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New TV Show — Auction Hunters

By November 8, 2010

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Premiering Tuesday night is yet another television show for (pick one) collectors, junk dealers, pickers or treasure hunters. The premise of the show is similar to a treasure hunt, Allen Haff and Ton Jones go to storage unit auctions. Basically sight unseen (except for a look from the doorway), they bid on the storage unit contents. Many times they can see some of the stuff but not inside the hidden boxes, plastic wrapped objects, etc. It's all in what they can see and how much of a chance they want to take.

Since I had a chance to preview an early episode, I can safely say that if you love to take chances, if you're one of those folks who always bought a grab bag as a kid, or would always take Door 2 instead of cash in hand, this is the show for you.

The two stars are engaging and personable. One is squeaky clean-cut and to balance him out, a tattoo adorned, little bit on the wild side, partner. I do wish they didn't drive around in a big white truck! The format of visiting "experts" in the field to find out what something is worth or what it is, is a little too familiar from other television shows, but in this case you know what they actually paid for the items and know what they actually sell it for. And although I know haggling is a part of the business, I don't care for watching it when at times it might take advantage of others. The only haggling done here is between the guys and dealers that are interested in buying the stuff.

Auction Hunters premieres on Spike TV, Tuesday 10PM Eastern, 9 PM Central. The show is an eight episode series, so if you like it, be sure to spread the word!

Find out more on Spike TV

Since I was always one of those folks who wanted to know what was in the mystery box or would always take the unknown instead of the bird-in-hand, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I'll definitely watch the rest of the episodes. I have a few more comments, but would like to hear from others first to see if my take was wrong or right on. Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!


November 10, 2010 at 10:12 am
(1) Brian Parkinson says:

I watched both episodes and could relate because we participated in a storage unit auction this past year.

But was it really necessary to burn up everything in the safe to get to the gun? Was a “Huh?!” moment for me. It’s very similar to American Pickers, except these blokes are hunting in storage units instead of barns and out buildings.

I don’t watch AP anymore because it’s repetitive and doesn’t, at least for me, have a satisfying ending. A show I prefer is “Cash in the Attic” because you get the hunting, information about the items, and you get to see them sell at auction.

November 10, 2010 at 11:26 am
(2) Shirley Corl says:

My husband and I watched the show . We found it very interesting as they do not cell storage units as a whole around our area. I feel the show is worth watching. I wonder if they ever go to airport auction on the luggage left behind.

November 15, 2010 at 2:10 pm
(3) Blair M. says:

The Real Story Behind “AUCTION HUNTERS”-Curtain UP!
I own and operate a buying & selling business that mainly deals in storage unit auctions. We’ve been at it for over 8 years. I can tell you without a single doubt in my mind that the “Treasures” they “Find” in the units portrayed on this show are plabted there. The Gun, The Lionel Train set from the $1 unit, the silver coins from the serviceman’s backpack. All of the small traesures. They do this for dramatic effect. You will not attend auctions in which you repeatedly find collectibles and turn of the century treasures. What you do find is a lot of trash. Most people who default on their units Cherry Pick them before they do it. You must also take into account the employees who rutinely LOOT the units while they’re managing the property the entire month before they sell. They are low income individuals who are left on the locations and trusted to cut the locks themselves and seal the up before sale. The only way my business has survived is through specializing in household goods and pesuing other avenues. You CAN NOT solely depend on Storage Unit Auctions to make money. You absolutley WILL LOSE!
I also did some research on Allen Haff and Ton Jones, (The Self-Proclamed “BEST IN THE BUSINESS.) They Are actors from other “reality shows.” That’s not ot say that Allan isn’t knowledgeable. He is but this is SPIKE TV’s attempt to throw together a Reality show in an attempt to steal some of the History Channel’s audience. At Least the H channel’s show’s are authentic. These guys are actors. A reality show with actors is synthetic in my book. Let me know what YOU think, -Blair

May 31, 2011 at 9:47 pm
(4) MARTIN says:

Thanks Blair, that is exactly what I thought and I am not in the business or ever been near a storage unit.

November 16, 2010 at 10:47 pm
(5) Jamie says:

My husband and I watched the show and enjoyed it. We own storage units and it looked to me they weren’t very respectfull to the units themselves. Throwing items and letting them hit walls and doors can cause damage. Other than that we liked it!

November 17, 2010 at 12:15 am
(6) storage war guy says:

BLAIR – you are wrong – in FACT it was MY unit they found!!! and those were my things – the trains!! my wife let it go (if was hers in a divorce). HA for her. the trains were cool. they made them cooler with paint. that show is cool. and it was cool seeing my things that my wife never got HAAAAA

November 21, 2010 at 9:35 pm
(7) bonnie maples says:

always like a goodhunt,came home with lithogtaghs for 15 cents and found that they were worth a great d3eal more. also many other Goodies other people pass by. So when I viewed this show , plan to make time towatch the rest. A good hunt or auction is alwats worth viewing.

November 23, 2010 at 11:01 pm
(8) Kevin says:

I agree with Blair. I’ve been going Auctions for over 20 yrs. You occasionaly find a hidden jewel. But its extremely Rare. I have rarely seen guns in a storage auction. This show portrays it as common. What you usually find is all the crap You really don;t need that gets sorted out while moving.

April 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm
(9) joe says:


November 23, 2010 at 11:46 pm
(10) dave says:

the guy claiming the unit was his is surely a fool playing games

December 1, 2010 at 12:12 pm
(11) Webster says:

I strongly suspect it is Scripted and FAKED!

I watched for the second time the Nov 30th show where these two PHONIES find a $8k Schwinn vintage bicycle in one locker and then in another cheap buy, a ’79 Fender Strat Custom Color and Blues deVille Fender Amp!! GIVE ME A BREAK! Would ANYONE abandon a storage locker with those highly collectablles in them?? Unless the owner was a Fence or the Thief and now in jail, maybe!

I am a Vintage Guitar/Amp collector, dealer and also renting to the movie/music video studio industry for some 20+ years. First I k nnow that Norm of Norms Vitage Guitar is the biggest “shark” in the business … he’d ripoff his own mother to under pay for a classic valuable axe or amp. That “custom color” 79 Strat in 99.9% condition is going for $4k to $6k on the market (yeah, late ’70′s strats are no ’60′s collectables) but his offer of $2.1k was a joke and a rip-off, espwecially since that near mint ’90′s Blue deVille Amp was worth $300 – $400 on the market. Either these two show guys are MORONS for not researching the value (simple as Google ’79 Strat Custom Color) or this was all STAGED! I think that Strat and Amp WERE PLANTED!! I also think the Vintage Bike was a plant too. I suspect that Norm’s and the Vintage Bike dealer loaned those finds for the publicity!

This whole show has the SMELL OF FAKED and scripted! Both these guys are obviously actors.

December 1, 2010 at 12:28 pm
(12) imjussayin says:

I don’t know if the show is plotted or real but i like it and will watch it again. all i do know is a couple of years ago we sent $100 on a $130 bill on our storage unit and they auctioned our things off for $30 owed. inside was $5,000 worth of brand new furniture still in plastic never even sat on comp. worth $2,000 and every baby pic we ever took of our 5 kids among lots of other things.. so whoever got this unit made out pretty good. we contacted the storage place to see if we could at least retrieve the photo’s but the manager conveniently didnt work there anymore. so maybe they do go through your things before they have auctions.

October 12, 2011 at 9:04 pm
(13) Timeo says:

Well a computer in a storage unit is actually not ever gonna be worth 2k and the photos of your kids are not even worth the paper their printed on to anyone but you. 5k worth of furniture never used in a storage building sounds like BS number one and number two it still counts as used. the reality is if they sold everything you mentioned they probably got $500 tops. People don’t pay top dollar for furniture that smells like a storage shed
Nor do they pay your retail price. The reality is people always think their stuff is more valuable than it really is but if it was so valuable you would have paid the $30 or not put it into storage in the first place.

December 1, 2010 at 1:31 pm
(14) Really? says:

I am with the people who aren’t buying that this is real. How lucky can 2 guys get? I work at a storage unit facility and every unit we have ever auctioned has had nothing but junk. We do not enjoy selling these units but if you can’t pay the bill then we have to do something with it. There is a ton of “due diligence” in auctioning units. We ask the buyer to return personal belongs and we hold on to them. We have pictures, paystubs, tax returns – it is crazy! To date no one has asked for their personal items.
The show is entertaining but not believable as far as the “treasures” they are finding.
AND Allen Haff use to be on Clean House with Nicey Nash; he was the yard sale guy and would let people know if their stuff was authentic or just crap.
Still if you enjoy it, watch it. Just don’t think that this is an easy living.

December 5, 2010 at 11:09 am
(15) charlie says:

If u watch the episode where they buy the 1971 GMC truck–at the end when the guy comes to buy it they open up the hood and u can clearly see there is NO UPPER RADIATOR HOSE on the motor and the guy starts it up and drives away. NEVER would happen antifreeze would be everywhere. Show wont last.

December 8, 2010 at 1:05 am
(16) gargoyle says:

You people are so stupid. They obviously film like a million of these and only show the ones that are interesting.

Or it is fake.

But I think some parts are scripted for the shows but i really do think the auctions and stuff that happens is real.

December 26, 2010 at 11:09 am
(17) joe says:

the show is totaly fake how come they always sell there stuff at the highest price and that truck interior wasnt done the bed of the truck wasnt painted nobody would pay that much for that piece of crap they always seem to find a bUyer right away and get the hightest price all these reality shows are FAKE

January 5, 2011 at 1:39 am
(18) Rip says:

The show is fake, just like American Pickers, Pawn Stars, and all the rest. Anything on Earth that a camera can be attached to is presented as fact anymore and as long as a certain percentage of viewers buy into this crap they’re happy.

Look at AP. They cut the lock off of a building that no one had entered for over 15 years and buy a classic 67 Triumph Bonny motorcycle.
They roll the bike out, host sits on it for a minute, starts it first kick, and rides it off. Like that will ever happen and anyone who knows anything about motorcycles knows that the odds of a brand new Triumph starting on the first kick are pretty slim, much less one that sat for 15 years plus.
Apparently that battery held up pretty well along with the Amal carburetors I’d say…. or not.

May 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm
(19) BigDog says:

Uhm . . . you don’t have a battery if you kick start a bike.

January 19, 2011 at 3:27 am
(20) Kevin in Seattle says:

After the show appear and the other new one “Storage Wars”, I have attended a few auctions in the Seattle area. It has been an interesting experience but I doubt if I have the time or energy to do it full time. I chatted with one buyer and since those shows first appeared, the turnout for “buyers” as gone from 5-10 people to about 100 people per auction site. I doubt you’ll be able to find a “great” deal now that everyone is attending the auctions.

February 6, 2011 at 1:51 am
(21) yep says:

I agree these are nothing but entertainment, If you are buying these units and finding what they find, would you show everyone else how to do it? these guys would have a thousand people now showing up at the auction. ya I would leave a mint cond. Coke machine behind. want to get rich? start a reality show about you sitting around the house laughing at all the stupid shows on the idiot box, or you sell something you have saved all your life thinking its worth something, this chair is worth $500 I’ll give you $10 for it.
also there are no ghost UFO or monsters out there at least these type of shows are real

February 14, 2011 at 9:23 pm
(22) robert Cole says:

Can’t believe their so ignorant to burn thru a safe with a plasma cutter and burn’t up any paper that was in it. What are these guys thinking?

February 15, 2011 at 11:59 am
(23) Joe says:

How many tattoes does Ton Jones have on his body?

March 5, 2011 at 9:19 am
(24) Jen says:

Ton has a ton of tattoos on his body!!He is an actor that is from Lancaster Ca who ran or runs a reptile rescue and in his spare time hangs out at Psycho City tattoos in Lancaster getting tats.

February 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm
(25) Shelly says:

I do this for a living and let me tell you, THERE IS NO MILLION DOLLAR UNITS OUT THERE!! I make a decent living, but I make the same money as if I worked out in the real world too. I do it because it suits my needs. Since these wacked out shows have aired, my business has went down hill, and it makes it hard for us “little people” to actually turn a buck. I have always broke even or came out a little ahead, but never will I make it rich! Also, most people don’t realize the back breaking work this takes. I encourage people who think they may be the next Donald Trump from this to really save their hard earned money, and don’t gamble it away!

February 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm
(26) cazpony says:

If you believe that these show aren’t staged, get a grip. I talked to an owner of a storage unit lot, they pilfer the units long before the auctions are held. Once the renters stop paying, in my state, the unit owners must inventory the unit and send a copy of inventory to the renters, boxes must be opened and inventoried, the only thing that doesn’t inventoried are items sealed (tape on a box doesn’t constitute sealed) so they know what is in there. Once the renter refuses to responds to the notice of default, the unit owner goes to court and get a lien place on the property. Auction must be held within 14 days. Selling price of unit, over and above amount owed must be deposited in an interest bearing account and renter reimbursed.

If you watch these shows, you’ll alway see the camera at the back of the unit, aimed right at that million dollar item at the same time the picker find it, oh come on now.

February 19, 2011 at 10:42 pm
(27) karen says:

This show is right up there with Operation Repo. Sooo obviously staged, bad, bad acting.

I love American Pickers and Pawn Stars. I know a few items may be planted, but I like the characters and the stories told.

February 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm
(28) Norzoloco says:

Blair is right… these guys are actors… I thought it was kind of funny when I saw that Ton Jones guy driving a tow truck on that Repo show.. which is another “Real life” show that is totally un believable and so obviously faked. I dont know why but these fake shows being sold as “reality” really pisses me off. Its obvious that Spike saw the History Channel’s success with Pawn stars and American Pickers and decided to cash in.

Anyone who watches this show and believes it must be stupid. True.. its on TV.. but still.. we live in the real world… and the chances of making thousands of dollars every day buying abandoned storage units is ridiculous. Think about it… the only reason anyone would default on their storage unit payment is because they don’t need the worthless crap they left in there to begin with. maybe once every thousand someone will leave something worth decent money in there.. but Come On!!! get real people! (no pun intended… Spike…)
Also… look at the two stars of the show. do you know anyone who acts like that? I dont… FAKE!! ACTORS!! BOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

April 5, 2011 at 8:28 pm
(29) Mike says:

I think the show is fake. Interesting how these guys have expert knowledge of the various antique treasures that they regularly find. It seems scripted as well.

April 5, 2011 at 10:15 pm
(30) Rex says:

They throw a fit about every offer that is made for their stuff. Just once I would like to see them accept an offer without all the drama, or see the buyer tell them to take it or hit the road. They always get what they want, and we all know that just isn’t real.

April 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm
(31) AlabasterChambers says:

Having attended numerous antique auctions and estate sales over the years, I’ve found it difficult enough to find a good deal when I can examine the merchandise before purchasing it, much less buying merchandise sight unseen that is mainly one gem after another, and immediately getting a buyer to hand me 10 times what I paid. Ah, to dream! So how is it these two Auction Hunters always find so many valuable things of interest mainly to other guys their own age? They must have ESP to hone in on so many ATVs, slot machines, guns, arcade games, tools, mint vintage Nikes, antique victrolas all in working order – yet none of the usual things people store such as mattresses, clothes, cassette tapes, books, plastic toys, moldering food, pots and pans – such luck! The Auction Hunters don’t find a plain old doll: they find $1,000 worth of Barbies still in their original packages. Not a Coke tin pitted with rust but a perfect old Coke vending machine with all its original working parts with bottled Coke in a size that is no longer available. How could these two drive what they refer to as “the milk truck” with its uncomfortable workaday seats cross country, 2,000+ miles from LA to Miami – only to enjoy the same incredible luck of finding yet more slot machines, motorized land/sea vehicles and rare NASA space stuff and a quaint full-size hand-painted wooden horse too. Always, no matter where they are, they find ready buyers who, despite their vast experience, buckle under when faced with the withering negotiating skills of the dynamic duo. Fact or fiction? Too good to be true?

April 28, 2011 at 2:39 am
(32) chris says:

This show ia absolutely is 100 percent rigged….these clowns are broke dicks ….they should get oscars for that reactions after they find vintage/jewels/gold etc….how stupid do they think the public is ? ……f this show!!!!!!!!!!!

May 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm
(33) ernie says:

Stopped watching long ago…real phony…..always finding a gem….scripted for sure

July 17, 2011 at 10:24 pm
(34) Dan B says:

Watched the show for the very first time tonight. The show has a disclaimer at the beginning that states they only show the most profitable units, but with the two guys being actors from other reality shows, it really takes away their credibility. I’ll stick to Pickers and Pawn Stars.

July 18, 2011 at 9:49 am
(35) Cat says:

I watch the show and I completely understand people that say that it is fake and scripted. On the other hand you have to understand that these guys went through hundreds and hundreds of units before landing on the few hidden gems that they found. Also, it may look fake because they always get amazing deals and sell their things for great profit but we don’t see the parts where they do all the paper work, the research and go around from place to place trying to find the right professional that would pay big money for their items. If we saw the footage where they get refused or when Allen and Ton ask for too much money to make a sell, the show would be filled with failures and eventually be boring. “Auction Hunters” show the very best parts of their hunts, from the awesome finds to the amazing deals to make it a show interesting for people to watch. If there was a reality show about your life, they wouldnt show the part where you brush your teeth or when you sip coffee at your desk, they’d show the unusual and best parts (the great exceptions). Thats what makes shows interesting, which doesnt mean its necessarily fake or scripted.

July 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm
(36) collectibles says:

I completely agree and that’s a great way of explaining it. And someone watching me brush my teeth.. it would be quite a show! :)

August 1, 2011 at 8:21 am
(37) silent says:

No, the show is totally, completely faked.
See here, where a guy named Billy Edwards was paid to put his RC jet into the storage place, then pretend to buy it from them…
Fake, as in…completely fake. As in not true.
The did not go through “hundreds and hundreds of auctions to find the few hidden gems…”
They just plant what they want in there, the whole thing is just entertainment.
Sorry. Proven.

November 2, 2011 at 12:15 am
(38) mmm says:


July 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm
(39) scott says:

Of course it’s not fake. I found the original cross Jesus was nailed to behind a seamen stained couchin one of the lockers I bought. Also found a Nazi tank behind a lamp in another locker. Doubled my money when it actually fired at a synagogue.

November 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm
(40) Simone says:

We watched the show a few times and my husband and I laugh when they say “something is worth $1,000. and this is worth at least $500 and they end up saying we made a profit!! first of all the items are NOT sold who is going to pay $500 for an old item?? So really until they could sell it the profit isn’t made!!!
I say they are garbage hunters… As if in ALL the episodes Something is worth thousand and thousand of dollars..If I had a unit somewhere knowing I had something worth thousands you can bet ya I’d take out the valuables first and leave the garbage there… with all the rats and mice droppings ewwwwwwwww.

March 18, 2012 at 5:05 pm
(41) KayWal1981 says:

Yeah i have to agree its fake . Did anyone see that crappy paint job they did on that 71 GMC you could see Yellow around the windshield and Yellow around the inside box of the truck and plus there was over spray all over the emblems what a crap job . I also saw Ton Jones on that stupid show called Ink Masters he was judging art on them OK really this guy is a pro judge of art Nah i don’t think so. I mean i like Ton hes cool but he’s not a pro on everything plus Ink Masters is such a joke all them artists are great just another dumb show, But how many show’s is Ton going to be on as a Expert in everything lol I still watch the show AH but sitll it bothers me I have to agree with Blair lots cause there is not much nice stuff in S.U much maybe sometimes you find something great but i do know if i was going to default on my Unit i would go in ahead of time to get out my Fender Stratocaster and amp LOL come on no one in there right mind would leave that baby .. Idk maybe i am wrong but but come on in less that guy could not get there for the world lost his car and everything but i would find a way get it. just my thoughts and opinions :) God Bless

April 22, 2012 at 8:28 pm
(42) Ck says:

When are they going to find Newman’s mail Bags????

June 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm
(43) Laura says:

I’m sure some of the show is partially scripted, how else do they have the footage of Allen and Ton’s comments in the middle of the actual auction. But so what? Are you entertained by the show or not? If you aren’t entertained than don’t watch it. Compared against other “reality” shows featuring storage auctions or negotiating in pawn shops or old barns over old items, this show has some interesting facts and the hosts are appealing. Some main characters on other shows are truly nastly. I would rather watch Allen and Ton’s “acting” than “real life” bidders fist fight or siblings squabble.

I also agree with Cat’s comments and analogies.

April 2, 2013 at 12:23 am
(44) scott says:

This show is such a POS, every show these two guys go out and purchase storage units for a low price and every show they find big money items and make thousands. This is such BS, this tells me that every show is staged and that the storage units are filled by the show. These two idiots go to sell something and when the potential buyer gives them a offer, they both look at each other and shake their heads and say no then give a higher amount, every time the potential buyer says ok, I’ll give you that. This is got to be the fakest show on tv and needs to be taken off the air indefinatelly.

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