Quite a few years ago PBS developed a  phenomenon, “The Antiques Roadshow”. This famous show and others now travel from city to city offering appraisals for antique items. The appraisal event is recorded and edited into a television show which is aired on PBS. As experts describe the items owners and the audience wait with baited breath for the final conclusion. Is this item worth a lot of money? Some items look very plain and are worth small fortunes. Others look expensive and turn out to be worth very little or are reproductions. Either way it is engrossing to watch as items are appraised.

“The Antique Roadshow” is not a forum for selling ones items. In fact “The Antiques Roadshow” prohibits any of its appraisers from using “The Antiques Roadshow” name to solicit business from the public. Why is this fact important? There are companies that travel around trying to buy old items that use ‘Roadshow’ in their name. Do not be confused, these people are not “The Antiques Roadshow”.

‘Roadshow’ buyers enter a town, advertise heavily to buy for a few days, and then are gone. These buyers play on the fact that you only have a few days to see them before they are gone. This scenario entices many people to visit these road buyers while they are in town.

A wise person will recognize the fact that these companies spend enormous amounts of money to operate in a single area for just a few days. What does this mean? These road buyers must make very large profits to cover their expenses. The only question is, “at whose expense?”

Checking with local buyers may often produce much higher payouts for your same items. Antique stores, coin shops, and pawn shops most often beat the prices offered by out of town buyers and the profits even stay in your own local economy.

If you are visiting an out of town ‘Roadshow’ and they are offering to buy your items they are not “The Antiques Roadshow” you see on television. If you end up visiting their show take the time to get a second offer before you sell to them. You may just be surprised at how often a local buyer pays much more that these road buyers. But remember, it is impossible to get a second offer after you have already sold your items to out of town buyers.