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Messages - dbr831

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Storage Auctioneers / Shady Auctioneers and shills
« on: October 17, 2012, 10:01:12 AM »
Has anybody run across any auctioneers with shills / fake buyers in the crowd? I've had a couple situations come up recently, involving two different auctioneers, that have been really frustrating. In the first case the rumor is that the auctioneer has people in the crowd bidding just to get the price up. After hearing this we payed closer attention to exactly who was bidding and there was a guy from out of the area that none of the regulars knew that was bidding on almost every locker. The auctioneer was calling him by name and a peek at the sign up sheet revealed that the guy was from the same town as the auctioneer. On the other hand the bidder did win at least two of the lockers so maybe he's legit? One of the regular buyers in our area has had previous issues with this auctioneer where at an auction he was outbid on a very expensive unit (several thousand) and afterwards the auctioneer contacted him to say the buyer backed out and did he still want it for his last bid? He thinks it was a shill and he refused the offer.

In the case of the other auctioneer, I've only attended his auctions twice. In both cases people in the crowds ended up very upset and there were shouting matches between the angry buyers and the auctioneer. Funny, I've never seen this happen between any other auctioneer and a buyer but it's happened twice now with this auctioneer. Anyway, the auctioneer has a couple of guys that stand to either side of him watching the crowd to spot bids. It's very chaotic and loud with them alternately shouting out "here" and pointing into the crowd. Over and over again there is confusion over the amount of the last bid and several times when bidders tried to see who the supposed bidder on the other side of the crowd is it gets retracted by the spotter with a "oh wait, you had the last bid". Hard to explain but basically it appears that the spotters are just getting a buyer to keep bidding himself up. If anyone else reading this has been to this auctioneers auctions you probably know exactly who I'm talking about.   

Wow, just last night my partner and I were planning auctions to attend and ran across an upcomming auction near us that he was doing. We have never been to one of his auctions before and didn't know who he was but were really looking forward to an auctioneer we haven't met before. Sounds like he was a great guy.

"DID YOU GET A CROWD APPEARANCE FEE-OR DID YOU JUST SIGN A WAIVER FOR APPEARING ON THE SHOW? Or with 'reality' shows-do they even have to do that?"

No appearance fee and yes we had to sign a waiver. They also covered any writing or logo's on our clothing with black tape. Regular people in the crowd did do some bidding but of course they aren't wearing microphones or being filmed. Basically there are camera guys following each of (and only) the main characters. I would imagine if there was a unit that was absolutely not worth having their character win it they would just let a regular win it and then edit it out of the show. They only showed, I think, 3 of the 5 units sold that day on the show. Also they do 'library footage' between lockers where they just point the camera at different people in the crowd and instruct you to raise your hand as if you were bidding or making an 'I'm out type gesture' and they add these shots in later so when you see crowd bids they are not the real bids that actually happened. Based on how high the units go, I really think the show is paying for the units because the actors/buyers don't seem to care how high they go. It's just about winning the unit.

I don't think anyone needs to push his way to the front of the line, serious buyer or not. At least in my area the auctioneers always wait until everyone gets a chance to look so whats the hurry. Sometimes if its a big crowd I would rather be near the end so there are less people behind me pushing to see. I feel like I can take more time to really look. Often if it is a unit I am interested in and I am near the front of the line I get back in line at the end to get another look in case I missed anything.

I don't understand how Dave Hester's legal battles preventing him from attending a few filmings has anything to do with the show being fake. It's a TV show. A real TV show. The cast are real auction buyers. The auctions are even real auctions (sort of). I imagine either the producers or Hester's attorney suggested he stay away until things settled. What does that have to do with the authenticity of the TV show? The only 'fake' part would be what they supposably find in the lockers. As we all know the cool and valuable finds are few and far between. It's reality TV so obviously they have to spice it up to keep up their ratings otherwise who would watch it. I guess you could define that as fake but I just think its TV's spin on a real profession.

I was in attendance at an auction that they were at and aired from last season. It was a real scheduled auction that I was attending with the intention of buying. It was a shock to all of us when the whole Storage Wars cast and crew showed up. There were two locations. Pooring rain. First place had about 5 units. Pretty ugly units, not staged. The cast bought them all but some of the regular buyers bid as well and could have bought them but of course prices were ridiculous. Second location had only 3 units and at the last minute the show decided to pass on it and said they had enough footage from the first location. I got a unit at the second location, good one too. Anyway, back to the first place, they didn't film the part where they find out what they got until the next day so none of us were there. This is the fake part, lol! Without bothering to go into detail, there were some subtle changes that resulted in some cool finds. Ran the dvr back and forth several times to check and yes there were some add ins that weren't there the previous day. That is reality TV for ya. I have to say I watch the show in a whole new light after that experience. Ok, yeah maybe it's a little fake. Now if you want to talk about total fake, lets talk about Storage Hunters.....aaarrrggghhh

Stories about Storage Auctions / Re: Staged unit story
« on: June 08, 2012, 09:17:02 AM »
I was at an auction a few days ago and this story came up in conversation with a few of the bidders and the auctioneer. The auctioneer said something similiar happened to him about 10 years ago when he was a buyer. Unit opened up and looked amazing. Big gun safe, gun cases slightly opened with gun stock visable...I don't remember exactly what else he described but anyway, bidding was huge and he bought the unit for $1900.00 (10 years ago so that's pretty huge). Anyway gets back to the unit later or the next day, not sure when and it's completely staged. The safe looked great up front but back was completely blown out. Gun case with stock showing turned out to be just a part of the gun stock duct taped to the back of the case so it looked like a gun. Everything had been arranged so it looked promising but was all broken or empty boxes. He talked to the storage facility and apparently the guy who owned the unit rented it, immediately let it go delinquent, never answered their calls and the day of the auction he called immediately after the auction ended to ask how much his unit went for and when could he pick up a check. What a nightmare. Gives me the creeps just thinking about it. You see people bidding up units just because they see lots of boxes and think there might be something good and that's their fault if they get screwed. But when you actually see the goods and they turn out to be staged, now that's just not ok!

General Storage Auction Talk / Re: I can relax~
« on: May 06, 2012, 09:15:57 AM »
I totally get what you mean. From the time you pay for the unit until the break even sale there's always that feeling of concern and the minute you break even and realize you still have stuff to sell a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders. My favorite units are the ones where there's one nice item you can sell immediately to get over the hump.

Another thought about the owners listing items, who's to say they aren't lying only to later claim the storage facility stole from them just so they could sue or file an insurance claim of some sort.

I just think it is on us, the buyers, to bid and buy based on what we actually see rather than we think we may have seen. As far as items not being what they appear to be, who's to say the storage facility staged it? It may be a spouse removing stuff and making it look like it's still there so the other spouse doesn't know. Another thing I've run across several times is boxes marked one thing, maybe "fine china" only to find dirty clothes. Lots of people use other peoples discarded storage boxes and don't bother to cross out the old writing on them.

Don't get me wrong, I totally believe some storage facilities stage units and steal stuff out of them, just saying there are too many variables to prove it.

Stories about Storage Auctions / Re: things that suck
« on: February 26, 2012, 09:06:50 AM »
another one: little velvet or wooden jewelry boxes with nothing in them but a tiny note describing the item that should be in them. "Mom's antique 18k necklace", "Dad's gold cufflinks".....

Stories about Storage Auctions / Re: things that suck
« on: February 21, 2012, 09:54:09 AM »
Storage locations that will give your address to the unit owner. Yep, had one show up in our driveway. Not cool! Didn't get too ugly but it could have.

Unit owners that attend auctions. Nothing against them, it's just kind of sad.

Magazines! Seriously why do people keep and store boxes of old magazines. Those suckers are heavy.

Huge boxes of heavy crap. Everyone knows, the big boxes are for light stuff like comforters and stuffed animals not books or the entire contents of the cabinet beneath your kitchen sink.

Finding something valuable in a bag of dirty clothes. Sounds like a good thing but now you have to actually go through all the dirty clothes. Yuk.

Finding personal stuff like baby books and wedding albums when the storage facility says they have no contact with the original owners and won't take the stuff off your hands.

Boxes that leak mystery liquids.


Stories about Storage Auctions / Our wierdest find yet
« on: February 21, 2012, 09:35:39 AM »
Bought a large household type unit a few days ago. Lots of stuff. Several dump loads but plenty of good stuff to offset the trash. Oddest thing in the unit was a rectangular wooden box, maybe 1' by 2' with a cross on the top. Several ziplock bags of locks of hair. All labeled with names and info like first haircut...Then further down the bags of hair contained what appeared to be cat hair with pet type names on them. In the bottom of the box were....the cats! Cremated remains of 4 cats. All I can say is thank goodness there were no human remains.

Welcome to the Online Storage Auctions Forum / Re: Hello from California
« on: February 05, 2012, 08:36:17 AM »
I've been doing storage auctions for a couple years but have only run across one that breaks out the units like you described. Totally sucked. It was in Northern Calif and without naming names I am pretty sure it is the same company you ran across. I left after only a few minutes and won't go to any of their auctions again. It's definitely not the norm.

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