We're not going to sit here and trash Dave and throw around YUUUUPS and jokes about his dogs or his girlfriend, or whatever, there's enough of that going on already, but what we WILL do is point out a few things you may not know and then offer a solid, simple, opinion at the very end.
1. Hester has a myriad of partners and ex-partners that he has pissed off throughout the years - They include Steve Cox, of Suburban Pickers, and even his own BROTHER (Dave's not Steve's). We don't have total details on all of the breakups, but what we will point out to you is that if you're one of those people pointing out that EVERYONE ELSE is stupid, it's usually you that has the problem. We have spent a great deal of time working with Steve Cox, and we can tell you he's a straight shooter, but totally reasonable and very kind. He's super patient with his young son and takes him to auctions and flea markets with him-- I can't imagine Steve ever being a douche to anyone. And how on earth is it possible to make your own BROTHER not want to do business with you? We've heard time and time again that Dave needs an attitude check, but as you are already here, you already watch the show, and you probably already know that- so, moving on...
2. Hester has a myriad of failed businesses, most of which failed because he tried to expand them too quickly (read, he's a greedy bastard) -
He started out with Newport Consignment Gallery. When he noticed his other auction rivals having thrift stores he changed half of it to be called Rags to Riches Thrift Store. He put both stores up for sale to have "going out of business sales" (for a SUPER LONG amount of time) and then started Dave Hester Auctions (you may have seen the big obnoxious logo on the big, obnoxious trucks), which failed, because, we're not really sure why, but we imagine that he was trying to compete with many others (some of whom are even co-stars on Storage Wars) in a field he knew little about. Dave Hester Auctions has now become Dave Hester Entertainment (see #3). We can tell you that both Newport Consignment and Rags to Riches were super overpriced and had Storage Wars memorabilia everywhere (we'll get to that). You can also read lots of unfavorable reviews here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/newport-consignment-gallery-costa-mesa
Here are pictures of us at Newport Consignment Gallery / Rags to Riches Thrift taken in September 2011. You'll notice how he has A&E Storage Wars all over EVERYTHING!
3. He has his own ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY. -- Who the hell does he think he is, Oprah? What the hell kind of entertainer is he? Forget singing, dancing, dialects, or method acting- on HIS resume, special skills are listed as : arguing, screaming loudly, wearing all black, and putting his name on EVERYTHING. If you don't believe us, you can link here: http://davehesterentertainment.com If you choose not even to give him another cent by clicking, we understand too. Oh, and he also owns http://www.yuuuup.com. Smart business man, maybe. Greedy little shit, absolutely. And what would he be without Storage Wars? Why focus 90% of your business on something that just came 2 years ago, as opposed to focusing on your tried and true green, the core of your business for decades?
4. He has a DUI - Okay, so everyone makes mistakes, and can be forgiven, yadda yadda, but we find it useful as illustrating that he often has poor judgement. After all, most people with DUI's have driven drunk at least a couple of times before, right? Not to mention, it's helpful to include that THAT is how he got into the consignment business to begin with-- he had to do community service as a Goodwill in 2005 and it changed his entire business plan. At least he's turning pain into gain? And Hester is an expert at THAT, that's for sure.
5. Hester has been disputing his pay (and the way he's been "treated") with the A&E executives since the beginning of 2012. Here's a TMZ video of him bitching when he wasn't invited to the company Christmas party last year: http://www.insideselfstorage.com/news/2012/01/storage-wars-star-debates-leaving-show-over-contract-dispute.aspx He's also been upset about his pay for a long time. At some point the issue would have had to have been resolved. No idea whether he was crying wolf, looking for attention, or just being Hester- but the money problems are NOT new. Not even a little bit.
As far as the allegations that Storage Wars is fake and items were planted, we'll say this:
(if you haven't read that article you can click here: http://www.wsoctv.com/ap/ap/entertainment/lawsuit-claims-aes-storage-wars-show-is-rigged/nTSfP/)
ALL reality TV shows have some amount of scripting. You just can't have a super entertaining, well put together piece (with a concise script) otherwise. We've done a lot of pilots and sizzle reels and things like that and we can say that basically what they do is interview you about who you are and what you do, ask you where they see your story going, make a few suggestions, and then let you go on with it. They may say things like "please remember to mention that you are from New Orleans because we have a great shot of the French Quarter we'd like to show" or "please highlight the fact that you buy estates because that's a topic we'd like to hit in a future episode." Some of the more unscrupulous producers may ask you to EXAGGERATE "we know you wear dresses and heels to auction but can you let your boobs hang out and wear booty shorts instead? We're trying to sell to a network that's 100% men" -- for example.... but A&E is NOT one of those networks. The television show Storage Hunters, on TruTV, is 100% fake, and we have proof of that, down to them paying extras to be auction buyers, using facilities that aren't real, and using made up names. Auction Hunters is 50% fake-- Allen and Ton do actually do what they do, but they weren't necessarily doing it before the show. They both worked in TV, not necessarily in auction buying. They film episodes NEAR large cities and pass them off as being IN the city (McComb, MS instead of New Orleans, LA for example), and worst of all, they highlight their high-speed cameras EVERY SINGLE EPISODE by finding both a type of firearm and/or knife AND a vehicle/boat/RV. In EVERY SINGLE UNIT. We could go on and on about how Allen was pissed when a bunch of "lower class rednecks" (his words, not ours) had the audacity to show up at an auction that "shouldn't have been advertised" -- but we'll leave it at that. Storage Wars, on the other hand, has buyers that were doing this before hand (with the exception of Barry who bought items but not necessarily from storage auctions), uses real facilities (that we have met the owners and employees of), uses American Auctioneers for all of their auctions who are licensed and totally legit (we have met their lead lock cutter John and seen him do lock cuts in person) and advertises all of their auctions to the public, as per California state laws.
Here are two more things to consider. Storage Wars, unlike the other television shows, feature real-life professionals who display items they buy IN THEIR REAL LIFE STORES. You are welcome to look at Mark Balelo's online auctions, walk into Brandy and Jarrod's store or look at their eBay page, visit Nabila at the swap meets, and look at whatever mess Hester has on whatever store/site he has at the time. How many other reality TV auction stars can you say that about? Do Allen and Ton sell to anyone other than their character-like weapons experts? Would anyone give Storage Hunters a bad appraisal with 5 cameras (and a Dog the Bounty Hunter looking dude) in their faces? We think not. When Brandy and Jarrod bought a unit that had thousands of Hot Wheels, had those items been planted, you'd think they'd be returned to Mattel the very next day, right? Instead they sell them on eBay, autograph them, and get a premium price for them. That's using the show to your advantage, and there is nothing wrong with that. Hester just always takes it to overkill.
Here are the ways we have witnessed and will admit that Storage Wars manipulates things:
1) They have camera men and even cameras in odd places. We've seen camera men on the roof and cameras on dashboards of cars and inside units, for example. But they do NOT interfere with what is happening normally/ordinarily.
2) They edit out TONS of footage - These bidders attend THOUSANDS of auctions a year. They don't have time in a single season to show you that. They'll pick 8-12 good auctions a year and show you the best 3 or 4 units at each location. Otherwise you'd NEVER get to see them dig the units and sell the items.
3) Bidding is re-shot several times - Think about it. Bidding is open to the general public, people are usually so crammed in there you NEED the guy on the roof to get the entire line. Since everyone is allowed to bid, and there are limited #s of cameras and microphones, they may not always be able to catch someone's bid, expression, vocalization, whatever. They often reshoot the bidding but just say "okay, you remember what bids you made and make them again at the exact same moment". We've done this and participated in it. You'll reshoot the bidding a couple of times and then you'll do some generic bidding just so they can make sure they have all of your expressions and mannerisms with the appropriate lighting and angles. It's a professional show for Christ sake, you don't want it to look like a 7 year old filmed it with a handy cam.
4) Bidders are reintroduced to the audience, taken away, and reintroduced to try to drive ratings. It's a reason why Jeff Jarred, Nabila Hanniss, and Mark Balelo will pop into episodes and then pop right out for a few episodes. It's something the producers can't really make up their minds on and we know (firsthand) that it causes all three of them a great deal of frustration. But there's nothing staged or wrong about that!
As far as the Elvis Newspapers being fake and items being added to lockers-- we can neither confirm nor deny that because we don't know. We can tell you we are lucky enough to have a few copies of the newspapers autographed by the cast of Storage Wars that were given to us as gifts but we can also tell you that for a time, Hester SOLD those newspapers (autographed by him or non-autographed) at premium prices. For someone who is outraged and appalled by a planted item, he sure as hell planted it right in a glass display case. And here's something else to consider- don't you think we would have heard from a prior tenant looking to make money selling their story to TMZ if items had been added to their storage units?
Our final thoughts: Hester is a greedy little monkey and it is finally catching up to him. He gets paid THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS to do what he was already doing anyway, he uses it to his advantage every step of the way in marketing and by selling autographs and Storage Wars memorabilia to make thousands more, and it's still not good enough for him. If you were a dentist and someone offered you $5000 extra for each tooth you pulled from now on, would you decline politely and hold out for $10000? Um, no.
Dave Hester, be outraged and offended by "reality TV" and it's evil ways and "planted items" OR continue to profit off of it and shut the hell up. And why is your outrage JUST coming out AFTER you've asked for more money for a year? Those staged units have allegedly been happening since day 1. You can't be outraged AND greedy. One or the other, please.
A&E, if you're looking for new stars, you know where to find us. We've been saying there should be Storage Wars New Orleans for forever. Just think of the food your crews can be eating!
And meanwhile, maybe someone out there should buy www.NOOOPE.com. Just in case.
* Disclaimer- we are in NO way affiliated to any of the shows described above. We have worked for StorageTreasures.com who are affiliated with Dan and Laura Dotson of American Auctioneers and Storage Wars but we have no affiliation with Storage Wars directly. StorageTreasures.com or Storage Wars or A&E or Dan and Laura Dotson (or anyone else mentioned here) had NO idea we were writing this and nothing to do with it.
PS - Here's a little lagniappe: http://www.davehesterfraud.com
Until next time,
We put the POSE in EXPOSÉ,