Reality TV and the Self Storage Industry

We’ve been writing a lot about the recent rash (ok, two) of reality shows who find their material at self-storage auctions.  Though these shows, Auction Hunters on SpikeTV and Storage Wars on A&E, are understandably generating a lot of buzz in the self storage industry, the question of whether or not they are good for business remains to be answered. There is a great post over at the Inside Self Storage blog that starts to address the issue by breaking down some of the particularly sensationalized aspects of the shows including, of course, some of the spectacular finds that the bidders end up uncovering in the California storage units that they bid on.  I don’t think there is any question that the shows will improve the business of storage auctions.  The way that the process is portrayed makes it seem like buying an abandoned storage unit is tantamount to winning the lottery.  However, I’m not sure that the shows will translate into more rentals for self storage.  After all, the emphasis is on the worst case scenario in storing your stuff — having it sold at auction!  If anything, that could scare people off from renting self storage.  Since both shows are fairly new, only time will tell what actual affect they have on the storage business, but Storage Wars reportedly drew 2 million viewers for its first two episodes, which is nothing to sneeze at.  But if you do end up sneezing, make sure no one thinks you’re placing a bid…

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