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story.lead_photo.caption Gerry Tritz/News Tribune From left, Brett Lambert and Jordan Toebben, both of Jefferson City, haul off contents of a storage unit they purchased at a Sunday auction at a Storage Wars & Personal Property Auction held by Gratz Real Estate Auctioning. Behind them is Toebben's fiancee, Elizabeth Dement with their baby, Charlotte, in the stroller. Photo by Gerry Tritz / Fulton Sun.

It was a scene similar to an episode of the TV show "Storage Wars" on Sunday morning just outside of Jefferson City.

Bidders came from as far away as Illinois to bid on the contents of some eight storage sheds, gambling they would hit the junk jackpot.

Afterward, the winning bidders seemed happy with their new acquisitions, and two who were interviewed were convinced they could resell the items at a profit.

Donna Kolb and her husband were the winning bidders of one storage unit for $220, and they immediately sold something out of it to another bidder.

"For what we paid for it, we'll get our money out of it," Kolb said.

Gratz Realty Auctioning held the "Storage Wars" auction at A-Ok Mini Storage, 5207 Monticello Road, followed by another property auction across the street for much of the rest of the day.

Several dozen bidders stayed for the second part of the auction, which sold a variety of stuff, including a box of tape measures and other tools, two doors and a wheel barrow.

Justin Rains, owner of A-Ok Mini Storage, was happy with his profits for the day.

"The TV show is the best thing to happen to this business," he said, adding one group of buyers came from Illinois to bid on the storage shed contents.

Rains recently bought the business. Like many other self-storage unit owners, he auctioned the contents of storage units with overdue rent. He said he could auction the contents after the person renting it is in arrears for 45 days, but he waits until 90 days to give people more than enough time to avoid losing their possessions.

In Sunday's auction, bidders had five minutes to peer inside the storage units, but couldn't go into the units to touch or get a better view any of the contents. Then the bidding began, with prospective buyers able to see some of the contents while having to guess the value of unseen items.

Bidding was as high as $500 for contents of a single unit.

Jordan Toebben and his fiancee, Elizabeth Dement, paid $400 for the contents of one unit, and Toebben was quickly convinced he could double that in resale. The contents included books, bicycles, beds, furniture and various other things.

Kolb said attending "Storage Wars" type events is a fun activity for her and her husband, who both enjoy watching the "Storage Wars" television show. She said they've traveled to St. Louis, Kansas City, even Wisconsin and Texas to bid on units.

She previously has sold furniture to a Columbia man who sold the items at auction. She often sells smaller items on eBay or Craigslist and burns junk items that can't be resold. She's scored collectibles such as coin collections, china, handmade quilts and other items.

The contents she bought Sunday included hunting and bow and arrow equipment, as well as children's riding toys.

"We've had really good luck," she said.

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