(WXYZ) - Have some antiques or collectibles you'd like to unload? Then you may consider bringing them to one of the collectible road shows that come to town every year or so. But be warned! We have the difference between traveling road shows and the real thing.
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. The people with the show are urging antique lovers to be very careful who they show their precious items to.
For thousands of people, it's a rare chance to have an expert look over their old collectibles. Todd Darling had his fingers crossed.
"Yeah I really just want to find out about my painting, and what it's worth," Darling says.
For other folks, it's classic figurines, old cameras, even vintage weapons like the sword Paul Sickler brought.
"I brought my Dads old Samurai sword he brought back from the war..." Sickler says.
But most of us never get a chance for tickets to the Antiques Roadshow. Instead, we see and hear ads for dozens of imitators. The big difference? These other shows offer you money, and are making a profit.
"Anybody who is telling you what your object is worth should not have an interest in buying it. Period," says Marsha Bemko from Antiques Roadshow.
Marsha Bemko is the executive producer of Antiques Roadshow and says if a traveling show is offering to buy your collectible, they may under value it greatly.
Instead, she says call local antique and auction houses and ask who can give an independent appraisal.
"Your historical societies, auction houses, museums and all are doing appraisal fairs, with minimum costs," Bemko says.
Marsha says if the buyer is also the appraiser, you may end up giving away your valuables for pennies on the dollar.
Bottom line, most of us will never get into the Antiques Roadshow for an honest appraisal. But every town has an antique shop where someone will be happy to look at what you have and give you an honest opinion. Just never sell to the first opinion you get.
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