H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Jul 29, 2013 12:06 PM by Kathy Kuretich

Bidders try to strike it rich at storage auctions

"They're all hoping to find that little treasure at the back of a locker," said Ken Erpenbach of
Hitchin' Post Auctioneers.

About a dozen modern day treasure hunters came to the Meathead Mini Storage auction the day we were there.

Ken gave instructions to the bidders who showed up.

"You can't walk inside, you can't touch any of the boxes, you can't touch anything. This is a cash only auction," he said.

In the tv series, Storage Wars on A&E, there's always a bit of taunting, but at the local auction, there wasn't a peep... at least the day we went.

"Everyone's so orderly and so quiet," said Ken, "probably because of the cameras."

Nick Corey of Shandon sized up the first locker up for bid. He was interested, but he wasn't letting on. Shortly after Ken started the auction, the locker was his for a little more than $162- dollars.

Two more auctions followed, with the biggest locker selling for $520 dollars.

Then, Nick and his father got the opportunity to go through the locker, and pack up what they bought.

"A lot of it, is exciting, you pull out something, you dig a little deeper, maybe it's worth a bunch of money," said Nick.

Aaron Steed, owner of Meathead Mini Storage said, this is the process storage facilities are legally required to follow, when customers stop communicating with them.

"What's not required is the amount of accommodations we make to be flexible with billing terms but we do need our clients to communicate with us and if they don't sometimes this is our only course of action," he said.

Nick ended up finding kitchen items like pots and pans, old surveillance cameras, Christmas decor, a dresser, and various home goods in the locker he bought. His family plans on using, donating, and selling what they bought. And they more than made up their $162-dollar investment.

Although it's hard work, Nick said, he'll be back for more.

"Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, but it's always fun," said Nick.

If you'd like to try out your luck at the next storage auction, check out the Hitchin Post Auctioneers website for more details. http://hitchinpostauctioneers.com/auctions/

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