Hidden treasures : Why some storage units are more valuable than others.

One of the most common questions first time storage users have ask is, “Will my stuff end up on Storage Wars?”

The best answer is, “Not if you pay your bill on time,” with a friendly smile. But the reality is that some people either because of circumstances like a lost job or a death in the family or through their own neglect do end up in our version of Spacemall Storage Wars. We hate to do it and it’s never going to make the reality television show, but we do have auctions.

So what if you are a first-time buyer at a storage auction? How can you tell what units are a good investment for resale, so you can make some money?

Most buyers at storage auctions are looking for specific types of items to resell at auction or on eBay as a means to make a few extra dollars themselves. And the first decision they face is figuring out how to tell if the storage unit is worth buying and if so, for how much.

They can’t exactly ask for the former tenant if there’s anything good inside. Instead, storage auction buyers get about five minutes after the door of the storage unit is opened to look, from the doorway, and see what they can see. They are not allowed to touch or move anything or even go in the unit to see what might be inside.

And while you’ll rarely see the kind of bidding at a local storage auction that you see on Storage Wars, some units do go for several hundred dollars.

So what makes people buy units?

Many people like hunting for treasures, hoping that they’ll find that one unit with something unusual and valuable inside. But the ones who make a living selling things they bought at storage auctions, know their markets.

Whether it’s an antique dealer who knows furniture and can tell at a glance that he can sell the dining room set at a huge profit or the toy collector who sees something unusual, most of the buyers at storage auctions have a good idea of what prices they can get for things.