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What Influenced Dave Hester To Live The Storage Wars Life?

Searching for the hidden gems kept inside abandoned storage units — that's the premise of "Storage Wars," the long-running A&E series that has been intriguing audiences for more than a dozen seasons. While there have been a few spin-offs, the original show follows prospective buyers heading to storage facilities in California to participate in on-site auctions where the contents of the entire unit go to the highest bidder. They're allowed to only take a quick glance at each locker before placing their bid, which means a keen eye is a big asset when considering which units are worth the financial risk. However, as the show proves, not all big-ticket items are kept on the surface. Some are buried deep inside boxes and blankets, waiting to be found by their new owners.

Of course, the show is not complete without its stars, and Dave Hester has made a name for himself with his keen eye and much-talked-about bidding tactics that have helped him grab high-priced items. Aside from his trademark "YUUUP!" catchphrase, fans may recall his big paydays, including the discovery of newspapers from 1977 reporting the death of Elvis Presley. Hester's experience in auctions and consignments goes well beyond what fans see on "Storage Wars," but there is one moment that influenced his career choice.

Hester's parents helped influence his future career

Dave Hester found a passion for buying and selling when he was a child, and it's all because of his parents. In an interview with "Morning Sickness," a podcast from the La Crosse, Wisconsin radio station 95.7 The Rock, Hester recalled the moment in 1969 when his mom stopped his dad from throwing away a bunch of items. "And he had just gotten back from Vietnam, and he loaded up his truck to take to the dump. And me and my mom had been going to the swap meet selling the clothes, and we had been doing thrift shop buying. It was just generating a little bit of money, and she said, 'Hey, don't go and throw that stuff away'...So he went and sold a few hundred bucks, which back then, was huge money. And then he got hooked on it, and he started buying and selling. So I kind of just grew up doing that," he said.

According to Hester's website, he continued to build his skills throughout his teen years by placing bids at auctions. He became a bonded auctioneer in California in 1992 and currently sells his services to people who are holding auction events, including estate sales. As for "Storage Wars," Hester said he saw it as a way to share his life story and the unique career that he has spent decades building.