storage auction businessMy motivation for attending a storage unit auction was to find out if it was really like the TV show Storage Wars and to see if I would be interested in the storage auction business. So I did a little homework, found an auction and set out to investigate. As I approached the venue, I saw a cluster of vehicles parked in the empty lot adjacent to the storage unit facility. Apparently the popularity of the recent storage unit T.V. show had given many other people the same idea as me. Given the state of the economy it shouldn’t have been a surprise that so many people are looking for ways to make extra money.

I have been purposely building up a war chest of money just for the explicit purpose of trying an endeavor just like this. It seems like the storage auction business can be started with a low budget. All you need is a truck or a trailer, a place to store your stuff and organize it, and some capital for your purchases – the rest of the business is hard work and spending time. I actually have heard about people going to these auctions before and I have always been interested in checking it out. Unfortunately I’ve never done it – and it took watching Storage Wars for me to finally decide it was time to see what it was all about.

Should I Fear The Storage Auction Business?

I have to admit it was a little intimidating. As I walked up I noticed that there were quite a few more people there than I had expected. Being a “first timer” in anything is unsettling and I remember thinking that all of the “pros” were going to know I was new and eat me alive. I balanced my uncomfortable feeling by reminding myself that I was just there to check it out and see what it was all about. Also, while the number of people there was so big I assumed that I definitely was not the only one there window shopping for a new side business

I stood at the entry gate for what seemed like an eternity. People were just milling around looking at each other engaged in a collective uncomfortable silence. Finally the auctioneer came out and began his pitch about how the auction would unfold and the strict rules that would be enforced. It was a well rehearsed speech that you could tell he has given a hundred times before because it was delivered in an almost irritated demeanor. And speaking of irritated, I could hear the negative comments already beginning from a couple of people standing behind me. They were obviously regular auction goers and had been doing the storage auction business for a while. It seems, that they are upset about the number of people who have shown up to compete in “their” business. It was evidenced by her comment stating, “wait until all of these people see how much work is involved in doing this business – then they’ll all go away”.

Should I Be Motivated To Start A Storage Auction Business?

I love to hear people say that kind of stuff because it just fuels my fire to make a “go” of it. I wanted to turn around to her and thank her for the inside information because I – unlike most people – am not afraid of hard work. What I am interested in is making money. I am also encouraged by the fact that most people will probably not stick with the business. So for a low start up cost, and some hard work, I could have a business that will definitely make some money? This was starting to sound promising.

The gate opened and the horde of people began walking down the drive to the first unit. It was actually pretty exciting; I couldn’t wait to see what would be in the first unit up for sale. I told myself that I wasn’t going to buy anything on the first time out, but I brought $1000 with me just in case I saw something I couldn’t live without. I think I was hoping that there wouldn’t be that many people there and I would be angry at myself if I didn’t bring any money with me. It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

storage auction businessThe auctioneer rolled open the door and people swarmed to get a first look at the loot inside – after all this is the real Storage Wars. Human nature has always been fascinating to me mostly because I have always tried to disengage myself from it. I couldn’t understand what the rush was; everyone was entitled to see what was inside so what’s the hurry? It seemed as though being the first to view the contents would somehow give you an advantage to purchasing the unit. By the time I had a chance to view the unit it was just as I thought – everything inside was still there.

A little advice – if you want an advantage in life, think for yourself and don’t follow the herd.

Okay, back to the auction. The auctioneer began the bidding and we were off and running. It didn’t seem to have a whole lot of good stuff in it; there was a bunch of bedroom furniture and a TV – but there were a few boxes. That’s where the treasure could be – the fun benefit of this business that I learned from watching Storage Wars is the excitement of the unknown. I think the first unit went for about $500. I’m not sure whether the stuff inside was worth the price but I quickly figured out that things were probably going to be selling for more than usual because of the number of people. Add the fact that I live in Vegas and we are in no shortage of people willing to take a gamble and you have a formula for prices being a little high. Really, it’s okay if people are buying high because that is another factor that is going to eventually weed out the “riff raff”.

How the Storage Auction Business Works

The auctions are set up in a marathon style where I live and there is a tour of them throughout the day at different storage unit properties around the city. Some of the places will have just one unit up for bidding and others could have as much as twenty. I decided to come to this particular one because they had 14 for sale and I figured I would be able to gather enough information to derive an informed opinion about the process. I stayed for all 14 sales and probably saw only one unit that interested me. Again, I am not discouraged by this, because I know that I am a discerning buyer and that will be an advantage over time. I don’t mind taking a gamble (just about every endeavor in life has risk), but I am patient and wait for the exceptional opportunities. I would rather buy only one unit per month and have it be a winner than blindly spend my money and leave my fortunes to chance.

More Advice

The idea is to gain an advantage over other people. You can’t just go out and start a storage auction business assuming that you have figured in all the factors. The best thing you can do is gather information that most other people won’t take the time to do. If you are interested in getting into the Storage Auction business, arm yourself with knowledge (it also cant hurt to keep watching Storage Wars to pick up some tips). Don’t allow yourself to be tricked in to doing things because everyone else is. Stay patient; don’t get caught up in the emotion of the buying process. Keep yourself above the fray; garner confidence from knowing you have control of your thoughts and actions.


I finished out the austorage auction businessction and left encouraged by the experience. The only negative that I found was that the storage auction business would probably be a little time consuming. But, if you want to do it for a way to build up your bankroll, then you can set your own schedule. Honestly, when I discovered the bankroll building strategy, this is the exact type of business model I thought of for growing a bankroll. You can do it just once a month if you want to or you can do it every weekend the choice is yours. The point is to use your bankroll to buy valuable items at a discount and resell them for a profit – thus increasing the size of your bankroll. As it gets bigger, you can buy more valuable items. Work your way up to Cars, and then maybe real estate or even businesses. For now though, this is a great business because you can do it with a small bankroll.

I hope my experience has encouraged you to go check it out yourself. If you are up for the fast paced world of the storage auction business, then get yourself an advantage by learning all you can. I also recommend just checking out an auction for yourself to see if it is right for you. There’s nothing wrong with learning as much as you can before you make a decision to venture into a new business. It will help you get past any fears of the “unknown” and give you the artillery you may need to start your own storage auction business.

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    2 Responses to The “Real” Storage Wars

    1. CSPRING says:

      No no no. Its like you were telling a great story and then just dropped the ball. You have to share the full experience. You have to get a locker and take us through what you found and the disapointment or excitment. Thats the best part.

      • Dan Bondurant says:

        Sorry Spring, I just told what happened. Part of what I want to teach people is to be smart with their money and unfortunately there just weren’t any lockers that seemed worth buying that day, so I kept my cash. I’ll write another story about my adventure of buying one in a separate post. Thanks for commenting!

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