The Reality of Storage Wars
The hit reality television show "Storage Wars" has been a big hit on television since way back in 2010, but just how real is it anyway. You sit there in your living room watching people get rich off of other folk's misfortunes. It's really quite sad in a way.
The deal at all of these storage unit auctions, is that you first must clear everything out of the storage unit by close of business. If you don't have the unit completely cleaned up, then you must then rent the unit yourself. They get all of your information, and copy your driver's license before the auction even starts. So if you don't have the unit cleaned up for the next renter, then you will be banned from all future auctions. They also keep a close eye out for the actual people who rented the unit, in case they attempt to buy their possessions back at a super cheap price.
Television makes it all look so easy, however the truth be known it's not exactly like that. If it really was all that easy to make a quick buck, then everybody would be quitting their day jobs to do this sort of thing. Only television could make something as humdrum as buying the contents of someone elses storage unit look exciting.
I know this because long before this reality television show came along, I was going to these storage unit auctions myself along with a friend of mine. There certainly wasn't all of these well dressed, colorful people, as we see on television, standing all around and bidding on these storage units. There's also no competitiveness, arguing, or fighting in the real world at these auctions. Most of the folks that go to these storage unit auctions are the older retired type. Many of these people are looking for items to sell in their small shops or at the flea market. The price of these units also are nowhere near as high as at what you see people paying for them on the reality television show.
I never once saw anything inside of a storage unit that was worth a small fortune, and made anybody instantly rich as you see on television. Most of the contents are just junk and trash. Anything of real value was removed by the original owner prior to the storage unit being auctioned off, which only makes sense.
I went to these storage unit auctions with a friend, who talked me into it. I myself never saw anything interesting enough, for me to break my wallet out for. However my friend purchased quite a few units over time. My friend is sort of like a junk collector anyway, so this was just a way where they could get a whole bunch of junk fast to add to their collection.
The show kind of draws a person into watching it, and before you know it you're hooked. You see people bidding on storage units, and making a fortune off of others who unfortunately couldn't afford to pay the rent. After non-payment for a designated period of time, the storage company sells the contents to try to recoup their rent. It's all perfectly legal, and unfortunately it happens all of the time.
My friend did occasionally pick up some good stuff, but it was little stuff and it wasn't really that big of a deal or savings. For the most part my friend broke even. The mass majority of the units were simply junk. I saw one unit that was full of old, used, dry rotted tractor trailer tires. I saw another unit that was full of old broken obsolete overhead projectors that were discarded by a local school system. One unit was completely full of trash, and the storage company offered to pay someone to clean it out and haul the trash away, but there were no takers.
My friend has said that they have found people's personnel documents and family photo albums in units, as well as wartime medals. These items aren't worth anything to my friend, but are priceless to those who these things once belong to. You never know what you are going to discover in someone elses storage unit. The most disturbing thing that my friend found in a unit was a hand made wooden box that contained another human being's cremated remains. As my friend stood outside of the storage unit, and contemplated on what to do next, a man approached and offered to buy the box. My friend explained to the man that the box contained another person's cremated remains. The man said he didn't care, and offered my friend five dollars for the box. My friend figured it might be for the best, and that maybe the man might know what to do with the remains. What happened next was just plain cold, and shocked my friend. The man no sooner had the box in his hands, when he opened it up and dumped the cremated remains in the middle of the dirty parking lot, and simply walked away. This is possibly an example of humanity at one of it's worst moments.
I've always thought it was possible that the storage unit companies teamed up with television to make these auctions more popular, and lure more people into the sale. It's also a fact that more people are now attending these storage unit auctions ever since the advent of this reality television show. So if that was really the reason for this reality show all along, then congratulations because it worked! In reality the television show "Storage Wars" is a far cry from reality.