“At a flea market I always head for the junk jewelry table first.”~ Ethel Merman
Summer of 2012, PBS was advertising a brand new program on their network. I had seen the promotions and I got curious and throughout much of the summer, I wondered just what kind of idea this would be.
Mid-July of that year was the first episode.
For those who have never seen this show, allow me to explain how it works.
Four “professional” flea market or antique dealers are given $1,000 in cash each to begin with. There are two rounds of buying items from each market. The first round is always something specific and each buyer has sixty minutes to make their purchase.
Then the four of them get together and they vote upon each other of whether or not they met the criteria. If something is voted DOWN, then that buyer must give each of the other buyers $50 a piece. Although earlier, I watched an episode in which the buyer hashed out $100 in cash a piece to the other buyers.
The second round of buying, each buyer is allowed two purchases in total. Anything that they wish to purchase, knowing what is to follow.
These items that are purchased are then sent to an auction house elsewhere and sold. And the supposed fun is to find out who goes into the black and who goes into the red. Who bombs and who profits?
Three men, one woman.
And I suppose that they hired the woman, Miller Gaffney, for the eye candy factor. And as I got sunk by it, well… just keep reading. But yeah, I began to watch it for the male eye candy.
Pickers (or the buyers) are a various motley crew.
Bob Richter, Kevin Bruneau, Miller Gaffney, and John Bruno.
This program originally had Fred Willard as its narrator but he was fired by PBS after his scandal broke faster than you could utter the word “Anbesol.” Narrator was then replaced by Antiques Roadshow’s host Mark Walberg.
It was interesting, at first. But then something changed about it. I began to figure out that two of the buyers were just spending money like it was going out of style. And so when items go to auction, they end up going into the red so deep that its ridiculous.
After a while, the voting of round one would eventually show that these buyers would actually vote NO.
One of which seems to be voted down more and more frequently.
It appeared that at first, nobody had the guts to vote down anything. But many episodes later, they got a little more brave and started voting purchased items down that didn’t meet the criteria of round one.
This show used to be enjoyable. But then I realized just how much these buyers sucked at this contest.
Spending $600 cash for a table that needs work, only to go auction and be sold for less than that.
And spending $450 for jewelry or furniture, only to go auction and be sold for not even a quarter of that.
Money lost, gone into the red by John & Miller most of the time.
I’ve noticed that Miller Gaffney does use her appeal to attempt to get a really good deal. Especially with male vendors. Usually it works. But the other items that she purchases just never makes much money, if any money at all.
John Bruno appears that he makes his decisions on items because it speaks to his heart or to his life and rather NOT what would actually make a profit in any auction house in the country. He buys it because HE likes it. And then he hopes to make a ton of profit money. He rarely makes it into the black.
But not only does these two buyers have the worst time of it all, I’ve noticed one excruciating detail about Miller. Whenever she is voted down in the first round, she throw a tantrum. And whenever her purchased items end up in the red, she throws another tantrum. And on top of that, she’s more than willing to give an explanation as to why other buyers aren’t making a profit. But the tantrums are just out of control.
She has probably come out on top in only ONE episode so far. Any other time, she’s near the rear so to speak. And she just throws her serial tantrums and cannot understand why she’s not making money.
I will say that there are times when John Bruno and Miller Gaffney actually do make a significant profit on certain purchased items, but when they’ve all got three items in total a piece, its never enough for either of them to crawl out of that hole of negative numbers.
The eye candy factor turned into a spoiled brat on screen.
I find myself quickly changing gears and cheering on the other two buyers as they seem to end up with some kind of profit towards the end of each episode.
The episodes however have been repeated several times through. And that’s another thing that has been annoying for me.
I honestly wish that the show would fire these two buyers. They just come across like they do not know what they are doing. At least not correctly for this program. Even though they ALL have been in this kind of business for years. I mean after all, John Bruno seems the kind of guy that you would want for your grandfather. Light-hearted, jovial, making jokes, but blowing money like a politician with a hooker in some obscure South American private resort.
Sex appeal only gets Miller so far, but she’s got the guts to spend money like it will come each time she blows her nose. Many people that I know who watch this show thinks she’s nothing but a twenty-something year old crybaby who screams if she doesn’t get things to go her way.
The more recent episodes have seen the absence of Bob Richter without any explanation. They’ve replaced him with another woman by the first name of Bene. Last name escapes me though.
Being in the red by $200-500 in each and every episode is not appealing. Whining that you didn’t meet the challenge isn’t appealing either. IF PBS can get this show correct, I think that there would be more viewers.
I certainly could NOT do a better job than these four. Not by a long shot. But if they are going to throw females for eye candy, then I have a list of women that I would rather see and PBS can contact me for that list free of charge. All buyers are paid employees by WGBH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts.
Market Warriors can be seen on Monday evenings, immediately following Antiques Roadshow on PBS.