I will try to write as often as I can about different things happening at the Estate Sales or about antiques, antiquing, appraisals, and anything else that comes to mind. There will also be tips and information about how to get the best bargains.
Cash & Cari (Cucksey), Treasure Hunter & Big Brian May Give the Estate Sale Industry a Bad Name
I don't have time to watch much TV, but Michael records things for me and let's me know when there is something I need to see.
Recently he finally got me to watch two reality tv shows, "Cash & Cari, Treasure Hunter" and "Big Brian: The Fortune Seller". Both of the shows are entertaining to an extent but overall, I am not sure they make a positive statement about estate sale professionals. In fact one might go away with a bad impression and, sometimes see some actions that help perpetuate some negative stereotypical impressions that the average person has about people who handle estate sales.
This is a review of those two shows.
I find "Cash & Cari, Treasure Hunter" particularly distressing in that regard.
The principal of that show has some charm and can be somewhat entertaining. From her actions in the show, she really does not seem to be knowledgeable about antiques and collectibles to me; fairly knowledgeable at best, but "fairly" is as high an adjective as I can give her. Most of the time she really doesn't seem to know much about the items that pop up on her show. Of course, you don't have to be an expert in everything. No one can be. On the show she does some research on the Internet, but I haven't seen much evidence that would make me think she is good at it. From what we see on the show, I believe that many times she does the client an injustice with her pricing which could be due to either lack of knowledge or not enough research.
In my opinion she is not much of a negotiator. It is almost funny at times to see how some of her customers "work her over". Of course, being a poor negotiator is not what I am talking about as far as giving a negative impression. Most customers at sales don't want to deal with a good negotiator (like Big Brian).
In some of the episodes, she makes note of the fact that not everything is priced. That is Estate Sales 101. I firmly believe and have seen time and time again that if you do not price the contents of the sale, you do not make as much money. Many people will not ask for a price. Those who will ask, will rarely ask for many prices. In other words, they might ask for a few prices but they start feeling like they are bothering you if they keep asking. To say nothing of the fact that if the sale is busy, there is no way to help each customer with prices on unmarked items. I believe it is a major injustice to the client not to take the time to provide the best estate sale possible and that certainly includes pricing everything.
In several episodes, she and, sometimes members of her sales team, buy items before the sale. She also sets her own price for those items and since she usually has a client who is in desire of her services, they take whatever price she has named. Is that taking advantage of the clients? Are those prices fair? Would the items bring more money for the client if they were sold at regular estate sale prices during the sale? Those are certainly things that should be considered.
The really important thing is the message that it sends to the viewers - that estate sale professionals buy the "good stuff" before the sale. It doesn't matter that the things she and her workers buy are not the best things in the sale. It is the impression it gives and the stereotypical belief by the public that it reinforces.
In my opinion, buying things before the sale is open to the public is inappropriate. It may not be fair to the client. It is certainly unfair to your customer base. I, personally, do not ever want to go to a sale that has been picked over. I know the practice is common among some people who hold estate sales. That still does not make it right.
And then there is how she sets up a sale. Goodness.... I don't know where to begin. Maybe more about that later.
I watched several episodes but I really don't care to see any others. When people see something on televsion, many of them will think the person they are watching must be an expert or they wouldn't have the show. It would be a shame for them to get that impression in this case. While mildly entertaining, in my opinion she serves more often as an example of what not to do when holding estate sales.
Big Brian is very entertaining. He is certainly in the right environment for his personality. I do not think he would be successful in this environment. I don't think his attitude and behavior would work well with Texans. I will talk more about him in a later blog. The bad part is that I believe his show to be mostly fake in so many ways.
I have a different list of complaints about Big Brian. No one can really be successful with estate sales and act as he does. No one in their right mind would use his services as seen on his TV show. Perhaps more on that later.
Michael watches every episode of both shows.