Author - Chuck G.

Find Real Treasure Inside Your Storage Unit

Want to know the odds of winning the lottery? It’s 175 million to one. Sigh. Odds of death by shark attack half that. Okay, let’s stay away from shark infested water.

Odds of finding “real treasure” inside a storage unit up for auction possibly better than the odds of being struck by lighting. Maybe…

Here are a few true accounts of auction hunters who found real treasure inside their storage units.

Storage auction bidder found a handkerchief inside a box. Carefully wrapped inside the handkerchief were 10 bars of pure gold. Each piece weighed one ounce and lot sold for $6,500.

Another auction hunter found a safe. Most safes are empty but this one had gold, silver, diamonds, pearls, cash, and the lot sold for $9,500.

Imagine finding $62,000 in cash inside your storage unit.

News agencies everywhere reported a colossal treasure find termed as the “Pirate’s Booty.” Californian auction hunter found 1,700 coins as well as a few gold and silver bars inside a Rubbermaid container. The coins appraised by an expert as "Pieces of Eight" dating back 200 years.

To get an idea of how much bullion was found, the Rubbermaid container weighed 250 pounds. Literally took three men to move the container out of the unit. Pirate Booty valued at $500,000!

I know what you’re thinking. The odds of you finding rare treasure are slim to none. Truth is, auction hunters find items valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Not every treasure find makes the news or is reported.

Unfortunately, the mega lottery treasures inside storage units are uncovered by law enforcement too. Feds found $1 Million in cash linked to a sham charity operation in Florida. Feds confiscated $1.5 Million in silver bars, silver and gold coins, as well as $75,000 in cash at a storage unit related to a drug arrest.

The treasure is out there, somewhere. Maybe you’ll find a troy ounce of gold or a few silver coins. For a Pirate Treasure chest find full of silver and gold, the odds may not be in your favor. The odds of digging up treasure inside a storage unit throughout years of auction hunting are probably better than winning the lotto. Maybe...

Log Your Inventory – See What’s Trending

What sells?

That’s the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question. Each region of the USA has a different supply and demand. Warmer climates you will sell swim toys, water sports gear and other outdoor equipment faster than you would in colder climates.

Where you live dictates what is sellable. But maybe you are not seeing the picture clearly, even after having bought several storage units. What can you do to help you understand what’s hot in the market?

Keep a logbook of your inventory.

If you are not computer savvy, you may find a logbook at your local office supply store or drugstore. Spreadsheets however for those who are computer savvy can keep an accurate account of every item for sale and when it’s sold.

Why do this?

I was just getting to that. It’s all about “trends.” Amazon keeps a 100 best seller’s list which allows us to see what is hot right now. However, a few weeks from now that hot item may no longer make the list.

People are fickle when they impulse buy. Your merchandise may either fill a need or a want. If it’s a need, you may see these items sell quickly such as kitchenware. If it’s a want such as a vintage camera, it may take weeks or months before you see a return on that item.

By keeping a logbook you will actually see what’s currently trending in your area and online and will assist you in choosing the storage units that will help you flip your items quickly into a profit. Let’s say you see a unit with several bicycles, but they’re not selling in your area. Bid smart by not bidding.

Categorize your logbook in the way that is best for you. A spreadsheet could look something like this:

Spread sheet

It’s clear that the current trend is girl’s clothing. By keeping a log of merchandise this maximizes how to build your inventory for profit.

Mind you, I more than understand many storage units up for auction contain unlabelled boxes and plastic containers. It’s a guessing game. The logbook or spreadsheet however is still meant as a guide to a profit state of mind when buying storage units.

Find the Trend.

Remember, trends change like the wind so keep an accurate record of what sells and when. If you know the hot trends in your area or on the Internet you’ll know which storage units to bid up and which ones to let go.

Please leave your creative opinions in the box comment below.

Storage Wars Dave Hester Loses Round 1 in Lawsuit Against A&E

Dave Hester the real life villain character from Storage Wars filed a lawsuit against A&E Network back in December. His claim was that the show’s producers would “salt” the storage units, which was in direct violation of the Communications Act of 1934. Did he win?


Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson threw out Hester's claim of Unfair Business Practices. First round win goes to A&E.

Dave Hester’s arrest for DUI back in 2005 may have hurt in his credibility. Not only was he arrested but also convicted and sentenced to 30 days community service at a Goodwill Store.

But maybe that didn’t come into play in the lawsuit, however as a self-appointed whistle blower, Dave Hester’s record is not clean as a whistle.

Part of the lawsuit by Dave Hester against A&E stated:

“The truth is that (producers) regularly salt or plant the storage lockers that are the subject of the auctions portrayed on the series with valuable or unusual items to create drama and suspense for the show.”

To get a better understanding of this lawsuit saga watch the movie Quiz Show starring Ralph Fiennes. Back in the 1950s a scandal erupted around quiz shows alleging that the contestants were given assistance by the show's producers to arrange the outcome of a supposedly fair competition.

Guess what? Back then it was true.

Congress then passed a law prohibiting the fixing of quiz shows and any other form of contests. Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson however found Dave Hester’s claims against A&E unpersuasive.

Storage Wars is not a contest driven show. Hester was unable to prove the show was rigged. Do you think there will be a better “bad guy” than Dave on that show?


Hester will pursue his claim against A&E for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings. Do you think Dave believes he has a shot to win the second round against the network?


We’ll have to wait and see.

The World Barters To Survive

You’re heard of swap meets. What about food swaps?

Desperate times in Greece, Spain and other parts of the world rekindled the bartering system. Greece once enjoyed high tourism, economic growth, early retirement and prosperity. Financial collapse of global markets hit the Greeks hard.

Many cannot buy food for their families as prices for food skyrocketed. The Greek government stepped in to allow grocery retailers to sell expired food at discounted prices.

Those who cannot afford to buy reverted to the ancient barter system for survival.

In Volus, Greece an organization named TEM exchanges goods and services such as, baby-sitting, computer assistance, and home-cooked meals to receive discounts at local businesses.

It is part alternative currency, part barter system, and part open-air market, whichever a person can do to get through these harsh economic times.

About 1,300 people have signed up to the informal bartering network and it’s still growing today.

Spaniards barter goods such as books or furniture in exchange for fresh produce at swap markets and these types of barter markets are spreading in every neighborhood throughout the country.

In Zimbabwe they bartered for doctor visits and medicines with chickens, goats, maize and even sacks of peanuts.

Food has become the most sought after commodity around many parts of the world. What was once taken for granted has now been stripped away in which only the rich can afford with ease.

Last February (2013) in Athens, Greece a brawl broke out among hundreds of Greeks during a free food giveaway to help the improvised. Not enough food for those who starve.

The world is in a world of hurt.

We barter to survive.

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Hush through the crowd. Storage door opens. Flashlights up. Flashlights down. Auction hunters shake their heads and move on to the next unit.

Hold your horses!

Don’t always take a storage unit’s appearance at face value. You may believe that if a unit stacked to the ceiling with boxes you will cash out.

Brandi and Jarrod from Storage Wars had such a thought once. Boxes however contained a surplus of new blankets. Both agreed to donate. Everyone hot to bid up that unit because it appeared full of hidden treasures.

Barry from Storage Wars bought a unit for $2.50. No one wanted it so he just shouted out a bid. Inside the unit an old dresser and baby items. The unit looked sad, really.

Barry however laughed all the way to the bank. Inside the top drawer of the dresser were several antique fly bottles appraised at $2,000!

Candy and Courtney from Storage Wars: New York bought a unit that had one pathetic box. No one wanted the unit. Inside the box a fur coat! Wham, bam, thank you Ma’am.

I know what you’re thinking… the producers placed those items to sensationalize Barry’s lost cause of a room and C&C’s pitiful unit. I cannot confirm nor refute. But what if they didn’t?

Types of rooms passed over.

  • Box or two inside
  • Inexpensive furniture
  • Garbage bags
  • Sparse items

Did you see the episode on Auction Hunters where Allen ripped open garbage bags and found money? Not just pocket change but paper money too.

If you spend anywhere from $1 to $20 for a storage unit that no one wants, isn’t it fair to say you could possibly sell the contents for a slight profit at a flea market, swap meet or even a garage sale?

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

How can you lose if you spend so little? That dresser Barry discarded could probably sell for $20 at a flea market. The unwanted clothes Allen tossed out from the garage bags may have sold for a decent return at a swap meet.

Those unwanted storage units that appear be trash might be the jack pot you seek. You spend $5-$20 (or more) on junk food a week without blinking an eye. No return there (except the spare tire around your waist). Spend $1-$20 on a storage unit that no one wants and take the chance you’ll find something valuable.

What you see is not always what you get.

Battle Baggage: And the Dufus Award Goes To…

Mark Baggage Battles

Season finale of Baggage Battles proved one thing: You don’t need brains to bid, just bucks. Auction was held in the northwestern Bayou of Louisiana.

Farm estate sale with five barns loaded with collectibles, mystery trunks, and one huge locked shed ready for the highest bidder to steal for a deal.

Let’s start with Sally and Laurence. Two items that drew their attention: an old fashion wooden Zenith radio they won for $75. Really? Seriously?

Out of the plethora of Americana collectibles they went for a less-than-mint condition radio. In all fairness the team did buy a mystery box for $20.

Stop the train!

Can you call it a mystery box if it’s an open box? You could see Sally pick through the items inside the open box before the auction. That’s why the S&L team won 3rd place in this episode’s Dufus Award. Please give the television audience more credit. We can SEE you dig through the box, Sally. Doh!

Amidst the junk inside the box was a penny mechanical bank which dated back to the early 1900s. It was in fair condition and appraised around $500.

Slick Billy missed the memo to dress casual but maybe without a jacket that was casual for him. He had his eye on two items: an old military trunk and a small wooden box. Billy stated twice he was ready to retire for the rest of his life. Put that on hold, for now.

Military trunk he won for $150 was a bust. He found a traveling optometrist kit inside along with few old magazines and a raccoon (don’t ask). Billy thought he could sell the antique traveling kit for $350. There’s a very small market for that type of collectible. Good luck with that.

Billy also won the wooden box for $200. Quite a gamble but it paid off. It was a Voltamp electric shock therapy kit. Why does that item sound like something Billy should keep…

Billy took the Voltamp to have it appraised by Mysterion who manages a store that looked like a cousin to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum, but not in a good way. Mysterion appraised the kit around $800, if it worked.

So how do you test it to see if an antique electric shock therapy kit works? Test it on each other - Doh!

Billy held the hand rods while Mysterion turned on the machine. JOLT! Billy was wickedly amused as was Mysterion. So much so they both shocked each other for fun. That’s when the show went from informative to creepy in zero to 30 seconds.

Hot diggity dog now it’s time to review our Dufus Award winner, Mark. His motto, “Sometimes you get. Sometimes you get got.”

Dufus move #1 – Mark stood on top of a plastic crate to peer into the locked storage shed. As he stepped one foot off the crate, the other foot crashed into the center and broke it. Doh!

Dufus move #2 – Mark had his sites set on winning a red Texaco sign, however, when the bid came for that item, the auctioneer had switched its place with another item unbeknown to Mark. He won a totally worthless antique fan for $150. Doh!

Dufus move #3 – Mark jumped the bid on the storage shed to $550. Inside was not the Holy Grail but a shed full of empty boxes within empty boxes. Doh! (I didn’t mention the fact he tried to use bolt cutters to cut the lock when a man came with a key – Double Doh!)

Poor sap. Mark sat on what looked like an adult potty chair. Yep, that summed up that experience. He did however discover one saving grace; an old 30s-50s RCA microphone.

Mark had it appraised at a local radio station. It’s a ribbon microphone. Called that because there’s a very delicate ribbon inside and if damaged, renders the microphone useless. Kermit, the radio DJ (not the frog) had Mark read a script to test the microphone. Hot diggity dog, it worked!

Projected profits:

Billy - $800
Sally & Laurence - $555
Mark – loss of $100

Mark at this auction, you get got.