Posted: 03 Apr 2013 04:32 PM PDT
THERE are some things no museum or treasure hunter would ever want, no matter how historical they may be – actually, make that, especially because of how "historical" they are.
Clinton "Ton" Jones of the reality TV series Auction Hunters recalls a particularly awful find while filming the programme where he and co-host Allen Haff scavenge abandoned storage units for items to sell for a profit. "There was a unit that we bought one time. I think the previous owner was a collector of stuff that was a little bit more on the morbid side of life," Jones says in a phone interview from Los Angeles.
"There was something in the unit that had rotted. Allen, my dear friend, got a little whiff of this and he set me up for a trap. He told me to look inside a bag. I open up this bag and it was like someone's lunch meat from 40 years ago that had rotted in moisture. It was so disgusting that our cameraman started throwing up. I started gagging, and Allen was laughing so hard, he started crying for about 20 minutes."
In the eyes of auction hunters Jones, who is in his 30s, and Haff, 43, finding the decomposed remains of someone's meal is just another occupational hazard.
The duo's journey across the United States scouring abandoned storage units is documented on Auction Hunters. The reality series is among a trend of programmes, including Storage Wars and American Pickers, where men scavenge hidden treasures for a quick profit.
With more people joining this garbage treasure hunt, competition among hunters has increased. So has the price of entry. Haff and Jones admit to being hit by rising costs.
Haff says: "An abandoned storage unit that might have cost US$300 (RM900) two years ago can fetch up to US$600 (RM1,800) or US$700 (RM2,100) now, which means you have to be even better at your job. The good news is that Ton and I are up for it. With our experience, we can still make money in any economy even with the increased competition."
Furthermore, he and Jones say they are not in the business just for money – they find meaning in their quest because it helps to counter society's growing tendency to spend and waste without thinking.
Haff says: "We are the recyclers of society. In some cultures in the world, people are buying things for emotional reasons. When someone becomes uninspired with something they've bought and it starts to look like junk to them, they throw it in a storage unit. They don't pay the bill on purpose and they don't want to think about it anymore. Then here comes Ton and I to give their stuff a second look and to find value in those things again."
Practising what they preach, they claim to live thriftily and minimally. Haff says: "Ton and I actually live pretty minimalist lives. We like what we like, but we don't hoard and we don't have tons of junk sitting around." – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network
Season Three of Auction Hunters is on the Discovery Channel (Astro Ch 551) every Saturday at 8.30pm.
|You are subscribed to email updates from The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|