I figured their had to be something like that going on you dont fill a shop (any shop) with that much stuff by buying 5 things from each place you visit. I would have thought they just show the "gems" on tv and the rest is like "hey I'll take this entire box of stuff for 5 bucks" I figure thats where your making the real money you buy 100 trinkets in a box for like 25 bucks then you brush them off and sell them for 5 bucks each. Don't sound like a lot but thats 475 profit not the measly 100 bucks here and there for the "big ticket" stuff.
I would like to see that Fast and Loud clown pass a drug test! If he is not on Coke or Meth he is doing a great impression.
AND they know how to take crap and turn it into Shit!
I'll bet that IRS is cleaning up on the people that are selling the high dollar items, ON CAMERA!
No doubt Fast and Loud describes the owner rather than the stuff they build. I watched that drivel one night this past weekend where they did one of their one week builds of an early 70's Ford pickup. Anyone who's ever done any extensive work in rebuilding a car would tell you if all that stuff was done in a week then you wouldn't want anyone to inspect it from closer than 50 feet away. And, if it was actually done in a first class manner, you'd have more tied up in it than it'd ever sell for on the luckiest day of your life, rather than for the supposed $20K profit they made on it. Everything about that show is just staged phony-ness.
Saw that storage locker thing once too.... Some bunch of mouth breathers gushing over the gold mine of used office furniture they'd "won" in one of the sales. In the real world, you could sell a semi trailer load of that crap every month and still starve to death even if you got it for nothing. Logic says no one just forgets they've got stuff of any significant value stored in one of those places. If they did have anything of value, they'd retrieve it before the past due rent stacked up. More like they look at a mountain of trash and decide there's no way it'd be worthwhile to drag the stuff out, so they leave it as a problem for the owner to get rid of.
I have friend who is very active in marketing. At dinner the other night we were talking about the recent surge in the "reality" show market. She brought up some interesting points. One of the reasons why these shows are so prevalent is that they are dirt cheap to produce. One of the main reasons why they are so cheap to produce is that they don't have to pay writers. They just get a camera crew and start rolling film. Enough people watch this stuff that advertisers are willing to pay. She equated it to "rap" music. If you don't have to spend years learning to play an instrument it doesn't cost much in time or effort to break into the business. Interesting take I think.
I agree its all about being cheap to produce. Say it costs $50K to turn out one of those half hour abortions. I remember back when Drew Carey's show was running weekly on one of the networks, they mentioned his million dollars per episode worked out to $50K/minute for the 20 minutes airtime of a half hour show.
In the original post car example, the shop likely considers it advertising. Their one self-financed job could generate several restoration projects at full book rate, where their only investment is shop overhead. And that's what they exist to do.
The business model of TV shows can also include the business owners being producers of the show. That way, everything they do in relation to the show becomes the 'cost' of the show... including the crap they buy, and the labor to fix it up. Especially handy for someone migrating from 'hobby' to 'business'. Like renting your services as show host to your own production company, while also working at your regular shop job. Both on the same project.
The contrived drama of motorcycle shows has always been a good teachable moment around my house... as in "here, they're showing you how not to do it".
Of course, the 'best of breed' has always been Junkyard Challenge (UK)/Junkyard Wars (US). While manipulation was definitely involved, the audience was brought in on it. The only behind-the-scenes stuff was the safety fixes, and they were usually commented upon.
An antique TV forum I visit has recently been spammed by a producer seeking "old electronics" to "restore" for a TV show -- which has been predicted to contain the aforementioned drama, and the wholesale conversion of antique TV sets into aquariums. Check your local listings...
All TV shows exist to deliver an audience to an advertiser. In these programs, the product is not the restored car or the suddenly-valuable antique, or the storage bin full of undiscovered Warhol paintings. The product is the viewer, who is now predisposed to spend money on getting to be like the folks on TV. The product is the redneck who likes full-auto firearms, and who will buy a 4-wheeler that costs more than his house. And a new pickup that will rust out before his kid finishes all three years of fifth grade. Or the yuppie who hasn't figured out they've already made all the good Mercedes years ago.
Not so fast.
Originally Posted by Chip Chester
I had a professor who was an expert on U.S. junkyard wars. He did an episode where they built a suitcase go-kart.
The things you don't see:
The "junkyard" is in L.A., earthquake country. For health and safety reasons, everything is welded together and arranged to look like a junk yard.
The experts come up with the design and tell the show producers what items they need to "find" in the junkyard. Things like running engines, boat propellers, air tight tanks, prop shafts, etc.
The "deadline" is quite flexible. He claimed that his team did finish in the allowed time, but the other team was given an extension. Think about it. Who would watch if only one team had a vehicle that could compete?
I too found myself in a hotel room flicking through the channels, and happened across one of these shows - one that I think is the most obvious "fake" of all of them... It was at a container port, and they were auctioning off the contents - but the containers were "locked" with a padlock instead of the pukka pin locks - first sign of something amiss.
It got more and more ridiculous, but the finale was where one container was opened, and there was a tesla sports car... Show ended with the guy driving it out of the container - yeah right!
I was so skeptical, I looked for it on google - sure enough, It was discussed on the Tesla forum, and one particular sleauth found enough evidence to prove it was from the Hertz rental place a few miles from where it was filmed...
My mom and sisters used to watch "Antiques Roadshow" regularly every week. They'd ooh and ahh about the geat valuations and remember stuff to look for at yard sales. It was good fun for them. But they missed a key point in those valutations. The appraisers always qualified their valutations by preceding it with "In a well-publicized and well-attended auction..." I pointed out to my women that this meant an appraisal of $5000 meant $2500 into the pockets of the seller and $2500 (at least) into the pocket of the auction house.
Saying this did no good, it was water off a duck. I gave up less because of the futility of the argument than, why spoil their fun? They never grabbed the brass ring (or even the plywood ring, come to that) with the stuff they brought home, but they had fun. There are worse things.
Since I have never had cable TV and watch virtually no regular TV since Univision is no longer available in my area, I am not aware of most of the shows mentioned here. I did see bits of one or two on the TV in Mom's hospital room a few years ago, though, and I agree it's purely entertainement (asuming you set your standard for entertainment that low). As others have said, the money is in the TV show, not in the junk that the people buy and sell. Are some "treasures" bought at low prices and sold for a fortune? Sure. Just don't hold your breath waiting for a legit example to come along in your own life.
I used to buy from craigslist or its low-tech predecessors (such as classifieds) things I was familiar with (usually tools and machinery of various sorts) at good prices, clean/fix as cheaply as possible, then resell at a profit. I could buy something like a Unisaw for $150, drag it to my shop, paint, clean, lube, adjust then advertise and do the hokey pokey of dealing with ad respondents (who may or may not understand what I am selling and may or may not honor their commitment to show up, etc) and end up selling the thing for $750 or so. Great deal, right? The fun of finding bargains, kibitzing with people you meet along the way, having more fun fixing stuff up, then repeating the process when it's time to sell, and making a profit, with the ability to keep the really cool stuff you find for yourself! WOW!
Umm... not so much.
One day I figured out I was making maybe $1/hr if I was lucky, and that didn't factor in in any way the opportunity loss of the time (I could be doing something more enjoyable , e.g. going to the beach and admiring the cuties, maybe, or profitable, e.g. working at McDonalds, buying a hot dog cart), tripping over all sorts of disassembled or partially-assembled junk, or having to deal with the ever-increasing concentration of loonies wandering around and responding to ads. I still do buy the occasional item for resale, but only if it's something I come across while buying something I truly want/need and if it's something I am curious about, and only with the idea of making my hobbies even slightly self-sufficient. I'm on the cusp of giving even that up, though, because there are so many nitwits who will do what I do and undersell me by some ridiculous amount, hoping to turn a numerical gain (as opposed to a profit) of about $50 - $100. No, thanks.
on edit: People type a lot fater than I do! Old TV's into AQUARIUMS?! Oh, the horror!
The next thing you will say is that Pro Wrestling is fake!! LMAO
A buddy of mine used do be an warranty dealer for them, before the TV show. He had many problems with the work done to those bikes, which at that time were sold as Homebuilt, as the clowns from OCC were not registered as manufactures at that time. There were a number of frames that cracked/broke due to design and workmanship issues. In the end the feds DOT came envolved, and the frames were replaced/repaired. This was 10 years ago or so.
That show kicked off a spree of custom bike builders, West Coast Choppers, Titan, California, Borget, Southern, Indian, and at least a dozen others. Now West Coast, OCC and one or two other remain. This friend sold several brands up to around $80, it was shocking to visit his shop and look at cheap bikes for $40K. Today those bikes are worth a small fraction of their selling prices, few new bikes are sold, as the easy money is gone from the housing market which fueled so much of the buying. Pawn Stars I believe is a larger factor in that growth, than the lousy ecomony, which surly helps that business.
Today the hottest growing business is PAWN shops, there are 2 being opened within a couple miles of where I live. Buying gold and other items. And loaning money at 3.7% a month on Pawned items.
The point of the original post was not any question as to the "fake" aspects as pertaining to staging and seeded finds but rather to the curiosity of the supposed low profits. One member alluded to the IRS interest possilbities, which makes some sense....but then there are the shows that go to the opposite extremes like the storage wars thing, showing profits wildly beyond real possibilities. However, storage wars only gives estimates of what something should sell for and not actual confirmed sales...plus the IRS would more likely believe them that it was all a fantasy anyway. But the auto restoration guys are showing actual sales (supposedly) and actual profits ( supposedly) which might appear more real to the IRS and thus trigger more scrutiny if profits were pretty high.
Originally Posted by Toms Wheels
my impression of american pickers is that they routinely undervalue what they are buying, my assumption of the motivation is to make the person selling them the items feel less ripped off when the show airs. Which is the same reason I think they feign ignorance on the values of some of the items that they buy and then take to an appraiser, to make it seem less like they knew they were low balling the seller.
For a few years, I tried the vintage auto restoration business with one partner back in the mid 80's. We really thought it would be easy money. We knew our cars well, and cheapest ways to obtain or fix parts, and could do body work and put on a paint job as fine as any out there. We bought really cheap at unknown auctions and then sold only at high end well advertised auctions. At best we made 5 to 10$ hr, but most of our projects we likely only broke even, and we had no overhead, using my garage and neighbor's garages for free. We had some fun, but we worked our butts off and wasn't a healthy job either - and in the end that business basically cost a great friendship. Auction prices to sell our finished products were far too variable and uncertain to make a business out of that...Looking back - parting out what we bought vs restoring would have made much more money for much less work and much more predictable in what one might make- but no internet back then to facilitate that sort of business
Regarding auctions (and i have been to many of all different types) and making $: The only guy I ever met that seemed successful at that biz was a family friend. In the early 80's after the oil bust he had warehouse space in Houston and bought oilfield equipment from failing drilling companies - mostly marine derrick equipment for a 'penny or 2 on the dollar' (that's just a loose quote I once heard him say). He had what was to most people a small fortune into his purchases with many thinking him 'nuts' - but he did know the oilfield, owning 2 money making patents regarding core drilling. He sat on that equipment a few short years and made (estimated) couple million reselling when times came good again for the oilfield. How much he made he never really let on - but his change in lifestyle was obvious - he did well.
those pickers shows worry my wife. No way would she allow some stranger to come into our house or my shop and look around for good stuff. She told me they would come back at night and just steal the good stuff since they now knew exactly what you have and where it is.
At least those shows are doing something , better than watching deviant music Videos ---Trevor
If you read the link above, its pretty clear that the entire business is the show, and the antiques are just props. If both the other two actors are not real antique dealers at all, for instance, but instead one is a roller derby team member and the other a fire inspector, then it is pretty obvious that they dont make their living from reselling old oil cans, but, instead from paychecks from day jobs and production companies.
LOL...I suspected as much...but I still find it so odd that on the two shows I mentioned they downplay the profits so much, as one would think it more titilating to the huddled masses if the profits were inflated if anything. Mulva makes a valid point that they may not want to piss off the sellers too much...or perhaps cause future sellers to get a bit overinspired on their prices. OTOH, the entire buying and selling aspects may be set up way in advance such that the producer actually pays the seller extra to sell certain items lower.
Originally Posted by Ries
Having said all that, it is fascinating to me that there are all these "hoarders" out there buying all this antique stuff that isn't quite crap but is pretty close to it and then just haphazardly throwing it in a pile only to pile yet more on top of the pile for years and years. One thing that is never mentioned is where in the hell are the people getting the money to buy all this stuff in the first place ?
Every once in a while they do visit a proper "collector" such as the guy who collected toy robots who does have things at least arranged somewhat neatly. I still don't get it, but at least it's not downright disgusting like the hoarders that have nothing organized.
A buddy once asked, as we wandered a big motorcycle swap meet, "Why is the good shit always at the bottom of the pile?"
Originally Posted by Milacron