What I Learned From Storage Wars...

cast of storage wars

My Introduction to Storage Wars

Being that I’m new to the world of storage unit auctions, I decided to rent several seasons of the popular A&E show, Storage Wars to acquaint myself with the show and its cast.

While I may be new to the storage unit auction landscape, the rush of getting a good deal is universal! I was excited to dive into the show and find out just how the pros make their money by buying units and flipping their finds for large profits.

I was excited to watch the show and gather as many tips and hints as I could on how to evaluate a unit and how the bidding process works. More importantly, I wanted to see all the cool, unique, rare, and even bizarre treasures!

In one weekend I watched the entire first season on DVD. Like the underdog of our ragtag gang, Jarrod, I was immediately drawn into the mystery of what each unit held.

Rules of the Auction

The first episode Dan Dodson, the auctioneer, laid out the rules for me like I had just entered Fight Club; rule number one, this is a cash only sale, rule number two, buyers have five minutes to inspect the unit, rule number three, no stepping inside the unit or opening boxes.

Episode after episode I was on the edge of my seat as the guys explored their units and took their items to be authenticated and appraised, hoping each time that they were going to strike it rich.

Right away I loved watching the bidding drama unfold as the guys fought to up bid each other and each character’s persona was formed. Each character seemed to have a specific bidding style and method of psyching out the competition.

It didn’t take long for me to pick a favorite cast member in the bunch.  I’m a sucker for a lovable kook, and I knew I’d found a kindred spirit the moment Barry Weiss stepped onto the scene wearing one of his retro style bowling shirts and snazzy loafers. When he brought psychics to help him evaluate potentials bids, I knew I’d found my dark horse.

barry weiss

I was happily surprised at the tips the buyers gave for what does and doesn’t make a unit worth bidding on, for example, dust on boxes is a good indicator that the items within the locker are older, and could contain valuables and antiques. Who knew dust could be a good thing? The show is filled with tips for those of us who are wet behind the ears.  Not surprisingly ever unit and auction location has potential pros and cons.  Various factors can affect bidding. The median income for the community and the price of housing in the region can be indicators of the potential value of each unit.

After the Auction

Winning the auction is only half the battle and the show does a great job of following the cast after the auctions as they have their treasures assessed and appraised. It’s important as a storage unit buyer to be knowledge in as many niches as you can, for example period furniture. It’s equally important to know the right people to get your merchandise appraised in the off chance that you aren’t versed in things like shrunken heads and human bones.


Most importantly,  the show highlights the fact that while storage unit auctions do attract collectors and hobby enthusiasts,  many people will go on to resell their merchandise at auctions houses, online, or fill their thrift stores with everyday commodities. For these buyers, this is a business transaction and each bid is a process of weighting the amount of money they spend against a potential resale value for the goods.

Overall the show was full of great information and I can’t wait to keep watching!


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