Storage Auctions

Staged unit story

Offline Alias

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Staged unit story
« on: May 05, 2012, 07:45:13 PM »
Reading several threads on staged units and thought I'd share.....
Now this was told to me back in 1989-90ish by sn OLD timer and he was known to tell some good stories.
Some were truth....some based off truth....some...um....who knows?
So take this with a grain if salt.....

This guy was an 'events stager'. He'd set up for conventions.
Primarily for Sears (I think it was) so he would store displays till next use.
99% of the stuff (lawn mowers, air compressors ...) were either extremely good plastic replicas or the real thing with no guts. And of course a ton of boxes for the back drop.
He lost the account and everything was in s storage unit. He didn't want to empty and dispose so he defaulted on purpose.
So here comes the auction, doors open and looky here!!!!
LOOKS like a 20x30 filled with brand new lawn mowers, compressors, tools, tires.....and unopened box's stacked floor to ceiling, wall to wall!!!

Bidding went thru the roof!
He didn't know this but what ever is bid pays the storage bill....anything over the bill and legal fee's? Yep...he got sent a check for several thousand dollars and the bidder got stuck with empty boxes and plastic replicas.

By how he talked I'd say this was in the late 70's so several grand was a lot.
He said he did it a few more times and made a killing.
He was a conning, untrustworthy sort that'd sell ya out for a dollar and always a scam brewing so maybe this story is true. Maybe it's just something he thought up but never tried and turned it into a story....?


Offline dbr831

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Re: Staged unit story
« Reply #1 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!

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Staged unit story
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 09:25:45 AM »
... when you actually see the goods and they turn out to be staged, now that's just not ok!

The expression "If it looks too good to be true it probably is." could easily have been born of the storage auction buying business".

I've gotten some good looking lockers and fortunately they were not staged, but in the last year or so I think the number of staged units has gone up. I can't say that I have passed up a good looking locker, but I have been outbid on some and I have heard stories of several locally that were staged. One bad example was a locker full of good looking boxes...all empty. Both the mgr and the auctioneer basically said "oh well".  I will go to that facility the next time they have an auction, but I will WATCH very carefully.

Another instance of a setup happened a couple of years ago where a fellow bought a great looking lkr for $4500 or so and I mean brand new tool boxes, etc were showing, but again, almost all boxes.   All empty. Buyer made a stink and this time the mgr and auctioneer backed off and did a full refund.  The two people who put it together (in collusion with mgr) were totalled banned from buying lkrs by that autioneer and all the area auctioneers banned them from buying as well...put them out of business.


Offline Boxlot

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Re: Staged unit story
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 09:52:19 AM »
Reading several threads on staged units and thought I'd share.....
Now this was told to me back in 1989-90ish by sn OLD timer and he was known to tell some good stories.
Some were truth....some based off truth....some...um....who knows?
So take this with a grain if salt.....

This guy was an 'events stager'. He'd set up for conventions.
Primarily for Sears (I think it was) so he would store displays till next use.
99% of the stuff (lawn mowers, air compressors ...) were either extremely good plastic replicas or the real thing with no guts. And of course a ton of boxes for the back drop.
He lost the account and everything was in s storage unit. He didn't want to empty and dispose so he defaulted on purpose.
So here comes the auction, doors open and looky here!!!!
LOOKS like a 20x30 filled with brand new lawn mowers, compressors, tools, tires.....and unopened box's stacked floor to ceiling, wall to wall!!!

Bidding went thru the roof!
He didn't know this but what ever is bid pays the storage bill....anything over the bill and legal fee's? Yep...he got sent a check for several thousand dollars and the bidder got stuck with empty boxes and plastic replicas.

By how he talked I'd say this was in the late 70's so several grand was a lot.
He said he did it a few more times and made a killing.
He was a conning, untrustworthy sort that'd sell ya out for a dollar and always a scam brewing so maybe this story is true. Maybe it's just something he thought up but never tried and turned it into a story....?



Sounds like a tale to me.

So how much stuff did he have that he could keep selling it ?   

Do you really think that lockers were going for several grand in the 70's.  Like you said it was a lot of money then.

Offline Alias300

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Re: Staged unit story
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2012, 01:37:56 PM »
Well, if every time he staged an event he kept a bunch of mock ups.....I guess he'd has quite a bit to stage lockers.   ???   And not that hard to get free crap to make a locker look good.....


And the dollar amount could happen.  Remember back in mid '80s that my friends dad paid $5000 for a locker.  Unit was being used to build/repair a race car and there was five engine crates in corner, tool boxes, race car parts......


 I don't don't doubt the story COULD have happened.....but from the source I don't know if it DID happen.  :-\


And anyway.....it's a freakin story.   I don't break down the inconsistencies of your Harry Potter books!    ;D ;D





Re: Staged unit story
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2012, 07:29:08 PM »
The staged unit is always the one we blame for a unit that looks good but has nothing of value in it.

I purchased a unit last month for 1.00. just to find out it was the storage companies unit. The unit they toss all the stuff in on units that are not cleaned out. I made big money on a box of 60 scrub tops, but if I had known it was a leftover unit, i might have just left it alone.

lesson learned.

Re: Staged unit story
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2012, 07:01:45 PM »
THANK YOU!  THIS IS GOING TO SUPPLEMENT MY RETIREMENT WELL.  I"m hitting computer stores, home depot, lowes tomorrow and seeing about getting their empty boxes.   I will make this locker look like a honey hole.  I'll even get a cheap safe to put in it and inside will be a note that says 'JARROD, YOU'RE WIFE WOULD WANT ME SO BAD!'.  I'll leave a quarter in the safe too so its not a total bust.  God this is a great idea.  MONEY TIME!  WOOHOO!!!!!

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Staged unit story
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2012, 07:35:49 PM »
THANK YOU!  THIS IS GOING TO SUPPLEMENT MY RETIREMENT WELL.  I"m hitting computer stores, home depot, lowes tomorrow and seeing about getting their empty boxes.   I will make this locker look like a honey hole.  I'll even get a cheap safe to put in it and inside will be a note that says 'JARROD, YOU'RE WIFE WOULD WANT ME SO BAD!'.  I'll leave a quarter in the safe too so its not a total bust.  God this is a great idea.  MONEY TIME!  WOOHOO!!!!!

I know you're kidding of course, but for those who HAVEN'T thought this through, consider this:

It would require collusion with the storage place and/or the auctioneer. Maybe they don't care, but the unsuspecting person who does this might want to also consider that if he/she just did it without the help of the mgr/auctioneer, then your credit rating would take a dump if you defaulted on the locker just to get the overage from the sale.

In any event, not a good idea...and again I know YOU were kidding.


Offline Alias300

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Re: Staged unit story
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2012, 07:43:11 PM »
Not to mention that it may not go for the amount owed or is inventoried, seen to be just boxes and not auctioned.....so you owe AND piss on your credit score.


.....or get some one that figures it out and comes after you.  Legally or not so legally.

Offline Cobia

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Re: Staged unit story
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2012, 08:45:34 AM »
Can't believe I am going to say this but, you could rent a unit at a facility that is not access controlled, NOT go into default, just advertise your own "auction" on Craigslist and see how it goes.

Problem 1: What happens when winning bidder thinks he/she has been duped and wants to talk to either you or the facility manager (who would know nothing about it)?

Problem 2: Depending on how well it's staged, with the crowds going down, maybe even a staged unit wouldn't sell for as high as it would say 6 months ago. Would it be worth the trouble?


Re: Staged unit story
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2012, 07:58:51 AM »
Oh fantastic, this story has given me what I needed, an idea for a 2nd job.  I'm going to start going by department stores today and ask for their old boxes.  I didn't know the locker owner got a cut, dang this is gonna be so easy.  I hope Hester gets my locker.


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