If you haven't seen the show Storage Wars on A&E, I recommend it. Basically, they auction of the contents of a storage room at one of these storage facilities. The people who had rented the room had stopped paying rent, so the facility auctions it to the highest bidder.
I've long wanted to attend an auction of any kind, and heard about a storage auction today at a local facility. I managed to get the time to go and wanted to see if it was like the TV show. I arrived a couple of minutes late, but didn't miss any action.
The first thing the auctioneer said was that if we were expecting any "buh-de-buh-by" type auction, that wasn't him. But he did a pretty good job. He explained the rules (you have 5 minutes to inspect the storage room, you can't touch anything, can't go inside), opened the door and moved out of the way.
The first unit was #616 and contained (as far as I could see) a couple of lawn mowers, a chain saw, some other lawn equipment, a couple of old (stained) mattresses and who knows what else. Bidding started at $300 (the first bidder started bidding before the official bids began). When the bidding was over, the unit sold for $475.
The second unit was #632 and it was not full like the first (and later) units. It looke like someone had closed out a florist shop or something. There were imitation ficus trees, lots of vases, some racks for holding clothes (or plants?). There was less interest in this unit, it sold for $325.
The third unit was #208 and contained a bed (frames & mattresses), an armoire, some end tables, a glass top coffee table (the bottom looked like a cat or something had gotten to it), a love seat and some living room chairs. and a clothes butler rack. But the prize in this unit was a grandfather clock. I looked and couldn't see a name of the manufacturer. I noticed that the pendulums were off, but in the clock itself. It's impossible to know if it was working. This unit ended up selling for $725.
Unlike the show, I didn't get to find out what was in the parts of the units that I couldn't see or find out the value of the units in the end. But it was an interesting day. I'll go to another auction and maybe buy something that time.