Bidding on Comic Book Storage Units: Lessons from the “Comic Book Men”

With the popularity of the “Storage Wars” franchise growing year after year (there are now three spinoff shows of the California-based original, located in Texas, New York City and Canada), more and more people are taking a chance at finding someone’s long-lost or abandoned comic book storage unit. Recently we saw that trend even extend to the stars of another reality-based show.

“Comic Book Men” is a show based around the day-to-day goings on of Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, a comic book store owned by famed filmmaker, Kevin Smith (director of “Clerks,” “Chasing Amy,” and “Dogma”), and named for two characters appearing in several of his films.

Chasing the Ultimate Comic Book Storage Unit

In one episode, “Walt’s Big Gamble,” the stars of the show decided to try their hand at buying abandoned storage units. Inspired by a marathon viewing of one of “those storage unit shows,” comic book store manager Walt Flanagan and his staff made their way to a local storage auction with the hope of hitting it big with a find a comic books or other pop-culture collectibles.

Imagine their delight when one of the storage units being auctioned that day did appear to hold several long boxes, universally recognized by enthusiasts as the comic book storage container of choice for their prized collections.

Busting their Storage Auction Budget

As the bidding process began Walt (and his staff members Ming Chen and Mike Zapcic) made it clear they had a bidding plan and budget in place. Those are very valuable lessons to be learned by any storage auction novice. However, the gang also taught everyone what not to do as Walt allowed his enthusiasm and emotions to get the better of him.

Before he knew it, he’d exceeded the budget he set for what he imagined was the comic book storage unit of his dreams. When he came back to reality, Walt had won the unit for $500 more than what he intended to spend. While this was disappointing enough, his bad luck was only compounded when it was discovered the long boxes weren’t storing comic books at all. They were full of encyclopedias.

A Storage Auction Lesson for Everyone

Although Walt, Ming, and Mike went home disappointed, they inadvertently learned and taught viewers the most basic of lessons for bidding on storage unit auctions.

  1. Have a plan in place before you even reach the storage facility.
  2. Know your financial limits and stay within them, even if that means allowing a unit to be purchased by someone else.
  3. Perhaps most importantly, leave all emotions behind, because an emotional bidder is all-too-often an irrational bidder.