Every show has to have a villain, and in the case of “Storage Wars”, Dave Hester was more than happy to step on the record. Dave has possibly aroused the worst press and bad feelings than any other star in every iteration of the show. Nicknamed “The Mogul,” Dave is known for doing practically anything to make money or cut other buyers’ profits. While some consider his stance a corporate strategy, others have criticized him for being unnecessarily vindictive and savage. Dave also played a key role in bringing the entire show to its knees, with a series of violent outbursts and a slew of lawsuits.
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Early life and family
Although people tend to dislike the businessman, a look at his early life can give us insight into what created the character we know today. Dave Hester was born on July 23, 1964 at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in California. On the show, Dave has said that he was one of five children – a major financial burden for a family living on a military salary. It’s probably this experience that gave him his do-or-die, killer attitude. Dave was first introduced to the auction scene when he was five years old. To supplement his income, Hester’s father traveled to yard sales, auctions, and swap meets, trying to score something to ease the financial burden.
Dave would accompany his father to these events and thus acquire his taste for auctions.
Dave was an enterprising kid and by the age of fourteen he’d started a bit of his own business. Hester would bid at auctions and buy power tools which he would then pass on to local military-based stores. However, Hester’s life was not all business and military impressions – he has fond memories of his father’s vast collection of railcars, which informed him that auctions can be both eclectic and profitable.
There is not much readily available information about Hester’s formal education. However, it seems clear that Hester has been pursuing success in the auction industry for years and became a licensed and bonded auctioneer in 1992.
Although he often attends auctions on the buyer’s side, in recent years Hester has used this license to run his own auctions.
Dave Hester started working for an auction house in the 1990s – he was a bid catcher, and it was in this position that he delivered his iconic ‘Yuuup!’ – a sound that makes his competition moan and auctioneers grin. Dave became a licensed auctioneer in 1992 and began conducting his own auctions. Hester also sold his father’s valuable train set over a period of five years, making it a real fortune on which to build his own empire.
A realm of your own
It is not known exactly when Dave Hester opened his stores, but they were located in Orange County, California, called Newport Consignment Gallery, and Rags to Riches Thrift Store. While these stores initially focused on more high-end items, Dave quickly became acquainted with the bottom end of the business. In 2005, Hester was convicted of: GERMANY and sentenced to 30 days of community service at the local Goodwill Store, where he began to recognize that the work they did there, processing second-hand clothes and household items, wasn’t all that different from what he was doing.
SOLANO MOVING AND STORAGE AUCTION!Dave Hester Auctioneer!Date: Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 11AMAaddress: 1340…
This opened up the idea of looking for storage facilities. In fact, on an episode of the show, Hester admitted that it was this exposure to the lower end of the market that got him through some tough financial patches.
Dave Hester’s two stores prospered, driven solely by his determination and perseverance. This skill made him recognized as a potential candidate for the A&E Network’s show,”Storage Wars”, which premiered in 2010. The series followed the lives of people like Hester – albeit without the same attitude and brutality. The auction buyers benefit from storage units whose tenants are three months behind on their rent – California law allows these units to be auctioned.
The rules of these auctions require a bit of confidence and a lot of luck, as the bidders only get a brief and limited view of the unit. Every single item in the unit must be bought together, hopefully with a total profit, which can be even a single item of tremendous value.
Dave Hester has an eye for this type of work, but was fired from the show in 2012, which proved to be the catalyst for the first of many lawsuits – for being unfairly fired – and launching a series of allegations regarding the legitimacy of the show. Hester claimed the show was rigged, valuable items pre-posted, and units pre-assigned. While some of these claims may be true (who leaves a live moose in a storage room?), Hester came out worst in the lawsuit.
He was fined $122,000 which he refused to pay, but somehow this was all put behind him and he returned to the show for its fifth season.
Dave’s dedication to his craft is absolute. He even closed both of his stores so he could devote all his energy and resources to the show. There was even an episode where Hester stormed off the set, furious that co-star Barry Weiss treated the industry with frivolity after buying two psychics to help him at an auction.
Hester’s devotion didn’t always go well with his volatile nature. In 2015, Hester got into a fierce fistfight with Dan Dotson and may have even punched Laura when he felt he was being sidelined and ignored in the auction. This didn’t seem to stop his career as he continued to appear on the show until 2017.
Dave Hester opened his own auction business – Dave Hester Auctions – in 2011, where he currently works. He uses his vast amount of industry experience to accurately estimate, at least as far as he’s concerned, the value of items across a huge spectrum, which he then auctions off.
Contrary to the exuberance with which he behaves in the auction room, Dave remains coy about his personal life. Aside from an estranged brother, not much is known about his relationship with his siblings and parents, or whether they are even still alive. Dave is married to Donna and they have a son, Dave Jr, and two pugs.
Hester loves to travel, but his focus remains on his job and building a future for his son. Dave’s own future looked bleak when he suffered from a… heart attack in November 2019, determined to be the pinnacle of both high blood pressure and chronic sleep apnea. However, he is back up and at work, as only a man of his determination would be. However, he does not let the lawsuits rest and is in a copyright battle with Songz over his trademark ‘Yuuup!’
Dave Hester is easily recognizable by his firm-yet-firm figure and clean-shaven hair, possibly a legacy of his military-oriented father. His features are a conglomeration of his mixed ancestry – his mother is Mexican and his father is of German and Irish descent.
— Dave Hester (@davethemogul) February 29, 2020
This, along with his reputation, makes him instantly noticeable among a crowd of bidders. Dave Hester is 1.75 m tall and weighs 80 kg.
Net worth and salary
Dave Hester has amassed a net worth of $6 million, a remarkable figure given his humble beginnings selling power tools to military-based stores. Hester received a monthly income of $25,000 for his performance in “Storage Wars”, and that doesn’t even take into account the things he finds in the units. Hester has run away with complete restaurant sets and dining room suites, and one of his most impressive finds was a painting by California-based Impressionist Jack Wilkinson Smith, which sold for $155,000.