Tag - Auction

Iconic James Bond Car Goes Up for Auction

James Bond Wet Nellie Lotus

James Bond fans around the world are preparing for a London auction scheduled for September 8th and 9th at RM Auctions. The vehicle in question, lovingly referred to as “Wet Nellie,” is the 007 Lotus Espirit submarine car featured in The Spy Who Loved Me. This one-of-a-kind car was built by Perry Oceanographic in Riviera Beach, Florida and cost over $100,000 at the time. Today, that would translate into a $500,000 expense.


The vehicle became available after being discovered in a storage unit. It seems that the prop was originally kept in a prepaid storage facility in Long Island. After the 10 years of prepaid time ended, no one came forward to claim the vehicle or pay additional rent, so the abandoned unit was auctioned off in a blind auction. The winners had no idea what had been purchased until afterwards, when they removed the tarp from the car and identified it as the 007 prop.


This one-of-a-kind vehicle is genuinely priceless, and no estimates have been made as to what it might sell for. The last James Bond vehicle to be publicly auctioned, Goldfinger's Aston Martin DB5, sold for around $4.4 million. This vehicle is much older and even more unique, so it may earn a substantially higher final bid.


This is not the first time that expensive movie paraphernalia has been lost and turned up in a storage auction, and it does give hope to auction hunters everywhere.


Kobe Bryant Memorabilia Finally Goes to Auction

kobe bryant memorabilia auction

In a highly anticipated and much-delayed auction, six items of Kobe Bryant memorabilia have gone up for auction on July 17th through the site GoldinAuctions.com. This occurred at the end of a lengthy legal battle between Kobe, his mother and the owner of the auction site – a legal battle that's generated plenty of media attention and controversy.


The situation reportedly began when Kobe refused to give his mother the $450,000 she wanted for a new home in Nevada. She then turned to the numerous items Kobe had stored at the family home and decided to put them up for sale through GoldinAuctions. The site owner, Kenneth Goldin, quickly assessed the value of the 100 proposed items and agreed to give Pamela Bryant an advance of the amount she needed for her home; he expected to make a tidy $1.5 million in profits.


All of this came to a swift end when Kobe and his legal team found out about the auctions. A cease-and-desist letter was quickly sent out to Goldin, who initially resisted. Kobe, who had never given his mother permission to sell the items stored at the family home, pursued the case with a lawsuit that was set to go to trial next week.


Fortunately for Goldin, it didn't go that far. Instead, Goldin and Bryant reached a settlement and came to an agreement: Six of the original 100 items would be placed for auction on Goldin's site, and half of the proceeds will be donated to an anti-bullying charity that Kobe supports. Kobe's parents also released a public apology for the situation.


The items up for auction are some of the most highly coveted and valuable of the original 100:


  • Two of Bryant's high school basketball uniforms

  • A medallion from Magic's Roundball Classic, a high school all-star game

  • Two NBA championship rings

  • Bryant's 2000 NBA all-star ring

The auction is scheduled to run until July 19th.


Lindsay Lohan’s Storage Unit Goes Up for Auction

Lindsay Lohan

It's not often that the glamorous world of celebrity stardom intersects with the humbler industry of storage auctions, but auction hunters may get a rare treat soon. Lindsay Lohan, an actress whose name has become synonymous with irresponsibility, is currently in danger of losing the items in her storage locker due to delinquent payments. According to reports released on December 13, Lindsay Lohan owes $16,000 in back rent for her storage unit, which reportedly houses family heirlooms, designer clothes and other posh items. If the debt is not paid in full, the unit will go up for auction.

At the moment, Lindsay's chances of paying off the unit are looking slim. The starlet is currently in financial trouble thanks to a substantial amount of back-taxes owed to the IRS. Actor Charlie Sheen provided a $100,000 gift to help cover the costs, but that leaves a substantial amount of debt unpaid. Pleas to family and friends have yielded few results.

As a result, the IRS has frozen Lohan's assets. In addition to her delinquent storage unit payments, sources say that she is behind on her home rent as well and may be facing eviction. Of course, that's all assuming that she isn't arrested first. She's currently scheduled for a hearing on January 15 after a judge revoked her probation; she may face up to eight months in prison for parole violations.

As for the storage unit auction itself, few details are currently available. As the date of the auction nears, it will need to be announced publicly, and the unit will likely be well-advertised. Some sites have speculated that the Storage Wars crew should attend the auction in a positive PR move after the lawsuit with David Hester. After all, with a unit as full of celebrity paraphernalia as Lohan's is sure to be, the Storage Wars staff should have no need to fake anything.

Regardless of whether Storage Wars gets in on the action, Lohan's storage auction is sure to draw a substantial crowd of curious bystanders and treasure-seeking auction hunters. Since no one knows for sure what will be found in the unit, bidding is likely to get out of hand quickly. Designer clothing, jewelry or other expensive items are a given, but some eager bidders will surely be hoping for more personal effects that can be sold to tabloids for a hefty profit.

In 2006, a similar situation occurred with Paris Hilton's storage unit, and the winning bidder created a site called ParisExposed.com that charged visitors $39.97 for the chance to view the celebrity's personal belongings. Content included countless photographs, videos, financial records and diaries. Paris Hilton sued the site's owner, but much of the information posted on the site had already gone viral by that time. If Lindsay Lohan's storage unit does go up for auction, we can likely expect a repeat of this situation.

There is some hope for Lindsay, though: a New York city strip club called Scores has offered to pay off the actress's bill in exchange for some services for their company. Lindsay won't need to strip; instead, Scores is asking her to host a few live chats on their website. This would certainly bring Scores plenty of publicity, and they seem honest in their desire to pay off her storage debt and even help with rent payments. It's not clear whether Lohan will take them up on this offer or if it will even be possible if she ends up in prison this January, but it's worth keeping an eye out to see what develops.

Storage Facilities Lose Patience With Constant Auction Inquiries

Angry Storage Facility

Despite what the recent storage wars craze might lead you to believe, storage facilities are not in the business of holding auctions. Instead, their business is in renting out space for people to store their belongings. Storage auctions represent only a small portion of the work that facility owners must do in a given month, and they are not a major part of their day.

For a storage facility, auctions are simply a way to recover lost costs associated with defaulted rent. They help with emptying units so that they can be re-rented, and they help compensate for lost profits on abandoned units. In most states, storage facilities cannot even profit from units that sell for more than was owed in rent, and hosting large auctions can be a logistical nightmare for facilities in terms of parking and other resources.

In other words, the new auction craze fueled by hopeful treasure-seekers is not necessarily the boon to the storage facility industry that you might expect.

Meanwhile, auctions are getting more and more popular. Where a storage auction may have had a half-dozen bidders in the past, turn-outs of 100 people are not uncommon at auctions across the country. Worse, many of the people coming to the auction are mere spectators with little interest in bidding and no knowledge of the industry.

While curiosity is certainly not a sin, it can result in an excessive number of inquiries being made to the storage facility. A few particularly well-known names in the business – companies who are featured on television or appear in the news – suffer the worst of this newfound fame.

Some exasperated facility managers have resorted to directing all inquiries to the facility's website, and others have even begun getting short-tempered or downright nasty to callers.

If you ever find yourself on the brunt end of a rude interaction with a storage facility, try to keep this in perspective: You may have been just one of a dozen or more people calling with that same question today. Before calling to ask a question, see if you can find the answer elsewhere. The facility's website may list all the information you need. You can also check the website of the auctioneer.

There are numerous references online you can check, including this blog and our associated forum StorageAuctionForums.com, for general auction information. Be sure to research and learn independently rather than relying on busy professionals to walk you through the basics.

While there is no excuse for bad customer service, understanding where facility managers are coming from can help you relate to them better. The storage auction industry is undergoing some serious changes, and there are bound to be a few bumps along the way as things either go back to the way they had once been or adapt to these new changes. In the meanwhile, being well-researched and professional will help make your interactions more pleasant for everyone involved.

Unprecedented Moving and Storage Auction in Coppell, Texas

Moving & Storage Auction

Storage auction hunters in the Coppell area should be sure to set some time aside for a massive auction on November 24, 2012. Bekins Moving Solutions, located at 505 Airline Drive in Coppell, Texas, is holding a large auction to satisfy a lien.

The Pitzer Auction Company will be overseeing the sale of an impressive 224 storage vaults. The exact contents of the vaults will be discovered at the auction, but most contain household items, office equipment and personal effects.

This cash-only auction is expected to have a large turnout. The facility only has one auction per year, and last year’s had quite a few people in attendance. People from Coppell and surrounding areas are encouraged to come check out the auction and possibly come home with the contents of a few vaults.

The auction is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and will last until the last unit is sold. Because this will be an all-day event, food trucks will be available on the premises to offer beverages and snacks to buyers. Bidders must register at 8:30 a.m. the morning of the sale unless they pre-register online at StevePitzer.com. If you do register online, you will receive a confirmation email with your bidder number. There is no cost to register.

Tax Season Brings Out the Buyers

Tax Season

One of the requirements of any resale business is having enough disposable income to cover the purchase and storage of your merchandise. When it comes to storage auctions, it’s important to have enough money in the bank to cover a few possible losses. Every unit you get won’t turn a profit, and if you invest your rent money into a unit, you may be sorely disappointed.

This need for disposable income is one thing that holds many people back from attending storage auctions, especially now that bidding prices are going up across the country as newcomers raise costs by over-bidding for units. In turn, this is one reason why storage auctions are particularly popular during and after tax season.

As people start getting their tax returns between February and April, they start to have a bit of extra money to apply toward nonessential purchases. For many people, tax season is the only time of the year when they have money that isn’t already pre-spent on necessities like food, gas and rent. For some, this money gets spent on vacations or home improvements; for others, it gets invested into a new business enterprise.

Of course, just because you have some extra money on hand to buy a unit doesn’t mean you can neglect your strategy. You still need to set a bidding limit and hold to it. You also need to be prepared to deal with uneducated newcomers showing up and raising the bids; they, too, have extra money to spend and may not be smart about spending it. Once you’ve put every bit of your knowledge into action, you can make a reasonably good return on your investment.

Spending your tax return on storage unit auctions can be a smart strategy if you know what you’re looking for. It can allow you to invest the cash into something lucrative that will turn a profit throughout the year. As long as you’ve done your research and are applying smart bidding strategies, you should be pleased with the results.

Storage facilities have discovered this trend among buyers, and many have geared their auctions toward that schedule. Some storage facilities are stockpiling their units in preparation for a massive auction after tax season rather than competing with holiday shopping and other end-of-the-year expenses. Many other facilities operate on a more structured and regular auction schedule, so you can get started early if you want.

How to Get a Title for a Vehicle Purchased at a Storage Auction

Vehicle Title

Vehicles aren't necessarily common finds at storage auctions, but they are found from time to time. From cars to ATVs, boats and tractors, these vehicles pose a unique challenge to buyers. Unless you plan to simply scrap the vehicle and sell it for parts, you will need a title for it. The title is necessary when registering, insuring or re-selling the vehicle, so your hands are tied until you can resolve the matter of a missing title.

First, know that in order to buy a vehicle at auction, it must be known to be free of lien. The storage facility will check with the DMV to see whether the car is paid off. If it's still in a lien holder's interests, it cannot be auctioned off with the rest of the contents. If it is free of liens, the facility can proceed with the auction.

In Texas, there are some specific processes the storage facility needs to follow before auctioning off a vehicle. In addition to checking for lien holders, the owner must obtain a VTR-265-SSF form. This will be given to you so that you can complete transferring the vehicle to your name. Here is the material that the facility owner should provide you with so that you can give it to the DMV:

  • A copy of the tenant's lease showing that the tenant agreed to the foreclosure terms
  • The completed and signed VTR-265-SSF form
  • Verification of Texas title and registration (the facility will clear this with the DMV in advance)
  • Proof that the “Notice of Claim” letter was sent to the vehicle's owner
  • Proof of auto insurance if you plan to register the vehicle.

It's also a good idea to bring your receipt from the auction and a newspaper clipping of the auction's ad, just to be on the safe side. Although all of this can be a bit of a hassle, most of the leg-work should already be done for you by the facility owner. If you're concerned, you can check in advance that the owners are aware of this process, but most owners should be.

Also be aware that these requirements vary from one state to the next. If you're not in Texas, you'll need to check the local laws to ensure you obtain the vehicle legally and there are no concerns with obtaining a title. Also be sure to have enough money set aside to cover the costs of titling and registering the vehicle that you win at auction.

Former Houston Rockets Owner Auctions Off 175 Vehicles

Charlie Thomas Auction

Charlie Thomas, former owner of the Houston Rockets and prominent Texas businessman, auctioned off 175 of the vehicles from his private collection on October 20th. The auction was run by RM Auctions, who sold the vehicles without reserve in the Grapevine, Texas auction.

Thomas's collection was built over 20 years. During that time, he operated more than 40 different car dealerships and amassed an impressive array of vehicles ranging from 1950s antiques to more modern sports cars. Although his collection is still one of the most extensive in the country, the 175 vehicles he trimmed are certainly both rare and valuable. Every vehicle was painstakingly restored and kept in working order, making these vehicles a particularly excellent find for interested buyers.

Admission to the auction cost $80, and bidder registration cost $150. The auction itself ran for nine hours, with a two-hour reception following. According to its website, RM Auctions has been preparing for the event since May, allowing it to advertise widely.

The auction had several vehicles that got a lot of attention:

  • A blue 1935 Ford Deluxe Three-Window Coupe
  • A 1954 Ford Skyliner "Glasstop"
  • A 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Fuel-Injected Convertible
  • A pair of 1968 Shelby GT500 Convertibles
  • A 1946 Chrysler Town & Country Roadster which stole the show. This Chrysler, a one of a kind concept car, sold for $143,000. 

Overall, his collection showed a preference for classic American cars, including 40 Chevrolets and 80 separate Fords.  In addition to the rest of his private collection, the auction also included an Army-green 1952 Willys Military Jeep . All of the proceeds from that vehicle's sale went toward Brookwood Community, a facility for adults with disabilities.

Ways To Avoid Losing Your Storage Unit

Storage Unit Red Lock

With so much focus on hunting for treasures, it's easy to forget about a storage unit's original tenant. Many auction hunters rent storage units themselves, though, either to store items they win or for personal reasons. Whether you're working on both sides of the industry or just keep your personal belongings in storage, it's important to take steps to protect your belongings and avoid seeing them at an auction.

Storage facilities don't like auctioning units off if they don't have to. They're in the business of storing items, not selling them, and auctions can be time-consuming and stressful for facility owners. They also generally do not profit from the sales. In most cases, the facility owner will be willing to work with renters. Here are a few tips for keeping your items out of auction if you fall behind on your payments:

  • Try to make a partial payment, even if you can't pay off everything that you owe.
  • Offer a settlement to the manager to see if you can negotiate your back rent down to a more affordable price in exchange for you immediately emptying out the unit.
  • Consider borrowing money from a friend or family member if you know you'll be late; that will keep you from paying late fees.
  • If you know you're going to be late on your rent, empty out your unit as soon as possible. Most storage facility managers will deactivate your access code and over lock your storage unit in as little as 3-5 days after the due date.

The storage facility will usually give you 60-90 days to make up your late rent before your items go up for auction. Bear in mind that you can pay off your unit at any time up until the auction has finished.

It's important to keep all of your contact information up-to-date. If the storage facility doesn't know your current address, phone number and email address, they won't be able to contact you to let you know that your unit is going up for auction. In some cases, you might not even realize that you're behind on rent unless you're notified. For example, if you pay with a credit card and the card on file is expired, you could lose the unit. Always check this information to prevent problems.

If you do lose your items, you might be able to get some of them back. If you attend the auction, you can approach the person who purchased your unit and request to get back personal items like photographs or tax documents. Many auction-hunters will be happy to give these things back to you if you're polite. Be aware, however, that they're under no obligation to do so, so there's no guarantee that you'll get your personal items back. Last but not least, find out how much the storage unit sold for. If your storage unit sold for more than what you owe in back rent and late fees, you may be entitled to a refund of the overage.

Are you about to lose your storage unit and need advice? Have you lost a storage unit or had to negotiate with a storage facility to get your stuff back? Share your story in the comments section below.

Would It Be Possible For You To List The Auctions For 2 Weeks Or 3 Weeks At A Time?


One of our members recently asked:

Q. I just joined your website. A lot of good info. Would it be possible for you to list the auctions for 2 weeks or 3 weeks at a time? I have different days off every week, and if i knew the schedules more in advance it would be easier for me to coordinate going. Thanks for the great site!

A. Since we offer our trial memberships to new members, we are forced to publish the list one week in advance. We would love two publish the list two weeks in advance; unfortunately, there would be some people who would take advantage of the system. Another thing to keep in mind is that storage auctions are constantly being added and cancelled. By publishing one week at a time, you can rest assured that you are getting the most reliable and up to date schedule available.