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Storage Auction Wins!

September 26, 2016

As we’ve mentioned before, it’s a good idea to prepare before taking part in storage auctions if your plan is to make money by bidding on storage units.


You need a strategy, the savvy to pick your storage units properly based on what you’d like to sell and who you want to sell it to, and a good understanding of the rules of the game – as well as a little bit of luck.


But here’s what we didn’t include: sometimes, that little bit of luck can turn into a lot of luck!


Here are three lucrative finds from storage unit auctions – also items you should look out for!


Going postal


Stamps can be extremely valuable – and if you’re lucky enough to find more than 1 200 individual stamps in a storage unit you bought for only a few hundred dollars, you might be in for a treat. In 2010, just this happened to a customer of Claytree Auctions in New Jersey, USA – the stamp collection find ended up being worth more than $100 000!

But even a single stamp can change your life: an 1851 Canadian 12 pence stamp was found in a storage unit while the buyer was rummaging through boxes that she almost threw out. The stamp ended up being sold for around $34,000.


Tip: if you find stamps in your storage unit, have them properly valued and shop around to find serious collectors that might buy them.



Pretty as a picture

Art found in storage units can be duds – or can turn out to be the real deal, as American Alex Matter found out when he travelled to Wainscott to clean out his parent’s storage unit after his mother’s death in 2001. The unit was filled with millions of dollars’ worth of Jackson Pollock paintings…

Also keep an eye out for old photographs or lithographs: they might be unexpectedly valuable, as in the case of an envelope full of pictures of Amelia Earhart found in a storage unit in California. They were appraised by Antiques Roadshow and sent to auction, where they were expected to reach at least $1 000 a piece.


TIP: Art, photographs and lithographs can very easily be damaged: make sure that you treat them gently and store them properly until you have a clear idea of what they are worth, and what they could sell for.


It’s a nerd’s world


Comic books can make you rich! No, really: lucky bidder Darrel Sheets bought a storage unit in 2010 for $2 700, and discovered thousands of comic books inside, including X-Men #1 and Spiderman #1. The collection was sold for $130 000.


And in another find, a copy of Action Comics Number 1 resurfaced in a storage unit in 2011, after being stolen from Nicolas Cage in 2000. Cage originally paid $150 000 for it – but after its rediscovery, the comic was revalued at $2 161 000. The mind boggles!


TIP: If you find a storage unit filled with movie memorabilia, retro games, comic books or Magic the Gathering card games – don’t treat it as junk! There are collectors and buyers who specialise in these pop culture phenomena, and you can make a pretty penny. Have them valued properly.

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