Don't Waste Your Money: Beware of Antiques Roadshow imposters - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: Beware of Antiques Roadshow imposters

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Marsha Bemko, executive producer of Antiques Roadshow, suggests calling local antique and auction houses to ask who can give an independent appraisal. She also recommends getting two estimates before you part with any collectible. Marsha Bemko, executive producer of Antiques Roadshow, suggests calling local antique and auction houses to ask who can give an independent appraisal. She also recommends getting two estimates before you part with any collectible.

(Toledo News Now) - The Antiques Roadshow has been one of the most popular shows on public television for well over a decade, but that popularity has bred imitators. People with the show are urging antique lovers to be very careful with whom they show their precious items.

Collectors Line Up For Roadshow

The famous PBS Antiques Roadshow stopped in Cincinnati July 20. For hundreds of people, it was a rare chance to have a true expert look over their old collectibles.

Todd Darling had his fingers crossed.

"I really just want to find out about my painting, and what it's worth," said Darling. 

For other folks, it was classic figurines, old cameras, even vintage weapons like the sword Paul Sickler brought.

"I brought my dad's old Samurai sword he brought back from the war in 1954, " Sickler said.

Imitators Abound 
    
Most of us never get a chance for tickets to the Antiques Roadshow, especially since just a fraction of the people who apply for tickets actually get inside.

Instead, we see and hear ads for dozens of imitators that stop in town after town every year.  Their logos even look like the PBS show, causing plenty of confusion. Many of us "head on down" to a convention center or hotel ballroom, hoping to make some money.
    
The big difference? These other shows offer you money, and are making a profit.

Marsha Bemko, executive producer of the PBS show, said if a traveling show is offering to buy your collectible, they will usually give you an estimate that is much lower than the true value.

"Anybody who is telling you what your object is worth should not have an interest in buying it, period," Bemko said.

Instead, Bemko suggests calling local antique and auction houses to ask who can give an independent appraisal.

"Your historical societies, auction houses, museums and all are doing appraisal fairs, with minimum costs. Sometimes it's free," explained Bemko.

She recommends getting two estimates before you part with any collectible.

You can also get an idea for an item's value by looking at similar items on eBay.

However, Bemko said if the buyer is also the appraiser, you may end up giving away your valuables for pennies on the dollar.

The Bottom Line

Most of us will never get into the Antiques Roadshow for an appraisal, but that is no reason to sell goods to the first traveling show that comes to town. Every town has an antique shop where someone will be happy to look at what you have and give you an honest opinion.

That way you don't waste your money.

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