‘Storage Wars’ was an American reality television series that documented the odd but entertaining world of storage locker auctioneering. ‘Storage Wars’ originally debuted on the A & E Network, but because of its widespread popularity it soon aired on various channels around the globe. The show aired for the first time in December 2010, and after 12 successful seasons and nearly 270 episodes, it came to an end in January 2019.
Due to its popular reception, several spin-off versions of the show also made it to air, most of which document the storage wars of different states and countries, with one version even being filmed in France. The original series followed the lives of Californian auctioneers and buyers, with most of the series filmed at storage facilities across southern California.
Though simple, the concept of the show proved to be very entertaining, and created a massive following which would last the life span of the entire series.
In simple terms, when a storage locker falls behind on rent by at least by three months, then by legal obligation, the contents of the lockers can be auctioned in an effort to recover the back rent. As such, viewers often considered the stars of the show as modern-day treasure hunters, and by all means, they assumed such a role.
The show upheld only a few basic rules, which included that the buyers were not allowed to closely peruse the contents of a storage unit before completing the auction. This quite often meant that the buyers had no to little idea what they purchased, making it as much a surprise for them as for the audience.
During the nine years ‘Storage Wars’ entertained its audience, viewers met numerous individuals, all of whom added their colourful personalities to the intrigue and drama of the show, from the auctioneers to the prospective ‘treasure hunters’ hoping to find a rare and valuable item among the contents of the many storage units.
Unfortunately, since the show’s ending, many secrets about the reality of ‘Storage Wars’ have come to light, some of which condemn the show’s honesty.
Nonetheless, its thousands, if not millions of fans continue to binge on ‘Storage Wars’, glued to the drama and intrigue of all the people involved. As such, many might be wondering where the stars of the show are these days, and what they have been up to since the show’s finale in 2019.
Going… Going… Gone!
Perhaps the most familiar faces of ‘Storage Wars’ would be the leading auctioneers, husband and wife team Dan and Laura Datson. Much like every other auctioneer the world over, Dan and Laura became famous for their incredible talent of fast talking, and, of course, the occasional dispute with buyers.
Other than that, the show also immortalised Laura’s habit of quoting an old-fashioned saying, ‘Don’t forget to pay the Lady’, which undoubtedly miss about the show.
One of the most epic lockers in history is hitting your TV tonight! The only question is, who will win it? Tune in to #StorageWars at 9:30/8:30c.
Since parting ways with ‘Storage Wars’, Dan and Laura continued doing what they both love and are good at, and that is auctioneering. Together they operate several businesses, all of which focus on auction events.
Their primary investment, ‘American Auctioneers’, now offer auctioning services to the public of California, doing more or less the same thing they did on the show. ‘American Auctioneers’ typically offer auctions on seized storage units and other legal sales, but in February 2019, shortly following the conclusion of ‘Storage Wars’, Dan and Laura hosted a special auction in commemoration of ‘Storage Wars’.
The special event, entitled ‘Cars, Stars, and Rock ‘n’ Roll’, hosted a Hollywood theme with such products up for auction. Aside from this, the auctioneer couple, who unsurprisingly met and fell in love during auctioning, also manage an online facilitator and database, StorageAuctions.net, that caters to the entire country.
— Storage Wars on A&E (@StorageWarsAETV) October 13, 2015
In 2018, the Dotsons sold a locker to a client for $500, but to their surprise, inside the locker hid a container with more than $7 million in cold cash. Of course, the sale took place outside of their agreements with ‘Storage Wars’, so fans would likely never have seen or heard about this incident.
However, the most plausible theory concerning this pile of cash suggests that it may have been cartel money meant for laundering, but since the owner of the locker disappeared, it would be impossible to find the truth.
In 2014, Dan gave the audience a scare after suffering a double aneurysm, but since this episode, it’s safe to report that both Dan and Laura are in good health, and still very much alive. Dan sought medical aid and has since made a remarkable recovery, now celebrating good health and continuing his and their success in the auctioneering industry.
The Villain And The Snitch
Among all the cast members, Dave Hester assumed the role of primary antagonist on ‘Storage Wars’, for multiple reasons other than just being a thorn in every other buyer’s side. Not only would Dave continuously bid on storage units he never intended to buy, thus only raising the price and causing difficulties for his co-stars, but he also became involved in numerous altercations, often with the auctioneers who assumed a neutral role on the show.
As can be expected, the producers eventually grew tired of Hester, despite the incredible entertainment he provided the viewers. As such, they eventually decided to give him the sack, and did so in true ‘Storage Wars’ fashion, by presenting him with termination papers in a locker he bid for and bought. In retaliation, Dave spilled the beans on all the secrets of the show, selling the information to just about any tabloid willing to listen, and on top of that, he filed a suit against the producers for wrongful termination.
In 2014, the case settled and the producers had no choice but to let him back into the show. Most famous for his catchphrase, ‘Yuuup’, despite his villainous role, Dave gathered many followers and fans in his time in the series, and as such, some might wonder what’s happened to him since the finale. Dave currently manages and operates an independent firm, specialising in auctioneering and consultation, but still chases a dream of a different sort. In a recent interview, Dave revealed that he plans to buy a motorhome and become a ‘gypsy auctioneer’, independent of the need for a fixed address, and traveling around the US.
The one star of ‘Storage Wars’ that fans would have difficulty recognising these days would hands down be the biggest gambler of the show, Darrel Sheets. Known affectionately by fans as ‘The Gambler’, Darrel often made many risky bids on the show, but a couple of times it certainly played out in his favour.
One storage unit he purchased for $3,600, turned out to be the most profitable gamble of the entire show.
Inside the unit, to everyone’s surprise, Darrel discovered an art piece worth a hundred times more than what he paid for the storage locker, which could have easily earned $300,000 in the right market. Today, though, it appears that Sheets no longer wants to gamble with his health, and due to drastic changes, many viewers and fans might not even recognise the star.
So Darrel has mostly retired from his stardom, seeking the privacy of a quiet life, and through using the Nutrisystem, Sheets has also shaken off his iconic extra couple of pounds. Darrel is very proud of his weight loss achievement, comparing it to the hope he first enjoyed when one of his gambles in storage bidding succeeded.
Today, he continues to spread that message of hope, gladly helping other people get off the couch and inspiring them to lose weight. According to Sheets, if he can help at the very least, one person gain the same hope, he would have succeeded at his new mission in life.
The Side Bet
Although he only appeared in eight seasons of ‘Storage Wars’, usually as a guest and part-time competitor, many fans would still remember Brandon Sheets. As could be guessed, Brandon is the oldest son of Darrel, and he learned everything he knows about storage auctions from his experienced father.
Sadly, due to budget cuts, the producers let Brandon go in 2016, after which he moved to Arizona, letting his followers and fans know on social media that he no longer affiliates with ‘Storage Wars’. Without a tertiary education, Brandon relied mostly on his street smarts to succeed in the show, and while he enjoyed some fortune, he never achieved remarkable standings while appearing in the series.
After moving to Arizona, Brandon applied for his real estate license, and currently works as an agent in his local area.
However, despite an abrupt end to his reality television career, Brandon continues to express an interest in media. He produces and creates episodic releases of what assumed both the characteristics of a web-series and vlog, which centers on the lifestyles of average middle class society.
The series, called AverageMiddleClass, seems like a spoof version of ‘Cribs’, and for the better part of the vlog, Brandon talks and boasts about the benefits that middle class society enjoys.
A Retired Slacker
The one cast member that greatly impressed both the audience and the producers would possibly be Barry Weiss. Barry originally worked most of his life as a collector of antiquities, and because of his extensive knowledge, attracted the attention of ‘Storage Wars’.
However, it was his personality that ultimately won over the affection of the viewers, and of course the producers, who adored him so much that they allowed him to host two spin-off creations.
The first – notably a failure – ‘Barry’d Treasure’, took viewers on a cross country journey in search of antiques and collectibles, while the other simply relived the best moments of ‘Storage Wars’, entitled ‘Storage Wars: Barry Strikes Back’, with Barry supplying behind the scenes insight.
Despite its popularity, the show didn’t last too long, and in 2014, Barry disappeared from screens altogether. The most recent reports on Barry suggest that he is content on living away from the limelight, and pursues the retired life of a ‘professional slacker’.
On the other hand, Barry did confess that he might be interested in doing a show about antique cars and motorcycles, but for now, it doesn’t seem likely that fans will get to see him on camera again any time soon.
Married to The Business
Among the many favourites of the show, fans simply adored the power couple composed of Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz, who provided a great part of the show’s entertainment.
The two were not only excellent bidders, but their constant arguing with each other kept fans interested in the show, and glued to the screen to see what unfolds next.
Of course, it wasn’t only the viewers and fans who adored the couple, but also the producers, who eventually offered Brandi and Jarrod their own spin-off series, ‘Brandi and Jarrod: Married to the Job’. The series only aired for eight episodes in 2014, before its inevitable cancelation, which focused on the couple’s struggles as they managed a family and the auctioning business.
Since the end of both programs, Brandi and Jarrod have started a clothing line, sold under the brand name Outlaw Apparel. Today they still continue to work in the used goods industry, managing a second-hand store in Orange, California, which many fans would know by name.
Of course, ‘Now and Then Second-Hand Store’ gained a lot of publicity because of their exposure on ‘Storage Wars’, but it appears that the business isn’t quite as booming as Jarrod and Brandi would hope. According to fans who’ve visited their shop, the place hardly seems to be open, and when they do find active business there, the shop seems in a state of neglect.
The second power couple of ‘Storage Wars’, Casey Lloyd and Rene Nezhoda, who charmed the audience and producers with their big bankroll, extensive knowledge of the second-hand market, and their thick German accents, certainly seem to keep busy, even though the cameras have long stopped filming.
Known since their first appearances for owning and managing a thrift store in Poway, California, called ‘Bargain Hunters’, they continue to run this successful business to this day.
Aside from that, the couple cashed in on their fame through the creation of a YouTube Channel, which like the many others out there, covers just about everything from vlogging, unboxings, fan interactions, and much more.
While not busy creating video content and managing the thrift store, they would take exquisite family vacations, and every so often would dabble in storage auctions. In 2018, Rene announced to the public that they landed the fortune of buying a storage unit that once belonged to Farrah Fawcett. Unfortunately, the storage unit turned out to be a poor investment which didn’t turn up anything particularly interesting, and actually earned them a little bit of legal trouble. Farrah’s nephew claimed that they bought the storage unit illegally, and so took action against them. As of yet, news on the case is still to be made public.
— Storage Wars on A&E (@StorageWarsAETV) March 1, 2014
Treasure and Junk
Mary Padian originally featured in the Texan version of ‘Storage Wars’, but due to her personality and a desperate need for youthful characters, and not to mention her popularity among fans, she joined the prime show during the fifth season.
Her careless attitude to finding hidden treasures in the storage units quickly earned her the nickname ‘The Junkster’, and evidently became the source of her popularity. Today, Padian runs a vintage store that sells, as described by her, an eclectic collection of treasures, some untouched and some refurbished. Known as ‘Mary’s Finds’, like Mary herself, the store works closely with a charity organisation called Ubuntu Life, which is dedicated to helping special needs children in Kenya. About 20% of the shop’s sales profits are donated directly to the charity. Many of the items on sale at ‘Mary’s Finds’, she collected during her time on ‘Storage Wars’.
Kenny Do It
One of the viewers most adored ‘Storage Wars’ stars, Kenny Crossley, who’s catchphrase ‘Watch Your Profamity’ became a popular internet meme, was perhaps the most colourful character of them all. Before gaining an interest in storage auctions, Kenny worked for the New Orleans Sheriff’s Department, as well as being the manager of a storage facility in Los Angeles.
Since the show, Kenny has started a clothing line, which is sold mostly because it features some of his many iconic catchphrases. Aside from that, Kenny also owned a candy vending shop called ‘Jackie’s Famous Pralines’. These days, he can be found on social media as the creator of a web series called ‘Kenny’s Uber Adventures’. As the title suggests, the show follows Kenny as he works for Uber, and searches for various ways of entertaining viewers with his shenanigans, which for some reason mostly involve food. Kenny also raps, often performing under various aliases which include DJ Kenny Doit and Lil Daddy Tha Don.
No Nonsense Thrifting
Much like Kenny, Ivy Calvin had a colourful past, and because of his record, the producers of ‘Storage Wars’ especially chose him because he represented no nonsense competition. Before making a name in storage auctions, Ivy competed in various athletic competitions, but sadly his career wasn’t as successful. In the early nineties, Ivy played professional football for the San Jose Sabercats, but was dismissed from the team after playing only seven games. Even so, Ivy expressed that it will always be his dream to compete professionally in Gridiron.
Following this, Ivy took up cage fighting, competing in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The only listed fight in his career in MMA seems to be which he came out the victor, facing Samu Samu, and won the fight by submission.
After that, the A & E Network picked him up as a cast member in ‘Storage Wars’, however, after the show’s finale, it seems Ivy grew tired of the limelight. These days he owns and manages a thrift store in Palmdale, California, called Grandma’s Attic. His social media accounts are dedicated to publishing the store, as he himself stepped away from all the hustle and bustle of fame.
Although there were many more stars, we’ve covered only those fans who you most likely would want to know about.
Despite the fact that ‘Storage Wars’ came to an end, the dedicated fans out there can feel free to keep binging on the auction drama by catching up with any reruns available. Since the popularity of the show doesn’t seem to die out, it should be easy to find any of your favourite episodes.