Not often do self-storage units become abandoned, but sooner or later it does happen. Once things get to that point, it is up to the management to remove or sell off what has been left in the units. I have often wondered myself what are in some of these places so I will pass on these strange and weird discoveries.
- Burt Reynolds memorabilia – At one point in time 1999, Burt had defaulted on the units he was storing his own belongings and artifacts in. Many items were from movies he was in. Once they were put up for auction, a group got together and bid on the units to start a museum of sorts for his fans to see. http://mentalfloss.com/article/66120/7-strange-things-found-storage-units
- Our sister office in Medicine Hat had a live Mortar Shell, they found it along with a live ammo belt while going through an auction unit for personal belongings. The Manager phoned their local Police, who then called the Canadian Forces Base Suffield. The Suffield base had military personnel who specialize in these things who went out and removed the shell safely.
- Someone hit payday in a big way. In San Jose a man paid $1,100 for a self-storage unit. Inside of a blue Rubbermaid container he found rare coins along with silver and gold. The estimated value for the contents was more than $500,000. Wow, what a find! http://www.seaboardselfstorage.ca/10-of-the-strangest-things-found-in-storage-spaces/
- In England a young man took over a locker belonging to his now deceased uncle. It seems that the uncle had purchased a 1937 Bugatti 57S back in its prime, and had stored it away safely. This car was one of only a handful of the original supercar ever made. It had been sitting there untouched for over 50 years. In 2009 when it was discovered it was believed to hold a value of as much as $9 million.
- While going through a storage unit just purchased, a lady found a very rare Canadian stamp. The date was 1851 and was for 12 pence. Way before the Canadian currency came in to effect. That one single stamp sold for $34,000. http://www.getstora.com/blog/29-most-epic-storage-finds-of-all-time
- Another stamp find came in 2010 after a customer bidding on an auction unit had found individual stamps, more than 1,200 of them. The storage unit had been purchased for a few hundred dollars. This is one of the larger stamp collections ever found and is said to be worth more than $100,000.
- Found in another auctioned unit were a stack of lithographs considered to be of high quality. The winning bid was for $100 and was found after digging these prints out from under junk, clothes and other throw away items. The lithographs were all originals, all signed by the artist and in mint condition. Some of these prints resembled what the moving staircases in the Harry Potter movies look like. The bidder sold all of the art work and netted nearly $50,000 for his troubles.
- Darrel Sheets from the TV show “Storage Wars” picked up an auction unit in 2010 for the higher price of $2,700. Not a bad price when you consider he found rare comic books in there. Among the thousands of comics were X-Men #1 and Spiderman #1. The stash is considered to be in the top 10 of comic book finds. Darrell took his new collection to experts and sold the lot for $130,000.
— Sue Sage