Let's Get Storage Auction Real: The Red Carpet is Getting Old

As an insider of the storage auction game, I think I have earned the right to lift up the flag of the camp who has begun to distrust Storage Wars for how misleading and “ohred carpet so Hollywood” it has become.  As a writer, I have always imagined that my rock bottom would be when I was making a comfortable salary endlessly churning out the online celebrity spin for an alienated readership who clings desperately to celebrity vicariousness.

Yesterday, A&E had its "2012 Upfront Festival," an annual red carpet event reminding the paparazzi and the American public that these people we watch on TV are still relevant to our lives.  Probably due to the multiple spawns the show has inspired, Storage Wars has slipped to #31 in ratings on “A&E” alone.  Present at the red carpet roll out were Barry Weiss dressed to the nines, David Hester, Jarod and Brandy Shultz, Darrel Sheets, and the “hot auctioneer couple,” Dan and Laura Dotson, all looking a little overfed and tired of the fabricated fame.

If you are serious about this business, I encourage you to read this article from starcasm.net and try to see just how skewed this whole reality TV engine has made storage auction resale.  It really isn't the fault of the caste, who will just ride this wave until it crashes like a tsunami.  Just as pro-working class politicos tend to distrust mega-rich candidates like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, so do I have to reluctantly distrust millionaires like Barry Weiss (as Zen, punny and Jack Nicholson-esque as he may be) for continuing to play along with A&E’s obvious hardcore makeup job on the depiction of this trade.  What few people know is that he made his fortune in the fruit and produce market in his younger days, not via a lifetime of storage auction flipping.  Not his fault, but these things have to be known by anybody who is seeking to come up with a legitimate marketing strategy in this trade.  Only David Hester has purely made his money in the resale game, and his demeanor and commitment is much more reflective of the character mold one will find out there in the real auction world.  That’s why he’s on the red carpet in the semi-formal version of the plain black clothes he wears everyday.

With the ratings slipping badly, why must A&E try to milk anymore publicity out of these people who were just “regular old, six figure collectors" from Southern California who hit their peak over a year ago who have made their killing falsely depicting to an eager American audience how to make a killing in this business?  Why must they take a working man’s trade like auction resale and turn it into a fashion show?


Answer: because they can.


The original beauty of the television programs used to be that it garnered a lot of interest in a trade that was otherwise as arcane as building a ham radio in your basement.  The virility of the concept certainly benefited us as a business and facility owners who now rest easy knowing that they now have a definite lifeline to regain back rent they have lost due to much larger bidding crowds.  We can't complain about that.  The downside of the mass exposure has to do with bid inflation and an inability for the individual to compete in an increasingly flooded, lookey loo market.

Incidentally, this is why our website strives to stay ahead of the game.  Storageunitauctionlist.com offers non-stop auction data from over forty thousand facilities nationwide because we want our subscribers to be able to look forward to tomorrow’s auction, and not have to feel the need to play hero on every unit they bid on.  Using our data, auction goers can attend twice a month or five days a week, depending on their level of interest in a trade that is more complex and exciting in reality than it is on TV.

Most importantly, I see a problem with critics judging the storage auction trade based almost solely on TV programs.  Several  bored, moral-right critics keep coming out of the woodwork to "talk junk" about the storage auction trade only because the shows have warped the essential nature of the business, showcased a false identity and turned it into just another “get rich quick” scheme when it is really anything but. Such columnists attempt to put auction going on par with insider Wall Street trading because they lack information about (typically very lenient) state Lien Laws, and therefore fail to see that a good deal of the time, tenants have tried to take advantage of a storage facility owner and given him nothing in return, i.e. the only thing he was guaranteed in the contract: rent money.  Storage auction goers do not have to fantasize that they aren't robbing somebody because in truth they are not.   People have been abandoning the things they no longer need or cannot afford to keep any longer on roadsides and at dumps for decades, so it shouldn't be any different that they have been abandoned in a business.  It is the characters on Storage Wars and its cohorts that promote the purely capitalistic element of the trade and give fuel to critics who only want to see the misfortune of tenants they know nothing about.

Whew!  Wrapping things up, I just want to say, lets get beyond who did what on Storage Wars this week and get out to some real auctions.  We encourage you to try your hand at this trade knowing that to make your money, it will be hard earned, and therefore enjoyable.  You have to collaborate with others, be selective in what you bid on, and have a great knack with other people, as a large part of this is going to be in the resale process.  Try scrolling through our blog for great many an entry dealing with how to get ahead of the game in all phases of storage auction hunting!



Web Sources:

1. http://starcasm.net/archives/155578

Image Sources:

1. http://katv.images.worldnow.com/images/14064627_BG1.jpg

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