The ‘Storage Wars’ Cast Has a Lot of Rules to Follow: Here’s Why

by Emily Morgan

For 13 seasons, fans of A&E’s “Storage Wars” have loved watching people play their hand at purchasing storage lockers in hopes of getting a big payout. 

This reality series has also included a diverse cast of personalities since its debut in 2010. However, it hasn’t always been pretty. For instance, Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz were known for their tumultuous relationship. In addition, hostile bidders such as Dave Hester and Barry Weiss were known to get aggressive while filming. As a result, the show had to institute rules for the cast despite it being an unscripted reality series.

Although there is one basic rule: buyers can’t closely inspect the contents of units before bidding. However, the show had to include more stipulations for cast members as time passed.

Beyond being banned from peeking at the locker’s contents, the show also outlawed physical violence. In 2015, TMZ reported that a fight broke out between stars Dan and Laura Dotson and Dave Hester, in which Hester pushed Laura Dotson to the ground. When the footage was aired during Season 8, it marked one of the only times “Storage Wars” showed a physical altercation. Although the show has tried to keep this from happening again, it doesn’t mean the bidders don’t get into some heated feuds. As Brandi Passante once said, “When you bid against me, the claws come out.”

In addition, the winning bidders must pay cash only with no exceptions. Moreso, the bidders cannot sneak off to an ATM for more money in between bids. They also are prohibited from writing checks or using debit or credit cards to pay for units.

‘Storage Wars’ producer talks cast using scripts on the show

While it may not be an official rule, the show encourages the cast to follow their scripted scenes. After a lawsuit by Dave Hester, “Storage Wars” executive producer Thom Beers once discussed the show’s behind-the-scenes protocol.

When the topic of the cast interviews shown between segments arose, he cleared some things up for fans. “In the old days, we avoided talking heads because it was the death knell,” he said, explaining narration wasn’t a hit with the fans.

During the panel, Beers also revealed that he thought reality stars were not actors. He added that their interviews might come off as unpolished since they were regular people and not working actors.

“I have to admit: There’s some writing involved,” he admitted. “We do it in ‘Storage Wars,’ we do it in ‘America’s Lost Treasures.’ … I’m so tired of narration driving story.” He admitted cast members are fed approximately half their lines through producers to “allow them to translate what we need to push the story.” However, Beers also insisted that these lines didn’t really “push” the show’s overall narratives, as “the story is the story.”