Self storage facilities have been in the spotlight recently thanks to the craze started by the A&E series "Storage Wars." The popular program follows a group of people who bid on the contents of storage units whose owners have defaulted.
Many self storage facilities sell units and their contents in order to recoup losses once the owner stops paying the storage rates. Before the show hits the airwaves, it was a somewhat small group of people who bid on these units. In most cases, the bidder only gets a glimpse of what's inside the unit and has to offer their best guess for what's inside. Sometimes there's valuable items, while other times it's mostly junk.
As the show has gotten more popular – nearly 5 million tuned in for the third season premiere, according to Broadcasting & Cable – the number of people bidding on these units has grown in popularity as well. Now, people hoping to score hidden treasures make storage unit auctions a lively affair.
"That has changed a lot of the auction participation," one storage unit owner told The Associated Press. "In the past, you may have three or four people show up for an auction, now there could be 40 or 50."
Jiffy Self Storage, a leader in Toronto storage solutions, is currently running a contest on their website for a free iPad 3. Visitors to the site simply need to match a few Canadian landmarks and they'll be entered to win the iPad or one of several other prizes.