There seems to be a profound misunderstanding among many of you as to the "value" of objects & collectibles, as if everything has a universal "face value", like currency. Quoting: Lisa 957332
If a high-falutin' New York shop buys an enamel gas station sign from a farmer in Pennsylvania for $50, then sells it for $500 in their New York store, IT DOES NOT FOLLOW that the farmer was bamboozled out of $450.
The farmer can sell it for $500 too, so long as he:
1) spends years researching collectibles to know what people want to buy
2) rents a space in NY for about $10,000 a month
3) renovates the space for tens of thousands of dollars
4) hires staff
5) obtains insurance and all manner of necessary licenses
6) artfully displays the enamel sign in his shop, tirelessly answering questions about its history, for as many weeks or months or years as it takes to sell it for $500.
See? The world's not so unjust-- you're just too stupid to comprehend the world.
Is it really the dealer who's "greedy", or is it the person who expects to reap the fruits of the dealer's labor for free, just because they found an old enamel sign at the junkyard?
Here's someone that understands !!!
To those just seeing the buy and sell figures, you have to realize that in the American pickers world (as in any business where a deal is made) - a reasonably small portion of deals turns out to be very high profit
1) On the show, you see plenty of "valued at" for the items they buy. That doesn't mean they got it or will get it. It might sit around for months or years.
2) They have overheads....3 staff, premises, insurance, fuel, permits, utilities etc. Profit needs to be made to cover those first. I've had retail premises before, at least 60% of any profit (not sale price) went to bills before I even took my wage.
So even if grandpa's rust old Harley Davidson bike crank might be worth $500 and they get it for $150...they have expenses to pay out of that $350 profit "IF" they can sell it.
Grandpa would never have got $150 for it anyway, let alone $500 because its been sat in 5 acres of rust for the last 50 years. Maybe, if he did a ton of market research, found a keen buyer he might have got somewhere with its sale but these two guys turned up.....gave him way more than he likely thinks possible, no pressure and everyones happy because they either made a few bucks (grandpa) or might mike a few (pickers).
Dealing has been around since the dawn of man....if you're both happy with the outcome....its a good deal.