Category - Storage Auction Reality

Barry Weiss Bio

barry weiss

A life-long collector, Barry Weiss has been attending auctions since he was 15 to satiate his need for collectibles. Now in his 60s, Barry has a lot of experience to draw from and a keen eye for the unusual. Though he has more money to spend than most of his competitors, he still loses his temper frequently when he loses money on an auction. This sort of intensity is one of the things that's propelled him through his career and certainly endears him to fans.

Unlike others on the show, Barry doesn't have a long history with storage unit auctions. Indeed, he only began frequenting these auctions after being invited by the producers of Storage Wars. He is, however, a lifelong antiques collector, and many of the items he buys go toward his own private collections. Everything he doesn't want to keep gets sold or donated. As a wealthy retiree, Barry is more interested in the thrill of the hunt than making a profit on his findings.

Prior to his retirement, Barry and his brother actually made a fortune in agriculture as an importer and exporter of exotic produce. His business, Northern Produce, is located in Commerce, California and is still operating, though Barry has since retired. His brother is still the CEO of the company. Barry's 25 years of owning a business has given him plenty of money to spend on his passions, which include collecting antiques and traveling the world. He's estimated to be worth about $7 million, but much of that money is tied up in antiques and collector's cars.

Barry's known among other auction-hunters as a bit of an odd-ball. Some of his tactics are certainly unorthodox, from consulting psychics to wearing night vision goggles to peer into a dark storage unit. He also tends to wear outlandish and flamboyant clothing, especially his signature skeleton-patterned gloves, and certainly stands out in a crowd.

Of course, some of these tactics may simply be a way to put his competitors off, and he certainly succeeds with that quite often. Either way, he as a lot of fun doing what he does, and his energy is a breath of fresh air in an often tense industry.

Brandi Passante Bio

Brandi Passante

The long-time girlfriend of Jarrod Schulz, Brandi Passante was a stay-at-home mom for several years before getting involved in Jarrod's thrift store business. Now she's the other half of the duo appearing on Storage Wars. She's the more level-headed of the two, frequently talking sense into her partner before he spends more than they can afford on a unit.

While Jarrod's often enthusiastic and aggressive in his bidding, Brandi is more reserved and looks at things shrewdly and carefully, bidding only for items that she knows will fit in with the needs of their store. This does sometimes lead her to be too conservative and miss out on potentially great finds, but they've still managed to put together an impressive business from what they get. Fans love the dynamic between the couple, although some have criticized Brandi as being shrewish or overbearing. Some interviews suggest that these elements of their relationship may be played up for he show.

Though not officially married, Brandi and Jarrod have been together for 12 years and have two children together. Aside from her time on the show, Brandi leads a fairly private life. Aside from information some eager fans have gleaned from her public Twitter and Facebook pages, little is known about her private life beyond what's seen in the show.

Jarrod Schulz Bio

Jarrod Schulz

Alongside his partner Brandi Passante, Jarrod Schulz is a main star in the show Storage Wars. He and Brandi run Now and Then Thrift Store, which they stock with finds from storage auctions and other sources. Together, they're referred to on the show as the “young guns” and they're relative newcomers to the storage auction business. They have less money available than many of the other bidders, so every purchase needs to be approached carefully, but they're quickly gaining experience and know-how in the field.

Jarrod began his career by buying items at storage auctions and reselling them at swap meets. After his home became overrun with items, he opened his thrift store, which Brandi assists in running. He also co-owns Outlaw Apparel, a clothing line that he can frequently be seen wearing on the show.

According to Reality Weekly, Jarrod has a history with the law. In the 1990s, he spent some time in prison for possession of a controlled substance and DUI. After his time in prison, he realized that he needed to make some major changes in his life. He worked for a time in real estate, attending storage auctions as a hobby, before finally opening his thrift store and entering the resale business full-time.

Darrell Sheets Bio

Darrell Sheets

Known as “The Gambler,” Darrell Sheets is an auction-hunter on the popular show Storage Wars on A&E. He's been in the storage auction business for more than 30 years and his experience has led him to make some truly impressive finds. Unlike many of the auction-hunter on the show, Darrell doesn't own a shop of his own. Instead, he buys items and stores them in his warehouse until he can resell them at swap meets and other events or to private collectors.

Darrell originally hails from San Diego, but he moved with his son Brandon to North Hollywood after his divorce. He and Brandon stand out from the crowd thanks to the tank tops they wear, which shows off their muscles and tattoos. Despite his somewhat forbidding presence, Darrell has an eye for art and other collectibles.

Since he doesn't run a store, Darrell can operate with a lower overhead than many other cast members. This allows him to be pickier with the units he bids on, and gives him room to seek out real treasures, like a letter written by Abraham Lincoln that fetched a handsome $15,000. Of course, not all of his finds have been so valuable, and he once was involved in a police investigation after finding a corpse in a storage unit he once won. Nevertheless, Darrell is keen to expand his wealth and experience and teach the trade to his son, who accompanies him on all of his auctions.

Dave Hester Bio

Dave Hester

Dave Hester, also known as “The Mogul” is an auction-hunter on the popular Storage Wars show on A&E. The 47-year-old thrift store owner has been involved in the industry since 1969, when he accompanied his father to a swap meet. Later, over a five year period, he sold a train set piece-by-piece to interested buyers for an impressive profit. It would be several years before he got truly involved in the resale community, though.

Following a DUI arrest in 2005, Hester needed to complete 30 days of community service at a Good Will store. Inspired, he turned his existing furniture store into a thrift shop, Rags to Riches, which he would stock with items bought at storage auctins and other sources. He shut this down in 2011 to open his own auction house, Dave Hester Auctions. Thanks to his role in Storage Wars, he's earned an impressive celebrity net worth of around $3 million.

Of all the characters on Storage Wars, Dave Hester operates with the highest overhead and greatest risk. He's an aggressive bidder, and some of his tactics – especially his tendency to bid loudly and at the last minute – have earned him a role as an antagonist for many of the show's other buyers. He likes to drive up the prices on auctions to cost his competition more money, and he runs his businesses in a very orderly fashion – which makes sense, considering his military upbringing.

Dave's signature call of “Yuuup!” when placing a bid has made him famous, but also caused some scandals: He fought a legal battle with musician Trey Songz over his right to use the word as his catch-phrase after the rapper sent a cease-and-desist letter. The lawsuit has since been settled, but details of the settlement are still unclear.

Dave Hester was absent from several episodes of the most recent Storage Wars season. Coupled with some heated contract negotiations with AMZ, many fans suspected that Hester would not return to the show. As of right now, though, he's still a regular member of the program, and his son Dave Jr. is a regular participant as well.

Jerry Simpson Bio

Jerry Simpson Storage Wars Texas

One half of the popular Storage Wars: Texas duo, Jerry Simpson works with Lesa Lewis at her thrift store Again and Again Resale. Jerry and Lesa were popular fan favorites due to their bickering and work chemistry, and many people were sad to see them go when A&E did not renew their contracts for the third season.

Compared to his often larger-than-life boss, Jerry tends to take a more backseat role, and less is known about him than many other members of the Storage Wars cast. A few news stories have surfaced to reveal a criminal background, with a charge in 1992 for ownership of a controlled substance and 2007 for assault. His record has been clean since he began working for Lesa in 2008.

According to Reality Weekly, Jerry began working with Lesa during a down period in his life when he was having rough luck and a hard time finding a job. He's been her assistant ever since, generally doing the hard manual labor and other physical work, but he's working toward a more sales-oriented position with the company. Rumors have circulated that the duo may be getting their own spin-off show now that their time with Storage Wars: Texas has ended, but it's not clear how much truth these rumors contain.

All About the Ratings: The New Cast Members of Storage Auction TV

Jenny Mary Storage Wars Texas

Although the absence of Lesa Lewis and Jerry Simpson from this season of Storage Wars: Texas has caused a lot of speculation, it's hard to ignore that they've been replaced by two rather attractive young women. In case that seems like a coincidence, the same phenomenon has occurred on another popular show, Spike TV's Auction Hunters.

Carolyn Gianelli Auction HuntersCarolyn – an attractive young blonde often seen in a low-cut shirt and short shorts – appeared in an earlier episode of Auction Hunters when she was seen bidding against Allen Haff. Later, Allen and Ton brought her on as their assistant for their Hawaii episode that aired on September 19. It seems fitting that an episode in Hawaii, which is generally portrayed as both glamorous and relaxed, should be the appropriate place to introduce a new character.

Little is available online about Carolyn, whose last name appears to be Giannelli. Based on her Facebook page – which boasts a modest 82 friends and seems to be mostly private – she's a self-employed Mt. SAC graduate living in Anaheim Hills, California. She's not listed on the show's IMDB page yet, but she'll be appearing in the next episode according to Spike's website. More than likely, she's due to be a new permanent staff member. Undoubtedly, as season unfolds, we'll learn more information about her.

It seems fairly transparent that her appearance on the program is an effort to attract more viewers and boost ratings. Spike TV, as a network, caters primarily to a male audience, and young female stars definitely don't hurt when it comes to connecting with that demographic. Since the Hawaii episode, many fans have been commenting on the site's Facebook fan page or asking the Internet in general about the “hot girl on Auction Hunters,” which underscores the motives of the producers.

It's not a surprise to know that attractive women have a positive impact on ratings. Even the Olympics benefited from good-looking athletes. It's one of the topics that people sometimes shy away from when considering Hollywood and television, but it's a pretty well-known phenomenon that female celebrities are expected to look a certain way. While viewers will cut old, overweight or generally unattractive men some slack, they're often pretty ruthless about female stars, sometimes even claiming that some people are “too ugly for TV.”

In many ways, reality TV has avoided this problem, and many fans have always found this to be refreshing. Seeing real people interact is, after all, the primary allure of reality TV. Unfortunately, networks seem to disagree, and more and more the human element is sidelined in favor of casting eye-candy for various roles. From the addition of Danielle Rainey and Olivia Black on Pawn Stars to the new arrivals of Jenny Grumbles and Mary Padian on Storage Wars: Texas, it's pretty clear that reality TV producers are casting with an eye toward good looks when they find female stars.

It hardly bears saying that pretty young women are not generally the norm in the storage auction world, where the work is generally dirty and tiring. This is one thing that fans particularly loved about Lesa Lewis – she was genuine and authentic, and absolutely the type of woman you're most likely to encounter when you step into a storage auction or resale business. Perhaps if fans demand more realism from their programming, a better balance can be struck to make reality TV more realistic.

Bubba Smith Bio

Bubba Smith Storage Wars Texas

Ricky Smith's nephew, Bubba is every bit the Texas gentleman of his uncle. He didn't grow up around the auction industry, but decided to pursue the lifestyle after spending a few unsatisfying years behind a desk. He's been in the auction industry since 1991 and has learned everything he knows about the trade from Ricky.

Bubba's worth a half-million on his own due in part to his role in Storage Wars: Texas and the work he does with his uncle in maintaining their distribution warehouse. Unlike other auction hunters, Bubba and Ricky don't run a consignment store; instead, they sell items to a wide network of private buyers.

Bubba helps his uncle with the technological aspects of the job, and he's quite proficient with computers. He's also an appreciator of fine art, and he hopes to maintain his own private collection or gallery some day. He does, however, get uncomfortable in tight spaces like storage units due to his extreme claustrophobia. Nevertheless, there's plenty of other work to do, and he and Ricky make a formidable tag-team opponent during auctions.

Ricky Smith Bio

Ricky Smith is a born-and-raised Texan with an easy-going manner and “good ol' boy” attitude. He's been a professional auction hunter for a long time, dipping his toes into the auction world at just 12 years old at his parent's auction house. He started bidding at 14 and has been working in the auction world ever since, and his 40 years of auction experience makes him one of the most successful auction hunters on the show.  Ricky also owns a successful auction house in Lampasas, Texas.

Since he's been in the business for so long, Ricky has acquired a wide network of buyers, from private clients to consignment store owners and other auction hunters. Knowing so many buyers has helped him accrue a net worth of over $2 million; his central role in Storage Wars: Texas has certainly helped increase his overall wealth.

Aside from his profession, Ricky has a rich life. He's been a volunteer firefighter for 10 years and is an active member in his community. He's also interested in animals, from wildlife to ranching, and he spends a lot of his free time hunting and fishing.

Victor Rjesnjansky Bio

Victor Rjesnjansky

A Long Island native, Victor Rjesnjansky moved to Texas five years ago in search of cheaper living and a new adventure. He's a member of the Storage Wars: Texas cast, and his celebrity net worth is about $1 million thanks to his involvement on the show and his successful business ventures. He owns a revolving estate sale and a consignment store which he keeps stocked with items bought at auction.

Known as “the Outsider” or “Slick Vick,” Victor has a hard time fitting in with the Dallas locals, which he refers to as “rednecks.” He's a fast-talker and prefers a leisurely and decadent lifestyle. While he'll bid on anything that might turn a profit, Victor specializes in vehicles from motorcycles to boats and golf carts. These he collects in his yard and garage until he can find a place to resell them.

Before moving to Texas, Victor was already a frequent auction hunter in New York. He started searching through auctions in 1990, and he's gained a lot of experience and techniques since then that are put to good use on the show. He appreciates healthy profits from many of his purchases, and the website for his consignment shop, 31 House, helps draw more business as curious fans of the show look him up online.