Tuesday, September 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Fairfield storage bidding wars get boost from TV shows

Potential bidders wait in line to get a quick glimpse of a storage unit on the auction block before bidding on it during a storage locker auction at the Solano Storage Center in Fairfield Friday morning. (Mike Greener/Daily Republic)

Potential bidders wait in line to get a quick glimpse of a storage unit on the auction block before bidding on it during a storage locker auction at the Solano Storage Center in Fairfield Friday morning. (Mike Greener/Daily Republic)

By
May 23, 2011 |

FAIRFIELD — Mike Dehaas was looking for payback.

The last time he was high bidder at Solano Storage Center, he paid more than $2,000 for a 10-by-30-foot unit — full of e-waste materials.

And since the Martinez resident makes his living from buying at such auctions and selling what he can at a Concord flea market, Craigslist and on eBay, he was hoping to find something that would help recoup the loss from the previous buy.

Dehaas was one about 75 people who attended a recent auction at the storage center. There were four units up for bid. The majority of their contents would remain a mystery until the buyer empties the unit.

Auctioneer John Cardoza had already auctioned four units in Rio Vista before arriving in Fairfield. Afterward, he was headed to three storage facilities in Vacaville before wrapping up his day in Dixon.

With the popularity of TV shows “Storage Wars” and “Auction Hunters” — Cardoza was on the latter recently — he said he’s seen a 30- to 40-percent increase in the number of people showing up for auctions.

“There’s a lot of hard work involved,” he said. “If people are willing to work hard, there’s money to be made. There is some luck involved and a lot of hard work.”

Dehaas knows. Asked whether he’s found something unique among his storage auction purchases, he said it depends on what one defines as unique.

He’s found everything from dirty needles to dirty clothes. But not that one nugget that he could resell for enough to retire.

“I wouldn’t be here today if I had,” he said.

The TV shows glamorize this business, Dehaas said. “I’m making minimum wage when it’s said and done,” he said.

In exchange, he is his own work supervisor.

“I don’t like bosses,” Dehaas said. “I have authority issues.”

Cardoza has also found a few interesting things.

At one auction, the renter had a friend lock him inside the storage unit the night before. So, when the door was opened, there sat a man who wasn’t going to let his goods go without a fight. The owner of the storage facility opted not to auction the unit that day, Cardoza said.

At the Solano Storage Center auction, three of the units were in the same building. Some potential buyers walked up the stairs to the unit. Others opted for the elevator.

Each was offered the chance to walk by and peruse a unit that seemed to have mostly clothes and toys.

Then, the auction began. Cardoza started out asking for a bid of $10. He quickly dropped it to $5.

“Anyone interested?” he asked. “You never know, there may be something in it.”

One man offered $5 and it was sold.

Working with Cardoza was his wife Donna Cardoza, who worked 25 years as a 911 dispatcher before retiring. She stood at the end of a long line, waiting for a peek inside the second and third units, which were right next to each other.

“The better the unit, the longer the people look,” she said.

One unit had a portable oxygen tank, TV trays and boxes — including one labeled as a 17-piece cookware set. The one next to it had suitcases and clothes, among other items.

Some of the attendees pulled out flashlights to see inside the darkened units.

With everyone back in the main hall, Cardoza began the bidding, confusing the contents of the two. Justin Clark, assistant manager of Solano Storage Center, stepped up to correct him before any bids were placed.

Bidding started at $25 and as it neared $220, Cardoza looked at one man and asked, “Are you bidding sir or just playing with your keys?”

It sold for $320; the other went for $110.

Then, it was down the stairs and out the building to a much bigger unit, 10-by-35, piled high with a variety of items.

“It looks like old stuff,” said Dehaas, who didn’t bid on any of the units. “It’s not really about what you buy, it’s about what you spend.”

The rent had not been paid since February, said Meladi Morris, who manages the facility. About $800 was owed.

“We tell the people if they can’t pay the rent, to move it out,” she said.

Osward Alvarez of Stockton purchased the goods for $675.

“You got a deal on that one,” Morris told him.

Alvarez said his plans were to go through the unit and find things his three daughters, who are 28, 35 and 38, could use. Leftover items would be sold at flea markets or on eBay.

He stopped by the office to get the combination on the lock to open the unit. He was heading on to the Vacaville auctions.

Solano Storage gave him a week to empty it.

As for the day’s income, Cardoza got 25 percent. The remainder of the money is applied toward rent, Morris said.

And, if there’s still any money left, it goes to the county, where the renter has a year to claim it, Morris said.

While some may question the need for hiring an auctioneer, Morris said it’s the only way to go as the auctioneer assumes the liability.

“It’s worth the 25 percent,” she said.

Cardoza and his crew return to Fairfield on Wednesday for an auction at the StorageMart Self Storage on Walters Road. They’ll be back at Solano Storage Center in July.

Amy Maginnis-Honey can be reached at 427-6957 or amaginnis@dailyrepublic.net.

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Steven Kays, FixFairfield.OrgMay 23, 2011 - 5:33 pm

    You don't want to get stuck paying to store something year after year. It can run up thousands of dollars. If you left your dear mom's wedding ring or something inside, you probably can't get it if you are behind payment. Hence don't put anything in of great value, or better yet, get rid of the "excess baggage" all together if you can.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • FF PersonMay 24, 2011 - 9:01 am

    When renting a Uhaul one time....the cashier told me, and i'll never forget this, "if your going to be storing your stuff for more than 3 months...you might as well buy all new stuff" Personally, if I knew I would not be able to pay, I would get my things out, at least the good stuff.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Steven Kays, FixFairfield.OrgMay 24, 2011 - 9:56 am

    Very well stated.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rockford public storageMarch 15, 2012 - 2:56 am

    The public is invited to attend the VFW Post 2333s Memorial Day service at 10 a.m. Friday in front of the old Solano County courthouse in downtown Fairfield.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Fairfield police log: Sept. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Sept. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Police search for missing man

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
 
Measure A committee plans weekend precinct walk

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Voters who have moved urged to check registration

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

Caltrans cancels nighttime Highway 37 closures

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
.

US / World

5 more bodies found at Japan volcano; toll now 36

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Group: Wildlife populations down drastically

By The Associated Press | From Page:

45 dogs dead, 48 alive after North Las Vegas fire

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Police link 2nd case to missing Va. student arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Netanyahu: Hamas, Islamic State group share creed

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Cancer doctor given 10 years for poisoning lover

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Afghan president sworn in, paving way for US pact

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Police ease tactics in Hong Kong protest standoff

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Study: Recessions can postpone motherhood forever

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
White House intruder got far past front door

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Obama efforts to oust Assad pushed to back burner

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Islamic State closes in on Kurdish area of Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sacramento police seek suspect in dog’s drowning

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Shooing birds from Bay Bridge could cost millions

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Governor signs bills to help those in foster care

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Mountain View police ID gas victims as father, son

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page:

 
President Obama will go out with a war cry

By Doyle Mcmanus | From Page:

Threat of attack ruining taxpayers’ rights

By Dan K. Thomasson | From Page:

 
.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
I’m unhappy with Phil and playing ‘happy family.’ What should I do?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page:

Community Calendar: Sept. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Amanda Bynes arrested for DUI in Los Angeles

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
They did. They do. Clooney/Alamuddin wedding No. 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Football commands highest TV ad prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Walmart: Morgan, others weren’t wearing seatbelts

By The Associated Press | From Page:

TVGrid Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
.

Sports

Developer asks for more time for LA football plan

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Monday’s sports transactions

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Raiders fire coach Dennis Allen

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Prep boys soccer: VCS still looking for 1st win of season

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Charles sends Chiefs to 41-14 rout of Patriots

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Clippers return focus to team post-Sterling

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Giants have ample experience facing elimination

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Dover installs catch fence for 2015 NASCAR season

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Warriors happy to have core back, build on success

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

All-women sports show debuts with perfect timing

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Autopsy shows Chiefs LB Belcher had CTE damage

By The Associated Press | From Page:

AJ Hinch hired to manage Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Phil Mickelson saves best shot for his captain

By The Associated Press | From Page:

MLB batting average lowest since 1972 – before DH

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Wild, wild SEC West set for historic day

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Kershaw 1st to lead majors in ERA 4 straight years

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
AP source: 7 umpires rotate at World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Pagenaud joins Penske for 2015 IndyCar season

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Texas’ Strong tells Goodell colleges can do better

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Hornets await NBA investigation into Taylor

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Trout, Strasburg giving playoffs a fresh look

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
NC State coach: No. 1 Florida State faked injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page:

A’s Lester, Royals’ Shields in AL wild-card focus

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Raiders’ season spinning out of control

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Harbaugh dismisses reports of 49ers discord

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
3-way race for NL MVP; Trout takes his turn in AL

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Stewart never considered retiring after Ward death

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Twins fire manager Ron Gardenhire after 13 seasons

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Business

Bank of America paying $7.65M to resolve inquiry

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Microsoft to offer early look at next Windows

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

US stocks head lower, following drops overseas

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
US consumer spending up 0.5 percent in August

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

ATM fees keep climbing, survey says

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C. Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sudoku Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Dilbert Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Baby Blues Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Rose is Rose Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth Sept 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Discover Solano Fall/Winter 2014

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Sonoma County

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: DIS2

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Winters

By Barry Eberling | From Page: DIS3

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Historic Downtown Winters

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS3

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Napa County

By Barry Eberling | From Page: DIS20

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Yolo County

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: DIS23

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Western Railway Museum

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS23

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Benicia

By Barry Eberling | From Page: DIS29

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Benicia Plein Air Gallery

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS31

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Downtown Benicia

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS31

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Benicia Fire Museum

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS31

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Benicia Marina

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS32

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Dixon

By Barry Eberling | From Page: DIS33

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: DIS35

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Jelly Belly Candy Co.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS36

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Solano Town Center

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS36

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Fairfield Aquatics Complex

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS37

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tours

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS37

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Suisun Valley

By Barry Eberling | From Page: DIS39

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Glashoff’s Studio

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS40

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Manka’s Corner

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS41

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Wine Tasting

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS41

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Rio Vista

By Susan Winlow | From Page: DIS42

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Foster’s Bighorn Bar

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS43

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Suisun City

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: DIS45

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Rush Ranch

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS46

Discover Solano Fall 2014: The Suisun Wildlife Center

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS46

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Grizzly Island

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS46

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Vacaville Museum

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS47

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Downtown Vacaville

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS47

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Vacaville Premium Outlets

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS48

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Vacaville

By Susan Winlow | From Page: DIS49

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Nut Tree Plaza

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS50

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Vallejo

By Barry Eberling | From Page: DIS52

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Mare Island Museum

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS53

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Children’s Wonderland

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS53

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Vallejo Symphony

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS53

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS54

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Flyway Festival

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS54

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Bay Area Ridge Trail

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS54

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Vallejo Baylink Ferry

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS54

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Empress Theatre

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS54

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Solano County

By Barry Eberling | From Page: DIS55

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Solano County Golf Courses

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS56

Discover Solano Fall-Winter 2014 Calendar

By Glen Faison | From Page: DIS57

Discover Solano Fall 2014: The Petrified Forest

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS59

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Winters Opera House

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS59

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Sterling Winery

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS59

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Safari West

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS59

Discover Solano Fall 2014: UC Davis Mondavi Center

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS59

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Calistoga Hot Springs

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS59

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Bale Grist Mill

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS59

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Scientopia Discovery Center

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS60

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Old Faithful Geyser

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS60

Discover Solano Fall 2014: The Sonoma Raceway

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS60

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Hot Air Ballooning

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS60

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Robert Louis Stevenson Park

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS60

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Sonoma Train Town

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS60

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Vintage Aircraft Company

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS60

Discover Solano Fall 2014: Casinos

By Susan Hiland | From Page: DIS60