The buzz around our office over the past few weeks has been about the new Auction Hunters and (coming soon) Storage Wars television shows, that follow a group of people looking to make a profit by buying and selling items they find at storage unit auctions around the country.
Being in the online marketing business it is really fascinating that auctions can be this exciting and prosperous for some. It also amazes us that someone would make a TV show with a focus on the self storage business!
Do you ever wonder if these shows are fixed? I have seen hundreds of auctioned self storage units and not seen anything worth a dime. I have opened storage units that were used by hunters to store game they caught and left, I have seen drug labs and worse. The one time I thought I found something worthwhile (2 nearly new jet skis with a trailer) it turned out the water craft were stolen and I lost them to law enforcement confiscation. In my opinion in watching these shows is that either they must film thousands of units being purchased, scope out the best units in advance that will make good tv and tell the bidders for the self storage units what is in them in advance or they stuff the units with something good. One of the episodes had nothing but junk in it but low and behold, when they were loading up an ottoman there was some $1,200 in cash in the bottom making the storage unit hunters big winners once again.
A word of caution before jumping into the storage auction business thinking treasures are a winning bid away -unless you know what you are looking for and can see the contents in advance don't over pay. Don't get caught up in the hype. There is money to be made in the self storage auction business but there is also plenty of money to be lost.
Saying that we were wondering if there were any "treasures" or good stories from auctions you've all participated in? As much as we've talked about it, I wouldn't be surprised to see some of our team members making a "field trip" to see one of these auctions in progress!