2012 was another strong year for self storage unit auctions. With the popularity of Storage Wars and Auction Hunters, people continue to attend storage auctions to have a chance to find “treasures”. There are auction attendees who will resell the items that they bought in the storage unit at resale shops and others who are looking for high value collectible items. For some attendees, it takes months of going to storage auctions to actually turn a profit on the items that they have purchased in the auction. The values of the storage auction finds will vary depending on what the buyer is using the stored items for. The majority of items found in a storage unit auction are everyday items such as electronics, appliances or clothing. Most “big finds” at storage auctions are not reported to the public until the items have been verified, valued and then later sold.
Remember, the storage auction happens when a renter has defaulted on the rent of their storage unit. The storage unit operator contacts the renter many times before auctioning off the storage unit. According to most state laws, the storage unit operators can only raise enough money to cover the rent owed for the storage unit. In most cases, the amount paid for the storage unit during auction does not cover the actual rent owed on the unit.
There have been a few interesting and valuable items found in storage unit auctions over the past few years. Some of these items have appeared on the storage reality shows while most are at non-recorded auctions.
1. In April, 2012, the Auction Hunters won an auction on a storage unit with a classic 1969 Chevelle in pristine condition. They sold the car for $9,000 making a very big profit on the storage unit. The Auction Hunters have also come across items from NASA and antique guns in different storage units they have purchased.
2. In Late 2011, a storage unit auction auctioned off by the auctioneers of Storage Wars, Don and Laura Dotson, contained a chest full of gold and silver coins and bars valued at over $500,000. The attendee bid on two units totaling $1700.
3. Two storage units were purchased in Virginia which contained historical documents dating back to the Civil War, military memorabilia and presidential memorable. The unit’s contents were valued at over $100,000.
4. A near perfect condition Action Comics Number 1 was found in a storage unit auction in April 2011. This copy was allegedly stolen from Nicolas Cage’s home in 2000. The comic book was sold on a collector’s site for over $2,000,000!
5. A storage auction attended found rare and unreleased Michael Jackson songs in a storage unit. These were songs that were recorded in a time when Michael Jackson was not under a record company contract.
6. Celebrity chef and TV host, Guy Fieri’s stolen Lamborghini, valued at over $250,000 was found in a storage unit. This unit was not auctioned off and the car was returned to the chef.
7. There have been storage auctions that contained Aretha Franklin clothes and Burt Reynolds movie collectibles.