Storage Auctions: Out with the Old Regulars, In with the Newcomers

Emylisa Warrick |
Storage Auctions are not a new happening. But with the advent of A&E’s “Storage Wars,” more and more people have been flocking to storage auctions anticipating big finds and rare treasures. According to the article “Taking a Gamble on Storage Units,” long-time storage auction attendee Jim Williams gives the real, hard truth about storage auctions. Williams states that auctions are not as glamorous as people think and that the contents of storage units are usually 80/20: 80% junk, 20% treasure. Even though these statistics seem bleak, Williams has been going to storage auctions as part of a family tradition. His father started attending storage auctions 35 years ago in Pennsylvania. Because of this long-standing history with storage auctions, Williams has a piece of advice. He states that bidders should always bring lots of money; the auctioneer and the other bidders are not going to wait for you as you dash around to find the nearest ATM machine. Still, there are downsides and upsides to storage. The downsides include encountering a lot of junk. Some notable pieces worthy of the yard are TVs, clothes and mattresses. Williams shrewdly observes about mattresses, “Nobody wants them. And everybody hangs on to them.” But still, there is a thrill in bidding on a storage unit with unknown contents. The anticipation of finding gold or a valuable antique is hard to resist. Williams has found several boxes of silver coins. Rumors circulate of finding antique Harleys or gold bars. Prices of storage auctions differ according to region, but people are willing to pay more for the “wow” factor. The lucky ones find a diamond in a large box known as a storage unit.