When someone rents a self storage unit and doesn't pay their rent, the storage locker eventually becomes the property of the self-storage company. Once the company takes ownership, they auction off the abandoned units to the highest bidder. The winning bidder then takes ownership of all of the belongings inside of the unit. Sometimes people end up with a storage full of trash, sometimes they end up with a storage full of treasure. Here are the most valuable items ever found in a storage unit.
$2 Million Comic
After actor Nicholas Cage's house was robbed in 2000, he discovered one of his most prized possessions was missing—his mint Action Comics No. 1. The comic didn't resurface until 2011 when it was found on an online auction. The seller found the comic in a storage unit that he purchased and listed the comic for sale. It sold for a record $2,161,000. There are around 100 Action Comics No. 1 in existence. Only five of them are estimated to equal the value of the one stolen from Cage.
A man named John purchased a storage unit from the same company that hosts the auctions on the reality show Storage Wars. John was the winning bidder, purchasing his unit for $1,000. When he started searching through his storage unit, he was hoping to find enough valuable items to make a profit off of his investment. However, he never could have imagined what was waiting for him. John found a stack of plastic food containers inside the unit. When he opened them, he was surprised to find gold and silver bars, Spanish gold coins, and Spanish dollars. The gold turned out to be 16th century pirate treasure. The estimated value of his entire find totaled about $500,000.
A man named Pat Jones attended a storage auction in Austin, Texas. He looked into a storage locker thinking it was just full of scrap metal under a tarp. He decided it was still worth a small bid. He could scrap the metal for a profit. He bid $51 and no one else even put up a fight. Pat won the auction with his lowest bid. When he was allowed to go inside and remove the tarp, he was shocked at what he found. There was a 1959 Cadillac Coupe. It was in several pieces and needed to be restored. However, obtaining the $50,000 vehicle for $51 was definitely a treasure.
Auction Hunters, Spike TV's version of Storage Wars, has shown some amazing finds of their own. One unit purchased on the show proved to be extremely profitable. It contained $3,500 worth the knick-knacks, but that wasn't the icing on the cake. In the middle of the unit, a 1969 Chevelle sat under a plastic cover. They sold the Chevelle for $9,000, making the entire unit worth $12,500.
Michael Jackson Memorabilia
One of the largest private collections of memorabilia was found in an abandoned storage unit. How it got there is just as interesting as the find. Apparently, the Jackson family handed over all the memorabilia to someone who was supposed to open a theme restaurant.
The Jackson's were paying for the storage unit that the items were inside of until they were ready to be used. The Jackson's reportedly stop paying the storage payments, and the unit went up for auction. It didn't take long to sell the entire collection to an overseas buyer. The collection included costumes, platinum records, and even notes and medical records.
Bidding on storage lockers can be a lot of fun. Since you can't look through the unit before bidding, it is also a gamble. You may find nothing except old clothes and a dirty couch, but you could also find a goldmine. For more about this topic check out your local storage companies.