Carla Harris, left, entices the crowd as she auctions off storage units.

Emporia Storage’s recent auction on sold 28 storage units and brought out hungry hunters.

Carla Harris, contract auctioneer and director of auction, said people participating in storage auctions enjoy it. Most people who participate are buyers and sellers, but some are treasure hunters. 

“If you like a bargain and you like the thrill of the hunt then the storage auction is for you,” Harris said. 

Free registration for the auction started at 9 a.m. When the event began at 10 a.m., the units opened and people looked inside for a few minutes. The event ended when the last storage unit sold.

“As I always say, you can’t reach, touch, squeeze, pull, tug or anything like that,” Harris said.

Harris started the bidding anywhere from $5 to $500 depending on the unit’s items. Bidding continued until the unit sold. 

To abide by COVID-19 regulations, people attending the auction wore masks and filed by units in a line while keeping appropriate distance. 

Sharon Ramsey, from Conway, North Carolina, said she has attended storage auctions for about 20 years. A friend tagged Ramsey in the auction’s Facebook event. 

“I said, three different locations is going to be some good stuff, and I hadn’t heard of it (storage auctions) in a long time since COVID, so it was worth it to come out,” Ramsey said. 

Harris’ excitement and personality made the event pleasurable. 

“When you meet nice people it makes it worth it,” Ramsey said. 

The storage auction started at Emporia Storage’s main office at 315 West Atlantic St., Emporia. Bidders travelled to 623 South Main St. across from 7-Eleven. The auction ended at East Atlantic St. across from Georgia-Pacific Corporation.

Storage auctions happen when storage unit renters do not pay their rent for a certain amount of time. The storage auction is an attempt to collect rent built up over time. The auction was cash only.