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7 Things You Need To Know About Auctions in America
Storage Hunters is a reality show about people that bid on abandoned storage bins around the USA. The locations differ from episode to episode, sometimes being in the desert, others in the city and occasionally in the docks. What I have learned from these shows is as follows:
1) There is only one auctioneer in the whole of America
It is a bald man called Sean. He waves his arms around and goes "Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" a lot. He wears a 'Staff' T-shirt but, seeing as he flogs stuff at a different location on every show, must be hired at a lot of places simultaneously. He fist-bumps people and thinks of looky-likey type nicknames for the unnamed, non-bidding crowd members in an entirely, 100% genuine, non-scripted way. Sean is my hero.
2) There are only five people who are permitted to bid on auctions in America
They are a husband and wife team with all the personality of a spit- drenched rag, a black guy that shouts "Money!" a lot, a man with a big beard, a guy with big sideburns and some old redneck guy. They all hate each other for no discernible reason. Other people are allowed to watch, but they can neither bid on nor win anything.
3) Winning auctions in America makes people angry
Whenever anyone stops bidding, someone else wins. The losers then get angry at the winners even though they could have kept bidding and won themselves. I don't understand why they feel the need to do this, but at least I now feel suitably prepared for an auction situation in the future.
4) There is only one person in America who is qualified enough to snip through a padlock with some bolt cutters
His name is Green Mile and he hangs around with Sean. He must be a hugely skilled professional or why else would the producers pay for him to travel the country just to perform one menial task? Green Mile is my hero.
5) Every storage bin in America is required by law to contain a load of seemingly worthless junk, with one piece of incredibly valuable loot hidden somewhere at the back.
Think it's all dog food? Wrong - there is a diamond-encrusted collar in a tiny box under a bag of kibbles. Think it's all cuddly toys? No - you'll find an Electric Supercar in there somewhere if you look hard enough. I like this rule. It makes every auction ultimately pay off.
6) In America, no matter where you are in the Country, it is possible to somehow instantaneously summon up an expert in anything you can find in a random box-full of crap.
"Hey, look! I've bought an old propeller! I know a guy who can tell me everything there is to know about this. I'll call him now, and he'll be here immediately. Even though I'm from Boston and am currently in Palm Springs". That kind of thing.
7) People who buy stuff at clearance auctions are qualified to value anything off the top of their heads
Bidder: "What is it?"
Sean the Auctioneer: "It's an old door"
Bidder: "This is worth seven hundred bucks!"
Note - 3 seconds earlier he didn't even know what it was. Now he can value it to the dollar. It's like auction magic!
Well, there you go - the 7 rules to American auctions.
Trust me: Reality TV doesn't get much more reality-er than this.
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