Attending self-storage auctions in Richmond and across the country is one of the hottest trends right now, partially thanks to shows such as A&E’s “Storage Wars.” When storage units are abandoned or bills are not paid, some storage facility owners choose to make back their lost profits by auctioning off the items within a given unit. This not only is a way to make up lost money for the business owners, but it is also an exciting treasure hunt for those who participate. You can be certain this is no garage sale.

Nationwide Trend Hits Home

The storage unit auctions are not just the stuff of the TV world—there is a large group of storage deal seekers right in Richmond, according to Richmond Biz. One of the most exciting aspects of attending a storage unit auction is that you never really know what your money will buy you. While owners of the storage units are just looking to make up the money they’ve lost on an abandoned unit, the attendees get to take part in the thrill of getting just a glance at the potential treasures within.

When attending a storage auction, bidders line up and get to glance inside the unit up for sale. Attendees cannot search through anything in the unit before making their bid, but many bring flashlights to allow them to see as much as possible, according to the Richmond Biz report. You never know what surprising items you may find when bidding on a storage space.

Has the Show Tricked Would-Be Bidders?

While it is completely true that these auctions occur, has the popular TV show provided unrealistic expectations for viewers? In late 2012, former host of the A&E show, David Hester, filed a lawsuit claiming the show is rigged, according to Lite98. The host alleges that his position was terminated when he voiced concerns to the producers about the practices of planting pieces in the storage units. Hester claims that some of the more shocking and exciting finds seen on the television show are not actually from the units, but rather are planted by A&E to improve the drama of the episode. A&E has denied these allegations, stating the units are all sealed before the auction begins and that they do not have access to the units before the bidders see them.

Treasure Hunting

Not all Richmond VA self-storage facilities host these kinds of events, so you may have to contact each location directly to learn of any upcoming auctions. With storage auctions, one man’s abandoned items can really be someone else’s treasures.

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