‘Storage Wars’: Can You Actually Buy Units Seen on Show?

by Amy Myers
(Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

Have you ever watched Storage Wars and wondered if you should be chasing down high-value units like the stars of the show? If so, you’re not alone.

Since the start of the series in 2010, fans have wanted to know how they can get in on the business and be at the front lines of some great opportunities. And lucky for them, these auctions aren’t just a part of a set. The lockers we see on the show are real-life units for sale. But becoming a part of these sales requires a whole lot of research and a bit of luck.

According to Storage Wars star Brandi Passante, the auctions are available to the public. And as a result, the show’s producers can’t alter anything about the sale or the items in the lockers. So, what we see on TV is really what happens at the auction. This means that just about anyone can be at these auctions if they know where to go. Usually, on the show, auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson spearhead the bids, hosting the auctions and collecting the money. Together, the two own the company, American Auctioneers, which schedules hundreds of online and live auctions across the country. But most of the time, they host bids in their home state of California.

Basically, wherever they go, the show follows. So, if you want to be a part of the Storage Wars action, you’ll have to keep a close eye on their website where they keep a running list of all their upcoming bids.

But be forewarned, attending one of the Dotsons’ auctions won’t guarantee you a feature on Storage Wars. For obvious reasons, their website doesn’t list which biddings the stars of the show will attend.

Don’t Expect to Become a ‘Storage Wars’ Success Story Overnight

Storage Wars shows just as many poor purchases as it does successful ones, but still, some fans get the notion that becoming a full-time bidder means fast money.

With all of her wins and losses on the show, there’s no one better than Passante to clarify that attending auctions is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires a whole lot of patience and some unshakeable budgeting skills.

Not to mention, you also need to have a wide breadth of knowledge regarding the items in lockers. Not unlike antique pickers like Mike Wolfe or pawnshop owners like Rick Harrison, you need to know the value of items before you buy them. Otherwise, you’ll run out of money after the first few bids.

“From the very beginning, I think when people saw the show, they just assumed that this was some kind of get-rich-quick, modern-day treasure hunt,” the Storage Wars star told Distractify. “And in every unit, you’re going to find something great, but that’s just not how it goes. You just have to try your best to make a guesstimate as to what’s going to be in there.”