Television auctioneer Walt Cade made an appearance in Sherman to hold a storage unit auction Thursday afternoon. Cade gained national recognition as the primary auctioneer on the A&E Network series “Storage Wars: Texas.”
Cade stopped in Sherman at the A-American Self Storage location on Frisco Road in Sherman for an event that was originally slated to have 17 storage units up for bid, but ultimately only three were a part of the auction.
“Apparently, we didn’t sneak into town,” Cade said. “Word got out we were here to sell people’s stuff and we went from 17 to three today.”
“Storage Wars: Texas” premiered in 2011 and ran through 2014 as the first spinoff to the original “Storage Wars.” The show follows a series of different buyers who bid on storage units where rent has not been paid. The show then follows the buyers as they sort through the items they have just purchased in search of valuables, oddities and collectibles.
Cade said he has been in the storage auction business for about 10 years and has seen many unique items, ranging from classic cars to name-brand clothing auctioned off. Later this week, Cade said he will be conducting an auction where carnival rides will be up for bid.
“The best thing we’ve had was two coffins — an adult coffin and a baby coffin,” he said. “It turns out they were stage props from a band.”
In another case, Cade said he auctioned off a unit for cheap that only appeared to contain garbage bags and a broom. Upon looking in the bags, the buyer found more than $600 worth of clothing with the tags still on them.
Among the buyers at Cade’s auction was Cynthia Knabe, who said she has bought hundreds of units over the years. Knabe purchased a narrow unit that contained a mish-mash of items ranging from personal clothes to a small refrigerator and a microwave.
“I need the fridge myself and I hope it works,” she said. “You never know.”
Knabe said the more cluttered a unit looks, the better it typically is in her experience. As an example, she pointed out a purse that contained a stack of gift cards. Each might have only a few dollars on them, but occasionally she has found more. Meanwhile, the purse also had a sheathed pocket knife that had some value, she said.
The highest-value item she has found at an auction was nearly $8,000 worth of bandages and medical supplies. On the odder side, Knabe said she has also found a vial of what appeared to be human blood.
“How did a person even get that,” she said.
Cade concurred with Knabe, noting that cluttered units usually come from the renter going through the unit for specific items, knowing it will soon be up for auction. In the rush, many times things are left behind.
“People like to explore and dig through other people’s stuff,” he said. “People like to look for valuable items.”