Behind The Scenes Facts About Storage Wars And The Most Valuable Finds
Who knew that auctioning off storage units and rifling through them could cause so much drama? Everyone who watched Storage Wars, that’s who. If you’re a fan of the show like we are, then you know how entertaining it can all be. From the crazy personalities to the incredible treasures found inside, every episode is exciting.
Of course, nothing is ever perfect in the reality show world. Some even claim that it’s completely rigged. Check out these behind-the-scenes secrets from Storage Wars including the most bizarre items found inside the units and what the cast was actually thinking.
Stumbling Onto A Hand Shrine
Obviously, the cast members are trying to make the biggest buck, but they can also stumble onto some very bizarre things too, like the storage unit that appeared to be owned by a hand-obsessed person.
One cast member became the proud owner of a bunch of sculpted hands, posters of hands, and hands from clocks. We don’t wanna know.
Non-Cast Members Can Sometimes Make Off With The Best
You might have noticed that the cast members always snag the unit even though there appear to be other non-cast members bidding too. Storage Wars obviously wants to focus on their stars, but that means missing out on some good television.
It turns out, even amateur storage hunters can make off with a prize.
Hester Found A Newspaper Valued At $90,000
One of Hester’s most valuable finds was when he unearthed a stack of newspapers that all reported on the death of none other than Elvis Presley.
The papers were not only extremely rare but they were also in very good condition. The newspapers ended up selling for more than $90,000.
Brandi And Jarrod Always Find The Creepy Stuff
Poor Brandi and Jarrod don’t have the best luck. Their weirdest buy came from a unit that had vintage My Little Pony memorabilia.
The giant pink plush dolls and rest of the collection were worth $875. Not too bad for a weird set of old toys in a locker.
The Dotsons Don’t Just Auction Them Off, They Buy Units As Well
Dan and Laura are seen primarily as the auctioneers on Storage Wars, but they do a little bit of bidding as well. Their biggest haul was when she paid $1,000 for a unit that ended up having $500,000 worth of Spanish gold coins inside.
The “pieces of eight” dated all the way back to the 16th century!
A Storage Unit Treasure Like You’ve Never Seen Before
One of those unaired storage unit discoveries includes a cash bundles worth, oh, just a crisp $7.5 million. Auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson sold a unit in Indio, California for $500.
The guy who bought it found a safe inside with more than $7 million in cold, hard cash. The previous owner must have died. Finders keepers, right?
Your Favorite Auctioneers Met At, Where Else, An Auction!
Dan and Laura are known on Storage Wars for being no-nonsense when it comes to auctions, but also being extremely lovable. The two actually met at another storage auction. When Laura saw Dan, she told herself she knew she’s marrying that man.
Four months later, she made her move and they’ve been together ever since!
Barry Is Quite The Ladies Man
Everyone’s favorite Storage Wars cast member is apparently known to be quite the magnet for women. Ladies of all ages come to the Storage Wars sets to meet him.
Even if he doesn’t find a treasure in a storage unit, a pretty good prize is waiting for him just outside.
Hester Says It’s Fake, And A&E Didn’t Argue It
Dave Hester is one of the most opinionated cast members on and off the show. In 2012, he claimed that the show was completely rigged and that producers stash items in the units.
Usually, we take Hester’s words with a grain of salt, but it was pretty suspicious that A&E didn’t even try to refute it. They just said Hester was free to have an opinion.
Jarrod Can Thank His Aunt For Getting Into The Business
Jarrod may have had a dark past but he can thank his aunt and his partner Brandi for turning it around. His aunt actually owns a public storage facility and after spending some time with her there, Jarrod was encouraged to get into the storage hunting game.
He also has his partner to thank for supporting his dreams.
Barry Was Already A Millionaire Before The Show
People like Jarrod and Brandi are storage hunting to make a living. They comb through every single item in the unit to make whatever profit they can. On the other hand, Barry walks past tons of junk to find one magnificent piece.
That’s because Barry is a retired wholesale produce seller. He’d already made his money in Southern California before he took up storage hunting as a hobby.
“Budget Cuts” Allowed The Show To Break Up A Father-Son Team
Darrel and Brandon Sheets were the father-son duo that didn’t always end up with a good haul but were definitely entertaining. When Season 10 of Storage Wars flopped in ratings, A&E decided to let one cast member go and they chose Brandon to be their victim.
People argue it wasn’t budget cuts though, but that A&E just didn’t like the pair.
An Eye For Expensive Items
Barry once bought an entire storage unit because he thought he spotted an ornate gold bowl up at the top of a heap of junk. The ornate bowl turned out to be a hard hat that had been covered in metal and engraved for fun.
You’d think the “bowl” was useless but it ended up fetching a pretty penny anyways.
Hester Might Actually Have A Heart
Hester comes off like he’s extra aggressive and cutthroat, but he’s only in the business after having a change of heart. Hester owned a furniture store when he was busted for a DUI and forced to do community service at a Goodwill store.
He hated seeing that people could barely afford clothes, so he converted his business into a thrift store and started storage hunting.
Trey Songz And Hester Got Into A Serious Lawsuit
The most unlikely pair in history ended up in the legal system together because both of them wanted the rights to the phrase “Yuuup!”
The judge basically ruled that neither can trademark the phrase because it’s not a unique or made-up word, it’s just a variation of a common phrase. Sorry, boys.
Finally, A Fistfight
It took eight seasons, but finally, in 2015, a physical fight erupted on the show. Allegedly, Dan missed a bid made by Hester. The producers kept pushing Dave to make a comment about it until he lost his cool and went at Dan.
No one got hurt, but Laura was pushed down in the fight and started swearing up a storm.
Playing Dirty Isn’t A Crime
Hester is the king of playing dirty on Storage Wars. In one episode, he used his acting skills to make it seem like a unit was worthless. In reality, he had spotted a bunch of brand new vending machines in the back behind the junk.
After everyone else lost interest, he bought the unit for $1,300 and sold the machines for $28,000.
Ride Some Vintage Camel Saddles All The Way To The Bank
Mary was the star of the spinoff Storage Wars: Texas and didn’t seem too intimidated when she saw a pair of saddles in the back of a unit. That is until she looked closer and realized they weren’t horse saddles, they were camel saddles.
The vintage camel saddles dated to the 18th century and sold at $1,500 each. Not too shabby.
Voodoo Items To Put A Curse On Other Buyers
As always, Brandi and Jarrod find the strangest things. One storage locker revealed a box of items that appeared to be everything you needed to curse someone with a voodoo spell.
The box held stuff like a deer skull, human hair, chicken bones, and statues of people. Uhm, I’d burn the box immediately.
Faceless Bills Can Still Turn A Profit
It isn’t every day you stumble upon wads of cash that are missing the faces of our past presidents. Immediately, you assume the cash is counterfeit and can’t turn a profit, but you’d be wrong.
One cast member bought the unit for $400, found these wads of faceless bills, and learned that they were still legal tender so they made off with $24,000.
Barry Has A Famous Family
Before Storage Wars, Barry already had a good idea about reality TV because he is the godfather to Jesse James. You might recognize James as the motorcycle customizer from Monster Garage and Jesse James Is A Dead Man.
James was married for four years to actress Sandra Bullock so that basically makes Barry a Hollywood celebrity.
Hester’s Lawsuit Screwed Him Over
In 2013, Hester filed a lawsuit alleging that the show was faked and that production plants items within the storage units. Production listened to his concerns and allegedly stopped planting items…but only in Hester’s units.
If the claims are true, then it explains why Hester turned into such a horrible buyer by the end of his time on the show.
Cast Interviews Are Scripted
Again, trying to up the drama as much as they can, producers on the show will often script one on one interviews they have with cast members. That means what you’re hearing is all lies.
For reality shows, this is pretty common practice. It’s disheartening to hear about Storage Wars because it’s not your typical reality show.
Brandon Sheets Could Have Gone To College
Before Storage Wars began airing, Brandon Sheets had to make a big decision. He was just finishing high school and had to decide whether he wanted to pursue further education.
He chose to skip college and get into the storage business with his father. The move might not have worked out since Brandon was forced to leave the show over “budget constraints.”
A Diamond In The Rough
One of the earliest victories on Storage Wars came only four episodes into season one. Barry bought a unit for $275 filled with beauty and salon supplies. He figured they’d resell at a decent price but none of that mattered after Barry got to the back of a unit and realized there was a grand piano back there.
The piano ended up turning Barry a sweet $11,625 profit.
Barry Barely Looks At Units
When Barry Weiss decides to bid on a unit it’s because something has caught his eye. In one episode, he climbed onto a pile of junk until he saw something he thought might be valuable.
Barry, as you know, wasn’t concerned about paying rent, he was just looking to make one big score.
Darrell Sheets Threatened To Quit
Darrell Sheets was never viewed by A&E as the reason people watch Storage Wars. Once he realized how undervalued, and underpaid he was, he threatened to quit.
His final straw was when he heard a rumor the network was going to slash his pay in half. Nothing ever happened and he remained a main cast member.
Barry Has Been In Two Spin-Offs
Barry Weiss is a big character best served in small doses. A&E learned this the hard way when they cast him in not one, but two spin-off shows.
Neither attempt was successful. In fact, A&E has tried to launch several off-shoots of the tried and true formula only to be met with failure. How different can Container Wars really be?
After suffering a back injury as a kid, Barry Weiss started smoking marijuana to help deal with the pain. When the drug became legal medicinally, Weiss got himself a card.
Obviously, you’ll never see him treat his back pain on the show. That’s a whole new mess that A&E would prefer to avoid.
Laura And Dan Were Cyber Hacked
In 2012, Laura and Dan Dotson faced a huge dilemma when they were cyber hacked. The crooks were able to steal the couple’s credit card and bank information.
The thieves weren’t very bright, though, and used their own information when buying things with their new riches. They were apprehended and the couple’s cards were blocked by their bank.
It’s Easy To Lose Your Locker
One of the key factors in Storage Wars is that you can’t bid on a locker that has an owner. To keep business running, however, lockers can be taken away after one missed payment.
Even worse, if the owner of a locker passes away, the locker is still put up for auction. Next of kin is not notified and it’s business as usual.
They Aren’t Always Betting On Something
To help increase drama on the show, sometimes the shots you see of the cast bidding on lockers are actually the casts bidding on nothing at all.
The truth is that not every auction is exciting. Sometimes only one person will bid, and there’s no drama. To fix this, the crew has the cast cast fake bids away from the locker to edit into the scene.