auctions, because anything else you find in the unit will be pure profit. It is when you gamble on what might also be in the unit that you run the risk of not turning a profit on that storage locker.

Why did you add time to the timer?
All of our auctions have a soft close to ensure that no one is able to snipe an auction during its last final seconds. This is because we want every bidder to get a fair chance to bid. During the last ten minutes of an auction, any bid placed will result in the auction's countdown timer having one minute added to it.
How do I place a max bid?
Every bid you place is treated as a max bid. If the bid is lower than another user's max bid you will get immediately proxy outbid. If your bid is higher the current high bidder's max bid, then you will now be the high bidder and the current bid will increase to $1 above the previous high bidder's max bid.
What is proxy bidding? How does your bidding system work?
Our system is designed so that you can place a max bid on an auction and have the system bid up to that amount on your behalf. This is intended so that you don't have to constantly monitor the progress of an auction, and you don't need to be watching the auction at the final countdown. To understand how this system works please consider the following example:

An auction begins and the facility has set the starting price to $25.

Tyler Harris
Places a max bid of $25

Tyler Harris is now the high bidder, the current bid is set to $25. Now, Auction King would like to place a bid. As all new bids must be $10 above the current bid, the system will ask Auction King to bid at least $35.

Auction King
Places a max bid of $100

Auction King is now winning, because $100 is more than Tyler's $25 max. The system sets the current bid to $26, which is $1 above Tyler's max bid. Tyler receives an email notification letting him know he has been outbid.

Suddenly a third bidder appears! This new bidder has really studied the photos and video and thinks that this unit is worth at most $80.

Mark
Places a max bid of $80

Unfortunately, it wasn't enough. He gets immediately proxy outbid by Auction King. The current auction price rises to $81, and still shows Auction King as the high bidder. Mark receives a message that he has been proxy outbid by Auction King.

Note: Although it appears that Auction King is bidding against Mark in $1 increments, this is only the system proxy bidding. Auction King was required to place a bid $10 above the current bid when he first placed his max bid. All users are held to the same rules, and nobody is getting an unfair advantage.

At this time the auction countdown clock runs down to zero. The auction is over. Auction King wins the auction for $81. Even though he had placed a max bid of $100, he will only be required to pay $81 to the facility for this unit.

Why am I getting outbid by $1, but required to place bids in $10 increments?
Every bidder is required to place new max bids $10 above the current price. But, when the system places a proxy bid the increment is only $1. This is explained in more detail in our proxy bidding FAQ entry, please read: What is proxy bidding? How does your bidding system work?.
How do I know the unit hasn't been altered by the facility?

We understand that anyone new to storage auctions, or bidders who are transitioning from live auctions may be be concerned about the possibility that a facility has accessed the unit prior to auction. We would like to point our several reasons why this is not as big of an issue as it seems on the surface.

  • Storage facilities are bound by state lien laws to follow a specific procedure when processing a lien tenant and auctioning their goods. Not following these laws is a crime and can put their entire business at risk.
  • Storage facilities are in the business of renting units, not selling used goods. Their primary objective is to get the unit emptied out and ready to be rented again as quickly as possible.
  • Bid13 provides all facilities with tamper proof tags, when applied to the unit door after filming these tags cannot be removed again without being broken. This guarantees you that you will receive the unit in the condition as you saw it in the pictures and video.

Please keep in mind that you should always bid based on the value of the items that are visible in the video and photos. Do not bid on what might be hidden in the back of the unit that you can not see. If you stick to this basic rule, you will always succeed at storage auctions, because anything else you find in the unit will be pure profit. It is when you gamble on what might also be in the unit that you run the risk of not turning a profit on that storage locker.

Do I get my cleaning deposit back?

Yes! as soon as you've cleared and emptied your won unit and after the storage facility has checked on the unit's state, your cleaning deposit will be returned to you.

What are coins and what can I do with them?

The coins can be used to gamble in the Bidcoin game that is listed on each auction page. We offer prizes like hats, tshirts, sweaters, etc. that can be redeemed with the coins in the future. You can read more about the auction forecast game here.

Does the pickup timeline include the days where the facility is closed?

Usually no, but it depends on the facility. Most facilities are quite amenable in this regard, simply give them a call and ask what their policy is.

Can I pay the facility my buyer's fee?

No, the buyer's fee must be paid online by credit card on Bid13.com within 24 hours of winning a unit. We don't accept any other form of payment. If you don't have a credit card, you can use a prepaid credit card.

Can I have someone else pickup my unit if I am unavailable to in the allotted time given?

Yes! Under your "Account Settings" section, there's a box labeled "Alternative Pickup Contact". There, you can put the name of the person you've allowed to pick-up your unit. Their name will be attached to the confirmation number so that the storage facility knows, too.

What's the difference between a lien auction and a non-lien auction?

A lien auction is for a unit that has been abandoned by its tenant; payments are not being made anymore or they have left their locker to go through the legal process of being sold. A non-lien auction, also called a manager's special, is the sale of a unit that belongs to the storage facility; the contents usually contain the leftovers of other sales.