Home News Shipping company auctioning off military member’s household goods

Shipping company auctioning off military member’s household goods

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military moving boxes

UPDATE 5.3.17: I’ve spoken with the HQMC distribution management office at Henderson Hall — they’re investigating and will provide a response on May 4th.

UPDATE: 5.4.17: I just got off the phone with HQMC and they stated that the military is sending out an inspector from Norfolk onto the property. They also stated they have been in contact with the servicemember’s name listed on the photo below and that he is still active-duty, so the photos advertised were misleading. They’re looking into potential wrongdoing including false advertisements about the shipments to include punitive damages against the shipper and other parties involved. They will release an official message shortly. The company has currently pulled the boxes from being auctioned off.

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A storage company is getting ready to auction off “unclaimed” military household goods. 105 boxes to be exact. They’re sealed boxes which tells me they haven’t done much investigating to try to connect the household goods to the military member.

Gene Daniels AuctionWorse is that they’re trying to pawn off the items as containing possible “hidden treasures” because the military members were stationed overseas in places like Italy, Germany, Spain and Bahrain.

Unclaimed Shipments from Overseas…These Shipments are unclaimed household goods / personal property of military members who were staioned in locations such as Italy, Germany, Spain an Bahrain. Many Military members take advantage of their time stationed in these faraway places and purchase unique furniture pieces and decorative items handvrafted in these countries. HIDDEN TREASURES…The contents of thee shipments have not been seen and containers have been sealed since originally packed overseas. The shipment(s) you bid on may contain such items as antique furniture, china, crystal, artwork, TV’s and other electronics or possibly collectors’ items.

ON SITE Auction-Sat. May 6th at 9AM Bay Area Mover’s Inc. 1-Victory Ct. Portsmouth, VA 23702 Unclaimed Government/Military Appx 105 Storage Containers.
Container Doors will be removed minutes before bidding.
For More Info, Listing and Pictures Visit: GeneDanielsAuctions.com

This is absolutely ridiculous. Someone needs to do something to stop this — anyone know who to call or report this to?? Please use the hashtag #stealingfromfreedomfighters on your social media.

Additionally, someone noticed this name on one of the crates:

Moving pic

At a minimum, please join me in writing on their Facebook page and let them know this is unacceptable.

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Kristine Schellhaas usmclife.com founder military spouse speaker

Upcoming Book: 15 Years of War.

About the Author: Kristine Schellhaas founded USMC Life in 2009 as a way to help inspire, connect and educate Marine Corps families and has dedicated thousands of volunteer hours helping military families through five wartime deployments.

Her award-winning book, 15 Years of War, was released June 1, 2016.

 

 

 

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42 COMMENTS

  1. Why didn’t the post a list of names on their site and share on the news and have people look up their names. With the technology we have now theirs no excuse. Doing it by mail is the easy way out since people move every 2-3 years.

  2. There is more to this story…the company already responded and explained that these are unclaimed shipments from the 1990s. They have been in business since 1984. This story never made sense from the beginning. The company can’t advertise auctioning stolen military PCS crates because CID would show up and bust them. A decent journalist would have done some basic investigation.

    There is only one party that did disservice to military families and that is you, Kristine. When you (or your blog) published an inaccurate fear-mongering story that’s makes PCSing unecessarily more stressful.

    • We are letting Headquarters the Marine Corps do the investigating. Furthermore, if these were temporary goods that the military didn’t procure on behalf of the servicemembers, a different set of rules would apply. They made the public believe these were the goods from overseas move which would have been procured by the official government. If these are in fact temporary goods, they’re guilty of false advertising saying the items were from overseas shipments with possible “hidden treasures” … they would have in fact, brought this completely upon themselves. The company should have never used photos of boxes that weren’t the actual shipment (again, if that really turns out to be the truth). Never in the piece did they say they were stolen. The fact that the company has responded doesn’t tell me that what they’re saying rings true. I’ll wait to hear back from Headquarters Marine Corps.

      • How is it possible? This is an auction house so they have received these from moving companies. Does make me furious. Retired military & God knows we prayed every move our stuff would show up at the other end of a move.

          • So now that the truth and all the facts are our there are you going to apologize for inciting all of that. People bashing these 2 companies that did absolutely nothing wrong after you posted this “story” with links to their business FB page. Please make this right.

          • We didn’t incite anything. We asked a question. I know you’d like to place all this blame on USMC Life or Kristine, but all that was done was sharing the erroneous information YOU ALL posted. We questioned it — the FB posts by the auction company are conveniently deleted. Huh? Why would you do that? Because what you wrote incited the uproar. Take responsibility for your actions. You posted a picture you shouldn’t have. You posted shady advertising and then provided several different versions of the story in the comments as replies to the uproar you created on the FB page. We were one of the outlets to question. There were over a thousand shares of Auction Company’s FB post with people asking others to contact the company to provide more research into the issue and let you know this isn’t okay. We didn’t ask them to rate your business poorly, we asked them to contact you. Nice try. Why did you delete this post? Tired of people of having opinions that differ from yours? Maybe you should start identifying yourself as Gene Daniels Auction House.

            How about your latest post on May 5th that you also deleted? We didn’t direct any uproar to that post. You know the one… where you tried placing blame elsewhere and instead the masses came at you once again. We had nothing to do with that. Maybe you need to look at your horrible PR and advertising.

            Military officials even found fault with this, quoting from Military.com “Rice said the companies’ primary mistake was in the advertisement, including using photos of crates that were not to be a part of the sale.

            “They followed the correct procedures, however they made bad decisions in the way that they advertised their auction by using photographs that did not depict the actual items to be auctioned,” he said.”

    • from the 90s with a pick up date in 2017 and a delivery date in 2017. yup, looks like it’s from the 90s to me…

  3. I would do two things immediately… Call the local police and ask them to investigate. Selling items which are not yours is theft. Issue is they haven’t done it yet or at least we don’t think they have had prior sales, or they may have followed whatever process they feel is prescribed for contacting these servicemembers. Second I would call a lawyer in the area and ask them for an injunction to stop the sale. The court will probably want to know who is the harmed party or potentially harmed… It’s great that you have a name. Lawyers are expensive but maybe you can find one willing to do this at a reduced rate in return for some positive advertising or just out of patriotic duty.

  4. I saw on a Facebook post that The family for that specific crate was made aware. They had confirmation that their HHG is at a port on their way to them.

  5. This seems illegal to me! Someone needs to ask to see the bills of leading FOR EACH BOX! If it was shipped there will be one! You would have place of origin, shippers name, etc. Good luck!

  6. I just looked up a Jonathan Meisel and there is a Lt. Col (which matches what shows on the crate) in the Army, in Logistics. He promoted last year (April 2016). If I can find something that easily, just from a brief Google search, someone has got to be able to locate these crates’ owners, be able to notify them, etc. There are a lot of situations that could allow for abandoned crates, or unclaimed crates, but if the crate pictured is accurate, that looks like a very recent crate destined for Germany. I hope these crates find their owners.

  7. This story is so hard to believe. How in this world the government has been paying for HHG storage since 1992…service member has to send new updated orders to storage company so they can continue to store household goods at government expense…specially if service member is going from one overseas to another overseas…once service member returns to the states, they must claim their items to be delivered…

  8. Why is your link to the Facebook page of the Auctioneer and not the moving company? The Auctioneer isn’t the one who made the decision to sell. That’s like complaining to/about the realtor when a bank sells a foreclosed home.

  9. All, there is a massive misunderstanding going on regarding the items being auctioned off. First off, Jonathan Meisel is my brother and he is heading off to Germany next month. His HHG were picked up on 27 Apr. The photographer who was brought in to give people an idea of the boxes being auctioned mistakenly took a shot of his boxes. He has talked repeatedly to Bay Area Movers and all of his boxes were shipped out two days ago and he has the ship information. The photographer came in when his boxes were being prepared for shipment at the warehouse. Most of the items being auctioned off date back to the early 90s when Bay Area Movers was brought in to secure single soldiers barracks items as they deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield/Storm. After the soldier returned, many simply never coordinated to pick up their goods. Prior to sending these items to auction, they had to go through a process with the Joint Personal Property Shipping Office as well. At this point, Jonathan has received phone calls from CID, NCIS and a variety of other organizations. Please stop the madness. It is not what you think it is. Someone did not understand the context and an unfortunate picture has caused massive concerns and confusion across the military community. I am certain that he thanks you for your help.

    • Thanks for your response. If this is, in fact, the case, the company should have never stated the crates were from overseas shipments… all of this would have blown over.

  10. Maybe this is what happened to our 5 crates that went missing on a PCS from Maryland in 1993! I have wondered for 20 years who ended up with our belongings.

  11. Thank you, Kristine Schellhaas, for bringing attention to this situation. It looks like the auction has been cancelled. Both the auction company and the Bay Area Movers, Inc. have a slew of one star reviews, which I’m sure helped prompt the cancellation. Thank you for your support of the military.
    Sincerely,
    A veteran

  12. Auction Info

    8:04 AM (9 minutes ago)

    to me
    The Auction has been cancelled due to no fault of Gene Daniels Auctions. Please direct all concerns to Bay Area Movers as Gene Daniels Auctions is simply an Agent for the Seller, Bay Area Movers.

  13. Hopefully people will do the right thing abd there will be a flood of names all over fb, of the buyers lookong for the rightful owners or family members over the next several months.

  14. Having worked for a company that shipped/stored military household goods, there is no way of telling if these crates shown are even the ones being auctioned off. Everything has to be done by US mail, contacting the owner, etc. by certified mail. Normally, items are stored at the governments expense while a service member is out of the state or country. However, at some point, it can become the service members responsibility to pay for storage. If they do not pay for their stored items, they can lose them in auction….they have to have months of non paid fees for it to go to auction. Not speaking for every warehouse, but I know most are willing to work with anyone who gets behind on their storage fees, especially service members. By law, those seals cannot be broken until either the service member is in the presence or they go to auction.

  15. Thank you for posting this article. Immediately upon reading this I contacted Colonel ( ret.) John S. Odom Jr. Colonel Odom is The Godfather of the SCRA. Colonel Odom contacted the office of Servicemembers Affairs at CFPB and DOJ. We understand the auction is off.
    Thank you for keeping us informed.
    http://www.SCRAFoundation.org

  16. What scum!!!! Our almost brand new four wheeler was never recovered when we went to Japan. The damn storage owner (paid by the military directly) gave some cock and bull story but I’m sure they know who freaking stole it. So many things that have disappeared when we move is just plain pathetic. I hope they are charged with criminal charges because they might have not sold them yet but they had every intent to. Who knows how long they have been doing this.

  17. See Christian Meisel’s comment above…this site posted a photo that was misleading, and if it led to a slew of 1-star reviews of an auction company, hurt an innocent business.

    One would think after getting new facts, the site host would remove the photo or update the blog post, but…

    Re-quoting Mr. Meisel:
    “All, there is a massive misunderstanding going on regarding the items being auctioned off. First off, Jonathan Meisel is my brother and he is heading off to Germany next month. His HHG were picked up on 27 Apr. The photographer who was brought in to give people an idea of the boxes being auctioned mistakenly took a shot of his boxes. He has talked repeatedly to Bay Area Movers and all of his boxes were shipped out two days ago and he has the ship information. The photographer came in when his boxes were being prepared for shipment at the warehouse. Most of the items being auctioned off date back to the early 90s when Bay Area Movers was brought in to secure single soldiers barracks items as they deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield/Storm. After the soldier returned, many simply never coordinated to pick up their goods. Prior to sending these items to auction, they had to go through a process with the Joint Personal Property Shipping Office as well. At this point, Jonathan has received phone calls from CID, NCIS and a variety of other organizations. Please stop the madness. It is not what you think it is. Someone did not understand the context and an unfortunate picture has caused massive concerns and confusion across the military community. I am certain that he thanks you for your help.”

  18. Stop spreading false information. Do more digging before posting articles like the Kristine. I hope the company sues you for the false accusations.

    • We posted the picture that the auctioneer made public, we also updated the story when we found out more information relating to the picture once Headquarters Marine Corps informed us. This doesn’t change the fact that the company posted it to begin with… This whole thing seems like it stems from 1) a photo that never should have been posted and 2) a description which was supposed to entice bidders to spend more money at the auction but this misleading information instead stirred up outrage in military families. We never provided false information.

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