Picking with Reyne – Vol 11 – By Reyne Haines

July 12th, 2010 by

Over the years I’ve heard about people buying unclaimed storage units. I often wondered why anyone would bid on something like that…until recently.

Had I really given it any thought, I would have figured it out. People rent storage facilities for things they have no place for, but have enough value to warrant you to keep them.

It also dawned on me, that depending on the size of the storage facility, the difference in how much they were paying each month. So, you’d at least have an idea of the value of the items in the unit by how long they had it, and how much they had paid. For example, I lived in New York for 4 yrs. I didn’t want to move all of my furniture to New York from Houston at the time, along with boxes of my great grandmothers fine china, some older stuffed animals, records, etc. If you think about how much I paid in monthly rent for 4.5 years…well…you see where I am going with this.

Now before you rush out and start bidding on this week’s storage lots, keep in mind its not all fine antiques and vintage cars kept in those places.

Last week, a picker friend of mine bought a box of Ferragamo shoes, a pair of authentic Louis Vuitton trunks, and an array of Chanel, Hermes, and Missoni clothing (thanks so much for the great buys!)
A friend of his found a pair of “Blue Dog” paintings (yes, I still want them when he makes up his mind on price).

Another buyer wound up with a car, and a dead body. I kidd you not. Fortunately he had not paid for the unit when the body was discovered. Yes, he would have forfeited his money had he.
I think you should keep in mind the location of the units (what part of town), how long have they been renting, and some even let you peer in (not dig through) the units before bidding.

I’d love to hear your storage unit stories…post them here if you would!

Happy Hunting!

Reyne

2 Responses to “Picking with Reyne – Vol 11 – By Reyne Haines”

  1. Cobayley Says:

    Yikes!! A body??? Way so not what I would want to find…Actually, we did give the storage locker purchase a go years ago. We lived over in the Sacramento valley area.

    We were surprised at the number of potential bidders that showed up. Everything from suits to pickers to some of the owners who were going to try and bid on their units to get their stuff back.

    The door to the unit was opened for all of maybe 1 minute and then quickly shut. You got a hurried glimpse of boxes etc. The bidding went extremely high for what we thought might be in the unit.

    Needless to say we didn’t feel that the effort and money spent was worth the investment. I’m sure in areas such as what Reyne is describing it is a different story all together. I agree, look at the big picture, the neighborhood, the cost of the unit per month etc.

    A kind of bittersweet sidenote, the couple with the little girl trying to buy their unit back, didn’t get it. But the lucky winner gave the child her bicycle back.

  2. Reyne Haines Says:

    Yea, a body. I guess you just never know.
    My picker has found lots of great things for me in the last year we have
    worked together, but he has certainly seen his array of busts.

    I think the thing to keep in mind is that can be the case when you attend a flea
    market, an estate sale, an auction, anywhere!

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