With a big smile he opened the shipping container, its heavy metal doors groaning. He understood the risk he was taking, and the chance of finding something of value was not in his favor, especially when he thought about what the last guy got in the end.
He sorted out heaps of rubbish, so far nothing had made the amount of money he paid worth it. He slowly got nervous until he saw a case, he opened it and couldn’t believe what was inside.
Hardly contain his excitement
The Magnum Storage Auction was a place Danny Owens wanted to visit right on the outskirts of town. Originally from Coulby Newham, United Kingdom, he tried his best to care for his child as a father of one. He watched all of the reality TV shows about these auctions and now felt ready to try his luck on a container.
The 26-year-old could hardly suppress his excitement, he was really looking forward to the day, but someone had other plans.
Take a day off
Owens worked as a full-time dealer and had waited months for the chance to go to the auction. Today was finally the day. He had a day off and even made sure his schedule was clear.
But when he got to the auction lot, he felt something hum in his pocket. He took out his cell phone and saw the name. It was the worst customer he could think of, now his day off could be taken from him.
Danny heard the worst news he could have thought of. The customer needed him to file a report right away. Danny wouldn’t be able to do this over the phone.
He could hear in the tone of the client’s voice that it was serious. So Danny went back to his car when he had an idea. If he makes a specific call, he may still be able to enjoy his day off.
Help from a friend
Danny dialed the number on his phone, the man picked it up, it was a freelancer. Danny asked if he could finish the report while he enjoyed his day off. Fortunately, the freelancer was more than happy to help.
The only catch was that the freelancer wasn’t the cheapest option. A last minute call meant his tariff was too high. Danny had to bite the bullet, hoping what he found would make up for it.
Back to the auction
Danny felt the extra money was worth his freedom for the day. After agreeing to the price the freelancer would charge, he felt better, now he could relax and move on with the auction.
When Danny entered the auction, his mind was flooded with all the possibilities in the containers. He thought of all the things that might be hidden in it – historical artifacts, something old, maybe even priceless art? In any case, he would find out soon enough.
After looking a little over the place, Danny felt his stomach growl, he was hungry. He thought that maybe they had a food stall somewhere. Then he came across some familiar faces.
He saw his friends Michael Gouder and Anthony Frankish having a conversation. Danny was confused, why were they here? It couldn’t be a coincidence, could it? Maybe they found out where he was going today.
The truth was, they all happened to be on the same brain wave and came up for auction. The three of them were standing in the back of the crowd together, wanting to see how these worked in real life, so they watched the first people start bidding. The men had seen a lot of reality TV about it, but never before.
After the bidding war over the first container was over, it was opened right in front of them. Everyone huddled around to see what had just been bought. Would the first bidder have gone away with a fortune or would he have thrown his money down the drain?
The man who outbid the competition had paid $ 120 for the container, and everyone could see that it was filled with many priceless items.
Danny felt a lump in his stomach. Had he just let the best container out of the auction? He thought of leaving, he was so upset. But when they started bidding for the next container, something on his mind told him to stay.
After the second container was sold, Danny felt better, got the hang of it, and enjoyed the company of friends. It was a nice day for everyone.
The friends thought they were now ready to bid on the containers. They all looked at the next one and knew they wanted him. But nobody expected that they would bid against each other for it.
Tensions mounted when the three men realized they were trying to outbid one another. The competition between them began to grow and the friendly vibe they had enjoyed all morning turned sour.
Then Danny wondered why they were working against each other when they could pool their money and wipe the grin off the faces of all experienced bidders.
After some low-value containers were sold to disappointed bidders, Danny and his friends agreed that they wanted to play at the high stakes table. If they wanted to win against all these other bidders for this next container, they would have to change their strategy and take a few more risks.
Danny imagined opening a box and discovering a treasure chest filled with gold or an antique that needed to be insured for millions. Things should get interesting.
To team up
Together the fortune hunters determined their new tactics. Instead of bidding separately, they would do so together. When the next container was lowered onto the property, they were confident that they could get away with it as winners, just as they had seen it on TV.
The next container was announced and the men jumped right in: $ 80, $ 100, $ 150, $ 200, $ 250. Their bids rose dramatically as their nerves followed. $ 300, $ 310, $ 320, $ 330, $ 335 …
You did it! Danny and his friends congratulated each other when they picked up the container key from the auctioneer. There was no way of knowing what was inside. Not even the auctioneer himself knew.
Danny was confident. But then he remembered an episode of ‘Storage Wars’ that suddenly made him sweat. Was he destined to suffer the same fate?
In the episode in question, a bidder deposited a large amount of cash – the exact amount Danny and his friends had just paid out.
And it was a complete waste of money. Did Danny just pay $ 110 for a dumpster? He was suddenly aware of the stakes. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead as he approached the mysterious container.
Danny got ready and went to the big blue container. When he opened the heavy doors, he prayed to the goddess of the days off for a good result.
Danny worked too long long hours to spend his hard-earned money on junk. There had to be at least one thing of value. Didn’t have there?
When the light crept into the mysterious container and its contents slowly became sharp, Danny didn’t know where to look.
Danny and his new team entered – and were greeted by nothing but ordinary objects. Lamps, shelves, books … nothing to retreat to. Danny went out empty. But Michael kept digging. He just had the feeling that there was something in that container that would make it worthwhile.
“Look at that!” Michael exclaimed, throwing a normal looking case to his two partners. Danny peered over Michael’s shoulder as he opened it.
It was cutlery. “Could be worth something,” said Michael optimistically. Then Anthony pulled out a bottle of 1940s French wine. Shortly thereafter, Danny came across a handwritten court record from the 1720s. After going through everything in the container, one thing was clear to the trio.
“We made our money back immediately, and there is still a lot to evaluate so it should be good when it’s all gone,” said Danny, pleased that it was worth the investment to pay the freelancer to do him to insure the day.
The actual value of their finds will depend on the results of their upcoming evaluation, but the trio have learned something far more valuable.
A day well spent
Trying something new is not a bad way to spend a day off. Not only did Danny and friends walk away from their first foray into the memory auction world as winners, but they also found a fun new hobby to do together.
They even earned some fame along the way. Maybe another group of friends are just as lucky!