Storage wars has been making a splash with reality television fans and storage auction gurus alike. Although it’s stylized in the typical fashion of most reality shows, meaning most characters’ egos are overblown and designed to clash with one another, there are some true and valid points here as regards the auction circuit. How much of this initial sneak peek into Storage Wars is legitimate and how much is worthless television fluff?
Obviously, the night-vision goggles-donning little person falls squarely in the category of television fluff,but let’s focus for a minute on what was true in this first clip. For one thing, viewers got their first (luckily free) taste of storage auctions culture: there’s plenty of machismo to go around.
It is more or less true that once you enter into an area that sees a lot of storage auctions and has a large pool of returning or expert auction hunters, you can expect to get something of a chilly welcome once you’re the new face around town. The reason is as simple as the numbers behind it. With more competition and motivated buyers, each auction hunter has to be willing to pay more for the average repossessed storage unit.
They don’t like doing this – it cuts into their profit margin – which means that they’ve no reason to give you a warm and genial welcome onto their turf. The best thing to do is ignore them and go on with your scouting and bidding. Just be aware that plenty of the veteran auction hunters already want you gone before you even have a chance to introduce yourself.
Which brings us to the next valid point this clip of Storage Wars portrayed – one of the sneaky or dirty tactics that veteran auction hunters will use to drive you out of the competition is running a unit up in price. That’s why it’s not always the best idea to plainly demonstrate your interest in a given unit too early. Once the competing auction hunters know you’ve got your eye on a given unit, they’re all too happy to help you explore your pain points while pushing the unit up out of your price range.
If you do buy it, they get to chuckle at how highly they’ve managed to inflate your final purchase price. If you don’t buy it, they’ll glory in all the spoils of your lost unit. Stick to your guns, but don’t be stupid. This is why we always recommend so strongly that you go into every auction already having your uppermost price very clearly defined to yourself. This means you can’t be pushed out of your comfort zone in the heat of a bidding war.
Most importantly, this short clip from Storage Wars gives us an opportunity to reflect on a piece of advice that will serve you well in most any public auction situation. Keep your head down and ignore the drama. Make quick and careful decisions about the delinquent units and never violate your own pre-defined investment boundaries.