Last Updated: June 1, 2024
Richest BusinessExecutives
Net Worth:
$4 Million
Jul 23, 1964 (59 years old)
Oceanside, California
Reality star, Storage hunter
💰 Compare Dave Hester's Net Worth

What Is Dave Hester's Net Worth and Salary?

Dave Hester is an American reality television series star and business owner who has a net worth of $4 million. Dave Hester is probably most famous for being one of the stars of the A&E reality television series "Storage Wars," which premiered in 2010. He is also the owner of the Newport Consignment Gallery & Rags to Riches Thrift Store. Hester has 25 years' worth of experience as an auction hunter.

Early Life

Dave Hester was born on July 23, 1964, at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base in Oceanside, California. His mother was born in Mexico, and his father was of German and Irish descent. His father, whom Dave has often described as a "hoarder," (makes sense) served in the military but also was an avid collector of train collectibles. Instead of going to college, Dave decided to pursue auctions with his father. However, instead of just collecting them, Dave went in with the intention of earning a profit from the hobby. Dave has one brother, but the two are reportedly not on good terms.


Dave was just 14 when he began buying machinery and tools from area auctions and, in turn, selling them to shops on the military base where he lived. In the '90s, he worked as a big catcher at storage units. Hester became a licensed auctioneer in 1992. Dave sold his father's huge train collection, gaining a small fortune to fund his business. He set up two shops, Newport Consignment Gallery and Rags to Riches thrift store, a 10,000 square foot freeway frontage showroom in Costa Mesa, California, with initially just 15 employees, where he sells and auctions all of his found treasures.

"Storage Wars"

Since 2010, Dave has shared the spotlight on the reality TV show "Storage Wars" with auctioneer Dan Dotson, as well as auction hunters Darrell Sheets, Barry Weiss, Jarrod Schulz, and Brandi Passante. The show initially began with a slow start and only a few episodes being filmed. The mission of the show is to auction off the contents of a storage unit where rent for the use of the facility has not been paid. In California, when rent is not paid on a storage locker for three months, the contents are sold by an auctioneer. The show follows professional buyers who purchase the contents based on a five-minute inspection and what they can see in a quick evaluation. The goal is to turn a profit on the merchandise.

The show eventually gained momentum, and in its second season, it became the most-watched A&E show. The show has gone on to film several more seasons; its 13th season began airing in April 2021. They have already started filming for a spin-off called "Storage Wars: Texas," which is a Dallas-based version of "Storage Wars."

Storage Wars Salary

Thanks to a 2012 lawsuit filed by Hester, we learned a lot of interesting details about the cast salaries and other controversial allegations.

The most salacious allegation in Hester's lawsuit directly involved Brandi Passante. Dave alleged that the "Storage Wars" producers paid for Brandi to get a breast enhancement to… enhance… the show's sex appeal.

Furthermore, he alleged that 100% of the treasures found in the storage units were inauthentically "placed" or "salted" by the producers and that after the scenes were shot, the cast members were actually forced to give the items back to the producers rather than re-sell them, as was often portrayed or implied.

Finally, Hester laid out the salary he and other cast members were set to receive. The typical "Storage Wars" single-season compensation was broken down as:

  • $25,000 per episode with a guaranteed 26 episodes, which works out to a minimum salary of $650 thousand per season
  • $2,500 per month for travel expenses
  • $124,500 expense account
  • $25,000 signing bonus

In total, Hester reported that the average cast member earned a bit over $800,000 for a season. His exact earnings were $829,500.

Dave Hester Net Worth

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Personal Life

Dave Hester has been married to Donna Hester for many years. The couple share a child named Dave Hester Jr., who occasionally appears on the show with Dave. Hester is very quiet about his personal life and is quite introverted despite his boisterous on-screen personality.

Controversies and Scandals

In 2005, Dave was convicted of a DUI and performed community service at a local Goodwill store. He is known for his competitive and boisterous persona, and he has been involved in several disputes and brawls during his time on "Storage Wars." He was fired from the show in 2012, and Dave filed a lawsuit against the network. He was asked to pay $122,000 after the lawsuit was rejected, but he refused to pay. After the case was settled, he returned to the show. In 2015, a brawl involving Dave, Dan, Laura, and their fists was captured on the screen.

In April 2012,  Hester was involved in a lawsuit over his famous catchphrase "Yup." Dave had recently been granted a trademark for the phrase, but unfortunately, R&B star Trey Songz claimed he has been using the phrase "Yuuup" since at least 2009. The problem is that both Hester and Songz are using the phrase to make money off clothing lines and merchandise. More details in this article: Trey Songz Sues Dave Hester Over "Yuuup!" Catchphrase. Here's a video in which we put the two versions of "Yuuup" back to back so you can judge for yourself:

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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