GthestrangerSo what about these ďStorage WarsĒ programs?Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:02pm22.214.171.124In the past few years there have been several reality programs on cable about folks who make a living by speculating at storage unit auctions. I find the programs somewhat interesting but something about them doesnít quite sit right with me. I donít know all the rules for storage units because I have never rented one but it seems to me that in some respects they are taking advantage of the folks who are down and canít, or donít realize ( in the case of an heir to an estate) they need to pay rent on the valuables stored. As I understand it, once an owner of property stored becomes in arrears on their unit, they no longer can access it, which seems self defeating for the owner of the property stored, and on the other hand, self promoting for the storage auction biz.
Since they donít go into too much detail about the rules, my questions would be:
1.How hard do they try to get a hold of owners/heirs to the units? I should think the least they need to do is a legal notice in an area paper where the property owner lives but I think they ought to make a much bigger effort than that to locate and make some arrangement with the owner (or heirs) of the property.
2.Why donít the owners of the storage business just keep the stuff inside those units? Those shows make it seem like it would be well worth it. It might even be a decent proposition to become a storage unit liquidator with some amicable split with the storage company of things of value inside. Thatís effectively what the bidders are but why not eliminate the auction part and give the liquidation contract to the liquidator with the best split?
3.Why donít the owners of the stored property that are in arrears, ever show up to bid on the units, since they know there are valuables inside? Granted they are likely in no position financially but it would behoove them to figure something out in the case of storing high value items and heirlooms. Why not go in with someone who has money and they bring the inside info to the partnership? Are they also barred from being involved in the auctions? This makes me think many don't know their unit is in jeopardy.
4.Since they donít allow folks that are in arrears to access the units, isnít it the storage businesses lock that is on the unit so isnít using a grinder or a big wire cutter really just for effect when they could just as easily use a key to open the lock?
Now Iíll grant that there are some folks out there who just donít believe in paying their bills and try to take advantage any way they can and those folks need to learn the hard way. But for every one of them, Iím sure there are at least one (if not more) who are just down on their luck and going through a rough financial patch. I realize also that there is a lot that happens and is edited just for TV and the reality of storage auctions isnít probably quite as dramatic and interesting as those shows would have us believe, and Iím sure the answers to some of these questions are spelled out in a storage unit contract, but not knowing the answers, as a casual viewer, makes me suspect there is something unethical going on since they donít make things clear by not stating the details of everything that is involved. Itís a lot like a pawnbroker who low balls folks because he knows they are desperate, itís perfectly legal, but not quite ethical.
- OK.... Sprout, Thu Jul 12 5:42am1. As with any business they attempt to collect on moneys they are owed. If the renter wants to make an arrangement, it is up to the renter to do so. The terms of the contract, including what occurs... more
- Storage wars phony ChristopherBlackwell, Wed Jul 11 9:12pmGthestranger Like most of the so called reality shows Storage wars is carefully staged. That fact is that few storage units have anything in them that anyone would want to bid on. So you would have... more
- Indeed greenman, Thu Jul 12 5:38pmI assume ALL reality shows are fake, unless I get some solid, objective proof to the contrary. 'Livin' in a plastic land somebody give me a hand...'
- Re: Storage wars phony Gthestranger, Thu Jul 12 3:28pmMy guess is the industry has regulations it must follow but the shows probably are scripted in as much as they mostly only show the juicy units or drama between buyers. They probably film many more... more
- True, that Truthteller, Thu Jul 12 9:53am"Pawn Stars" and most like "Storage Wars" as well take all year to film one season's episodes, so of course it's condensed for the show. I have some books I want to take in next time we go to LV. I'm ... more
- I think it is primarily editing... Sprout, Thu Jul 12 5:44amThe crews hang out at the pawnshop and film lots of stuff. But only a tiny percentage of it is worth filming. The storage unit buyers buy HUNDREDS of units, and only a FEW are worth making a show on. ... more
- Cheaply-made 'docudramas'.. Tinfoil, Wed Jul 11 5:53pmThey've flooded cable/satelitte tv channels. Same plot every time. Group of hillbilly inbreds get together and act stupid,as would be expected. There's really no plot other than that. American... more
- I'm sure a show about.... Gthestranger, Wed Jul 11 6:00pm...BBS posters would do well. G
- Very interesting questions greenman, Wed Jul 11 5:26pmMy own short take on it is that ALL reality shows are fake, that we can't really know what's going on here, and that people like anything remotely resembling treasure-hunting whether its these shows, ... more
- Good point about treasure hunting. Gthestranger, Wed Jul 11 5:57pmStorage Wars type programs are OK, I like the Alaskan gold miners, the Deadliest Catch and Pickers too. When I heard how much the gold miner's each netted I was like, thats not worth the aggravation. ... more
- I am fond of... Truthteller, Wed Jul 11 6:50pm"Swamp People." Now THOSE folks really work for their living! I believe tomorrow is the season ender. I'm also a big fan of "Pawn Stars" and have actually been to their pawn shop in Vegas and met 3... more
- I'll admit I kinda like 'Pawn Stars' greenman, Thu Jul 12 5:40pm...mostly because of the old man, and the crazy shit people bring in. OVer and over I ask, 'WHY would you take that to a PAWN SHOP?' Anybody ever hear of E-bay, auctions, etc? :)
- Sometimes I do too Truthteller, Fri Jul 13 9:26ambut, as Rick often points out, auctions are expensive and you really can't get what something is worth on Ebay. And Pawn Stars often gives fair prices on some items.
- Never saw Swamp People. Gthestranger, Wed Jul 11 7:08pmThe guys from Pawn Stars seem the most ethical of the pawn shows. I've seen where they gave more than the person asked because they knew the item was worth more...but then that may have been for... more
- They mail notices... Truthteller, Thu Jul 12 9:50amof overdue payments. Of course, when you rent a unit, you sign a contract that gives them permission to seize the unit after so many missed payments. It's usually up to the storage company to... more
- Paris is wealthy Gthestranger, Thu Jul 12 3:38pmHow would you feel about making money on an average persons misfortune? I don't mean to put you on the spot but this is some the stuff I'm getting at. The last few years have been hard on a lot of... more
- I HAVE made money... Truthteller, Fri Jul 13 9:24amfrom stuff I've bought at storage auctions. It's not my problem if the owners of the units want to make money selling stuff belonging to people who won't pay their storage rental fee.
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