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Storage Wars – Hidden Treasures in Storage

Storage Wars - hidden treasures in storage

Renting storage space is becoming quite normal in the Netherlands, especially for people who don’t have a garage, attic or basement.

Whether you’re taking a sabbatical year to travel, moving in with your partner, renovating or redecorating your home or simply want to declutter; renting a storage unit, so-called self-storage space, is a wonderful solution!

What happens with the contents of abandoned storage units?

Needless to say, there is a lease agreement when you rent storage space. You have to pay the rent in time to keep using the storage unit. But what actually happens if the storage tenant stops paying rent, the lease expires or is terminated and the tenant never returns to collect his belongings? Or if the tenant dies and there are no heirs?

Whatever the reason is for someone not to pay or clear out his storage unit, something needs to be done with the contents. We show you what really happens to the forgotten treasures in abandoned storage units.

Storage Wars – When a storage unit becomes a goldmine

You have probably heard of the popular television show ‘Storage Wars‘; a phenomenon from the US that has blown over to Europe. When a storage tenant stops paying rent for whatever reason, the tenant’s belongings may be auctioned to the highest bidder to cover the costs of the rent owed. The contents of the storage unit has to be cleared out, so the landlord can re-rent the unit.

Junk trade is big business

This usually happens in almost ‘blind auctions’: bidders can have a quick peek in the unit, but they aren’t allowed to touch anything. What happens then, is called ‘storage wars’ in the US. Most of us certainly know this term from the reality tv show ‘Storage Wars – The Wheelers’. Of course there’s always some drama added in these television shows, but fact is; junk trade is big business!

Valuable items or just a pile of rubbish?

We can understand the fascination; after all, who isn’t curious about what other people keep in their storage units? It usually involves items valuable enough for the owner to store them instead of throwing them away. Storage units can hold all kinds of valuable items such as antique furniture, family heirlooms, jewelry, artwork, tools, clothing and other treasures may be stored behind these doors. However, if you’re unlucky, it’s just a pile of rubbish..

Pile of worthless old rubbish

Storage Wars – how does it work?

In Storage Wars, interested parties bid on the contents of abandoned storage units. Usually to sell the auctioned items on the internet or at flea markets. And this sure pays off! The auction price of the contents of self-storage units is usually far below the actual value of all items in the storage unit.

The big question is: can you resell the items or not? As long as you can find a buyer, it’s an easy and quick way to make money on other people’s junk.

Since it’s an auction, the participants in Storage Wars constantly outbid each other. Often, when they eventually get to open the boxes in the storage unit, they find a lot of worthless personal items inside.

We all know that the emotional value of things cannot be expressed in money. And the emotional value is exactly the reason that many people tend to keep (and store) even the most worthless items.

Bizarre finds in storage units

Sometimes bizarre things are found in storage units. The chance to find something very rare is very tempting. Here are some of the most bizarre finds that were made in abandoned storage units in the US:

Bizarre finds like these are exactly why the Storage Wars tv show was created in the first place.

Storage Wars – the risks

If you love old junk, and you’re looking for a quick way to make money, Storage Wars is the place to be! With a bit of luck, you can make a lot of money with a relatively small investment. On the other hand, you always risk wasting your money on a bunch of worthless junk.

Storage Wars - Blue locker

How to minimize the risks

As you are only allowed a quick glance through the open door of the storage unit at these auctions, you need to have a good eye for valuables and be able to quickly assess what items could make you money. That may sound easy, but you could call it an expertise.

Generally, things like good tools, antique furniture and paintings can be sold fairly quickly at a high profit. Even certain original clothes and designer clothes from earlier times – provided that they’re clean and undamaged – can turn into gold on Amazon or at a flea market.

The trick is to be able to recognize the contents of a storage unit as valuable – even after a glimpse. In the US, Storage Wars have been a growing trend for years. It’s not only popular among professional traders but has also become a beloved hobby among many individuals.

Storage Wars in the Netherlands

In theory the Storage Wars television format should be possible in the Netherlands too. However, it’s not so easy for a storage rental company to be allowed to auction the belongings of a storage unit that is no longer paid for. According to the Dutch Civil Code, if the tenant fails to pay his rent for several months, the landlord can seize the stored goods to cover lost income.

Rental Laws make it complicated

What makes it complicated, is that the renal laws in the Netherlands state that a rental agreement can only be terminated with permission of a judge. Even if the rent has not been paid for months, the landlord may not simply confiscate the stored goods without intervention of a legal court. Not even if it’s included in the rental agreement that the landlord acquires ownership of the stored goods when the rent is not paid for more than six months. The court has to decide.

Abandoned suitcases and office furniture

This is probably why storage unit auctions are rarely held in the Netherlands. Although there is at least one company in the Netherlands that deals with this. However, it is not quite the same as Storage Wars. The company buys up inventories and furniture of bankrupt companies or deceased individuals and organizes auctions to sell those contents.

Another example is, abandoned suitcases are auctioned off at Schiphol Airport. This is done four times a year by an external auction house. For safety, the suitcases are screened beforehand, though. But apart from that, nobody knows what is in the suitcases. Though it will mostly be clothes.

Storage unit auctions at Boxie24

Boxie24 doesn’t organize auctions of stored goods. However, we do rent out attractively priced storage units with free pick-up service. You can rent a storage unit for as little as 5 euros a week. Our storage units are dry, clean, climate controlled and equipped with camera surveillance.

Full service storage

With us, you don’t have to arrange transport. Our drivers pick up your belongings, store them safely in one of our storage facilities and redeliver them to you when you need them. Even when you just need a few items. Plus, we offer a convenient moving box service too. To find out more, call us or simply fill out the contact form on this page.

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