A post or several ago (here) I waffled on about the TV shows that loosely base themselves around Antiques. I said then that the question I'm often asked is have they damaged trade. And my answer is usually "yes, they have, but probably not in the way you think I think". If you see what I mean
So, what they haven't done, in my view, is drive the prices down. No, that's other influences, but as I established (I hope. I tried to) in that original post, is that it is not the RIDICULOUS offers they make that have done the damage: G Public Esq is too smart to fall for that old phooey. And anyway, usually prices the A.R.Trippers get at auction fail to exceed the original asking price, and quite often don't even make it to the discounted price "paid". (Taps side of nose, knowingly. Paid! Yea, right).
Aside: I forgot to mention in that post, and have been reminded since, that one of the long-established shows is reputed to send a BBC runner up to the trader on their stall and ask them to accept the discount as they will make good the ticket price after filming is concluded. Only a rumour: an anecdote if you will, but it is a frequently repeated one. I wonder if there is any truth in it? Ahem.
Back to the topic. But before I do, in another aside, I should point out that to me ART and PYMWYMI are interchangeable. In my tiny mind, I muddle them constantly. Probably because they play the game in exactly the same way (except the voice-over on PYM is beyond bad).
That last aside had a point because I think the one that made me realise what harm they were doing was actually Put Your Money. I can even remember the dealers concerned, but perhaps I'll respect their dignity and not name them. One of them had bought a set of jockey scales and the other an enamel silver box with a picture of a 1920's golfer enamelled thereon. So guess what, poor old Jo....No! No names...was made to dress as a vintage golfer and prat about on a green while the other J...no, tsk ... who is a little, erm, oversized for a jockey, was dressed in silks and sat on (and broke) the scales (I may have added the broke bit for effect). It was at that moment that I realised what they were doing was causing harm to the trade. Or more to the point, traders.
Now I know people disagree with me on this, and think I'm a pompous prat (there's plenty of evidence for that, I agree), but in my defence, I think one of the worst things about this trade is its cliquey & sometimes pompous nature.
But I also argue that many dealers are true professionals and have accumulated knowledge (present company excepted, of course) and strive for high, professional, standards. TV 'dealers' dressed up like prats demeans us all. It undermines us, not our pomposity which needs pricking, nor our cliquishness which we should all strive to break down, no, it undermines us as professionals. It sets our standards at rock bottom, and now we ALL have to try to overcome this impression.
Which is where I start saying you don't see Teachers, Doctors or Lawyers looking like twats on TV. I know, you can easily undermine my argument, but I'm here fighting for the people who try quite hard to do their best, while some of their so-called colleagues think its OK to run about in fancy dress for a £500 appearance fee. Well here's my two fingers up at them, and their ilk who go on telly and look stupid. They don't all do it, but it still happens with depressing frequency (note: it happened again yesterday 7/12/16) (jockey silks again! I could not believe my tired eyes)
I'm happy to note (for them) that neither of the dealers who lost their own dignity so profoundly on PYM are on telly anymore. And one of them has even closed his shop. Meanwhile, my dignity and my shop remain intact and open. As are the comments below. Please visit both.
2019: Ahem "dignity and shop remain open". Oh no they don't, sonny. Your dignity got up and left and your shop was closed by the landlord. Remember?