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Mon June 21 2010 09:42:34

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

By: Ina Steiner

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The History Channel has two shows that appeal to collectors and dealers, and they are not without controversy. You might say the programs are Version 2.0 of the old school reality shows like Antiques Roadshow, Flea Market Finds with the Kovels, and Cash in the Attic.  

American Pickers follows Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz "as they scour the country for hidden gems in junkyards, basements, garages and barns, meeting quirky characters and hearing their amazing stories. If you think the antique business is all about upscale boutiques and buttoned-up dealers, this show may change your mind - and teach you a thing or two about American history along the way."

Barbara Crews on About.com wrote that the most common complaints about the show after only three episodes had aired was whether the guys took advantage of the elderly.

Antique Trader had a discussion going, "Do you think the show American Pickers helps or hurts the antiques business?"

The History Channel also has another show of interest to eBay sellers, collectors and dealers called Pawn Stars.

"At the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop on the outskirts of Las Vegas, three generations of the Harrison family - grandfather Richard, son Rick and grandson Corey--jointly run the family business, and there's clashing and camaraderie every step of the way. The three men use their sharp eyes and skills to assess the value of items from the commonplace to the truly historic, including a 16th-century samurai sword, a Super Bowl ring, a Picasso painting and a 17th-century stay of execution. It's up to them to determine what's real and what's fake, as they reveal the often surprising answer to the questions on everyone's mind, "What's the story behind it"? and "What's it worth?"

(For an interesting sneak behind the scenes, TVGuide.com ran an interview with the shop owners yesterday.)

Maybe the History Channel should consider a reality show featuring longtime eBay sellers and the challenges they face. I can think of a number of characters that would make for great television entertainment. Now that's something I would tune in to!




Comments (39) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: TheCheapSkirt.com
Web Site

Mon Jun 21 10:23:37 2010

Ah yes. "Real Housewives of The Clothing & Accessories Board".  Enough slaps and virtual hairpulling to fill 8 seasons running!

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: Theresa

Mon Jun 21 10:33:43 2010

I love both of those shows!  I have learned a few things while being entertained.  I do not think American Pickers are taking advantage of folks - most of the hoarders/collectors they encounter know what they have and can just say no to their offers.  On Pawn Stars, it amazes me that people accept their low ball ''non retail'' offers instead of selling their own stuff on eBay or at least through a classified of some sort.
I would love to see a reality show featuring us eBay sellers - it would be educational, informative and entertaining - and would definitely shed some light on the horrors we deal with regarding eBay corp and their unbelievably incompetent management team.

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: nobody

Mon Jun 21 11:01:45 2010

ebay would simply buy the rights (or sue for them) and shut the show down, lest their nasty little secrets get out.

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: racecarguy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 21 11:08:30 2010

The biggest problem with these type shows is that, well, they are TV Shows and thus need ratings. So, on Antiques Roadshow, for example, instead of ''real world'' prices, they always give the highest auction house price EVER recorded, because, well, it SOUNDS better.
It doesn't matter that no other example of that item has ever sold close to that amount, or that the one in Granny's house is not in as good condition, or that the high end Auction House would never even consider accepting it, it still makes for GOOD TV. Antiques Roadshow has always caused problems for Dealers and will continue to do so

American Pickers is fun to watch, but you can tell that they make the same mistakes that anyone does who tries to cover too much territory (product-wise) as far as what items they buy. If you don't have expertise in a certain area, you WILL make buying mistakes. Those guys have made several, just because they THINK it will sell, but as I said, the show is definitely entertaining. I'm a fan.

As for Pawn Stars, I agree with the assessment about how they buy...and Junior is a little creepy.

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: Lisa

Mon Jun 21 11:26:45 2010

There are no shortage of eBay sellers who take advantage of the elderly/infirm and their families.  Companies that sell franchises offering to help seniors or their families with the move from the old family homestead into assisted living facilities, these people (franchisees) come out and give extremely lowball estimates to these families who have no clue what grandma or grandpa has and take the so-called "expert's" word for it.  They don't have the time to shop around for qualified appraisers and the so called "worthless trash" the 'specialists' offer to take off their hands or junk for them usually end up on eBay at full or near full value.  And we're worried about American Pickers who arrive with camera crews and take advantage of those who aren't in desperate or time-sensitive situations?  How about a show about eBay sellers called "American Grifters", franchisees or independents operating under the guise of helping families with their incapacitated or disabled relatives who need to be relocated, their houses and goods sold and offering pennies (or less) on the dollar for what these people know is nowhere near the actual value of the items.  Yeah, that's more like how that should operate.  Famous Gold & Silver (and Chumlee is by far my favorite character), always has me wondering why people who walk in with no idea what they have, and then find out it's worth a fortune, don't turn around and try to sell it for what it's worth.  They accept sometimes less than half the value.  I appreciate the Harrison's have to make a profit, but only in Vegas does somebody sell a Spanish Gold piece from a wrecked gallion for $7,000 after hearing an expert tell him it was worth $18k.

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: Larry Vorpagel

Mon Jun 21 11:33:47 2010

How about a show where Donablowhole lives in a house with 3 small Ebay collectibles sellers.

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Mon Jun 21 11:39:03 2010

Everybody relax - it's entertainment and entertainment only.

From what I've seen, "Pickers" can't afford the motel at night after buying only 5-10 items & making a few hundred "valued" on them. You don't have access to their business & don't know. Obviously, they ARE successful & you are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

As far as "Porn" er "Pawn Stars", why would you go into a shop to sell something & not do it if you don't like the price. These guys need a markup of over 100% to stay in business. The sellers are a hoot & always want retail - sure take the time to sell it online & see what you get or don't.

Anyway, it is fun watching the personalities & the weirdo hoarders.

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 21 11:48:01 2010

@Larry:  "How about a show where Donablowhole lives in a house with 3 small Ebay collectibles sellers. "  .....and depends on them for his room and board ;-)

I love the pawn shop trio - but what amazes me is all the "experts" he calls in at the drop of a hat LOL   What's up with that?  Seems LV is full of experts on this or that and they're all friends of these pawn shop guys.

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: Ahwooga This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jun 21 12:09:51 2010

I love the American Pickers show!!
They find the coolest stuff.

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: Fomer ebay seller

Mon Jun 21 12:21:27 2010

My 2 cents in watching American Pickers is that their profit margin is not great and they talk to much instead of just doing more picking.

Having said that, people have an idea of what they think something is worth when they sell it to someone else.
No one is forced to sell anything if the price is not right.

Pawn Stars they bring in experts which give real ideas on worth so the sellers can sometimes get better returns when they pawn or sell their items.
Again, I wish it was about the items and not about the family fighting.

Frankly, I would like to see women doing the picking or finding of items rather than only having shows where men are the main characters.

As for ebay, we sellers have many stories to tell, but no doubt ebay would want a final value fee to be paid by Paypal who would file a SNAD or INR for credit.

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Mon Jun 21 13:13:29 2010

How about ''The E-seller Shoplifters?'' It would be about a couple of motivated eBay tweekers who earn their living doing five-finger discounts at various retail venues and out of peoples' homes at night.

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: The Whine Seller
Web Site

Mon Jun 21 13:45:39 2010

Pickers is on before Pawn Stars and my husband likes both but I have to say, something about them really creeps me out. I guess its one thing to sometimes buy something at a flea market or garage sale and sell it for more later but to do it all the time feels dishonest and creepy.

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: me

Mon Jun 21 13:54:54 2010

History channel is part of A&E networks. A&E networks ia a client of liveworld.
This is all PR spin. Nothing more. Ebay is trying anything they can to revive their failing site and reputation.

How long until we see some of the paypal 'regular advisors' over there on the history channel community forums, as we've seen on the A&E forums? (You know, the same ones who deny they work for liveworld, ebay or paypal?) Who knows, maybe they'll get another chance to defend wife beating, terrorism and suicide bombers?

As far as the pawn stars show. Leans a bit sleazy from the name alone. Are they trying to remind you of porn stars? Pawn shops have and always have had a reputation for being sleazy. Besides that, who wants to watch fat disgusting people lowballing the rubes?

The other one about the 'pickers'. Someone needs to lampoon that one as the "nose pickers". I don't get a good vibe from that show/those characters either.

Maybe History channel can produce one about the history of fraud on ebay and paypal? A miniseries. An entire season! That would go to number 1 with a bullet!

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: illegal activity

Mon Jun 21 14:44:14 2010

Rick of Pawn stars got his start by selling counterfeit handbags (admittedly) from the pawn stars site:
"He even dropped out of high school to pursue his $2,000-a-week business of selling fake Gucci bags".
By such illegal activity he was able to partner with his father in the pawn shop.

So, how about instead of featuring him on TV, they throw his ass in jail for selling fake Gucci bags and supporting the child labor, drug trade, etc. that benefits from them.

Doesnt exactly send a good message out their does it?

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: Pickers?

Mon Jun 21 14:51:14 2010

American pickers, LOL

They entertaining however they are MORONS. I cannot see how they can make a living buying stuff for $300 and selling it for $330. LMAO
I dont know how they could possible afford to be on the road constantly, eating out, and all the associated expenses with being on the road with the minimal profits (if any) they make on their purchases.
The stuff they buy is rediculous and the profit margin is so razor thin that if they werent paid by the network for the show they'd probably be out of business.

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: Dave H.

Mon Jun 21 14:56:21 2010

Well...  the things wrong with these shows is the same as when the house flipper shows were so popular, they make anyone think they can do it, them shows drove the 50 to 70 thousand dollar fix it homes to 120 + and everybody and there brother thought they could do it, the first 2 o3 episodes of these kind of shows are OK  then they just try and make movie stars out of the people  all scripted and directed,    

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Mon Jun 21 15:04:05 2010

How about a show about eBay that explains to naïve consumers how groups of dealers (and individual dealers) on eBay, each with tens of bidding accounts, operating from different IP addresses, conspire to shill bid up each others items and so defraud buyers; how they water down their Bid History “Bid activity with this seller percentage” by placing many non-winning penny-bids on other sellers’ items; how they can increment the feedback counts on their shill bidding accounts by trading feedback with feedback dealers at a penny an increment; how eBay’s proxy bidding system is so open to abuse by unscrupulous sellers, its use can be simply an invitation to pay the maximum you are prepared to pay; how there are now on eBay probably more dealers’ shill bidding accounts than there are genuine buyers’ accounts; how eBay’s masking of bidding IDs was never intended as other than a devious mechanism deliberately designed to further obscure (criminally facilitate) such criminal activity, so that buyers would have even less chance of detecting it, and the Desperate Donut could improve eBay’s revenue from its FVFs …

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 21 15:09:20 2010

I think both those shows are all staged. They are entertaining. Both the pawn shop and the pickers, I am sure, are making many more deals than turn up on the shows. The pickers, especially, probably buy whole house/barn, property contents, similar to what many dealer do all over the country.

I think the children of some of the hoarders are glad to get rid of some of the stuff. Whatever price they agree on is certainly better than just letting it sit and rot away.

I learn quite a bit from those shows.

Many of the older folks shown, don't just cave at any old price. They generally know the value of the items they have, plus some of the items are in pretty poor condition, and probably wouldn't get purchased unless the dealer knew where to get it either rehabbed or sold off.

If you notice, they both have pretty savvy contacts that they can get ahold of.

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: Troglodyte

Mon Jun 21 17:11:59 2010

Any show about ebay management type characters (Donahoe, Norrington, Griff, et. al.) must be on TRU TV.

They all swindlers, thieves, and liars.

Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors   Reality TV Shows for eBay Sellers and Collectors

by: Hardrock Rules

Mon Jun 21 17:17:45 2010

The prices I have sen Antique roadshow get I could never get on eBay.

People think all their antiques are gold

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