Yuuuuuuup…….What can Storage Wars teach us about investing?

Storage Wars, storage unit, this that and the mba, thisthatandthemba, mbaIn case you are not aware of what Storage Wars is, it is a television show on A&E where people bid on lockers at storage facilities.  They get 5 minutes to look inside from the doorway and they cannot open or touch anything in the units.  The show follows 4 personalities as they go from facility to facility, each one having their own style and persona.   

One of the lead personalities is David Hester who owns Hester Auctions.  He did not always own the thrift shop and auction house; in fact in 2005 the shop was a furniture store.  Hester always had a knack for selling items, when he was younger he sold his father’s train set piece by piece over a 5 year period.  Hester is known as the antagonist on the show sometimes driving up the price on auctions so the others pay more for their unit.  Dave has shown us that it is never too late in life to take a risk; he converted a furniture store into an auction house by purchasing abandoned storage lockers.  Sometimes a little risk can have high reward as in Dave’s case.  His net worth is now a few million dollars!

The show teaches us that looking from the outside in, you may be able to see an antique that is worth a lot of money but upon closer inspection it is a knockoff.  This is very similar to investing, whereas a company at first glance looks investment worthy but after all the financial analysis performed the company does not have very promising financial ratios.  There is always risk when purchasing any type of investment but with sound financial knowledge and understanding we hope to reduce risk into a level we are comfortable with.  Sometimes things are not always as they appear at first sight. 

Dave Hester recommends subscribing to the feed to ensure that you are never without quality reading.


31 thoughts on “Yuuuuuuup…….What can Storage Wars teach us about investing?

  1. This is a fun show to watch; good analogy. I like watching the bidding wars. Sometimes these wars lead to ridiculous prices paid for a storage unit that has junk in it. It is the herd mentality, which is the same thing that happens with investing. On another note, I figured out the problem with commentluv not pulling from my blog. I have to put the feedburner feed url for it to work, rather than the url of my website. I didn’t find this solution anywhere online, I figured it out myself. I am so proud of myself!

    1. @ SR2R – It is a good show, I love at the beginning when they come around the lockers that scene makes me laugh so hard. It is just comedic that they show these guys like renegades in the storage locker business. Glad the comment luv is working for you…I want to make sure that you receive plenty of luv!

  2. That show is crazy. Have you heard of the new baggage show? Just like storage wars, but they auction off airline baggage!

    1. It is! I went on a binge of it for a while. I could only take so much. It was interesting that although some of it’s luck, there is some skill/knowledge involved. I’d totally check out that airline baggage show. I didn’t know they did that.

      1. @FemmeFrugality – I can only take so much and then their personalities get to me. The baggage show is on my list of shows to watch.

    2. Auctioning off airline baggage sounds like it should be illegal! I guess the baggage owners never come back to claim their belongings?

      1. Yeah I think it’s just unclaimed baggage. I didn’t know they sold it either.

      2. @ GB – must be if they created a show, but maybe not necessarily. They have that moonshiners show too and making moon shine is against the law or is selling it against the law. Either way, I do not know how these guys do not get caught since they have cameras with them..

    3. @ Michelle – No I have not heard about that. Between blogging and these cheesy shows, my wife is never going to see me. I will have to check that out. Thanks for the tip!!

    4. I haven’t heard of it! That might be fun. And more affordable to “invest” in than a whole storage unit.

      1. @ Amanda – true it will be much less than a storage unit. More budget friendly. Plus I think more people are apt to have valuables in luggage. I just don’t see who would store such valuables in a storage locker, but apparently people do!

  3. I can’t say I’ve watched this show, but boy would it be interesting to go through a random person’s storage locker. Who knows what you might find in there. You’re right that it is a good analogy for investing. Sometimes things are a bit of a gamble by just taking a quick look. There will be times when it pays off a lot and other times when it is a waste of money. By doing the additional research, we can be much more confident in making a sound investment.

    1. @ Jeremy – I would love to go through someones locker too. I don’t know why people leave things of value in a storage locker that is just locked wiht a padlock. That part blows my mind, usually my valuable possessions I would keep near me.

  4. It’s interesting how you masterfully made the connection between Storage Wars and investing. I’ve looked at the show several times, and found it quite educational. As you pointed out, any type of investing is risky. This is why you have to do serious due diligence in order to offset a good portion of the risk.

    1. @ Anthony – Exactly some of these guys have done their due diligence too by being in the industry for many years. They know what they are looking at and what they are looking for in the lockers. They also have a general idea of what the merchandise can sell for!

  5. Great analogy. I don’t typically watch store wars but I’ll definitely confess than anytime I go to St. Louis (to visit my family) I spend a few hours soaking up the cable television – primarily house hunters international and storage wars.

    We don’t have cable though and rarely watch TV, but that show is pretty crazy and the personalities are interesting to say the least.

    1. @ Jason – I have watched house hunters international, although I prefer the regular house hunters. What usually blows my mind with these house hunters is they sometimes are first time home buyers but the house they are looking to buy is a half million dollars. My first house was 88k not anywhere near what they are looking to spend!

  6. Storage Wars mostly reinforces my husband’s theory that one you get a storage unit (unless it’s for a very specific timeline), you have one forever, and that you might as well not own anything you put in your storage unit anymore, anyway, so why not just donate or sell it yourself.

    1. @ Shanendoah – interesting theory. That is true for the people I know that have storage lockers, they generally just keep paying the monthly premium and rarely return for the goods or use the stuff in the locker. Plus they are popping up all over now, it seems like everywhere you turn a new storage facility is opening up.

  7. I kind of want a storage locker. They seem to almost never LOSE their initial investment!

    1. @ Frugal – I have thought about looking around where I live to see if they do anything like this. It would be cool just to even go check it out to see if it is like on the show!

  8. Great analogy between fundamental analysis and storage wars. I think storage wars also subconsciously tells people that you can’t analysis forever, sometimes you just have to go for it.

    1. @ YFS – for many of us sometimes it is difficult to know when to pull the trigger. Maybe Discovery is on to something telling us that we just need to take a chance, you can do all the fundamental analysis you want but at the end of the day if you are not willing to take the risk what is the point!

  9. I have never seen that show, but it sounds interesting. Just based on the concept, I have to say that I’m probably not one to make that type of “investment”. I like to understand what I’m purchasing before spending, which means being informed and thus reducing risk. But each of us has our own risk preferences.

    1. @ Squirrelers – I am more of a risk averse person myself. I like to know what and where my money is going. Being that it is so hard to earn, I just do not want to throw it away on some gamble like on the show.

  10. I got caught up in a storage wars marathon when my parents were visiting… pretty silly show, but definitely addicting… They rarely seem to make enough money to justify the time/efforts – especially with the two-person teams. Then again, the one or two 5-figure finds can make up for a lot of $500 weekends…

    And now Roy Williams (I think) is doing it… doesn’t seem worth it to me. My guess is he’s doing it more for whatever they’re paying him to be on the show than the $324 he makes on a Saturday afternoon… or at least I’d hope so.

    1. @ Nick – it is an addicting show. Before you know if you have sat there 2 hours and fed yourself mind numbing material. That is the gamble they all take. It must be paying off because they have pretty significant net worths now. I dont know if it is because of the show or their savvy storage locker skills.

      Make sure you pay for your damn girl scout cookies!!

  11. I love going to goodwill or 2nd hand shops and getting stuff I think is worth money, fixing it up, and reselling! There is some money to be made there. And now that I have a neat phone, before I even buy something at goodwill, I can look it up on the web and see if it’s worth more than the store is selling it for. 🙂

    1. @ TB – interesting. I am pretty handy, I may consider doing that for some side income. Plus there is great pride in fixing something you got for cheap or free and being able to sell it for a profit. Have you made a good side income doing this?

  12. You and I watch a lot of the same bizarre reality TV shows 😉 I’m always curious when they say, “Oh we could get $5 for that” or “$150 for that” where they’re actually selling those things. I have a lot of stuff around my house that is probably worth something, but you have to find the right buyer for it, which is probably the harder part.

    1. @ Kari – It is good to see that someone else has good taste in tv like myself. 🙂 I know what you mean they go through the boxes say a 5 for this 100 for that. I have never been in some of the stores that would sell this kind of merchandise, but I wonder how long it takes to move one of these units through the store before they actually see any of the money. Their margins are not that big when they do win combine the overhead costs of a shop they can’t be making huge money. Unless they are going to these things everyday and turning it over quick.

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