Sunday, January 25, 2015
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

Solano GOP welcomes address from King niece

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Nursing students take next step in higher education

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

Friend seeks justice for 1982 Vacaville homicide victim

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Scientists think Earth doomed: I disagree

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Biggest Little Car Show returns for 31st year

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Solano Safety Net Summit set in Fairfield downtown

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Wine, chocolate pairing comes to downtown Benicia

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Local gas prices dip below $2 a gallon

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Crews respond to residential fire

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Be heart smart all year long

By Gerald Bourne, MD | From Page: C4

 
Kindergarten Readiness Roundup enlightens parents

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Weather for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
CHP seeks witnesses to I-80 crash

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5

Saudi monarchy transition a real economic concern

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
City seeks input on downtown plan

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7

Privatized housing tenants to feel BAH pinch

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Jan. 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Airman with Fairfield tie completes training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: Jan. 22, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
.

US / World

Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
It’s a hoot hanging out with owls at this Tokyo cafe

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

Avian flu confirmed in commercial turkey flock in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Boy, 13, arrested in fatal stabbing near Los Angeles school

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Abortion opponents express renewed hope at SF rally

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
School: Sea otter conceived in wild is 1st born in captivity

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Man searching by plane finds body of missing son off Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Kia recalling nearly 87,000 Fortes because of fire risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Elon Musk’s SpaceX drops lawsuit against Air Force

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California’s public-worker payroll increased post-recession

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Police: Man shot his family, killing 3, then killed himself

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Company seeks rights to names of iconic Grand Canyon lodges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
1st attempt to lift fuselage of crashed AirAsia plane fails

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Tens of thousands protest after president resigns in Yemen

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Thousands march against socialist president in Venezuela

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Expert says King Tut mask can be restored after epoxy used

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Obama to cut short India trip to pay call on Saudi Arabia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

 
Plea for return of stolen statue

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Not all police are bad

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 25, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Here’s the case for improved downtown

By Gary Walker | From Page: A8

Sound off for Jan. 25, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 25, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

The gift of a new beginning

By Dalia Adams | From Page: C3

 
Mennonite group to build houses in tornado-damaged town

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Yearbooks bring Jewish, Catholic groups together

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscope Jan. 25, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

My dad can’t get over the bad first impression of my boyfriend

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Mariel Hemingway working on memoir and young adult novel

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Jonathan Franzen to appear at BookExpo America

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

25 years of trying to get it right

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sharapova, Bouchard into quarterfinals at Australian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

2 Williams sisters, 2 Madisons into 4th round at Aussie Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Hall of Famer Ernie Banks mourned in sports world and beyond

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Thompson’s record 3rd quarter leads Warriors past Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Belichick on deflated balls: ‘We try to do everything right’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s surgically repaired hip on mend

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Buckeyes celebrate their title at Ohio Stadium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Carroll, Belichick excelled after failing the first time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Luck-led Team Carter vs. Romo-lead Team Irvin in Pro Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP Explains: The Pro Bowl, unlike any other All-Star game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Abdullah leads North to 34-13 win over South in Senior Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

As Brady, Gronk know, pre-Super Bowl injury talk always big

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Interview: Selig says MLB could expand internationally

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Could Super Bowl be Lynch’s finale in Seattle?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sherman, Seahawks take the trash-talk lead over Patriots

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Ashley Wagner wins 3rd US title with record-setting scores

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Weber’s 108.5-mph blast gives him hardest shot at NHL skills

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Jimenez, Mediate share lead in Champions Tour opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Grace wins Qatar Masters by 1 stroke

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Matt Kuchar stumbles in, gives away Humana Challenge lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
For streaking Atlanta Hawks, it’s all about the balance

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Upstart wins $400,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Mischief Clem wins California Cup Derby in photo finish

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

World Cup of Hockey tournament set for 2016

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Hometown report: Bowling

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

Sports on TV for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 25, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

Anheuser-Busch to buy craft beer company

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Booking a trip to the ER on your smartphone? It’s a breeze

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Higher standard deduction, other breaks for older taxpayers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Tiny Cokes: Less guilt means more money for makers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Recalls this week: cleaners, fitness machines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
First Look: Apple’s HomeKit could help smarten up your home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

.

Obituaries

Don Johnson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Thomas Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Sheila Margery (Smith) Luxenberg

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics