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Most Unusual And Valuable Finds At Storage Auctions

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19th century Gold Coins worth $500,000Few people could have predicted that a reality show set in a yard full of storage containers would become one of the most successful television programmes of recent years. Storage Wars first aired on the American A&E network in 2010 and is heading for its sixth season this year, with three spin-off series set in Texas, New York and Canada. It has also led to several copycat programmes, including Auction Hunters, Storage Hunters and Barry’d Treasure.


When renters of storage units fail to keep up with their rental payments for several months, they lose ownership of the unit and everything in it. Members of the public are invited to bid on all the items left inside the unit, with just one catch; they are not allowed Dan and Laura Dotson to thoroughly inspect everything before bidding but only have five minutes to look through the door. This means they are taking a gamble on the unit containing valuable items. While this often backfires and buyers end up paying a lot more than the items inside the unit are worth, sometimes the risk pays off and they make a huge profit on the contents. Here are some of the most profitable and unusual finds.


Pirate treasure

The valuables inside the units are often referred to as treasure, but for Dan and Laura Dolston (image above), treasure is literally what they found in the container they won in 2011. Inside was a pirate treasure chest full of 16th century Spanish gold that was valued at $500,000; not a bad return for a $1000 bid.


Nicolas Cage’s missing comic

NWhen thieves stole a rare 1938 comic from the Hollywood home of actor Nicolas Cage in 2000, no-one expected it to turn up eleven years later in a storage auction. Its discovery came at the right time for Cage, who was facing bankruptcy. The mint condition Action Comics Number One featured the first appearance of Superman and sold for over 2 million dollars when the actor resold it in 2011.


Elvis newspapers

Many of us collect a newspaper or two when the headlines are something historic but one buyer struck lucky when he found a storage unit that was filled with thousands of newspapers from the day that Elvis Presley died on August 17th 1977. The rare issues were estimated to be worth around $90,000 in total.


A historic haul of antiques

Bidders expected that two units once owned by a WWII veteran in Virginia would yield valuable items and the winning bid went right up to $27,000. The gamble paid off, though, with the contents including presidential papers, Civil War letters and a cane owned by Harry Truman. The worth of the antique haul was estimated at $100,000.

The lesson is, if you have something valuable in your storage unit, don’t forget to keep up with the rental payments! Here at Nationwide Storage we provide personal storage at affordable prices to help you keep the clutter out of your home.

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