The down and dirty A&E hit “Storage Wars” is pretty cut-throat with a variety of pro-wrestling-looking pros getting a quick look at the towers of stuff — then the bidding begins. Usually they put down a lot of cash with just a peek of what is beyond the corrugated metal doors.
Caution: You need SKILLS to do this. You must know beyond a doubt characteristics of valuable items.
Try playing the “What’s It Worth?” game on the Storage Wars website.
I am a seasoned seller, and, yet, the game threw me off. It took me quite a few times to line up the items according to their values.
Local storage wars also exist. Times are published in the legal section of the newspaper. You need to call the storage facility right before the payment deadline to see if any of the units listed are still going up for auction. If the storage customer pays their bill then their items will not be put up for sale.
At Stor-It-Safe (Ottawa), they take silent bids, you write down your bid on a piece of paper. This can be tricky because you don’t know what you’re up against with other bidders. They roll open the door, you take a look (no digging). If you win, you are responsible for cleaning and sweeping out the unit.
If you’d like to spend the day and fill a truck, you may want to participate in a sort of “Storage Hop.” Mayo Auction & Realty work several storage sites. They hold their storage auctions the last Friday of the month. Moving from one location to another throughout the metro.
They are auctioneers, so you are participating in live bidding action. Be sure to check the website the night before or that morning to find starting location (if there are no units up for auction at first site, they meet at the second on the list).
As in most auctions, you must have cash and an ID.
Storage Auction Tips:
- Check to see auction is still as scheduled (if the renter pays even one minute before auction time, the auction is void)
- Bring cash and lots of it. You are not bidding on one item, but a whole unit.
- Know what an item is worth without a thorough inspection. You can’t go in to dig a lamp out to check for special markings.
- Bring some muscle. Unit must be emptied usually that day.