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Why I Couldn’t Be On the TV Show “Storage Wars”

December 14, 2011 · 12 comments

in Personal Finance

First, let me start by saying I love the TV show Storage Wars on A&E.  The premise is this:  People rent out storage units, neglect to pay their storage rental bills, and the contents of these units go up for auction.  Storage Wars features five different people that bid on storage units for income or for collectibles:  Barry Weiss, Dave Hester, Darrell Sheets, Jarrod Schulz  and Jarrod’s wife Brandi.  At the beginning of the show, the auctioneer opens the storage units, potential buyers look at the contents from outside the unit (no touching allowed), people bid on the lockers, and then the show films each auction winner digging through the contents of their new locker.

And Behind Locker Number 1 Is…Something Valuable No Doubt!

Of course, almost every single storage unit ends up having something unique inside of it.  For example, a locker that appears to be stuffed with garbage ends up having beautiful (and valuable) little bird boxes (like a music box, but with a bird chirping).  You just never know what will be revealed!  (Hint, it is almost never just old clothes hangers and report cards!  Apparently every person that rents out a storage unit has something rare and valuable to place amongst all their junk.)

Anyway, the second half of the show follows each buyer as they go to a store or antique dealer to have their rare treasure appraised. Most of the time, the buyer of the unit comes out ahead and then says something like “I knew when I saw those golf clubs in the unit that there had to be something of value further in that I couldn’t see…”, and that something ends up being worth thousands of dollars.

So, Why Couldn’t I Be A Storage Unit Auction Participant?

Where I would struggle would be lack-of-buying remorse.  If I was in a bidding war and decided to let the other person win, I would be dying to know what ended up being in the storage unit, and how much everything was worth.  In other words, I would probably obsess over what I gave up, in hope of proving I made the right decision.  Then, when I found out that I could have made $10,000 in profit, I would be miserable.  Of course, that would be somewhat balanced by the times I passed on buying a unit that ended up being full of garbage and vermin.  However, I think I would put way too much thought into what I gave up, and it would drive me crazy.

How Storage Wars Relates To My Life

It is good that I recognize this about myself so that I avoid putting myself into those types of situations that would result in remorse of some kind.  I am sure it is part of the reason I don’t gamble- I would be saying over and over ‘if only this, if only that…’.  It is also why I don’t actively trade stocks (although I used to somewhat).  I hate that Monday Morning Quarterback feeling of “if only I had held this stock instead of selling” and such.

In the end,  it is best to know yourself, and accept your limitations in all aspects of life.   In my case, I know that I will beat myself up for ‘wrong’ decisions, so I have to steer away from situations where I can look back and think I should have done something differently.   I also know that I WILL look back, and moving on is not always so easy for me if I know I made a mistake.  So, in regards to financial management, index funds make a lot of sense for me because my money will just flow with the market.  I may give up a percent or two a year, who knows, but it isn’t worth the emotional turmoil for me to try and outdo the market. (And then get frustrated when I did worse than the market.)  It took me a long time to realize these things, but my contentment definitely increased once I understood that there are certain things I tolerate well, and things that I do not.

So, do you watch Storage Wars?  Have you ever participated in a storage auction?




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