In February, I got to spend a morning down in Miami hanging out with Allen Haff and Ton Jones of Spike TV's Auction Hunters, during filming of the second season of the reality show, which debuts tonight at 10 p.m.
The pair make a living bidding on and selling the contents of abandoned storage units that go up for auction. There are 50,000 abandoned storage units in America holding about $1 billion worth of goods, according to the show's press materials. There are loads of people who go to these auctions. On this Thursday morning in Miami, there were about 30 people -- mostly men -- waiting to bid on three rooms.
Haff and Jones get really excited about their finds and enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Over the years, Haff and Jones said they have scored lots of money; stacks of cash in safes, $2,000 in old coins and bills stashed inside of books. "After we discovered that, we check every book now," said Haff. They were giving away the books when they discovered there were bills stashed inside nearly every one of them in the abandoned unit.
What's the weirdest thing they ever found?
"Human remains," says Haff. "Part of our job is 'CSI: Miami.' We do some forensics," Haff said. When they discovered the bones, they immediately called authorities and their storage room turned into a crime scene.
The video above was shot at Extra Storage Space on Coral Way in Miami. The pair won the auction of room #7058 for $350 and it was packed with ladders, paints, tools and construction equipment. They pulled out a circular saw worth about $100, a nail gun, Milwaukee Hammer Drill in the box (this excited Ton quite a bit), a Husky Paint Sprayer, levels, extension cords. There also were clothes and assorted other household and personal items that made you wonder about who once owned them and what happened to him.
As Haff checked inside the drawers of the furniture stored in the back of the unit, he came across a 30 GB iPod, a negative HIV test, a letter from a parole officer, the remnants of a Meth kit and a Alcoholics Anonymous book.
"We find lots of drugs and paraphernalia," Jones said."We're unpacking the sad story of someone's life."
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