A&E’s “Storage Wars”
follows a team of storage auction bidders in Southern California who ferret out storage units with high-value contents and try to win them for the lowest price possible. The attraction to film in Southern California is the fact that they’re more likely to find pop culture memorabilia and valuable items. The “Storage Wars” stars own stores and attend swap meets where they resell their found treasures.Spike TV runs a similar show, “Auction Hunters,”
which “follows two of the best prospectors in the business, Clinton ‘Ton’ Jones and Allen Haff, in their quest to win auctions, acquire treasure and sell it for profit.”Both of these shows are driving the general public’s interest in storage auctions. More and more people are heading out to seek treasure in their own neighborhoods. Storage facilities see a lot of tenant turnover, and many have policies that allow them to sell off a unit’s contents if the tenant is one or two months behind on rent. Depending on the size of the storage facility, that means they may be running monthly auctions at any given facility.Recently, in Virginia, two units full of historical items were auctioned off for $27,000
. The units clearly contained valuable historical artifacts, according to the storage auction news source Storage Auction Central. The winner paid cash to get ownership of the contents immediately.But not all storage auction-goers are so lucky. Auction goers are usually only allowed a look at the contents of a unit from the outside, so some units may falsely appear to have valuable items. On the flipside, units that appear full of junk could be hiding something valuable.
Storage auction beginners also may not realize that if they bid on a unit and win, the contents have to be removed immediately. Because storage facility owners want to get a new tenant into the space as soon as they can, auction winners are usually required to take the contents right away.
The risk of getting stuck with junk isn’t deterring new storage hunters, though. Storage unit rental sites make it easy for storage auction newbies to find out when and where auctions are occurring, so seasoned auction hunters may be seeing more and more green bidders.