Antiques and TV


Have you gotten sucked into the recent rash of reality TV involving stuff ?  Our dials offer up titles such as Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and as of last night Auctioneer$.  My husband saw the owner of Auctioneer$ interviewed on Fox and then brought home a USA Today article on the show.  He reported the most interesting note from the interview as “Auction Systems founder Deb Weidenhamer, a former corporate mergers specialist, started the company after learning about the business from an auctioneer with whom she shared a flight. “By the end of the trip, I was completely intrigued. A month later, I quit my job and signed up for auction school,” she says. “Most of the auctioneers were ma-and-pa operations or run by families. I saw a huge opportunity to put a corporate approach on the business.”

Of course we tuned inSaturday night at 10PM to TLC and watched two half-hour episodes. The show was good and differed from Pickers and Pawns. The viewer actually saw where the goods went and people’s reaction to purchasing or losing the bid on the item.Albeit only 5 minutes after the hammer hit the podium, but still they were the owner or loser.  I also liked that a member of the auction house staff explained what the auctioneer and spotters or callers were doing.  Some of these actions are subtle and for those unfamiliar with the process I believe the information was valuable.

Atlanta will soon be the hometown of an auction based show now renamed “Auction Kings”(originally it was to be titled Bidder Rivals) on Discovery.  I also read that Spike TV will be jumping on the band wagon.  How much room is there for this type of programming and how long will viewers tune in ?  Are you watching Pawn, Pickers, or now the podium variety of these offerings ?  If so, what do you think ?  Do you believe that beyond editing, which often increases the drama of an exchange, the producers of these shows stage scenes ?

Antiques Roadshow is the grand dad of shows about antiques and collectibles.  This year the 15th season of Antiques Roadshow(America) entered our living rooms.  Some professional appraisers cite the Roadshow as a contributor to people’s misunderstanding of appraisers, the appraisal process, and appraisal fees.  I  believe they have brought to light that appraisers are professionals with knowledge.  One of the main contentions of anti-Roadshow group is that viewers don’t understand that what they see on TV is not really an appraisal.  It is a verbal assessment, what we call a verbal approximation of value.   Also, this group feels viewers don’t understand the depth of research that takes place in a real appraisal.  I find the Roadshow is trying to allude to this with statements during a verbal assessment like “in our research before airing” or “we called a specialist in xyz artist”.  I have also seen segments were an appraiser after the show has corrected their findings.  I am also pleased to see that there is a document on the Roadshow website that covers many of these points.

If you want to connect with a real-live professional appraiser in the metro Atlanta area, please contact Valerie Hale for  a free phone consultation at 770-757-1479 today.