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The reality behind reality TV's storage wars (Bleeding heart liberal point of view)
CBS Sunday Morning ^ | 9/25/2011 | Conor Knighton

Posted on 09/26/2011 9:14:30 AM PDT by ExTxMarine

A&E's "Storage Wars," a show about people who bid on the contents of abandoned storage lockers, had its second season premiere this summer to 5.1 million viewers. It's the HIGHEST RATED show in the network's history.

Tru TV's nearly identical "Storage Hunters" has become a breakout hit - ALMOST as big of a hit as Spike's nearly identical "Auction Hunters."

That's right. There are three DIFFERENT shows on TV about STORAGE LOCKERS.

Reality TV is frequently trashy, but never before has it featured so much actual trash.

(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: realitytv; shows; storage; wars
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My wife still has a liberal spot (I am working on it), but even she called BS (bacon sandwich) on this story from yesterday morning!

She said, "These bleeding heart liberals want you to feel sorry for the people who lost their storage units. But, some of these had over $10K worth of stuff in them! Why in the heck didn't they go sell the stuff so that they could continue to live their lives!?!?"

She said, "I don't feel sorry for someone too stupid to sell something valuable in a time of need! Common sense should kick in at some ficking time!" The mouth-breather on the TV said that these storage units contain "someone's LIFE." My wife retorted out loud, "They shouldn't be locking their life away in some stupid forgotten storage unit! Most people don't store valuable family albums in a remote storage unit; they would have the dang thing in their home or with their family!"

I think I actually saw part of that soft liberal spot toughen up a little yesterday morning!

1 posted on 09/26/2011 9:14:34 AM PDT by ExTxMarine
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To: ExTxMarine

Congratulations on your wife’s Damascus Road experience with the scales falling from her eyes to clearly see the error of liberal thinking. I just saw a promo for the SpikeTV show with Alan and Ton finding some collectible guns that sold for around $10k. Outside of the unit’s renter dying and nobody in the family being aware of the items stored, I just can’t imagine walking away from those kind of items.


2 posted on 09/26/2011 9:24:01 AM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: ExTxMarine
Yup. Designer's better half also wonders about why so many people seem to "forget" about their stuff. Probably many different reasons for it; failed marriages, incarcerated former owners, not enough money to pay the rent, etc.

I wonder what percentage of lockers are abandoned.

3 posted on 09/26/2011 9:25:39 AM PDT by Designer (Nit-pickin' and chagrinin')
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To: ExTxMarine

I don’t have tv but I did see that show once at a relatives house. They dragged out a moderately interesting event that could have been covered in minutes into a full episode. And all I care about is what they found in the unit, not all the personal comment tripe and “competition” of the bidders.

But regarding the liberal bent:

I think the greatest testamony against our culture is the proliferation of storage units. Sure, there is a need, like when we moved to another state and didn’t have the space for all our stuff we rented the smallest unit they had until we could maximize our space and sell off or donate what was not really needed. But our culture is so based on consumerism that people buy way more stuff than they need and then pay monthly just to store the crap.

And anyone that cannot afford to pay the paulty rental fees for their unit should not be storing anything of real value there. They should get off their butts and sell it. I was unemployed about 8 years ago and between looking for jobs I parted out a dead motorcycle on Ebay. I made almost the entire purchase price back.

Losing your storage unit is what I call a “stupid tax”. There are two that come to mind right off the top of my head. The other one, of course, is lotto tickets.

Comically, they are both completely voluntary taxes.


4 posted on 09/26/2011 9:25:48 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: ExTxMarine

My 27 year old daughter loves Storage Wars. I just don’t get it.


5 posted on 09/26/2011 9:26:23 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: ExTxMarine

It’s a business and has been long before cable TV took notice.

How have these reality TV shows influenced the business? Has it been good for business? Has it been good for TV? Is it good for America?

I don’t have a problem with it unless they go too far by including house and apartment rental properties where evictions have taken place.

I don’t know if that’s even legal but where does it end?


6 posted on 09/26/2011 9:29:22 AM PDT by equaviator ("There's a (datum) plane on the horizon coming in...see it?")
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To: ExTxMarine

A lot of lockers that go to auction are because people died and the relatives didn’t know about it. Which can be sad but is really the deceased’s fault for not leaving clear records.

The rest are of course bad thinking, people didn’t pay the bill, didn’t think through what was in there to get it out before they were in arrears.


7 posted on 09/26/2011 9:30:05 AM PDT by discostu (yeah that's it)
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To: ExTxMarine

Oh, puleez! If those idiots can’t figure out that selling granny’s diamond necklace would buy 10 years worth of storage unit’s rent, then don’t blame the people to buy those abandoned units. If they don’t care enough about granny or some other family heirloom to get it out of the unit before it goes up for auction, then I’m sorry granny gave it to them in the first place.

I enjoy the show. It’s like a treasure hunt/Christmas present/Easter egg hunt/auction/Birthday all rolled up in one.


8 posted on 09/26/2011 9:30:13 AM PDT by bgill (There, happy now?)
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To: ilovesarah2012

For the wife and I it’s all about Barry. He’s just damn funny. One of those people I’d just love to run into in a bar. And some of the stuff they find is really interesting.


9 posted on 09/26/2011 9:32:41 AM PDT by discostu (yeah that's it)
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To: ExTxMarine
Years ago a good friend owned a storage buisness and I used to work for him cleaning up units before the auction. I could not believe the crap people would store!Perishable food was the norm. Filthy dirty dish’s, clothes, and just garbage. Not at all like I see on these shows.
10 posted on 09/26/2011 9:34:42 AM PDT by ladyvet ( I would rather have Incitatus then the asses that are in congress today.)
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To: cuban leaf
But our culture is so based on consumerism that people buy way more stuff than they need and then pay monthly just to store the crap.

I know! I was in the Marine Corps, so we moved fairly often. Then I was an IT network man, so we moved fairly often. Then I was working in the oil refineries doing turn-arounds, so we moved fairly often. I told my wife, if it is still in a box from the last move, then it is going to the Salvation Army! I am not moving crap just to be moving it!

I said, if we didn't need it for the last two years then we won't need it or we probably already replaced it! The only exception were some true family heirlooms which are meticulously stored. But just regular stuff goes thrown away, yard sale or Salvation Army when we move!
11 posted on 09/26/2011 9:35:31 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: ExTxMarine

There is “Nothing” real about reality TV. Its all cleaver and often not so cleaver slight of hand designed to fool the fools. It’s entertainment nothing more. You are not suppose to think about the multiple camera angles, the changing of the light reflectors for the different angles, and the sound booms and stage crews just out of sight. That 30 second spot shown on the program could have taken several hours to set up and shoot. We caught this on the TV show “Tanked” which is about a crew that builds custom fish tanks. One short segment that was about 15 seconds of air time started out showing a receptionist and behind her a clock showing 12:14. The camera moved onto someone else in the room and then back to her. The clock now was after 4 pm.
The only show I like is Pawn Stars but even that is phony and scripted. I met real visitors to that store, and they say you don’t even see the cast members, and there is a large line to get in now that the store is a TV star. They actually close the store for the program shooting, allowing only a limited number in just for realities sake.


12 posted on 09/26/2011 9:35:46 AM PDT by NavyCanDo (GO MAMA GRIZZLY!)
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To: ExTxMarine

I think these shows are great. They offer a very important lesson: pay your bills, understand your contracts. Storage lockers are not a right. If you keep your junk in there sans payment, the person who owns the facility isn’t going to be making money on your unit. You know, the person who actually runs the business and invested their time and money. I don’t feel sorry for those who lose out. It’s not theft.


13 posted on 09/26/2011 9:37:47 AM PDT by MatD
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To: cuban leaf

For the one treasure that’s found, they go through a dozen units that are full of nothing but garbage. Many of them are exactly that - garbage. When moving out of a place, people want their deposit back and it’s cheaper to dump their trash in these units than it is to rent a dumpster.


14 posted on 09/26/2011 9:38:24 AM PDT by bgill (There, happy now?)
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To: discostu

Barry’s the man! I love how he keeps a lot of the interesting things he finds. He must have quite a collection at his place.


15 posted on 09/26/2011 9:38:41 AM PDT by Hoosier Catholic Momma (How long till my Arkansas drawl fades into the twang of southeast Ohio?)
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To: discostu

Barry’s the man! I love how he keeps a lot of the interesting things he finds. He must have quite a collection at his place.


16 posted on 09/26/2011 9:41:14 AM PDT by Hoosier Catholic Momma (How long till my Arkansas drawl fades into the twang of southeast Ohio?)
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To: discostu

Barry’s the man! I love how he keeps a lot of the interesting things he finds. He must have quite a collection at his place.


17 posted on 09/26/2011 9:41:41 AM PDT by Hoosier Catholic Momma (How long till my Arkansas drawl fades into the twang of southeast Ohio?)
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To: discostu
A lot of lockers that go to auction are because people died and the relatives didn’t know about it.

Several years ago, one of my Aunts owned/operated five of these self storage places all over the Dallas/Fort Worth area - she had over 700 total lockers. She loves the "Storage Wars" show. She said most of the locker auctions are because people have had the stuff in storage for over two years and then simply walk away, thinking they had already gotten everything of value out of the unit. Or they simply forgot what all they had stored in there and just let it go.

She said in the twelve years she owned those units she only had two deaths - and both of those were claimed by the families before they went to auction.

This Sunday news show made it seem like these auction people were cheating people out of their history and life - but that is simply BS!
18 posted on 09/26/2011 9:44:47 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: discostu
My family owns a mid sized chain of these facilities in Connecticut. Quite a few of them go delinquent in divorces where nobody really cares about the stuff, or are simple walk aways, "I just don't need this junk anymore and I'm not handling it again".

Usually, the abandoned lockers are full of borderline garbage, like 1970’s TV sets and puked on baby clothes. I also know that the prices that are quoted for many of the items on storage wars are just pie-in-the sky wishful thinking.

19 posted on 09/26/2011 9:45:03 AM PDT by MrNeutron1962
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To: discostu
A lot of lockers that go to auction are because people died and the relatives didn’t know about it.

One would think the executor would notice the bill in the mail or read the letter that the unit is in arrears and up for auction. Legally, the owner must be notified of such action and given X amount of time to make payment.

20 posted on 09/26/2011 9:45:28 AM PDT by bgill (There, happy now?)
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To: ladyvet
I could not believe the crap people would store!Perishable food was the norm. Filthy dirty dish’s, clothes, and just garbage. Not at all like I see on these shows.

Yep! I used to work for my Aunt cleaning out her units and WHEW! You would almost puke from the smell and stench from some units! Just NASTY!
21 posted on 09/26/2011 9:49:40 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: NavyCanDo

The ‘reality’ is these shows are a slice of life - are a form of documentary and cheap to produce. They do have ‘regular folks’ appeal and are often quite educational.

After watching a few episodes of Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Storage Wars, Auction Kings, Repo etc., I did become bored with the repetition.

As many have noted “If you are paying to store your belongings in a locker; you probably don’t need it”. As for valuable collector items - keep them at the house. If you have elderly relatives with storage problems - help them out.


22 posted on 09/26/2011 9:51:55 AM PDT by sodpoodle (God is ignoring me - but He is watching you.)
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To: ExTxMarine
Well golly, Conor, our borders are so porous that there is a whole series on TV about it and it's in its third season!
And you choose to direct your attention to shows on storage units?!
23 posted on 09/26/2011 9:53:40 AM PDT by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: equaviator

It has been bad for the people in the business of buying these auction units because there is now a lot more competition and prices have gone up.

So it is good for the auctioneer and the owner of the storage facility but bad for the buyer.

For every one unit that makes the show, there are problaby 4-5 that are just full of junk.


24 posted on 09/26/2011 9:53:41 AM PDT by woodbutcher1963
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To: bgill

Remember for most folks the executor is just one of the relatives, there’s no real estate to worry about. I was co-executor for my grandmother, once you forward somebody’s mail for that you find out just how much complete crap people get in the mail. I still get stupid crap in the mail for her and she’s been dead almost 7 years. And a lot of the bills you just chuck, it’s actually bad to start paying the bills of the deceased because that sets a precedent that you are accepting their debt, so we generally just glanced at stuff to make sure it wasn’t inbound money, we knew about all her property. It would be easy to miss something like a storage locker mixed, just another bill you’re not going to pay.


25 posted on 09/26/2011 9:57:24 AM PDT by discostu (yeah that's it)
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To: MrNeutron1962
I met a couple who buys these abandoned units from time to time and resells the contents which are worth selling. They had been doing this long before these shows came on.

They told me that they rarely find anything really valuable in the units they get, though they usually get their money's worth and then some.

They find a lot of trash and a lot of used clothing, most of which they donate if it's in decent condition. Furniture and household items they resell. Occasionally they will find an antique or something especially nice but not often.

26 posted on 09/26/2011 9:59:15 AM PDT by susannah59
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To: ExTxMarine

I wonder how many kind of combine death and abandonment. If my grandfather, whose paperwork was a complete mess, had a storage locker we never found out, so we never would have informed the locker company, so they would have considered it abandoned.

Yeah the whole lib angle is, as always, silly. Nobody’s getting cheated here. Anybody that abandoned good stuff in a storage locker has only themselves to blame.


27 posted on 09/26/2011 10:00:56 AM PDT by discostu (yeah that's it)
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To: MrNeutron1962

What I don’t understand is that the buyers bring their supposed *treasure* to some other dealer for authentication and appraisal. From what little I know of specialized dealers, they don’t just *give* free appraisals; maybe they do when you walk in with cameras and a reputation for millions of viewers and do the appraisal gratis for the free PR.

I can’t get that kind of service for free.


28 posted on 09/26/2011 10:01:04 AM PDT by Daffynition (“There are no compacts between lions and men, and wolves and lambs have no concord.” ~ Homer)
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To: equaviator
I don’t have a problem with it unless they go too far by including house and apartment rental properties where evictions have taken place.

That is part of the funny issue here! Just four years ago they had MULTIPLE house-flipping TV shows, which included repossessed homes and county auction houses but the Sunday TV shows weren't asking people to think about the people who grew up in those houses or the families who lost their home due to huge inheritance taxes, etc...

As a matter of fact, many news stories were proclaiming the smart, quick-money available in house-flipping!

Like you stated, this business has been around for many, many years (just like house-flipping), but it is just another part of the life in which we live!
29 posted on 09/26/2011 10:01:46 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: NavyCanDo

Beaver Cleaver?


30 posted on 09/26/2011 10:02:33 AM PDT by Osage Orange (Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum)
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To: Hoosier Catholic Momma

Holy cow! How did that happen? Sorry, all!


31 posted on 09/26/2011 10:04:03 AM PDT by Hoosier Catholic Momma (How long till my Arkansas drawl fades into the twang of southeast Ohio?)
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To: MrNeutron1962

Yeah I’m sure the hit/ miss ratio on those things is epic. I bet for every half way OK locker (forget the real winners) there’s half a dozen “why didn’t they just throw this out” lockers.


32 posted on 09/26/2011 10:06:03 AM PDT by discostu (yeah that's it)
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To: ExTxMarine
The people abandoning these units aren't doing so just because they can't afford the rent. I've been to a few auctions like that and most of the stuff simply isn't worth the rent so the people walk away.
One locker I bought belonged to a guy who broke up with his girl friend. She was supposed to pay the rent but didn't. Oops!

Another one I bought belonged to guy sitting in jail. Guess no one wanted to pay for his stuff.

Business go bankrupt, couples divorce, people get tossed in jail, walk away from stolen goods, die, leave the country.

But how many people will leave thousands of dollars of jewelry or guns just because they can's afford a hundred bucks a month?

33 posted on 09/26/2011 10:07:16 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Daffynition

Between the TV cameras (and more importantly the TV producers making phone calls) and the fact that these guys have been doing it for years and have their own contacts it’s doable for free. Or at least it will be after you’ve been doing it for 10 or 20 years.


34 posted on 09/26/2011 10:08:59 AM PDT by discostu (yeah that's it)
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To: count-your-change
The people abandoning these units aren't doing so just because they can't afford the rent.[SNIP]
But how many people will leave thousands of dollars of jewelry or guns just because they can's afford a hundred bucks a month?


That is my point. Most of the time these units are simply full of complete CRAP (sometimes literally - I have actually found a bucket of human excrement in the corner of an abandoned storage unit - YUCK!)!! So the one or two that actually payout are very few and far between. Typically these buyers break-even, once it is all said and done or they make very minimal profit.

My thinking (from experience) is that they simply don't care what is inside the unit (because it is usually old, low-value stuff) and they walk away.
35 posted on 09/26/2011 10:17:15 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: discostu
Thanks. You're assuredly right on this.

At least ole Barry has a sense of humor, and doesn't take things too seriously.


36 posted on 09/26/2011 10:21:25 AM PDT by Daffynition (“There are no compacts between lions and men, and wolves and lambs have no concord.” ~ Homer)
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To: discostu

What’s to stop the owners of the storage units from filling up a unit with crap and then trying to dupe these folks into bidding on it?


37 posted on 09/26/2011 10:21:56 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: discostu

“..it’s all about Barry.”

Yep! He’s a character! Meeting him in a bar would be cool. Having him offer to show me around his house (and his garage - he has some cool wheels!) would be better. There was one show where the big guy showed off some of his house - Picasso’s, etc. - all found in lockers!

But Barry’s would be way cooler.


38 posted on 09/26/2011 10:24:03 AM PDT by 21twelve (Obama Recreating the New Deal: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts)
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To: MrNeutron1962
Quite a few of them go delinquent in divorces where nobody really cares about the stuff, or are simple walk aways, "I just don't need this junk anymore and I'm not handling it again".

That was my Aunt's experience as well.

I also know that the prices that are quoted for many of the items on storage wars are just pie-in-the sky wishful thinking.

This show reminds me of "The Price is Right." I don't know where they shop, but typically their prices are MUCH higher than what is at my store. Of course, I am in Texas, not liberal, tax-aholic Kalifornia!
39 posted on 09/26/2011 10:27:20 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: SoothingDave

The buyers get to look into the locker before bidding starts. If it looks like all crap they don’t bid. If a place had this a lot they’d stop coming. You gotta remember too this is kind of a community, depending on the size of the community there’s a handful of people that own most of the lockers, a couple dozen buyers, 1 or 2 auctioneers; everybody knows everybody and anybody that starts screwing people over will get found out eventually and wind up outside the “group”.


40 posted on 09/26/2011 10:27:55 AM PDT by discostu (yeah that's it)
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To: Daffynition; discostu

My wife and I like Barry the most. He is so laid-back compared to the other buyers. If he gets the unit, he gets the unit; if not, oh well, I will get another one.


41 posted on 09/26/2011 10:30:22 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: susannah59

I know someone who has owned a storage building for about 15 years. They are a great business to own. There is very little maintainence. Just a small electric bill. His units are all unheated. If someone doesn’t pay the rent, you auction off their unit.

He gave me the scoop on this long ago. Most of the auctioned items end up in the trash, Salvation Army or the Flea Market. OCCASIONALLY, there is a nice find.


42 posted on 09/26/2011 10:31:59 AM PDT by woodbutcher1963
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To: Daffynition

Barry seems to only do the lockers to buy stuff that gives him an excuse to go spend time with old friends, and his old friends seem to include most of the oddest people in LA. And every once in a while he makes money. Definitely somebody with his priorities lined up.


43 posted on 09/26/2011 10:32:04 AM PDT by discostu (yeah that's it)
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To: discostu

yep - gotta like Barry


44 posted on 09/26/2011 10:33:20 AM PDT by reed13
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To: ExTxMarine

Barry is one of those people that’s why Thom Beers is so successful. He just makes good TV. Barry sitting in his kitchen reading and reacting to the newspaper would be fun to watch. Most of Thom’s shows, and all of the successful ones, revolve around the Barrys of the world.


45 posted on 09/26/2011 10:34:52 AM PDT by discostu (yeah that's it)
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To: discostu

Yep. down here in my little rural town, we have two auctioneers and about six “regular” buyers. There are always about a dozen amateurs and a couple of “Storage Wars” wanna-be’s who will typically out bid everyone - way over pricing the units.

The one or two times we have gone and participated, I asked the auctioneer who the regular buyers were. Then I watched them and stayed close to them (until I reached my limit).


46 posted on 09/26/2011 10:36:25 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: sodpoodle

My Father-in-Law has a storage problem. Pays over $300 a month to store items pulled out of his old dentist office years ago. Things like old dental chairs, dental lights, old office machines, sinks, old furniture, old Holiday decorations Plans on selling it someday but we know he never will. One, its all old tech, and two, he can’t bring him self to it because he is a hoarder. That $300 times how many months comes out to a boat load of cash he throwing away. It will come down to us kids selling it to the highest bidder.

The basement of his house is even worse. You’ll finds 1960s and 70s stereos and TVs, VHS and Beta players, pin ball machines, slot machines, a pool table, his kids toys and books from the 70s, just about anything most people would have sold or gave away over the years, he has kept. Some of it valuable to a collector, other stuff completely worthless. And it’s stacked from floor to ceiling with narrow passageways to get through. It gives us nightmares knowing we will have to find a buyer someday. We’ll end up pulling out the items we want to keep, like those slot machines, and high bidder takes the rest.


47 posted on 09/26/2011 10:38:26 AM PDT by NavyCanDo (GO MAMA GRIZZLY!)
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To: ExTxMarine

I’m surprised at the people who watch it on TV and decide to try. Maybe I just watch TV differently, the “lesson” I learn from the show is that if you don’t have a thrift store (tons of work) or go to all the local swap meets (tons of work) or know collectors of just about everything (tons of work in the past) you’re gonna wind up with a whole bunch of junk. I’d heard about this stuff before, thought it would be more effort than I’m willing to put in, watched the show and found out it’s EVEN MORE effort than I thought. And yet apparently thousands of folks all over the country have watched these shows and said “hell I can do that”. Nice for the auctioneers and locker owners I suppose, rough for the buyers until all this new blood goes broke and get to get all this stuff next time around.


48 posted on 09/26/2011 10:43:22 AM PDT by discostu (yeah that's it)
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To: NavyCanDo
It will come down to us kids selling it to the highest bidder.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Regarding dental equipment:

There will be no bidder. **You** will pay big time to have it hauled away....And, good luck finding someone who will take the x-ray head.

49 posted on 09/26/2011 10:43:32 AM PDT by wintertime (I am a Constitutional Restorationist!!! Yes!)
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To: woodbutcher1963
They are a great business to own. There is very little maintainence. Just a small electric bill. His units are all unheated. If someone doesn’t pay the rent, you auction off their unit.

I think that is the other main reason for so many of these businesses. Consumerism is a big part of it, but also it is a very easy business to own and operate. You can get a lot of use out of a relatively small plot of land and after your initial building costs, you are pretty much DONE! It is a self-operating business - for the most part.
50 posted on 09/26/2011 10:43:32 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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