Every show has to have a villain, and in the case of “Storage Wars,” Dave Hester was more than eager to step up to the plate. Dave has possibly caused the most bad press and bad feelings than any other star in any iteration of the show. Dave, nicknamed “The Mogul,” is known for doing practically anything to make money or cut other buyers’ profits. While some view his attitude as a business strategy, others have criticized him for being needlessly vindictive and savage. Dave also played a key role in bringing the whole show to its knees, with a series of violent outbursts and a slew of lawsuits.
Early life and family
While people tend to dislike the businessman, take 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 he was one of five children – a major financial burden for a family living on a military paycheck. It’s likely this experience gave him his do-or-die, cut-throat 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 develop his taste for auctioning.
Dave was an enterprising child and started his own business when he was fourteen. Hester bid at auctions and bought power tools which he then passed on to local stores on military bases. However, Hester’s life was not all business and military impressions – he has fond memories of his father’s extensive collection of railcars, which convinced him that auctioning could 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 chasing success in the auction industry for years and became a licensed auctioneer in 1992.
While he often attends auctions on the buyer’s side, in recent years Hester has used this license to conduct his own auctions.
Dave Hester started working for an auction house in the 1990s – he was one bid catcher, and in this position he refined his iconic “Yuuup!” – a sound that makes his competition groan 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 five-year period, turning it into a veritable fortune upon which to build his own empire.
A realm in itself
It is not known exactly when Dave Hester opened his shops, 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 soon became acquainted with the lower end of the business. In 2005, Hester was convicted GER and sentenced to 30 days of community service at the local Goodwill Store, where he began to see that the work they did there, handling second-hand clothes and housewares, was not all that different from what he was doing.
SOLANO MOVING AND STORAGE AUCTION!Dave Hester Auctioneer!Date: Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 11:00 AM Address: 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 troubles.
Dave Hester’s two shops prospered, driven solely by his determination and determination. It was this skill that got him recognized as a potential candidate for the show from the A&E Network,”Storage Wars”, which premiered in 2010. The series followed the lives of people like Hester – albeit without the same attitude and cruelty. The auction buyers benefit from storage units whose tenants are three months behind on rent – in California, the law allows these units to be auctioned.
The rules of these auctions require a little bit of trust and a lot of luck as the bidders are only allowed a brief and limited view of the unit. Every single item in the unit must be bought together, hopefully making a total profit, which even a single item can be of tremendous value.
Dave Hester has an eye for this kind of work, but was fired from the show in 2012, which proved to be the catalyst for the first of many lawsuits – for unfair dismissal – and launched a series of allegations regarding the show’s legitimacy. Hester claimed the show was rigged, pre-placed valuable items, and pre-assigned units. 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 that he could devote all his energy and resources to the show. There was even an episode where Hester stormed off set, furious that co-star Barry Weiss was treating the industry with levity, 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 big fight with Dan Dotson and may have even punched Laura, when he felt he was being sidelined and ignored in the auction. This did not seem to stop his career as he continued to appear on the show until 2017.
Dave Hester opened his own auction company – Dave Hester Auctions – in 2011, where he currently works. He uses his vast amount of industry experience to, at least as far as he’s concerned, accurately assesses the values of items across a broad spectrum, which he then auctions off.
In contrast to the flamboyance with which he behaves in the auction room, Dave remains reserved about his private life. Aside from an estranged brother, not much is known about his relationship with his siblings and parents, and if they are 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 work and building a future for his son. Dave’s own future looked bleak as 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 to work, as only a man with his determination would be. However, he has not let the lawsuits rest and is in a copyright battle with Songz over his trademark ‘Yuuup!’.
Dave Hester is easily identified by his stout yet solid figure and close-cropped hair, possibly inherited from his military-oriented father. His facial features are a conglomeration of his mixed ancestry: his mother is of Mexican descent and his father is of German and Irish descent.
— Dave Hester (@davethemogul) February 29, 2020
This, along with his reputation, makes him immediately stand out 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 considering his humble beginnings selling power tools to military base stores. Hester received a monthly income of $25,000 for his appearance in “Storage Wars”, and that’s not even taking into account the things he finds in the units. Hester has walked away with complete restaurant sets and dining room suites, and one of his most impressive finds was a painting by California impressionist Jack Wilkinson Smith that sold for $155,000.