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Storage locker auction entices Thunder Bay 'gamblers'

The owners of a Thunder Bay storage locker business say next time, they may consider an online auction to clear out abandoned property.

Hundreds of Thunder Bay residents lined up to bid on abandoned items, with no close-up inspection

Auctioneer Alex Szczomak starts the bidding for the contents of abandoned storage lockers at an event held this week in Thunder Bay. (Amy Hadley/CBC)

The owners of a Thunder Bay storage locker business say next time, they may consider an online auction to clear out abandoned articles.

But the method they used this week seemed to work just fine.

Hundreds of people flocked to Superior Self Storage as the contents of abandoned lockers were auctioned in the style of a reality TV show. Bidders could peek into each storage unit from the doorway, but could not go inside.

Dana Dragicevic wanted to see how the concept would work in Thunder Bay. 

"We do enjoy going to auctions in general from time to time, so this was a different spin on a typical auction,” Dragicevic said. “We thought it would be fun."

A crowd of people gathered outside Superior Self Storage before the contents of abandoned lockers were auctioned in the style of a reality TV show. (Amy Hadley/CBC)

Organizers estimated 300 to 400 people attended the auction.

The owners of the storage compartment complex auctioned off 16 abandoned storage units as a way to clear out space, and raise the profile of their business.

But even they had no idea what was inside.

Taking a ‘risk’

Auctioneer Alex Szczomak said it can be a challenge to sell items that people have barely seen.

Buyers have to “be a bit of a gambler, just like buying a scratch ticket,” he said.

Many people said they came out to the event because they are fans of the show, and were intrigued by the storage wars concept.

Dragicevic and Mark Lucchese were among them. 

“We've been watching Storage Wars, the various versions of Storage Wars, for a long time,” Lucchese said. “It’s interesting to us. It's like a treasure hunt. And it's just who's willing to put the money down to take that risk."

Winning bidders have until Saturday to haul away their loot.

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