How to Find and Attend Storage Auctions

storage locker

Finding and attending storage auctions can be very exciting and entertaining thing to do. Sometimes it can give you great benefits, but sometimes it can also mean gambling on uncertainty about what will you get. When you are bidding for storage units you never know what the owner has stored inside.

Maybe there are plenty of valuables and rare collectibles, but there is also a chance that there are some cheap stuff without significant value. Therefore, you should remember that storage auctions are thrilling and risky, but also often very rewarding. One thing is certain – storage auctions are never boring.

Today anyone can attend a storage auction. No matter which auction you attend you will certainly find numerous excited people that want to bid and get their hands on the items inside the storage unit. All kinds of people are attending the auctions – ranging from store owners and eBay sellers to treasure hunters, collectors and curious people. However, every bidder must be at least 18 years old, must fill out a registration form and has to have a personal identification.

Storage auctions are always publicly announced, so today you will have no trouble finding one. There are both online and in-person auctions running around the clock, so check those auctions that you find most attractive. The following are some easy ways through which you can find and attend plenty of storage auctions.

Read More: Bidding 101

You can start of by checking out the ads placed in local newspapers and magazines. Almost all newspapers have ad sections where companies advertise the auctions. Local newspapers will advertise some pretty good auctions where you will likely face smaller competition in comparison to ads published in major city newspapers.

Besides checking out local newspapers and magazines, another thing you can do is visit some auction websites like where you will find plenty of information about upcoming auctions. You can auction online and check out different storages with descriptions of items for sale.

Another Way Of Finding Storage Auctions Is Through Signing Up To Receive Auction Listings On Your Email

That way you will be constantly up to date with auctions nearby you or wherever they are held.

This is a good way to gain advantage in this competitive field, so sign up and be always informed about in-person and online auctions near you. Besides this, you can also make an own research and call some of the storage companies that operate in your local area. You can ask them about any auctions coming up and get the schedule of all auctions that will be held in near future.

Finally, networking with other storage item buyers is another great way through which you can get informed about when and where the next auction will be. Get in touch with experienced bidders and they will tell you where the best auctions are and what you can expect from them. You can first attend one to get the feel of it and then you can start bidding for yourself. Overall, finding and attending good storage auctions is not that hard today.

All you have to do is just do a little research, check out papers and websites for ads, and you will know where and when the auctions are held. A little research can take you long ways, so stay informed and soon enough you will be attending the best auctions available. These were some advices on how you can easily find and attend storage auctions. Consider them for your own benefit and start exploring the exciting world of in-person and online auctions.

Movie Props Found In Storage Units

Wall E Robot

While movie props often pop up in the homes of the actors who take them home afterwards, or at a public museum, others have randomly been found in storage units that have been auctioned off. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does we’re pretty starstruck!

Lotus Espirit Submarine

In 1989, a Long Island contractor bought a random storage unit for $100. Upon opening the unit, the man and his brother came across a giant lump that turned out to be the Lotus Submarine. At that time, neither man had seen James Bond: The Spy Who Loved Me, so they didn’t realize what they had stumbled across. Eventually, his neighbor clued him in and he watched the movie, but he still didn’t realize the value of his find until the Ian Fleming Foundation tracked it down– $1 million.

Read More: Uplifting: Father’s Portrait Returned to Son by Auction Winner

Planet of the Apes Vest

In a 2012 episode of Storage Wars, two of the show’s main cast members came across a vest worn in the original Planet of the Apes. Though rumors spread that the discovery was staged, that has never been confirmed.

The Death Star

The storage unit housing the Death Star wasn’t even auctioned. When the account became delinquent, the facility threw everything in the unit away. Luckily, an employee spied the Death Star in the trash and exclaimed, “That’s no moon!” At least, I hope he did.

The Death Star

It’s hard to one-up the Death Star, but a unit auctioned off in 2011 contained a whopping 40,000 pieces of movie memorabilia, including Disney animation cels, original Tim Burton artwork, signed Wizard of Oz books and pop culture swag beyond any ComicCon attendee’s wildest dreams. Somehow, the Hollywood execs who stashed their valuables in the locker over a period of decades kept forgetting to pay the rent.

Interestingly enough, there’s been even more memorabilia found.

Is it Real Gold or Silver? How to Tell

jewlery in storage locker

When it comes to jewelry, there are convincing fakes and there are unimpressive gems (literally). Some simple tests can save you a trip to the appraiser if it turns out the pieces are fake.

Jeweler’s Stamp

The first thing you want to do to determine whether jewelry is authentic is to check for markings. No, don’t throw it in a fire and wait for Elven script to appear, silly hobbit. Instead, look for karats on gold and the the letter S or number 925 on silver. Of course, a clever counterfeiter might stamp a fake ring, but costume jewelry won’t be stamped. Be aware, however, that rings purchased outside the U.S. also might not be stamped.

Read More: Antique or Old Junk? How to Identify Antiques

The Magnet Test

Hold gold or silver up to a magnet, and it won’t stick. The problem with this test is that some other metals share this property, so it doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility of less valuable materials.

Signs of Wear

If the metal is a different color in spots where the jewelry is worn down, it’s likely gold- or silver-plated.

Chemical and Physical Tests

You can investigate deeper by subjecting the jewelry to physical and chemical tests. If you don’t want to risk damaging a potentially valuable find, it’s best to have an appraiser take a look.

Take it to an Appraiser

A professional appraiser will know how to identify metals and gems without damaging jewelry. They’ll be able to tell you the karats, whether it’s pure or coated, whether the gems are natural or lab-made, whether the style can be considered antique, and what all of that means for insurance valuation. This value indicates how much you can collect if your insurance covers the item against theft or damage. It does not necessarily indicate the resale value.

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Think Before You Brag


The thing about bragging rights is that if you use them, you draw attention to yourself. If you score a big win at a storage auction, your inclination might be to shout it from the mountaintops, but here are some reasons you might want to curb your enthusiasm:

You Don’t Realize How Many Friends You Have Until…

Conventional wisdom says to be discreet if you come upon a windfall. You’ll need time to figure out what to do with the money. In fact, if you strike it really rich, you might even want to hire a financial adviser to help you with tax issues. An adviser will also walk you through your options, such as investments, so that your newfound wealth will last longer than it would if you went with your wildest spending dreams.

Read More: What to Look for in Storage Units

What Kind of Person Stashes Cash in a Storage Unit? Oh, Right.

A buyer in San Jose found half a million dollars in cash. The auctioneer gave the sage advice to keep it on the DL. That amount of untraceable cash likely has shady origins in the black market. It’s wise to report such an influx of income to the IRS. As for reporting it to the police, you should contact an attorney first to find out about local laws about finding cash.


Have you ever seen a local news story about a convenience store that sold the winning lottery ticket? After that lucky event, business tends to flourish, at least until the excitement wears off. This is great for business owners, but in the context of storage auctions, it’s not so great. More bidders means higher prices as more people drive prices up. So, if you’re a seasoned buyer, you’ll be inclined to keep the bidding pool small.

Speaking of stampede, if you want to avoid possibly getting run over after hitting the jackpot, try online auctions from Storage Treasures.