Dave Hester “The Mogul” cuts an imposing figure on the set of Storage Wars, with his squat frame, steely glare and trademark, “YUUUUUUUUUP” bidding calls. Owner and manager of the Rags to Riches consignment store, Dave heads the largest retail operation of all the Storage Wars crew. In terms of hustle and drive, Dave might be the most possessed of all the buyers. He is responsible for 15 employees’ paychecks, so he needs to turn a profit on his unit purchases if he wants to stay afloat.
Dave got into storage auction buying in a somewhat roundabout way. After being convicted of a DUI and sentenced to community service at a consignment shop, he realized the business model made sense and that he could use the ample repossessed storage sales happening in California in order to feed his own shop with inventory. Today, his shop is located in Costa Mesa.
By the way, Dave’s shop, being run on consignment, is a bit different from your traditional thrift store in that people will often show up with goods they need sold. They’ll pass this work on to Dave and his crew who will take a cut of the final sale price for their trouble.
To this end, Dave relies on Storage Wars to boost his profile and thereby draw in more interested consignment customers that want to see the star in real life. To this end, Dave is not above drumming up attention for himself by acting outlandishly at times.
On the show, Dave is willing to employ any tactic necessary to get the units he wants. Although Barry is often eccentric and loopy, Dave can be downright aggressive, obnoxious or worse. By way of intimidation, he will intentionally keep bidding on a unit he knows another picker really wants.
Once he’s jacked the final price up to where it’s really going to hurt the other buyer, he’ll leave it be and let the other cast member eat the high price tag. Essentially Dave has just jacked up the cost of a unit he wasn’t even interested in order to eat into his competition’s profits. Perhaps he’s hoping the other buyers will turn tail and quit since they’re not clearing enough money on their purchases. Maybe he’s simply in a bad mood.
Although he can sometimes become emotional on the set of Storage Wars, especially if he ends up overpaying for a junky unit, Hester usually keeps things business like and efficient. He wants to feed his thrift store with goods and keep his business running smoothly, but that doesn’t mean he’s immune to some of the showmanship that has turned Storage Wars into such a phenomenon.
For example, in one episode Dave rolls up to the storage facility in a custom screen printed truck with Dave Hester Auctions and YUUUUUUUUUP printed all over it just to flex his financial muscle.
At times he’ll offer unsolicited advice to “young guns” Jarrod and Brandi, saying that Jarrod needs to spend some time reading through trade show magazines and catalogs to “get his knowledge up” regarding item types and their values.