My buddy Bill just returned from a local storage unit auction, where there was a turn-out of about 35 people. He ended up nabbing a big score was recounting some of the details of auction day to me. Unfortunately, this auction was a little on the light side when it came to the units. There were only 4 storage units that were still sufficiently delinquent come auction time, as two of the late tenants had swooped in and settled up on their bills just before they reached the point of no return.
Three of the auction units were tiny; little 5×5’s that didn’t have much more in them besides junky old boxes and a couple neglected suitcases. One had an old TV and another was more or less full of papers and personal effects. Most of the people that had come to bid were disappointed and some even left early. Bill hung on, however, because after attending some 60 odd storage auctions in the past 3 years, he’s gotten a good feel for one of the golden rules of the storage auction world: you just never know.
Bill’s patience was ultimately rewarded on the last unit of the day, and outdoor drive-up 10×10 storage shed. Bill said that, at first, the unit seemed unworthy of a bid. When the door first rolled open, it seemed as though beaten up and tattered filing boxes were stacked up in the front of the unit all the way to the ceiling, more or less obscuring the view of all the peering bidders. However, once you went around to the right side of the unit, you could just make out a crack through which Bill blasted his powerful flashlight beam and began to scope out the middle and back of the unit.
Bill noticed a medium metal safe in the back corner and decided right then that this unit was talking to him. It was time to start the bidding. There were two ladies and one other gentlemen interested in this unit, but only one of the ladies had interest enough to hold on past the $300 mark. Once the bidding crested over $390, Bill was the only man still standing. He took the unit for $400 flat and pulled his truck around to begin loading his winnings.
What he found pleased him immensely. After only 15 minutes of sorting through the auction unit, Bill found two worm drive saws, that just happened to be brand new. He said he was so happy because he knew in that moment he had already made back his money, and that everything of value he found from then on was just pure profit. The rest of Bill’s unloading went equally well. He found several video game systems, a veritable library of video games to go with them, and plenty of kitchen ware, tools and dishes.
As for the safe? Bill said his first inclination was to take it to his shop and bust through the top of it, but that he’d thought better of it. If it were empty, he reasoned, he would have just ruined a perfectly good and hardly used safe, which in itself could be resold for upwards of $150. He could be patient as he still needed time to start re-selling his spoils…and to count his money!