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Thread: Debating if I should go to a Storage locker auction.

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  1. #1
    May 2008
    Ace 250
    797 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Debating if I should go to a Storage locker auction.

    Neighbor works for a local storage unit place. Told me they will auction about 16 units on the 19th. Since I have never been to one I asked if the contents are going to be staged? Have the units be gone thru and there favorite bidder been told which one to bid on? Do I have a fair chance at bidding or is there shill action going on? I was told their auctions are very honest. The owner's lock is cut and then the door is marked. No one looks inside, no staging. I have just as good chance of winning as anybody. So I may go and watch. May not bid since I will not be set up to clean out a unit. But should find it interesting......YEEEPP.
    Hitndahed, T.C. and basssmann like this.

  2. #2
    May 2014
    Wilmington NC
    CTX; Fisher CZ21; Minelab Excalibur II; White's Surf PI DF; 920i Stealth Scoop
    408 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    If you are going I would plan to have the ability to clean out a unit because you never know...Just be prepared in case.
    Hitndahed likes this.

  3. #3

    Dec 2013
    44 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Set a limit on what you will bid before you even see it. Then set a price after you see it, before bidding starts, taking in account hauling off all the trash, for those items that you see and want. It is very easy to get caught up in it and overbid. It's fun! Or was fun before everyone and there brother thought they could make a killing on them and overbid them all.

  4. #4
    Charter Member
    Oct 2009
    5490 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I tried going to a local one a couple years ago. The contents were listed in the ad and then some of the listed items weren't there on auction day, so I know the good stuff was being skimmed off before the trash was left to be auctioned. Left a bad taste and I've never been to another.

  5. #5
    Dec 2016
    8 times
    Metal Detecting
    I am thinking about doing this one day, makes me feel bad about the owners but then again....they shouldn't have put their stuff there if they could not pay for it!

    Also, I am paranoid that owners would hunt me down... lol
    Beans likes this.

  6. #6
    Feb 2013
    767 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    always wanted to go to one, if you have a store or go to flea markets to sell, it could be worth while.. lots of trash to get rid of... one out of ten, you hit it big with cash, gold jewelry ect... but most of the time you might double your money after a lot of work moving and selling selling.... good luck to you.....
    Beans likes this.

  7. #7
    Mar 2012
    Wallingford, Connecticut 1667
    Whites MXT, Surf PI, Surf PI PRO, Dual Field, CZ-21, Vaquero, Home Brewed (3). Detecting since 1972.
    211 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I talked to a couple of guys that went to a few. They said mostly junk. I have noticed the TV show seems to over inflate the value of the items they find.

  8. #8
    Charter Member
    Oct 2009
    5490 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Mudflap View Post
    I talked to a couple of guys that went to a few. They said mostly junk. I have noticed the TV show seems to over inflate the value of the items they find.

    Ya think?!!! The TV shows about it are scripted garbage. The storage lockers are staged. IF you are spending much money on buying storage locker, you are throwing your money away.
    gunsil likes this.

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    Feb 2015
    4037 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    don't get caught up in the hype....that's all I can say
    Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand. - Tribe Unknown. Those that lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. - Blackfoot

  10. #10
    May 2008
    Ace 250
    797 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Kind of catch up on the Storage Units. Bought 4 at 5 bucks each. So after many ways selling what was not trash made about 200 for me and 200 for the Brother in law. Still a few items but they don't take up any room.
    AARC and RustyGold like this.

  11. #11

    Aug 2014
    De Tampe Bahia - La Florida
    JW 8X - ML X2
    18069 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Sounds like a win.
    Well done then.
    Have permission... Fill holes... Dispose of trash.

  12. #12

    Dec 2012
    7522 times
    Metal Detecting
    I would like to go just to see, but they are always during working hours here

  13. #13
    Charter Member
    Roger Hunter

    Dec 2016
    Charlotte, NC
    Garrett Ace 400
    549 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I have gone to a couple. Most of the smaller bins went for 5-10 dollars each. The big units went for $35 or $45 EACH. 3/4 was junk but the 1/4 good stuff made up a=for the bad and the profit was around 200%. Not going to get rich unless you find bars of gold. LOL

  14. #14
    Voice of Reason?

    Nov 2012
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    741 times
    Guns kill people, and people kill people. We can only hope to control both.
    The real problem with Storage auctions is getting rid of the stuff. At best most lockers seem to have a few hundred dollars worth of stuff, most of it bulky and not individually valuable. If you have a store where you can sell second hand stuff... A thrift store or something like that, you are in great shape. Without that, I don't see any way to make money.

    However, I was once called by one of my Olympic Friends who had fallen on hard times. He told me his entire collection was in a storage unit that was going up for auction the next day. Now, I know his collection and it was easily worth $10,000 or more. He told me it was all behind his old furnature. He was telling me because I had given him a job that brought him to the Olympics in London. I easily could have had the locker for a few hundred dollars (maybe less, I guess, depending on how good the furnature looked... Turned out he needed $550 to get current. I wired him the $550, and he saved his locker and collection. He's been having his daughter sell off the collection in bits and pieces to help support her father. Their first $600 came to me, to cover the money and the wiring fee.

    Sometimes you have to be nice...
    T.C., audigger53, Beans and 1 others like this.
    Big Business is the Biggest special interest.

    Give me liberty or give me death. Just make sure I am not killed by a Terrorist.
    Read my mail, See who I call, See what I read at the Library, inject, inspect, detect, infect, Neglect and select me... Just don't let them there terrorists get me.

  15. #15

    Oct 2005
    Washington State
    13 times
    I am actually on the flip side of this subject.....I'm the guy that auctions them off.

    A little background first..........I work in property management for a private owner who owns 7 commercial properties and one large residential property all on the same block in an historic area in north centeral Washington State. The residential property is a 11 story building that use to be a historic hotel/resort that was converted into apartments in the early 70's. The original 6 story parking garage was converted to storage units at the same time. The current owner bought the apartments in 2004, and the storage building in 2008 and intends on restoring them both back to original. When the storage building was purchased in 2008 there were 23 units seized for non payment......they sat there unopened until 2016 (I started in 2014) when we had our first auction. At that time Washington had just changed the laws regarding storage auctions. We were required to go thru each unit and remove and personal items such as bank records, personal photos, mail.....anything "personal" and store it for 90 days and make every effort to return them to the owner. The state requires any fire arms to be turned over to the local police. Any motor vehicles are required to be turned over to the local towing company for public auction. After the auctions any money collected is to be returned to the original unit lease holder minus any fees incurred. If the owner can not be located the money goes to the state.
    Going thru the units was interesting at first but became a big pain in the butt....it is very time consuming and I'm a one man show. After some research and a trip to the lawyer we now have a legal form I fill out stating that "to the best of my knowledge" there are no personal items or firearms......and a form for the auction winner stating that they will return any personal items to us for storage and return to owner if able. So now all I do is open them, take a quick peak (you would be surprised how many seized units are empty) and lock it back up.

    So to answer some questions.......are they picked thru? no, not at ours......are they staged? no, not ours.......does the facility profit? not ours.

    Honestly I would rather people just pay the rent or move out......the whole auction process is a pain in the butt for us and we loose money no matter what.

    Sure there's probably companies that pick thru and stage. What I can tell you from my experience is in an untouched unit everything will be shoved to the back with the bigger stuff like furniture and mattresses being at the very back....if there's a "wall" of big stuff in the very front then I would probably avoid that one. Dust......storage units are VERY dusty places. If you see dust free surfaces then its most likely been picked thru and moved around.

    Have I seen some interesting stuff? oh ya.......1969 Jag XKE hard top convertible with 23k miles on it been sitting there since 1982.....fully restored WW2 Willys army jeep......a Ford model A that is in amazing condition......and of course the first plugged in chest freezer that I was very hesitant to open....no body thank god.

    Hope this helps
    SDIceMan, kingskid1611 and Beans like this.
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