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Is this show and American Pickers Good OR Bad for the antiques and collectibles business

Do you think these shows hurt or help brick and mortar antique shops when trying to buy from the public?  Over the last six months I have had at least two dozen people  come in  and act ambivalent about selling due to their perceptions of chicanery on these two shows.  What are your experiences with the public since the advent of "reality" antiques on national television?

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Replies to This Discussion

Dudley...thanks for launching the first forum post. First before I answered you question I had to look up the word chicanery . Here is what I found;

1. trickery or deception by quibbling or sophistry: He resorted to the worst flattery and chicanery to win the job.
a quibble or subterfuge used to trick, deceive, or evade

Maybe I am too new to watching Pawn Stars.....but I do not find these fellas deceiving anyone. It seems to me that they call in their experts and they evaluate and value the item that is brought into their shop. Next they factor in what it will cost them to restore or repair what they have. Then these guys figure out at what price they can turnover an item for in their region or with their contacts. Now that sounds to me like a legitimate process.

I do think you are correct when you say that the public has become more savvy about selling what they have. But I think the internet and social media has influenced the buying and selling of goods way more than these "reality T.V." shows.
Because behind the scenes of these T.V. shows, are producers who are building stories and researching all their scripts using research sites such as online auctions (eBay) , collectors groups, social networks ( I Antique Online.com ) ( appraisal professionals in the field) to coach "the talent" (on camera guys) to know what to say or to jazz up their knowledge base.
What people don't understand is, this is a reality show. This is NOT real. This is a show with actors. it does take place in a real pawn shop. I think. I am an antique dealer. We have our own store not a booth in a mall. Customers have brought up the show and believe it is real. The show has had no effect on us.
Huh? It's not real? You "think" it takes place in a pawn shop? They're actors? Joe, it does take place in a real pawn shop in Los Vegas that has been there for a couple of decades, run by the people you see on the show. They may have since become celebrities due to the show's popularity, but they're no more "actors" than were the policemen you saw on the show Cops. (That's not to say that it's not scripted to some extent.)

Besides selling in the shop, they sell from their website, http://www.gspawn.com/ and on eBay, http://stores.ebay.com/Gold-and-Silver-Pawn-Shop .

Or should I say they're no more actors than are the alligator hunters in Swamp People ... LOL.

(Of course in my post above it should be "Las" Vegas, not "Los.")
I took a poll of about 50 antiques dealers that set up at my market and have set up here before and the majority felt that American Pickers in particular has made it harder and harder to buy at anything other than retail prices. Personally I have experienced several instances of people stating that they dont want to get screwed like the people do on American Pickers. This has most definitely had an effect on us.
Well, in my opnion, I do not think Pawn stars and American Pickers do any harm, what so ever. In my experience, it has actually been E-Bay that has caused the most trouble. For example, I was at a auction of a automotive dealership, who had been in business since the early 1920's, and there was a lot of older car parts in the back, which I had looked at, and could identify, as they were not maked as to what they were. Anyway, when these items were brought out, some guy was bidding on all thi stuff, and getting it. Well, he was talking about putting all this stuff on E-Bay, however, he had no idea as to what he bought. He was asking me if I knew what the stuff was for. Naturally, I knew, but I wouldn't tell him. I figured if he is going to act like Mr. big shot, then find out himself. I have sold things to people who say they are going to keep it, and they just put it on E-Bay right away anyhow. Then they don't list it correctly. It is the wrong year, and for the wrong application. So, I think E-Bay is the biggest problem. That has been my experience, anyway.
I agree, Dan, that it is eBay that has leveled the playing field, so to speak. This has worked in favor of some and against others. But let me ask you a question: Whether a person is going to keep an item, or put it on eBay, why should it matter if you got the price you wanted for it?
Hi Buzz, well I'll tell you a story... I had a ignition distributor from a 1971 Seagraves fire truck. The motor in it was a V-12, and I got onr distributor, and my dad got the other, anyway, a guy stopped and was looking for a distributor for a V-12 Packard engine. Well I told him all I had was one from a 1971 Seagraves fire truck, ant that would not fit, by any means. Well, he still insisted on seeing it, so I showed it to him, and he said it would fit, and what would I have to have for it? Well, what could it be worth? There are plenty of Seagraves fire trucks out there, so i told him, $25 takes it, to which he paid right off the bat without any questions. Anyway, I found this guys E-Bay username, and I thought I'd just check and see if the distributor is actually selling at all. Well, not only was it selling, but it was sold!!! What mademe mad was the price he got for it. He got $600 for it!!! Some guy from Russia bought it. I told him that he could give a little more since he got so much for it. Naturally he didn't, so I have no use for him or E-bay either, anymore. He is one of those, who'll act dumb and say he doesn't know what something if for, or what it is worth. People like that I just don't like. My opnion, however, so you can take it for what iit is worth. Thank you. dan.
Dan, you're getting mad at this guy because he knew better than you what the distributor was worth? You set the price of $25 and you got what you wanted for it. He got much more for it and you could have, too. You SHOULD have a use for eBay ... if for nothing else then to check how much items you handle are going for. There's a $575 lesson in this for you if you use that experience in a positive way.
I agree Buzz, Always check Ebay for prices..
Don't even get me started about ebay. I think they have decimated many brick and mortar group shops and antique shops over the last 10 years. My experience with ebay was as a powerseller with over 20,000 sales under three different seller ID's. I had 100% positive feedback without a single negative and only one neutral in 12 years. Then both of my parents died within a short time of each other and while handling funeral arrangements I had slow shipping for a couple of weeks. I received 5 negatives. Ebay cancelled 340 auctions I had running and deregistered me. I contacted them and sent them copies of the Obituaries and explained that I had notified the buyers why the shipping was slow. After a month of trying to get reinstated during an already difficult time, ebay informed me that i needed to send them complete copies of my parents medical records (impossible to do with HIPPA regulations) and my parents death certificates and stated tersely that they may or may not review the requested documentation and that they may or may not get back to me and that they may or may not reinstate me. That was the last straw. I was paying them about $2200 a month and getting less and less from them. They need a viable competitor to really get them in line. They are NOT nice people.
Yes... E-Bay can stick it where the sun don't shine, in my opnion. That is what I think, anyhow. E-Bay sucks, big time!!! Talk to you soon. dan.


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