PROFIT is not a dirty word.
The fact is they dig this stuff up out of cesspools of filth, the truth is the little old lady doesn't realize she has anything valuable till it is shown to her.
The proud CANADIAN!
I'm also a proud Canadian. And I've run a business for years. I've also bought and sold stuff for the past 40 years.
Here's the thing: Profit is not a dirty word, but there's a fine line between a REASONABLE & FAIR profit and one that is more on the criminal side.
And the fact that the little old lady doesn't realize she has anything valuable is all the MORE reason to be honest and fair. She's vulnerable and probably worked and struggled all her life and should be treated with honesty and respect. These guys can still make a decent profit without leaving her with $5.00 for something they know in their hearts is worth $100.00 or more. It's called "A Conscience". A dirty word in business. Too bad, cause that's precisely what good business is all about- when you can square your profit with your ethics and values.
My parents have had their farm trespassed on for years by pickers. Luckily, they had their kids to look out for them and we sold the stuff for them with a little research and legwork. I feel sorry for these older or more simple minded people who fall for all that snake oil. Picker: "I'll give you $10.00 for this antique sign." Seller: "Well, I was kind of thinking more of $75.00" Picker looks pained, studies the item, looks all around, hems and haws, shakes his head-- oh no, I couldn't possibly go to $75.00-- I'd go $15.00 but that's it. I don't even know why I'm offering that- it might not even sell (bullshit- these people have buyers and connections up the ying yang, just like pawn brokers do). So the seller feels bad, feels like they must have overvalued the item or been greedy on national TV, and says "okay, $15.00". The picker walks away with a sign he well knows is worth about $350.00, but he looks like such a swell guy cause he "worked" with the seller.
This is the oldest trick in the book. These guys WORK at it to be charming, suckish, and personable, but never forget -- they are vultures when it comes to this stuff. Mike said they'd been doing this together for 25 years. Do you honestly think they'd stay in it so long for only a little profit? Come on. They're salting away their earnings for a nice fat early retirement. Yes, they work hard scavanging all this stuff, but my parents worked a helluva harder than they could even imagine. They wouldn't come close to fallowing my Dad around on a farm before they had all this modern equipment. And sometimes we went hungry and if anyone ever deserved to be treated fairly, it was my parents. So who do you think needs the money more? Two young guys with a wad of money saved up by weaseling, or 2 kind old people who have helped others all their lives and worked like demons to make an honest and fair living and lived by the golden rule. Those are the kind of people you can trust and count on.
See these are the kind of people Frank and Mike like best. The people who 1) aren't up on current values; and 2) are too polite to call them on their bullshit and show them the door.
Of course, there are exceptions to every case, and some sellers are just as bad and just as greedy and deserve it when they get ripped off.
See, the point isn't that these old people are sitting om stuff they don't know about or know it's valuable isn't the point. The point is the lack of integrity of a person who would come along and basically lie to them about its worth, now and then pulling the old "hero" act- "Oh no I couldn't let you take just $15.00 for that-- it's worth more than that-- I'll give you $25.00" Yeah. For an item they well know is worth $125.00. Think they'd record that on camera?
They have a busload of tricks to use on people and you can't really believe much of what they say. It's ALL about money. This business about Mike "Having a love affair" with this or that bike-- then in the next breath, "I've got a buyer for that". So much for love, right? Shows you the kind of values he has. I love it, but I love money more. And these false numbers they crunch at show's end. "I bought this bicycle for $20.00 and I plan to ask $80.00" Yeah, right. You mean you plan to ask $200.00. They're not innocents abroad- they know exactly what they have and who will buy it and for how much. But they're good- they make themselves charming. They know they have to schmooze and charm these people to get the most out of them. All the pros know how to do that- it's the biggest trick of the trade. The worst part is, that there is an element of truth in this-- they do love the junk and hunting for it, and they profess to love the people they are lowballing-- questionable-- but never kid yourself-- the almighty dollar is KING. Frank collecting recyclable stuff so he can make a few quarters. Mike calls him on it, cause he KNOWS Frank- that was a very telling scene.
They have made more than enough to retire on right now and their show has made them famous and wealthy with rich and famous contacts. Yeah, they should leave the old wizened farmer with arthritic hands $15.00 for a $125.00 item. Right? What's wrong with that, right?