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, Treasure Hunter - Estate Sales or Garage Sales on HGTV
Well, I watched another episode of Cash & Cari on HGTV. I'm afraid that my opinion took another hit. Let me add to my previous review of the show.
For the show's principal, Cari Cucksey, this was a high end sale. She kept talking about the great antiques and how nice a sale it was. Looking at the estate, I thought it was nice as well. In this area, it was probably close to a $30,000 sale on a good day; $25,000 on a not so good day.
There were a few differences that I noticed in this episode from the others I have seen. HGTV has added a few detail inserts into the show. All at once there is a bit of information about a particular antique or maker. While the information was good, it was a little intrusive and I couldn't help but wonder if it wasn't an attempt to add to the shows "authority" after so much negative publicity on the Internet.
What was really interesting about this episode was how she set up the sale (the same way she has in the previous episodes but those sales were not as "high end"). For example, she had some rather nice sets of china and there was a lot of conversation about them. They talked about the makers and gave a little history. She expressed some concern on being able to get a good price for them. So how does she display them? She sets them on a card table.... Yes, that is right, a card table. No table cloth, fancy covers or plate stands or anything else, just on a bare top of a card table. As is evident in many ways, she really doesn't follow some of the basics for getting the best results from her sales. Did she actually think that was a proper display for such a beautiful set of china? Did she think putting nice china on a card table helped people see their beauty or enhanced their value? I am absolutely amazed. Does she not understand the very basics of displaying merchandise so they will not only look great to a perspective buyer but enhance their apparent value? Again this is Estate Sales 101.
Professional estate sale specialists understand the value of merchandising and setting up displays. When you properly display the merchandise, people see the merchandise as being more valuable and they raise their expectations about the value. That means they are likely to expect to pay more for the item. That is why department stores do it. That is why the little corner mom and pop shops do it. That is why anyone who has a clue about holding estate sales does it. When you display items like you would in a garage sale - in other words, just toss them on a card table, you are not likely to get good value.
This very nice estate sale was set up like a garage sale and guess what? It got garage sale prices. She seemed thrilled that the sale brought $17,000.
I really think that Cari means well and tries hard, but the show does not give a good indication that she knows more than the basics of the business. On the HGTV website, it says that she has 10 years of experience. In ten years some people add to their knowledge each year and others add ten years of doing the same thing they did the first year. I see very little that looks like someone who has ten years of experience in handling estate sales.
I love HGTV and have for many years. I am usually impressed with the quality of their shows. In most ways, they provide quality programming. To me this show does not live up that quality. I will say again that Cari is probably a very nice person and is likely working hard to do a good job. Unfortunately she just seems to have missed many of the things that make sales a bigger success. Has she not been to estate sales that are being held by professionals? I certainly don't blame her for taking the opportunity that was offered to her by HGTV. She chose the spotlight and now is attracting the criticism from the people in her industry who are experienced and see the things she is yet to learn. The blame for all this is on HGTV who made this choice and promoted her as if she were an expert who is respected in her field rather than find someone who really does an outstanding job. Looks like HGTV took cute and personable over experienced and respected.
Perhaps in her area, this is the way estate sales are conducted. Maybe she is absolutely the best in that part of the country. I believe she works hard for her clients and she definitely seems to take a personal interest in the proceedings. But overall, I believe she needs to spend more time checking on how professional estate sale managers operate. She could greatly improve the quality of her sales and in doing so generate a much better return for her clients.
Comments on her page on the HGTV website and changes in the program would lead me to believe that she and HGTV are listening somewhat to some of the criticism of the show. That is a good thing. If you search the Internet, you will find plenty of criticism. Some of it valid and helpful; some of it vile and nothing short of ignorant. Criticism can make you better. You don't learn much in a vacuum.
I may talk about some of the criticisms in another post later, especially the ones that are unfair. They should be addressed and she really may not have the platform to do so. Those posts negatively affect the industry as well and should be be ignored completely.
With all this would I recommend Cari's services to anyone in her area who happened to read this review of her show? Absolutely. My impression from her show is that she works hard, has her client's interest at heart, and is honest. Those are three primary qualities that are sometimes hard to find. I always suggest checking out others who offers the same services in the area, but I would not hesitate in suggesting that she be the first one you call. Her following has probably greatly increased due to her show on HGTV and that is a very good thing. She also appears to be very sharp and I am sure she is dedicated to improving her business to provide the very best service possible.