Storage Wars format comes to West Kelowna

A storage facility in West Kelowna is hoping to ride on the Storage Wars wave in hopes of reducing some of its losses from delinquent units.

National Storage will host its first ever Storage Wars type auction on Saturday at 11 a.m.

National Storage will host its first ever Storage Wars type auction on Saturday at 11 a.m.

When A&E producers decided to run with the reality television concept of a handful of second-hand store owners and antique collectors standing around an abandoned storage unit and occasionally yelling out token bidding phrase like, “Yuuup!”—they probably anticipated that they were gambling.

Three seasons and 5 million viewers later, it seems as though the risk has paid off.

And now, a storage facility in West Kelowna is hoping to ride on the Storage Wars wave in hopes of reducing some of its losses from delinquent units.

On Saturday at 11 a.m., National Storage in West Kelowna will host its first ever Storage Wars type auction.

Up for grabs are the contents from four lockers: A 10 x 10 unit, an 8 x 12 unit, an 8 x 16 unit and a 5 x 5 unit.

Don Faye, owner of National Storage, said that he is optimistic that this method of dealing with delinquent lockers will help National Storage minimize some of its losses.

“There’s a bit of hype going on about Storage Wars, so we decided to go that avenue,” said Faye.

“We normally don’t get full payment back on a delinquent unit; a lot of times we end up with pennies on the dollar.”

Faye said the previous practice was to hire an auction company to rummage through the contents of abandoned units and take items that they knew they could sell.

Sometimes there was enough value to help Faye recover some of the backlog of charges, but other times there wasn’t much value in the lockers at all.

The Storage Wars format gives an element of curiosity and excitement that Faye anticipates will generate higher bids.

“It’s a bit of a gamble,” said Faye.

“We’re going to try and follow the same rules. We’re not going to let people rummage through (lockers). We don’t know what’s in the units; we’ll cut the locks that day and everybody will take a chance on what they might find in the unit.”

According to Faye, National Storage tries to sort out payment options with the rightful owners of the lockers long before they resort to auctioning off the contents.

“We give as much opportunity (as possible) for the tenant to renegotiate the back rent on (the unit) . . . sometimes the units are delinquent for anywhere from six months to three years.

“At the end of the day, we’re looking to get our unit back so we can re-rent it.”

Faye said he is expecting between 50 and 75 people to attend the auction. Depending on the success of the event, Storage Wars type auctions might become the norm for National Storage.

“I think it’s the direction we’re probably going to end up going. For us, it’s just going to end up being a little less work down the road, because once the inventory was moved from the units, we ended up cleaning whatever was left over. That became another overhead and expense.”

Successful bidders at Saturday’s auction will likely have between 24 and 48 hours to clean out the storage unit and collect their potential treasures.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

Kelowna Capital News

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