Best Selling Units of 2019 on StorageTreasures

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Curiosity is a fundamental component of human nature. It makes us want to have an eye into other people’s lives to see how they live. There is no better evidence of this than the fascination with storage auctions. This curiosity is what made all the storage auction reality shows wildly popular and led to hundreds of people showing up at storage facilities on auction day. After ten years in the storage auction business, some of the most common questions I hear are, “do the units have really good stuff in them, or are the TV shows fake? While I feel the need to tell people most storage units do not contain hidden treasures, there are sometimes units that sell for incredible prices, and people always want to know what was in them. Here are 10 of the highest-priced units sold on StorageTreasures in 2019.  

10. Flat Screen TVs in Bordentown, New Jersey – Sale Price $8,410 

10x45 online storage unit filled with flat screen TVs and other merchandiseThe description provided by the storage facility for this unit said, “over 50 different named flat-screen TVs, but that wasn’t even close to everything in this 10×45 unit. There were unopened boxes of name brand luggage, comforters and pillows, and furniture. Bidding on units with flat-screen TV boxes is always a gamble, but with over 50 different ones, the odds were in the bidder’s favor, right?  



9. Band Performance and Stage Materials in Honolulu, Hawaii – Sale Price $9,070 

8x16 abandoned storage unit with touring equipment for a band including stage pieces

USA Today claims Hawaii is the #1 most expensive state in the U.S. to live in, and auction bidders there spend big as well. We have over 3,000 registered buyers in Hawaii, and two of them went head-to-head over this unit for quite a while, with 21 bids in the last 10 minutes of the listing. This unit contained everything a band would need to go on tour. There were several of the rolling boxes used to hold delicate equipment, amplifiers, speakers, DJ equipment, and even the aluminum stands to frame up the stage.  


8. Dolls and Collectible Figurines in North Hollywood, California – Sale Price $9,110 

Abandoned storage unit containing collectible figurines of celebrities and dolls

Is there a more appropriate place to find collectibles and figurines of famous people than NoHo, an Arts District North of Tinseltown? This unit had depictions of The Three Stooges, Bill Clinton and his saxophone, and even Abraham Lincoln. It was a 10×15 unit full of neatly stacked boxes, a bidder favorite, and other boxes that seemed to contain more collectibles. This unit contained the contents of what had once been a collectibles store.  


7. Lionel Train Sets in Surprise, Arizona – Sale Price $11,060 


Nothing invokes the memory of childhood holidays quite like a Lionel Train set. However, there is a serious collector market for old trains, especially Lionel Trains. There are entire stores and giant expo shows dedicated to trains. I know this to be true because my Father-in-Law is quite the enthusiast, much to the chagrin of his four sons. Almost every box in this unit had the name, Lionel, on it, and there were also materials for building the tracks to set up the trains.  


6. Baseball Unit in Kingsburg, California – Sale Price $12,010 6

At first glance, this unit looks dirty and full of old stuff, but I have learned from bidders over the years, the more dust, the better the unit. Undisturbed dust means the items in the unit have not been touched in quite some time. The contents of this unit were once a baseball or sports memorabilia store. There are boxes of baseball cards, stacks of the plastic containers prized baseball cards go into, and even display cases for the items. While we can’t see what is in the boxes, the crown jewel of this unit was a vintage cash register covered with a thick layer of dust.  


5. A Mover’s Unit in Hayward, California – Sale Price $14,800 

The first thing you notice about this unit is the wrapped pallets with names on them, followed by the vast number of unused moving boxes. Unwrapped pallets of boxes are a treasure hunter’s dream. The gamble, the excitement, it is almost too much not to bid. However, the value of this unit does not stop there. There are also ornate wall hangings and home décor. Top that off with stacks of boxes in the back of this 10×30, and this unit is a goldmine.  



4. Large Safes in Alpharetta, GA – Sale Price $14,910 

This unit is the definition of household goods, but a lovely household, indeed. It is not surprising considering the Metro Atlanta market has always been HOT, HOT, HOT for storage auctions. This unit had home décor, tools, children’s toys, furniture, boxes, luggage, and everything else you would expect to see in a typical household goods unit, but it also had three large standing safes. In addition to that, the furniture appeared to be well made and well kept. This unit would be a reseller’s big win.  


3. Model Cars in Chicago, Illinois – Sale Price $15,070 

There seems to be a theme with collectibles on this list and spoiler alert – it’s not over yet! This unit is a little different from other collectible units because it is all model cars. Some were in boxes, some were in cases, but the entire 10×30 was filled with model cars. This unit had almost 2,000 views on StorageTreasures and 164 bids.   



2. Artwork in Staten Island, New York – Sale Price $16,050 

I have always been amazed by the experienced bidder’s ability to determine the value of storage units. To the untrained eye, this unit looks like some plywood with paint slapped on it. However, this unit contained much more than that. In the back of the 10×30 is what appears to be stacks of artwork. There were also some sculptures and photographs of the famous rocker, Courtney Love, and an advertisement picturing Marilyn Monroe offering painting services. Given its location in the Five Burroughs of New York, this unit was probably a safe gamble.  


1. A Little Bit of Everything and a Bidder’s Dream in North Babylon, New York – Sale Price $38,840 

This unit is the highest-selling unit in the history of StorageTreasures. There were almost 10,000 views on it and nearly 300 bids. I have always known that bidders had their favorite items to look for in a unit. We call them “furniture bidders” or “tool bidders.” This unit has just about everything a bidder could want. It had safe, comic books, power tools, clothing, gun cases, electronics equipment, collectibles, and even a box that says “Stan Lee” on the side of it. The winning bidder on this unit lived in Washington state and immediately hopped on a plane for New York as soon as the sale was over. That has to be another record for StorageTreasures; farthest distance traveled for a storage unit. 

10 Ways To Profit From A Storage Auction

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10 Ways To Profit From A Storage Auction

When you get into the storage bidding business, you can be competing with dozens, sometimes hundreds of other bidders for only a few units. In order to make the most of your opportunity to profit from a winning bid, you need to be knowledgeable about not only the items themselves but how to determine what may be hidden in each unit before you even begin the bidding process.

This includes being prepared with a plan of action, capital, a bidding strategy, and knowing what to look for in every storage unit.
Here are a few steps to follow and things to consider to maximize your profit margin:

Locate Worthwhile Storage Auctions

You are likely to have multiple auctions happening in your area on any given day, so choosing the one that will give you the opportunity to make the most profit out of your time is crucial. Visiting them individually can be time-consuming, so choose them from a storage auction list that is available online. Check out their website first which should list the auction dates. You can then get an idea of their regularly scheduled auction times, and plan accordingly.

Create a Plan

Not only does the actual scheduling of each auction in your daily planner need to happen, but the pre-planning stages of what to do with the items once you have won your bid needs to be taken into consideration. Figure out how you will transport the storage contents from the site and if you will pay someone to help you with this in anticipation of larger items that you can’t move alone. This includes the cost of renting a vehicle or trailer.

Bid Wisely

Take a financial inventory of what is within your means to bid. Know what your capital threshold is and stick to it. Consistently bidding over your financial means will cut your profit margin more and more, leading to no profit at all. Consistently set your bidding boundaries and stick to them.

What Should I Look For?
Most every storage auction begins with the auctioneer giving the bidders an opportunity to view the contents of each unit. This is your opportunity to get a feel for what the items are actually worth and how to properly bid. These are some of the things you should be typically looking for if any items inside could possibly hold any value:

Climate Control

The importance of this cannot be measured whether you live in an area where the climate is exceedingly humid all year or varied between extreme heat and cold. When people store valuables, they often don’t take into consideration the damage that weather conditions may have on paper items like comic books and sports card, or metal objects for oxidation from extreme moisture. Climate control alleviates these issues.

Overall Quality of Visible Items

Don’t try to guess what may be in the boxes in a storage unit; instead, make a determination by observing any items that are not in boxes. If you see one or two things that are definitely antique quality, then the odds are there are more contained in the boxes as well. But, if you see a whole lot of piles of rusty junk, then the boxes will probably contain more of the same.

Professional Moving Boxes

When people take the time to hire a professional moving company, it usually means that they have items that take greater care to move and so must be of greater value. Not many people will pay money to move furniture they have already bought second hand or hand-me-down appliances.


If you observe them in a storage unit, it could be mean you are looking at quite valuable contents. An even layer of dust on all the contents usually tells a bidder that the storage unit has been left undisturbed for a long time. If there is a smattering of open boxes among untouched ones, then more than likely anything of value has already been removed from the unit.

Know Your “Junk”

What may look like junk to an untrained eye is actually a goldmine to someone who knows what they are looking at and how much it is worth. Many people store what appears to be garbage in their storage units and are actually objects that can be turned into scrap yards for cash. Anything that looks like copper, steel, coils of electrical wire that may contain copper or other precious metals, and boxes of random metal were probably collected for a reason. Become familiar with what the going rate is for scrap metal in your area and how to identify it.

Know When to Pass

Use your best judgment when you are making a decision to bid on a storage unit. Don’t always feel like you are going to be missing out on the find of the century just because you are listening to the buzz from the other bidders about the unit. They may be trying to persuade others to bid on it and waste their money so they can reap the profits from other units in the auction that are yet unseen. So, have confidence in what you observe when the unit is opened, and focus on what your intuition is telling you as opposed to what you are hearing from other bidders.

Reselling the Items
Once you have made all the right decisions about bidding and found your treasures, you need to follow your plan through with selling techniques that maximize your bottom line. You can choose one of the following means of reselling or do several of these on a regular basis:

• Open your own store
• Use a third-party seller (consignment shop)
• Sell online only (eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace among others)
• Yard sale
• Flea Markets

There are several other means to sell individual items that you can explore depending upon the value of an item and what the item actually is since there may be specific buyers that collect certain things.

Best Online Storage Auctions

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Storage auctions can be a fun way to make some extra money, provided you know what you are bidding on and can make an informed decision about your strike price. The best online storage auctions are ones that provide the information you need and have a clear interface.

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Why Do Storage Facilities Host Auctions?

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Storage facilities host auctions for a number of reasons. First, they need to recoup their losses. Second, they need to compensate the tenants for the possessions they sell. Finally, they need to clear out overdue units. It’s a lawful measure that appeals to facility owners and buyers alike. While you can benefit from receiving goods at a low price, everyone wins with auctions.

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5 Reasons To Switch To Online Storage Auctions

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Online storage auctions have emerged as a useful technology in our increasingly connected world. Whereas auctions used to be cramped and time-consuming, now you can virtually attend from anywhere on a much more flexible schedule. Here are five reasons to make the switch to online storage options:

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Things To Know About Storage Auctions

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Storage auctions are a great way to pick up unique goods at reasonable prices, and put some sweat equity into improving and expanding your inventory. Whether or not you intend to resell storage auction items, you can take advantage of online storage auctions to discover the best items up for grabs. Use these tips to score storage treasures in online auctions.

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