My Experience At a Storage Auction

When a buddy told me about his love affair with Storage Wars I let him know I wasn’t a fan of the show despite loving Pawn Stars and Shark Tank but the conversation still gave me an idea.  Why couldn’t this be another income stream? The idea seemed simple enough, someone who didn’t pay their storage fees would have their unit auctioned and I would purchase that unit and then sell its contents for a profit.  Well, it didn’t work out that way at all.

What Happened At My First Storage Auction

Earlier this month my friend and I called a few storage places in good neighborhoods to get times that would work with our schedules.  When we found one, we told anyone that would listen that we were going, so at this point we couldn’t back out for fear of light chop busting.  Besides I couldn’t let The Wife “win” when she told me it was a stupid idea…I had to go.

Since we were both coming from the office (we work together) we are both suited up to say we were over-dressed is an understatement! So not only are we completely out of place we were 100% under-prepared.  We were told at the front desk that there was only 2 units up for auction but there weren’t that many people bidding.  Kind of a let down, but maybe since there were fewer people we had a better chance of walking away with a unit.

Well apparently “few” meant only 40 or 50 people!  and people showed up with trucks, flashlights and were dressed to actually haul away their take.  Not a well thought out plan to say the least.

The First Storage Unit For Auction

I was super amped up to see what was in our first storage unit! So we waited in line with the 40 or so others just so we can stick our head in the dimly lit unit (ah, that’s why those guys had those flashlights) and boy I was disappointed.  It looked like radio shack threw up in this unit.  Tons of wires and circuit boards.  I wasn’t allowed to move anything so I couldn’t try to figure out what was going on in there.  I quickly moved aside as I knew I wouldn’t be bidding.  It sold for $200.

I know I shouldn’t be judging a book by its cover, but I am pretty sure the guy who bought it had no idea if they were the insides of a server or a 1997 desktop.  I guess for $200 he was willing to take the roll of the dice that the scrap in them alone would be worth it.

The Second Storage Unit for Auction

As I waited in line for the second unit

In Line for a Storage Auction

I could hear the “oos” and “ahhs” and immediately got excited. I turned to my buddy and said, “I would love to get something today.” The unit ended up having a dryer, some really high end speakers, a mountain bike, and that was just the stuff I could see! This unit was mine.  Then next thing I knew the bidding was up to $1,100 and was still going.  We turned to each other and decided it wasn’t our day.

Have you ever been to a storage auction?

49 Responses to My Experience At a Storage Auction

  1. That’s great. I enjoy Storage Wars but it’s often silly because they don’t show you what they actually get for the stuff, which you figure has to be less than what they throw out there in order to make it look like they clean up. Never been to an actual unit auction though would I go if I had a couple of spare hours just to watch the fun unfold? YEP!

    • A lot of reality shows are like that…for example 82% of the stuff on HGTV. They do all these renovations and you never know the final selling price its really frustrating.

  2. Come on, you didn’t even bid? Wearing suits, I bet they thought you’d be big buyers. Did you even bring money?

    You should have bid up the price, I feel like a few of the 40-50 people would have been like we’re not letting you 1%ers take that unit, even if it costs us extra.

    • Ha, funny you should ask that – we had cash on us but absolutely didn’t think about the fact that we were going to need cash to pay these guys off. Like I said under prepared to say the least!

      I thought about doing it for the first unit but my buddy held me back for fear of ending up with a unit full of computer guts.

  3. Have never been and only saw Storage Wars last month while I was on a golf trip in South Carolina. It certainly looks interesting, but I bet you win some and lose some. It might be fun to go sometime.

  4. Haven’t been to a storage auction and can’t say that I plan on going anytime in the near future. But thanks for sharing your experience with me.

  5. Man evan you are such a wuss! First, you let your wife mock you and decided that you had to go lest she win, then you ended up not sticking it to her by not spending a ludicrous amount of money on some stuff in a shed!

    • Damn it Jeff, you are right but I couldn’t NOT go. I mean she said it was a stupid idea which means this guy HAD to go. I really wish I could have won something and brought it home to fill up our living room lol

  6. I’d love to do this one day. Knowing our luck though, we’d likely get a storage unit full of useless junk… and have to pay even more to dispose of it all!

    • You do get to see the stuff just not go through it…like most things I bet it becomes less about luck then it does skill over time

    • What does that even mean? Because someone couldn’t pay their bills at a storage unit you wouldn’t dare go?

      So you wouldn’t buy a short-sale home or a foreclosure home or a bank owned property?

      Maybe they owners were just idiots and forgot to pay their bill and ignored the notices…I’ll profit off idiots any day of the week. Hell, even if they couldn’t pay their bills they should have cleaned out the unit KNOWING they were going to get locked out. Kind of makes them stupid also. It isn’t like a house you can’t move – just open it up and take your shit out and then ignore the bills.

      • A foreclosed house is different. People who own homes are generally more fortunate, or at least were at one point, and I don’t feel bad profiting off their misfortunes, especially if it’s a nice house.

        So let’s say a rich person loses their house or whatever. I wouldn’t feel bad taking their things.

        But I have a friend who’s poor and lives on disability and she’s about to lose her storage unit, so I’m a bit biased.

        • HAHAHAHA you literally never cease to amaze me. Maybe it is a storage unit full of rich people’s stuff lol does that make you feel better?

          • Why don’t you comment on my blog anymore?

            Rich people don’t usually lose their things, but when they do, it’s fine to take it. Rich people suck.

            • I stopped commenting when I thought you were attacking the way I was brought up and my wife…you then deleted my comment.

              You were in fact talking about Ninja. Still not cool in my book.

              Comments like “rich people suck” also aren’t conducive to a healthy discussion since I am very clear in my objective to be that “sucky” person one day. My Blog isn’t called My Journey to Middle Class.

              If it makes you feel better I do still read it, but prefer not to comment. If that stops you from participating in discussions here, so be it.

              • I deleted your comment because, as you and I both know, it was inappropriate.

                I’m sure you have kind, appropriate things to say. Try to say them.

                In my experience, rich people have been unkind. I can’t help that that’s my experience.

    • Chew on this..

      You do understand that an agreement was made between the owner of the unit and the one renting it out right? It was beneficial to both parties with this agreement. The owner got a monthly check, while the renter got to store their crap.

      Services were rendered but not paid. The renter reneged on their part of the deal and owe them money (forget for the moment the exact reasons why).

      The owner of the storage unit has money owed to them. Just like everyone else, the owner has obligations to pay as they were expecting this payment (ie loans, salaries, their own salary and food on their table).

      So in the end one should not feel remorse for the one who reneged on their part of the deal. Yes there are personal hardships people go through, but everyone has a sob story. The owner could just as well complain of the risk they took to open the storage unit, the loans they have to pay monthly, and the salaries they have to pay.

      In most cases (not all) the one who didn’t pay is bad with managing their money.

      • Let me add they auction off the unit to help pay for the monies owed. They may or may not recoup all of the money owed to them. The buyer of the unit is helping the unit owner meet their obligations, not taking advantage of the one who didn’t pay.

  7. You think my comment was more inappropriate than the borderline asshole post you published? Regardless, I have said my peace on your site. Like I said if that means you don’t come here so be it.

    “In my experience, rich people have been unkind. I can’t help that that’s my experience”
    What a bullshit answer. Do you think it is ok for someone to say all Mexicans I have met have been mean to me so I am going to say ALL Mexicans are terrible people?

    No some Mexicans are mean just like SOME wealthy individuals are mean…doesn’t mean ALL wealthy individuals are mean nor does it mean ALL Mexicans are mean.

    • And you’ve probably realized by now that I’m not going to stop commenting here.

      If I was going to, I would have by now.

        • You think I show up here to annoy you, but that’s not why I’m here. Of course, nothing will convince you otherwise.

          I think I may actually be one of your favorite readers.

          :)

  8. Are you really comparing wealth, which is something a person can control, to being Mexican? As a person of color I am extremely offended by the comparison. What is wrong with you? You may be on a journey to millions, but you need wisdom more than wealth.

    • Seriously, C? I feel like you have to be messing with me. You literally can’t be this dumb. I am going to put it out there, I don’t give a flying F if you are offended. Literally I don’t care.

      I choose not to surround myself with hyper-sensitive people like you, just so I don’t have to care.

      • “You’re dumb.” <—Your opinion, nothing more. I'm actually not, but you wouldn't know that.

        I know you don't care about treating other human beings with respect. It's a common affliction among white, heterosexual, able bodied human males. A sad affliction that you seem to have no desire to cure. Your wife must be a lucky woman.

        Are you completely incapable of empathy? Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be ANYTHING other than what you are, the easiest thing on this planet to be?

        • Thanks C…I am a VERY lucky woman! You have ZERO clue how my husband got to where he is today…but I will tell you…LOTS OF HARD WORK! That’s what it takes to be successful…lucky you are reading his blog though. Maybe you’ll learn something :)

          • C,

            1) Didn’t you forget the trifecta in evilness – I am also Christian

            2) Who is being racist now? You are hypocritical and borderline crazy. You lumped me with all white men? LOL

            3) I have empathy for those that want to better themselves. You don’t. You think the world owes you something because you are *just* smart enough to graduate college. The world doesn’t owe you SHIT.

            My Wife is lucky, as I am lucky to have her.

            I work more hours in a week than you work ALL freaking month. Why? To better my family. If I had to flip burgers I WOULD just so that my son could have a fantastic life.

            Jesus man, who wronged you in life? This post was about my experience at a storage auction and you once again turn it into an argument about your shitty ass life. I am sorry your life sucks. I really am, but grow up! Work more than 16 hours a week. Be a freaking adult.

            I have no idea why but you infuriate the HELL out of me. You will think that it is because you tell me how it is, but it isn’t. It is because you make little to no sense and it is sad because until you change your thought pattern you will end up broke the rest of your life. But, you are better than that. I think.

            • “You lumped me with all white men?”

              Only those who show the behaviors I’m used to seeing,and unfortunately you do.

              I infuriate you because you get angry easily and you’re not used to someone disagreeing with what you say. Kind of like someone else I can think of. You know exactly why I anger you.

              I’m just smart enough to graduate college, lol. How flattering and sweet of you.

              Okay, yes, I didn’t pop out a brat. Therefore my financial demands are less than yours. So? That doesn’t mean I have to flip burgers.

              • I am literally the most easy going guy you’d meet. Almost nothing bothers me.

                Because The Wife popped out a kid I am more or less likely to work at a burger joint? ha

                You are too nutty for me. I am good for now with you. I think I have had my C fill for a couple weeks. I’ll engage with you later.

              • It’s kind of unfair to expect me to just leave because you’ve “had your fill.” If you ever listened, maybe you wouldn’t get frustrated talking to me.

                Speaking of which, I assume you’ll be carrying your next child? Can’t have your wife dealing with all that pregnancy crap alone, you should have to too. At least, I wish it was that way.

                I didn’t say you had to flip burgers because you had a child, I said I shouldn’t have to just because I didn’t.

                Of course a crappy job like that wouldn’t support a child. Of course, I don’t understand what it’s like to love my own child and do anything, even work 80 hours a week, to support that child.

                Yes, all I know is how to be a spoilt brat. Lazing around five days a week, shooting eye-daggers at customers the other two. Love it.

  9. Dude, this post is awesome. But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t get better when I saw C the Writer paid you a visit. You lucky duck, you!

    You hit a good point on it being active. You’re essentially paying for the right to make $X an hour or lose $X trucking away stuff you don’t want. Doesn’t seem like my kind of bet, but I’m sure it’d have some one- or two-time entertainment value.

    • Isn’t she just fascinating?

      Yeah the bet/investment seems a LOT harder and more risky than something I would be willing to go forward with.

  10. “C The Writer” as someone who has met him in person (we didn’t know each other until I got into blog writing), you have no clue.

    From reading your blog all I see you bitch and complain, yet do nothing about it.

    Evan might bitch but he certainly works hard to right what he feels is wrong in his life. He takes initiative and a self starter.

    What about you? All I see is you bitch and blame others. The current President might get away blaming others but that isn’t a real leader. Real leaders look inward and how they can improve themselves, regardless of their external environment.

    Be a leader.

  11. Getting back to the topic, I would like to see what it’s about, but suspect because of the popularity of the shows that you are going to get a lot of idiots right now. I would wait to start biding on them until the popularity dies down.

  12. I’ve seen a few episodes of storage wars, and quickly got bored. I’ve gone to a storage auction with a picker friend, and he was picky all right. He passed on all three units after taking a first look. You gotta have a nose for this stuff, it seems.

    By the way, nasty troll infestation you’ve got going on.

  13. Sorry to hear that there were no treasures! I haven’t been to a storage auction, but it does sound intriguing. It’s funny that I just now found this post this morning because they talking about Storage Wars on 89X this morning (Michigan thing).

  14. Shut the hell up! You actually went to one of these things and BID?! What were you thinking? You’d have a better chance at antiquing than winning one of those things and finding saveable stuff.

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