Thursday, December 1, 2011

Junk TV

Was just checking out the "stats" on the blog, and noticed that someone came across my blog by searching for (and I quote):

"canadian pickers" gone for good?

Not sure what the person doing that search is far as I know, there is still season 2 coming out, and from what I have heard down the antiques biz grapevine is that Sheldon Smithens and Scott Cozens, the hosts from the first season of Canadian Pickers have been signed for a THIRD season.

I do think that is odd, considering the 2nd season hasn't even aired.....but, maybe the production company knows something we don't.

 What I do know is that there has been quite a bit of discontent from folks across the entire "junk biz" spectrum, as far as the current choice of hosts for "Canadian Pickers".   Comments from 99% of those folks have, well, lets just say they haven't exactly been very complimentary.

I don't want to relay anything here, as I know it will be perceived by some people out there as "sour grapes" on my part.


 I'm not getting paid by any production companies to offer my expertise, market research, etc, and they obviously have no interest in what we all think, anyway.

By "we" I mean the the majority of people who make up the "junk business."

Reality TV production groups would be well advised to vet their ideas through a panel of TRUE veterans of this business before they make the decisions that have been made as to host choices, venues, etc, etc.   I suppose any eyes watching makes for profits, even if most of those viewer eyes are rolling constantly. Longevity of most of these shows is something that is obviously not in the production companies' plans.  These are not "British Antiques Roadshow" grade programs when it comes right down to it.

I do enjoy most of the shows, though on average, my eyes roll more than they would while watching the Antiques Roadshow (with the the exception being the Canadian crashed and burned it seems...and for good reason).

I know too much...I'm educated in the business, so when I  hear prices of multi-hundreds being tossed around for an item I KNOW barely garners high double digits....well, I just shake my head.

There has been lots of trash to cash TV shows, and I am sure there are going to be many more. Any cheap & relatively easy to make (IE: reality TV) that feature "ordinary" people making money from other people's "junk" gives "fans/viewers" some "hope", especially when they are short on money (IE: the people who are recently unemployed, downsized, etc...all those things that happen during a recession) it all equals more money in the medias' pockets.

If  "Trash to Cash" happens to sound familiar, that was also the title of a series back in 2003...and has turned into a general term used regularly by a variety of bloggers, articles, etc, as a description of the genre of reality shows I fondly refer to as "Junk TV".

I gotta be different!

Seems like many of the shows are spun off of "American Pickers"...have to wonder if Mike Wolfe is getting royalties! Kudos to him if he is! You may have noticed that the success of AP has caused spin-offs & copies, unsurprisingly. Sadly, the word "Picker" is in those titles for the sole misguided purpose of luring the AP viewership into watching. is one...Once I saw "Picker Sisters", I quickly decided that was not the name I would have choose. Some would even consider "Canadian Pickers" misnamed...the comment I hear is usually something like "Candian Antiquers" would far more accurate."    True, they do go to mainly antiques shops, antiques shows, collectors' collections, and occasionally "other" pickers' offerings. I can not see Scott nor Sheldon ever picking through the muddy basements, dust, dirt & pigeon crap filled attics, and the hay filled, mouse infested, sparrow poop spattered barn lofts that I commonly sift through.  Mis-casting is more the culprit in that case. The production company tried to replicate AP in Canada, but sadly, it is not what most Canadian "American Picker" viewers expected.

I really am not sure why the Canadian versions/spin-offs of US shows always seem to end up leaning towards "corn" factor.  Maybe the self-deprecating Canadian attitude is embedded in the producer's psyches.

The thing is, from everyone I have talked to on the subject, it is obvious that there IS a substantial audience out there that is getting quickly tired of the not-all-that-real Reality TV version of the "junk lifestyle."

When you live the lifestyle, seeing through the TV version is as easy as looking through a clean window.

Frankly, I give kudos to Mike, Frank and Danielle of AP. They are making more $ off the antiques biz than they ever would have in the traditional way.   Sure, I wish it was me making that big $ and getting recognition for the 20+ year long rocky road this business has dragged me over.

But, it is not. So, life goes on, per usual.

I was hoping the shows would garner more interest in antiques & collectibles than it has.

Wait, let me clarify that....

I was hoping the shows would garner more interest in the COLLECTING of antiques & collectibles than it has....

Every show out there right now seems go for the "look at the deal I got" and/or the "I will make lots of money on this" aspect that drive them.

People watch them as if they are "how to" videos .Oiy....they are so far from that...

I know what I am buying and I know what I am doing, so it has no real affect on me.
I might actually save some money by being outbid at auction on some piece of old junk that I really do not need.

If there were far more shows getting people interested in COLLECTING, driving people to COLLECT, and make the collecting end of things more appealing, giving the multitudes of reasons why people should collect this or that, making collecting something that you should do, highlight its importance to history conservation, etc, etc, then that may well create the upward spike in the junk MARKET.

More competition is something that I am sure most don't want. "Cost of goods" increases, which is being seen in the Storage Auction business, as Glendon Cameron of has mentioned a fair bit in his video and blog entries. Same thing in the antiques biz, but we have a little different situation here.

Collecting old crap is not like needing a couch for the living room.

  Yes, competition drives up prices, which is fine, but if there is no end consumer that is willing to buy the goods the "dealers" fought over, is that item actually worth what is being paid?

Not likely.

There is a bit of a false market being created in this business by these shows, as there is starting to be a glut of "dealers" (or rather, wanna-be dealers/pickers) being created. More dealers than end buyers can hurt the market.

When you examine the way the market is at present, it starts to sounds a little like the fiasco the Banks pulled.

No worries, it will self correct itself, eventually.

The veterans of the business will be just fine. We know how to make it all work for us.
I do believe that a VERY small percentage of the "newbies" that have gotten into this business will survive, but the vast majority will end up with storage lockers full of crap...and many will end up loosing said lockers...allowing Storage Wars and Auction Hunters to go on forever!

SO, you better study up by reading and re-reading my blog, AND at Mr Cameron's site in preparation to tackle the impending influx of abandoned storage lockers!

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