We couldn’t wait to tune in on Tuesday night for Season 2 of Spike TV’s Auction Hunters, which debuted this week. The popular television show filmed at multiple Life Storage locations last February to showcase the lucrative and often cutthroat world of storage-unit auctions. While we were crushed not to be in the first episode, our secret Spike TV sources tell us that we’ll be featured on episodes in season two – so mark your calendars for the newest episodes off Auction Hunters on Spike TV!


Auction Hunters First Look – Watch Act One Of The Season 2 Premiere
Tags: Auction Hunters First Look – Watch Act One Of The Season 2 Premiere

People love Auction Hunters because it’s so fun to see what “buried treasure” might lie beneath all the clutter and junk in abandoned storage units when they come up for auction. Every year in America, 50,000 storage facilities hold auctions for abandoned storage units where over $1 billion worth of goods changes hands. Life Storage holds auctions every month.
This season Auction Hunters s uncover high-valued items including a Winchester model 1912 shotgun valued at $1,500 and the exact scale remote control replica of a $3,000,000 luxury Viper Fan Jet plane valued at $11,500.

If you think you want to try your hand at “flipping” storage units, host Allen Haff has some tips for you:

  • Only bring the amount of cash you can afford to lose.
  • Keep your mouth shut the first few times out. Study. Pay attention to the way bidding works.
  • Guess what a unit will go for (and keep that guess to yourself). Once you’re close to the winning bid, you’re close to being ready.
  • Never spend more than what you see at the door. In other words, bid on what you see. You never know what will be in those boxes.
  • Most importantly, buy what you love. “You’ve gotta love a product to sell it,” Allen recommends.

Ton also has advice for both first-timers or seasoned auction hunters: “Space is money. Time is money. Money is money.” Auction winners aren’t just paying for the stuff in the unit; they’re essentially paying for the time to sort through it, too.

Check out Auction Hunters at 9:00pm Central each Tuesday night. LifeStorage will be featured in season two episodes. Fans can also connect to the series via the official Auction Hunters Facebook page, or follow the show on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

Instead of Flipping Houses, Now We’re Flipping Storage Units

You’ve probably seen the show Storage Wars on A&E or Auction Hunters on Spike TV. If flipping houses was the craze of the go-go decade of the 2000s, then flipping storage units has become the new craze of the scaled-back 2010s. Downsizing definitely comes in all shapes and sizes.

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The “Storage Wars” story goes something like this: A homeowner goes into foreclosure. He rents a storage unit for all his stuff until he can get back on his feet. He falls behind on his payments to the storage company. They try in vain to get him to pay up, but when he can’t, they “foreclose” on his unit and sell all his stuff at a public auction.

The Storage Warriors

Then, in swoop the “storage warriors” – professional storage auction-seekers who sniff out these golden opportunities to find a diamond in the rough. Just before the auction begins, they are allowed to view just the contents of the storage unit that are visible when the door is lifted. No one really knows what lies inside that foreclosed unit behind the rusting rows of file cabinets and and piles of old junk.

But the storage warriors are betting there’s a big find back there. They’ve probably researched the owner (names are published in the paper by law before the auction occurs) to see if he’s a person of substance. At the auction, they get into a bidding war, and finally someone ponies up $1,000 for the contents of the unit. The new owner digs his way under the junk to find an original Monet painting lying beneath the rubble. With a cry of joy, he whips out his cell phone, calls up Sotheby’s, and goes laughing all the way to the bank.

But is this really how the story goes?

Every month or so at our various LifeStorage locations, we find ourselves in the unfortunate position of having to hold public sales. By law, storage companies are allowed to sell a tenant’s belonging after 61 days of payment deliquency. LifeStorage usually forecloses somewhere between 60 and 90 days.

“Our tenants are really important to us, and we hate to see any of them lose their possessions,” says LifeStorage VP of Operations Matt Clark. “In fact, we’re known for really trying to work with our tenants if they are having a difficult time paying their rent. And if we lose contact with them, we will call every phone number we have for them and try to track them down every way possible. But times are tough, and sometimes it just can’t be helped.”

The Public Sale

After a unit has been foreclosed, Matt sets up the public sale of the contents. Legally the sale must be advertised in the local newspaper, and the sale is also publicized through the LifeStorage web site and e-mail blasts. “Usually about 10 to 20 people show up for a public sale,” says Matt. “There are definitely some ‘regulars’ who do this as a way to make money by flipping the contents of the unit once they buy it.”

LifeStorage holds its sales by silent auction. Participants get 5 minutes to look at the visible contents of the unit (they can’t go inside), and then they write down their bids on paper. We take the highest price offered, which makes it fair for everyone. Then the fun begins: the new “owner” of all that stuff gets to sift through it to see what’s there.

Pickled Chicken’s Feet

“I’ve seen some pretty unbelievable things come out of some of those storage units,” says Matt. “Ever seen pickled chicken’s feet? It’s not pretty.”

Unlike other storage companies, LifeStorage has a policy about personal items. If the new buyer comes across any military memorabilia, photographs, albums, or personal financial records, he is required in the purchase contract to contact the owner to return the items.

“We’re not here to sell people’s truly personal things,” Matt says. “We do our best to get those returned.”

The Diamond in the Rough

While it doesn’t happen often, there can be some diamonds in the rough every once in a while. The best find Matt’s ever seen at a LifeStorage public sale was a 1970 Shelby Cobra classic car, all boxed up in parts with no engine. Definitely a valuable find that could be worth hundreds of thousands to a collector – and all for the bargain price of $800.


See more about Storage Wars on YouTube:

Storage Surprise

Storage Auction Experts

Auction Fever