Don Bauder 7:35 p.m., June 19
Auction Hunters Prowling For Goods in San Diego
Allen Haff rummages through the back of a black Nissan SUV outside a Jamba Juice in Hillcrest. Haff, one-half of the antique hunting duo on reality-television show, "Auction Hunters," pulls out a box of goods that he and his fellow-hunter, Ton Jones, purchased while foraging in abandoned storage-units in San Diego.
Jones, a large man with tattoos covering his head and thick arms, holds a vintage leather gun-holster, which he says is worth around $60 dollars.
The back of the SUV and a cargo van held all of the new goods that Jones and Haff found while storage-hunting in San Diego. Among the goods the reality-television show stars found at the ten San Diego auctions; a Star Wars board game, an antique brass fire-extinguisher, a vintage Argus .35 millimeter camera, police riot-shield, and a cuckoo clock, just to name a few.
Today's auction, at the Midtown Mini-San Diego Storage facility, didn't turn out so good. Just minutes before the auction was set to start, the auctioneer notified the two that they would not be allowed in. It happens on occasion but they say it won't deter them coming back to San Diego for future auctions.
"I love coming here," says Jones who has relatives from San Diego. "But [auction hunting] can be pretty territorial in San Diego. People like their treasures and they don't want to let any outsiders have them."
There's a reason for the territorial nature, says Haff. "Here in San Diego you have an excellent resale community. Thanks to the military much of this stuff comes from all over the globe. We bought a unit that we thought was a soldier's unit, well it turned out it was a soldier from World War II."
As for how they sense the right unit to bid on, Haff says he knows by the scent. "You know that smell when you go to grandma's house? You never forget that smell. He and I buy that smell all day long."