Category - Storage Auction News

Storage Wars IMPLODES A&E with Lawsuits and Rumors

Will Storage Wars be the rise and fall of the A&E Channel?

Lawsuits, rumors, porn, firing, quitting, and a death; with an avalanche of negative publicity and scandals, can the reality series survive another season? Or will their most popular reality television series set A&E ablaze?

The concept to Storage Wars was simple; professional auction hunters gather at an auction to buy storage units. By the second season the show grew so popular it gained 5 million viewers.

With such a simple concept, what was that one catalytic event that threw A&E into a cesspool of controversy?

Dave Hester’s lawsuit against A&E.

Dave Hester sued A&E soon after he was fired. He alleged that the producers of A&E placed items inside storage units after they were bought to create drama to boost ratings for the show.

A&E wasn't smart enough to cover its tracks. There's a paper trail of invoices, checks, emails, and other documentation between the cast and producers for items planted inside the storage units.

A&E continues to deny the "fallacious" allegations arguing that Storage Wars is entirely real and not staged.

Hold that thought.

As of June 26th Barry Weiss, a current cast member and fan favorite, leaked that he would quit the show after season four and not return.

An insider source of Storage Wars stated that Barry’s storage units were also salted by the producers and that every profitable product Barry found on the show was staged.

The rigging controversy of this reality series continues.

A&E has also denied rumors of dropping three cast members from Storage Wars: Darrell Sheets and auctioneers Dan & Laura Dotson.

Yet the three cast members were frozen out of six episodes during season four. Add insult to injury, A&E brought in a younger auctioneer and several new guest buyers for possible replacement of the current cast.


Cheaper talent.

A&E’s expansion of the series is key to these rumors. The network is now filming internationally, Storage Wars: Canada. Another spin-off also in the works, Storage Wars: Miami.

Then there’s Porn.

Though A&E was not involved, one of their stars Brandi Passante sued a website for posting fake sex videos and fake nude photos of her online. She won the lawsuit, but that scandal didn’t do A&E any favors.

Then there’s the suicide of Mark Bolelo.

Mark appeared in several episodes of Storage Wars during season four. Insiders of the show stated Bolelo was frequently high on the set. Two days after his arrest for suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, he was found dead in his car inside a garage. Apparent carbon monoxide poisoning, he was forty-years old.

In poor taste A&E aired the episodes with Mark Bolelo’s guest appearance though he had already passed away.

That too, didn’t do A&E any favors.

The latest rumors are that Dan and Laura Dotson plot to unite the Storage Wars cast to sue A&E to negotiate for more money and for a piece of the profits of the show’s spinoffs. This rumor however was caught on tape. The deal is for the original cast members to become partners or everyone walks off the show.

Will this rally pay off?

What is the future for Storage Wars or for A&E? Could this single series indeed be the rise and fall of A&E?

Let us know what you think about the lawsuits and scandals surrounding Storage Wars in the comment box below.

Barry Weiss Quits Storage Wars

barry weiss

Barry Weiss quits Storage Wars and will not return for season five.

It has not been officially confirmed by A&E but it’s considered a done deal. An insider source reported that Barry secretly taped a farewell episode or speech yet to be aired. He said in the clip,

"It was fun doing this, but I’m out of here."

Unlike the rumors surrounding the possible firing of Darrell Sheets and Dan & Laura Dotson for cheaper talent and franchise expansion, this breaking news about The Collector appears to be true.

The insider source stated Barry Weiss wants to travel more. However, if you think about it, Storage Wars doesn’t film that many episodes per season.

So what’s the real reason behind Barry leaving?

Could it be related to accusations by Dave Hester in a lawsuit against A&E that Storage War is rigged? Insider source stated Barry could care less about any controversy surrounding the show. Insider went on to state that all profitable products found by Barry Weiss inside storage units were planted by the producers.

That's exactly Dave Hester's claim.

The insider source also stated that Barry Weiss doesn’t purchase his lockers but that the production company, Original Productions, buys them for him.

Well that’s convenient, if true, small wonder why Barry doesn’t mind losing money on storage units.

There were rumors that Barry Weiss would star in a spin-off show, "What Are You Worth?" However A&E has not confirmed or denied that rumor either.

Barry Weiss is the most eccentric player on the Storage Wars who shows up to auctions in unique vehicles.

He also lathers each episode with his shenanigans and is considered the most popular cast member and fan favorite.

When Barry leaves that may hurt the show’s ratings which towered at 5.1 million viewers in the second season.


The Collector has not been fired.

Barry Weiss is quitting Storage Wars on his own volition.

The question is "Why?"

Tell us what you think about Barry Weiss leaving the show in the comment box below.

Piece-by-Piece Storage Auctions

Piece by Piece Storage Auction

Most storage auctions sell their units whole: The auctioneer opens up the unit and the winning bidder walks away with all of the contents, including any trash or treasure inside. But this sales model is increasingly being replaced by piecemeal auctions, where the facility sorts through the unit and sells each item one by one. This allows bidders to pick and choose the items they wish to take home and skip the unpleasant task of sorting through things after the sale. But it's also an obvious way to price-gouge bidders, and it takes some of the excitement out of the treasure hunt. All in all, piece-by-piece auctions are a mixed bag.

These pieced-out auctions aren't new, but they do seem to be gaining prevalence in some places lately. Auction-hunters have mentioned running into them throughout the past few years, but they remain fairly rare. In many cases, the storage facility may choose to piece-out only a few of the units while selling others whole. This might be because a particular unit contains several valuable items that the facility believes will sell better separately.

Large items are easy to sell individually. Smaller items may be sold in clusters. For example, a unit filled with boxes might have each box up for sale individually, or a group of boxes could be sold as one small “lot.” The bidders would be allowed to examine the contents of each box, which does allow for substantially more research time than they'd otherwise have with a whole unit. On the other hand, all of this sorting, examining and bidding can take a long time; a single unit may take hours to sell.

Right now, these auctions make up only a small percentage of the total number of storage auctions held across the country. But if they start gaining in popularity, they may become more frequent. This is especially true now that many facilities are choosing to hold virtual auctions; since they're already in the unit taking photos, it's easy to separate out the items into individual lots.

The most likely case is that storage facilities may start removing key high-profile items to sell separately while auctioning off the rest of the unit in bulk. This helps increase the overall profits from a particular unit while avoiding the pitfall of unsold small items.

So what do you think of piece by piece storage auctions? Leave you interesting and creative response in the comments section below.

Are Storage Facilities Resisting the Status Quo?

Storage Auction Scams

Across the country, storage auctions are finally starting to settle down after the Storage Wars craze. Most of the newcomers quickly realized that the work wasn't nearly as glamorous as it seemed on TV, and allegations of faked units on the show have helped discourage a new wave of fans from trying. Things aren't completely back to where they were before auctions stepped into the spotlight, and they may never return to that point – but on the whole, attendance is lower and units are cheaper than they were a year or two ago.


For the most part, this is all good news. Overcrowded auctions were as big a headache for facilities as for auction hunters, and inflated prices meant extra paperwork and further attempts to contact the tenant. Nevertheless, a few less-than-scrupulous storage facility managers aren't so eager to go back to the good old days.


On the whole, most storage facilities are owned and operated by honest people looking to make a modest living. Every so often, though, someone at a facility will decide to try gaming the system for a few extra dollars. Now that auctions are smaller, this type of deceit is easier to notice. Recently, even as other parts of the business have improved, many auction hunters have discovered that a few local storage facilities are behaving badly. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for:


  • Proxy bidders. Occasionally, storage facilities will employ someone to make fake bids and raise up the prices. This is more commonly associated with online auctions, but it does happen in life auctions as well. Keep an eye out for any regulars who seem to attend only auctions from a single facility or anyone who seems to have deeper pockets than sense. Of course, not everybody who out-bids you at every auction is going to be a fraud, but it pays to pay attention to patterns.


  • Picked-over units. Some storage facilities go over units and stage them to make them more enticing before an auction. Others remove items for themselves before selling the unit, which is illegal, but most offenders figure that the odds are too unlikely that they'd ever be caught. Again, pay attention to patterns. If you see something suspicious in the way a particular facility's units always seem to be staged, you may want to avoid it or proceed with extreme caution.


  • Illegal sales. There are a few things that storage facilities have to do before selling a person's storage unit, such as sending letters and posting a public notice of the sale. Failure to do any of these things will make the sale invalid, and you could get wrapped up in a legal battle if the former owner files suit. It may not always be possible to know if the facility is doing everything as it should, but you should at least be able to confirm that the sale was announced publicly. If a unit comes up for bidding unannounced without having been mentioned in the ad, treat it with suspicion.


In some cases, a reputable auctioneer can help put your mind at ease. Most auctioneers are too professional to get involved in this sort of activity, especially as it can tank their career if they go down with the facility's ship. Since the auctioneer sees a lot of what goes on in local auctions, he can be a good barometer of how trustworthy a particular facility might be.


This is not to say that all auctioneers are honest, or that they can't be bought and kept in a dishonest facility owner's pocket. All the same, getting to know your auctioneers and researching whether they're generally viewed as trustworthy can help you gauge how safe an auction might be. Facilities are much more likely to try something if they're hosting the auction themselves or hired a “nobody” auctioneer.


It pays to be safe, and taking the time to get to know your local auction community – auctioneers, facilities and fellow bidders – will help you sidestep the occasional money-grabbing scheme.

Why Do Tenants Pay to Store Garbage?

If you spend any time at all attending storage auctions, you'll quickly discover that some units are filled with worthless junk. Not just family photo albums and old tax records; those items at least hold some value to the person storing them. No, inside a self storage unit you're likely to come across truly bizarre items: broken electronics, torn and stained couches, even bags full of regular household trash.


As you dig through the mess looking for anything of value, you might wonder: Why in the world was anyone bothering to store this junk?

To understand the phenomenon, it helps to look at things from the tenant's point of view. Most people who rent storage units are in a period of transition. They might be going through a divorce, lost a home to foreclosure or moved somewhere smaller than their old house. In any case, they very often don't have the time to leisurely move out or meticulously pack their items. They're often rushed and harried, and when you pack at the last minute, you make some odd choices – like gathering up every item in a room and throwing it in a box, whether or not it's actually just trash.


There's also the matter of landfill costs. Large items are hard to dispose of, and people moving in a hurry may find it much simpler to just store a couch along with the rest of their things rather than go through the hassle of driving it out to the dump and paying to get rid of it.


The original tenants may have told themselves that they'd have time to go back and tidy things up later. They might decide that they'll clean out the storage unit of its extra trash once things start to calm down at home. But, as they say, out of sight is out of mind, and it's easy to forget about things once they're no longer cluttering your home. Life gets in the way, and stored items are quickly forgotten.


Which is why you're so likely to find trash and treasure, often in the same unit. After the tenant starts renting it, he or she may start to forget what's inside. It's hard to recall every item you own from memory, and even harder to remember exactly where it is. Someone may have forgotten which items are in storage and which are hidden somewhere in their homes. This is especially likely in those units that were packed in a frenzied state. The tenant may remember moving in the heavy, dilapidated couch but forget all about the box of priceless antiques.


Storage facility rent is cheap, much cheaper than house payments or apartment rent. Most owners don't realize just how much money they've spent in storing items for several years. As time wears on, the task of dealing with the stored items can become daunting, and holding onto the unit may seem easier. So tenants end up paying thousands in rent to store items barely worth a few hundred dollars. Additionally, a unit may pass into the hands of a tenant's relative after death, and that relative may have no idea what's inside and no time or energy to find out. It's often easier to pay the deceased's bills without question when handling more complicated estate matters.


All of this psychology is useful for auction hunters to understand. By thinking like a tenant, you can avoid some common pitfalls that others might make when approaching a unit – such as believing that if someone paid to store a locker for years, it must have something of value in it. Learn to recognize the signs of a unit that was packed in a hurry, and go in cautiously: You may be just as likely to find trash as treasure inside.


Do Storage Auctions Slow Down Over the Summer?

Many industries slow down during the summer months, and resale businesses can suffer as well. On the one hand, buyers may have more time off to browse your wares, and summer is certainly flea market season. On the other hand, attending storage auctions in the summer can be hot, frustrating and often fruitless. If you're working in the auction business, it's a good idea to know what you should expect for the warm months.


First, understand that every storage facility handles its auctions differently. Some facilities hold auctions only as needed to clear out their delinquent units. Others hold auctions on a regular basis, either monthly or quarterly depending on its size. If your local facilities don't hold monthly auctions, you may notice that there's fewer auctions being held during the summer than in other times of the year.


If you do chose to keep auction-hunting throughout the summer, be smart about it. You'll be spending a lot of time in the sun, and it's easy to get sunburned and dehydrated. Bring some bottled water, wear some sunscreen and travel between auctions in a car with a nice air conditioner. If you want to avoid the heat and crowds altogether, summer might be the ideal time to try a storage auction online. That way, you can stay comfortable in your home without falling behind on bidding.


One thing to look out for during the summer: Student units. College students sometimes stash away their dorm room items during the summer before returning home, and it's easy for them to forget about these units or lose the ability to pay. You might not start seeing them until the end of summer or early fall, but they're often worth looking out for: electronics, mini-refrigerators, CDs and DVDs are all common dorm room finds.


For many sellers, summer is a time to focus on selling rather than gathering stock. Many communities shut down their flea markets during the cool winter months, so summer becomes a prime time to start selling things you stocked up all winter. There's also more people visiting flea markets during the summer. Yard sales are another popular summer pastime, and you may discover that you get more visitors during the warm months than any other time of the year. Memorial Day weekend in particular is an excellent time for a yard sale.


You can also maximize your sales by targeting your wares to match the season. Throughout the year, try to sort your items by seasonal interests. Just as Christmas ornaments sell best in the winter, items like tents, fishing equipment and sporting goods all sell best during the summer. If you have the space to store them, these items will fetch a higher price in a summer sale than they would in the dead of winter when buyers aren't looking for them.


Overall, summertime storage auctions are a mixed bag. Then again, the same can be said for any part of this business. By being smart and using the season to your advantage, you can maximize your profits without suffering too much from the summer slow-down.


Historic Beach Boys Memorabilia Find Was Not a Recent Discovery, Despite Popular Belief

Admittedly, most storage units are filled with dull household items and outdated electronics – and that's if your lucky. Every so often, though, a truly stellar unit comes along to give the rest of us hope. It's these astonishing finds that fuel the treasure-hunting craze and inspire more people to start searching through abandoned storage units.


In the 1970s, a relative of one of the band members placed several items into storage. There they stayed, apparently forgotten, in a Miami, Florida storage unit as the band skyrocketed to its legendary status. Eventually, the unit's owner failed to make payments, and the unit went up for auction.


So, imagine the surprise of the storage hunter who opened some unmarked boxes and found a treasure trove of priceless Beach Boys memorabilia, including the band's first royalty check, photographs, sheet music and hand-written song lyrics. Altogether, there are over two thousand documents in the collection, appraised at around $8 million, which is slated to go up for auction on May 15.


That's the popular version of the story, anyway, as it buzzes around the Internet. Yet few sources covering the upcoming auction have bothered to answer important questions about this historic event: Who found these items in storage, and how did they get there in the first place? The truth of the situation is a bit more complex and much more strange than the headlines would have you expect, as shown by an article in the New York Times.


Although the items are only now up for sale in a sealed bid auction, the collection was actually uncovered in the 1980s by Roy A. Sciacca, a musician, collector, promoter and studio owner. He purchased the items at a warehouse liquidation auction before moving away from Los Angeles. He brought his collection with him to Florida, where he did keep it in storage – but, despite rumors to the contrary, he hasn't lost the storage unit.


Instead, he became embroiled in a lawsuit with the Beach Boys themselves. When that same storage warehouse was sold in 1994, the band discovered that certain items were missing, and accused Sciacca of stealing them. According to them, there was no sanctioned auction ever held in the 80s.


What followed was a long-fought legal battle over who had the rights to the collection. That battle has raged in the courts until now, when it was finally ruled that the items should be auctioned and the profits split between all interested parties. That auction is set to end on May 15, and it's being overseen by the London company The Fame Bureau, led by Ted Owen.


Of course, all of this means that there really was no abandoned storage unit auctioned away in Florida, whatever the media outlets say. Still, plenty of would-be treasure hunters are sure to use high-profile finds like this to fuel their own hopes of fame and riches. The rest of us will get back to work re-selling old electronics and furniture.


Has A&E Replaced the Auctioneers on Storage Wars?

Has A&E replaced the auctioneers on Storage Wars?

Two new auctioneers, Johan Graham and her father Earl Graham, made their first appearance on Storage Wars in the episode, “The Monster Hash” which aired on May 7th. They are set to appear on another episode on May 14th.

Breaking news by Radar Online on May 1st reported that three cast members were dropped from Storage Wars. Cast members specified in the report included Darrell Sheets, and Dan & Laura Dotson the auctioneers.

The report stated the three cast members were frozen out of six episodes from season 5, but it appears the changeover for the new auctioneers is under way on season 4, which is currently airing on A&E.

Dan Dotson's family has a history in the auctioneer business since the 40s. Dan learned how to become an auctioneer at the age of eleven, and worked summers as an auctioneer at the age of sixteen.

He met Laura 1996 and together they work as a team at American Auctioneers. They conduct at least 1,500 auctions a year. A&E took noticed of their success and hired the married couple as auctioneers for Storage Wars.

However, the contracts for Dan and Laura Dotson have not been renewed for season six. According to reports from Radar Online, A&E seeks “cheaper” talent.

That would be Johan Graham and her father Earl. Johan learned how to become an auctioneer from her dad. She's the youngest and only female to become the California State Auctioneers Association champion in 2000. She and her father have 55 years combined in the auctioneer business.

However, both are rookies when it comes to storage auctions, which is the very crux of Storage Wars.

A&E has denied rumors that any cast members have been dropped from the show.

Fan chatter on A&E Storage Wars Facebook page pro for Dan and Laura and con against Johan. But it's early.

Yet, many fans so disappointed in the change out of auctioneers on just one episode, they have stated they will quit watching Storage Wars altogether if A&E drops the Dotsons.

There is still time for Dan and Laura to have their contracts renewed. By having Johan appear in the last episodes of season 4 and most likely on several episodes on season 5, is A&E testing the waters with the fans to see if they will accept the new auctioneers before A&E officially makes any statements who is hired and who is fired?

What do you think of the auctioneer changeover?

Keep the the Dotsons, or sign the Grahams.


Crazy & Creepy Stuff Found Inside Storage Units

Do you watch the news? You may see a lot of crazy stunts people pull or hear creepy stories that make your skin crawl. I have some news for you. What’s crazy and creepy out in the world sometimes is put away inside storage units, which then go up for auction.


Did you read the 2012 story about 97-year old Ann Bunch? Grandma was laid to rest inside a blue coffin, which by the way was stored inside a storage locker for 17 years! Now while this particular unit did not go up for auction, there are stories in which a storage unit contained


Storage Wars star Darrell Sheets found a female human corpse wrapped in plastic inside a locker he bought a time back. Police determined the husband who rented the locker killed his wife then stuffed her inside the unit. Sounds like an episode from C.S.I. If you don’t find a corpse, you may find urns filled with ashes.


If you don’t find a corpse or ashes, you may find photos of dead people. Jarrod and Brandi from Storage Wars stated they uncovered black and white photos dating back to the 1800s. Yes, the people in the photos were deceased surrounded by their families.


Prepare yourself for the creepy-creep-creepiest thing you’ve heard yet. Widely reported back in 2012, a man bought a storage unit for $900. What treasures did he find? Body parts. Human body parts from over 100 people. Limbs, organs, and about ten brains.


Very Frankensteinian. (I think I just threw up in my mouth.) Collect yourself, there’s more creepy and crazy.

A dead mannequin. But a mannequin can’t die, right? Inside a unit up for auction was a female mannequin in the middle of the floor. Mannequin was covered in red paint. Naked. Had multiple stab wounds on the torso.

OH, (bleep)!

What is wrong with people? Wait there’s more. Imagine a bunch of rat traps with tiny dolls pinned on them. Ugh! And about Madonna, the singer.

Oh, we know she's had crazy music videos in the past, but she’s not the problem. Her stalker defaulted on his storage unit. Inside the locker a weird clown mask, a butcher knife, and a headless doll...

I think I’ll skip lunch. I’ve just lost my appetite.

Storage Wars May Cut Three Cast Members For Season 6

Storage Wars, A&E’s most successful reality series to date may cut three of its cast members for season 6, as reported by Radar Online.


It’s unclear.

A&E currently denies these rumors, but all of season’s 5 episodes have been filmed.

Another significant fact is that the contracts for all the current cast members have yet to be renewed.

Storage Wars season 4 is currently airing on A&E.

Darrell Sheets, also known as “The Gambler,” was cut out of six episodes on season 5 which is yet to air. A&E honored his current contract agreement, but then filmed more episodes without him.

Darrell’s pissed to say the least.

Auctioneers and married couple Dan and Laura Dotson are not pleased that they too were cut back on their appearances for the next season.

Any Storage War fan will tell you the married auctioneer pair has become such an intricate part of the show, who could replace them?

Darrell believes A&E cut back on his appearances because of money, but doesn’t everything in Hollywood hinge on money?

Cast members Barry Weiss, Jarrod Schulz and Brandi Passante are fan favorites. You know A&E will not drop these three cast members from Storage Wars.

Darrell’s fan popularity however may be just a step above Dave Hester, who sued A&E after he was blocked from filming any episodes on season 4 of Storage Wars.

That opened a whole can of worms.

Dave’s lawsuit alleges that A&E approached cast members to rent valuable items then plant them in their lockers. Hester also stated that the producers of the show also salted the storage units to create a bit of sensationalism.

Darrell won’t comment on the allegations of the pending lawsuit against A&E. Neither will the Dan or Laura. There’s still a few months left before the cast's contracts can be renewed.

The future however remains unclear for Darrell, Dan or Laura.

Will A&E drop three cast members from Storage Wars and replace them with cheaper talent?

What do you think?

UPDATE: It appears that A&E is continuing on with Season 4 even though they had new episodes. It may be season 5 in which the three members may be dropped from the series. Status still unknown.

Chatter pro to keep the Dotson on social media sites.