Storage Auctions

Auction Scene #2...February, 2013

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Auction Scene #2...February, 2013
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2013, 03:28:22 PM »
Here are a couple of pics from the auction I talked about in reply #11 above.

The $1400 lkr pics were bad...but I'll see if I can salvage something and if so, will post it here.

OK, here are two pics. The lockers was fairly full and everything was super clean and organized, but
not worth the $1,400 paid (IMO). Of course some of those boxes MIGHT have had great stuff, so only time will tell.



Pic above shows the bulk of the stuff. Didn't get a shot of the drawers containing the airplane models.



I don't remember much about this scooter. The high bid and resonance coming from the lkr and crowd was a bit
disconcerting; if the price had been lower I would have been in there, but not the way it was.

Edit: Take a look at the white box "board game" to the right of the scooter. The name of that game says it all when spending this kind of money on a 10 x 10.  The last time I spent this kind of money was in May, 2012 for a 10 x 30 that was equally good looking (paid $1,900). On that one, 4 items sold for a total of $1,650 and the rest of the stuff was almost all gravy.

Re: Auction Scene #2...February, 2013
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2013, 01:48:10 AM »
NORTHWEST REPORT HERE:  As the end of the month is approaching a few auctions sprung up, so I decided to test the waters today to see if any opportunities came my way.  I'm currently working about 65 miles south of my home (driving daily) so I thought I would try some new facilities during my "early lunch."  So far this month the quality has been very low and the prices have been average to high.  This month has brought some of the most disgusting lockers that I have seen in a while.  Now onto the report:

Auction #1:  Stop 1 of an auction train for a large national chain facility in a low income part of town.  There were roughly 25 people present with 15 bidders.  Even being 65 miles from home I still recognized 3 major players.  When I saw them I knew if anything "good" came up it wouldn't be going cheap.  First unit was a dirty couch and 3 mattresses.  It didn't sell.  Second unit was a 10x20 3/4 full with basic low end household items and lot's of kids toys / clothes.  This went for $300 which I thought was a decent deal, but not my cup of tea.  There were a couple of full 10x10's that sold next for $275 and $400.  Yes, the volume was there but the quality wasn't.  The 6th unit was a 10x25 packed 3/4 full that seemed to grab all of the newbies attention.  In the front there were 10-15 clear plastic bins and about ten of them contained Christmas items and 5 were blankets and linens.  I was trying really hard to find something of real value and all I could find was a beat up older rolling tool chest in the front.  Opening bid was $250 and it quickly went to $600, then one of the regulars that I recognized yelled out "$900" from the back.  At that point a newbie got all excited and within 15 seconds the newbie won it for $1,400.  I was thinking $600 max, but maybe he'll do OK on it......I overheard him say that he had a storage unit at the facility next door, and he was going to dolly everything down the street to that unit.  Wow!!! 

Auction #2:  I left the train and hit up a facility that is hooked up with a local auctioneer call Tillmon's Auctions.  I've heard some shady things about this auctioneer but thought there might be some value visiting this facility with all of the other auctions going on.  This was a very nice facility with only 12 bidders for two units.  Now, this auctioneer brought his "daughter in training" along and apparently she was setup to run the auction.  They opened the door on the first unit (10x10) and right away the first thing that came to my mind was that it had been gone through and was staged to look appealing to the untrained eye.  All of the boxes had been gone through, there was a crappy couch, and in the front on the floor was a cheap jewelery case out in the open for everyone to see.  I was thinking $30-$40 locker MAX.  The bidding started and within 10 seconds it was up to $250!  I was confused as to what just happened because I didn't see anyone bidding.  I looked closer and Tillmon the auctioneer dude was bidding on the unit?!  The bidding ballooned up to $385 and the auctioneer was clearly bidding the unit up in order for "his daughter" to make more on the buyers premium.  This was the most blatant fraud that I have seen in the 15 months that I have been doing auctions.  The funny thing was that it backfired and Tillmon was the high bidder at $385!! :P  At that point his daughter addressed the crowed and said, "You know you can keep bidding if he is bidding."  She then tried to talk up the unit and no one was buying it so he "won" the locker.  After I saw that crap I walked out, got in my car, and drove off as fast as I could.  What a joke!

Another month with poor quality, newbies paying rediculous prices, and auctioneers running scams to make a buck!!

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Auction Scene #2...February, 2013
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2013, 08:49:15 AM »


Another month with poor quality, newbies paying rediculous prices, and auctioneers running scams to make a buck!!

The last line certainly sums it up !  The up and down "wave' of all the elements you list continues to haunt us.
The scam by the auctioneer was laughable and good that 'he' 'bought' the lkr !


Offline Cobia

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Re: Auction Scene #2...February, 2013
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2013, 09:37:40 AM »
The last line certainly sums it up !  The up and down "wave' of all the elements you list continues to haunt us.
The scam by the auctioneer was laughable and good that 'he' 'bought' the lkr !

Interesting that some are seeing a lot of junk units & high prices. I am seeing a lot of high prices as well, possibly higher than the first tax season of Storage Wars. The strange thing is at the last auction I saw something I don't think I have ever really seen. The newbies were almost ecstatic talking about thier recent units & finds. Not just 1 or 2, but there were about 6 to 8 different newbies all bragging about how great the units they have won since the beginning of the year.

I've never seen so much backslapping, cheering, glad-handing, and all around outward joy among a group of bidders before. This can only lead to one thing, disaster! So maybe a couple of newbs did get some good units, but this is only going to cause unrealistic expectations and higher bidding. Can't wait to see how happy they are when they start paying $500-$1000 a pop on units with low quality furniture, used household goods, & clothes & then realize thier garage, out-building, house is full of $20 or less items that they will have to nickel & dime through to just break even or even make a modest profit.

One nice unit is fun! 10, 20, 50, & so on, average units is business! 

So they think they are real storage auction buyers now yucking it up like school kids on the playground after lucking up on 1 or 2 good units? Like King Leonidas in the movie 300 said, "We will put thier name to the test!"  >:(

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Auction Scene #2...February, 2013
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2013, 10:19:52 AM »
I went to a piece-by-piece auction recently (happens about once a month or two months) and it was a total waste of time. Only had about 8 lkrs and each was just trash....didn't help that 3 of the eight were "manager" lkrs they had put together of bigger items that had been abandoned (not liened).

At lease one poster here (some time ago) commented he found this kind of auction no good as people ended up paying retail for items. That certainly happens, but it's just like the regular storage auctions....people there make mistakes too and it affects those of us who are doing this on a regular basis and for a long time.

I HAVE bought items at a piece-by-piece where I have broken even, maybe lost a few bucks, AND have also made a KILLING. For instance, I might buy something for $15 thinking I could get $30 to $45 (bread and butter sales) and ended up getting $20 or maybe even $15 OR $10.  It happens, just like the full lkr sales.

On the other hand I've also bought an item for $5 and sold it for $185. Bought something for $50 and sold it for $185. So, it's just a matter of trying to buy smart, but it doesn't always work out that way.


Re: Auction Scene #2...February, 2013
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2013, 10:20:15 AM »
Tax time is here and the crowds have grown once again.  I think every thrift store owner in a 100 mile radius has come to the auctions in my area.  Prices have ranged from reasonable to "wth retail".  Last auction with 15 units in 7 locations had a crowd of 50 or so.

Monday is going to be a nightmare IMO.  The place had a "short" auction in december and none in January.  So this month they have 114 units listed in the paper in 3 locations.  So I suspect we may see 20-30 units out of all the locations.  With so many units listed in the paper however I suspect 100+ people.  Really hope I am wrong.

Offline Alias300

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Re: Auction Scene #2...February, 2013
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2013, 03:06:36 PM »


Auction #2:  I left the train and hit up a facility that is hooked up with a local auctioneer call Tillmon's Auctions.  I've heard some shady things about this auctioneer. They opened the door on the first unit (10x10) and right away the first thing that came to my mind was that it had been gone through and was staged to look appealing to the untrained eye.  All of the boxes had been gone through, there was a crappy couch, and in the front on the floor was a cheap jewelery case out in the open for everyone to see. 

Yeah, been to a bunch of his.  He usually has his son bidding.

I've talked about his auctions before.  Many have looked like they've been rummaged thru.
And the strategically placed items always give me a laugh.   

Re: Auction Scene #2...February, 2013
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2013, 03:34:31 PM »
Went to two seperate 'auctions' on Tuesday. First one had two units, one being a "proceeds going to charity" situation. 7 people total, only 4 actual bidders. The rest were partners of the bidders. I bought the first unit for $30 bucks, a pretty good buy with an awesome coffee/end table set, some busted tires - although attached to nice rims and some baby items. The charity locker was pretty bad, with 3-4 trash bags full of clothes/shoes, two golf bags full of golf clubs and a few cheap paintball guns. This one sold for $40 bucks, after I bid the guy up a little.

The second 'auction' was a weird affair. Basically you could go in the office from 8-4 and they had pictures taken of each locker from the door (around 10 total). You would then write your bid along with the unit number on a piece of paper. They would call the next day if you won. When I left I felt like I could of won them all, but the next day I never received a phone call.

I have an auction on Saturday. This one is in my home city, where prices have been very high for a long time. But it is also supposed to rain hard. So I'll report back then.

Re: Auction Scene #2...February, 2013
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2013, 01:29:33 PM »
That $5 unit in your picture Movieman I would of bid the $5 on.  I've had some good finds/sales in the under $50 units.  That and my daughter just loves them.

As for a store only open 3 days a week - it is doable.  My buddies store that I help with is only open Thur and Friday 10 - 5 and Sat 9 - 5.  He also has a used car lot 1/2 block away that he works at monday and tuesday.  Wed he will sometimes open if he is there working on inventory or such.  So far they have been open 14 months and are in the black.  Not a bunch of money but between the two it keeps food on the table.  Biggest advantage IMO they have is rent and location.  Rent is $900 month compared to the $1200+ at other locations and they are just outside the city limits on a busy road 1/2 mile before it splits off.  Then a Hardies opened up across from them.  Been in there a few times and heard "we should stop in there" or "look - they have a washer/dryer".

For the most part he has stopped going to auctions as many people bring him stuff to buy and he can pick/choose.

Re: Auction Scene #2...February, 2013
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2013, 02:40:26 PM »
Yeah, been to a bunch of his.  He usually has his son bidding.

I've talked about his auctions before.  Many have looked like they've been rummaged thru.
And the strategically placed items always give me a laugh.

Yeah, me too.  I'm amazed he is able to survive pulling those types of stunts, but there are so many new people every month who find his easily accessible online celendar it doesn't matter if turnover is huge.

I will never go back..... 

Re: Auction Scene #2...February, 2013
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2013, 12:25:10 PM »
Well I was correct - yesterday was just about a circus.  Lots of people at the 3 facility auction this month.  They did a early dec, no jan, and late feb auction.  So they had 114 units listed in the paper.  Told my wife everyone and their kid sister would be there.  Auction day has us 54 units (record), 60+ people (every old and new regular + good mix of newbies), rain/drizzle that let up, cold and windy conditions.  Took us 4 and 1/2 hours to do all 3 locations.

Unit prices were mixed.  A few units that sold undervalue, a mix of fair priced ones, and a bunch of overpriced units.  Units on a whole were poor to mid quality.  It wasn't till the last 5 units of the evening that we had some really nice furniture / whole house type units.  Those were in the 600 range.

My daughter got a crap unit for $10.  Had it at $1 but then a out-of-town thrift store guy that likes to toss his weight around started to bid.  2 matress, crap broken dresser, $5 toaster, a microwave and that is about it.  She didn't let him push her around and she can make a few bucks on the unit.  We had already bought a unit there so will be cleaning place out anyways.

I bought 3 units - 1 for my buddies store and is a mystery.  Could see a few chairs, table, and not much else due to twin mattress in the line of sight.  Also paid $35 for a scrap unit that may or may not be a dud (nice brass/glass 2' table, 2 electric weed whackers, bike w/ missing wheel, and the scrap)  Last unit I bought had 6 matresses in it (bonk head) - and other half of unit was just baskets of cloths, shoes, 5 PS2 games, etc.  Just had a "feel" on this unit for some reason so paid $70 for it.

What was real nice was the guy gave us 2 weeks this time since there was so many units to sale.  Did say he would also take CC this time which made most of us groan.  Final note - one of the ladies is taking over the calling out of the auction.  She isn't as entertaining as the owner but I like her style.  She didn't waste time trying to draw out bids.  It was once, twice,.... sold.  Think the owner slowed her down after the first dozen units a tad but she was still quick.  Plus, she had the helper open up the next unit for sale so the people not interested in bidding could go ahead and look at the next unit for sale.  Sped things up.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Auction Scene #2...February, 2013
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2013, 02:30:04 PM »
Went to an auction today that 3 months ago never drew more than 15 or so people, but today there were 40 and 30 of them were new....and I mean NEW people. The newbies bought perhaps 7 of the 10 lockers and they paid their dues. The regulars weren't even bidding on these due to the high prices for the quality/quantity shown.

It was common for a 10 x 10 (half full) to go for $400 or so.  The last three were ok and 3 regulars got them. A 10 x 10 went for $350. First 10 x 20 (packed with big furn) went for $900 and the 2nd (and last lkr) was a 10 x 20 only full to about 4 feet high and pretty scattered with not much showing except a super clean large mobile spray system (for crops ?) with a good looking Honda engine and pump. Lkr went for $650. I think that spray system would bring that, but not much else in there.

Thanks to crowds and prices I have been able to keep my new year's "resolution" NOT to buy lockers that aren't world class !  Like a recovering alcoholic I am taking locker buying "one month at a time" and have not bought one in 2013.


Offline Cobia

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Re: Auction Scene #2...February, 2013
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2013, 05:33:54 PM »
Went to an auction today that 3 months ago never drew more than 15 or so people, but today there were 40 and 30 of them were new....and I mean NEW people. The newbies bought perhaps 7 of the 10 lockers and they paid their dues. The regulars weren't even bidding on these due to the high prices for the quality/quantity shown.

It was common for a 10 x 10 (half full) to go for $400 or so.  The last three were ok and 3 regulars got them. A 10 x 10 went for $350. First 10 x 20 (packed with big furn) went for $900 and the 2nd (and last lkr) was a 10 x 20 only full to about 4 feet high and pretty scattered with not much showing except a super clean large mobile spray system (for crops ?) with a good looking Honda engine and pump. Lkr went for $650. I think that spray system would bring that, but not much else in there.

Thanks to crowds and prices I have been able to keep my new year's "resolution" NOT to buy lockers that aren't world class !  Like a recovering alcoholic I am taking locker buying "one month at a time" and have not bought one in 2013.

Yep, I've been fighting them off since the first of the year and so far I have lucked out with winning units for higher then I normally pay, until the last 2. Real Dogs!  :( Guess I pushed my luck to much trying to fight of the newbies. Think I will sit back for a while, sell through what I have, and wait for things to calm down (hopefully) come late Spring, early Summer.

Re: Auction Scene #2...February, 2013
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2013, 01:30:59 PM »
Two facilities the last day of the month. First one had three units left. First unit was good (10X10) went for $700. Second unit was a managers unit. Speaker box with 2 10" speakers, a metal shelf that was very bent up and a bucket. Went for $75. Third unit had 4 green garbage bags. It went for $25. Ugh what are these people thinking?

Second facility had 7 units. First unit (10X20) I had a tip on and had to have it $800. Second unit (another 10X20) wasn't bad sold for $400. Third unit (again not a bad unit) sold for $550. At that point manager announced that they had found a payment drop for one of the units and couldn't sell it (lucky they hadn't already sold it). Forth unit I missed as I had to sneak back and check in my unit. Fifth unit was garbage. Sold for $300. Not sure what anyone saw? Sixth unit was odd shaped but would guess 10X20. It was a hodgepodge of stuff. Sold for $1600.

So back to my unit. I had a tip that this unit belonged to the previous facility owner. I knew that some of the items were personal and him as well as his family were avid hunters. Found three gun boxes. Unfortunately they were all empty. Better luck next time.
The unit was not a bust though. 20 wood dinning room chairs $50.00 each makes the money back. A set of 22" rims and tires in great shape Sold for $500, two dinning tables (will price $50 and $100), two bakers racks (priced at $100), an antique sharpening wheel in really good shape for its age ($150), a Yamaha organ ($50), 2 twin beads and matching night stands (not sure on price for these yet), a set of end tables and coffee table ($100 for the set), and 4 sets of huge elk horns (was told I couldn't sell them. They are not native to the state so I can. Value each $200 to $500) The previous owner came by after the sale and said that there were guns in one of the lockers (he has 4) but he couldn't remember which on they are in. All in all not a bad day. Will definitively be watching for his other units to come up at the next sale. 


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