February 8, 2013
Storage unit auctions are pretty popular, so popular that there is a hit reality show on A&E about it, called "Storage Wars." It illustrates the bidding frenzy.
In Albemarle County, people from all over are ready to pick up what others have left behind. Renters who default on units after several months with no attempts to pay, may find their belongings in the hands of others.
"You never know, you never know what treasures are inside. Generally, people will put them in the back," said auctioneer, Kathy Shumate.
People who frequent storage auctions come prepared with flashlight, hoping not to miss anything.
"There are no friends at an auction. Everybody is on their own. You bid next to your neighbor, you bid next to your mother and some of the best things I've sold are brothers going against each other," said Shumate.
Potential buyers are all looking for something different. Some look for jewelery, while others search for antiques.
"It's very hit of miss. We're looking for good quality furniture and that sort of thing, said potential buyer, Bob Notto.
Even though it's a gamble, more people are showing up to storage auctions, since its TV debut.
"I definitely see more people out since storage wars and the other shows that come on," said Shumate. "Its just the thrill off looking for that "oh my gosh", who could believe that that's in there."
Some buyers end up winning big, while others lose out. It depends on how money you're willing to bid.
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