Thursday, November 19, 2009

Local residents sell collectibles at Treasure Hunters Roadshow

Kathy Schweer doesn’t consider herself an expert in selling collectibles.

But on Wednesday she was trying to sell several valued items at the Treasure Hunters Roadshow at the Super 8 in Cape Girardeau.
While she didn’t sell her silver coins or toothpick holders like she had hoped, the Cape Girardeau resident received $35 for a chain purse.

“I got more out of it than I thought I would,” said Schweer, who had never sold items at a similar show before. “I’ve had it for several years, and when I saw the ad in the paper for the roadshow, I thought this would be a could time to see how much I could get for it.”

Since 1996, the Treasure Hunters Roadshow has visited more than 600 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. At each show local residents bring their antiques and collectibles to learn an associate’s estimate of its worth. If the seller agrees to sell the item to the associate, the item is then shipped to private collectors or its corporate office in Athens, Ill.

“Our goal is for people to leave with a check,” said show manager Doug Feese. “With it being so close to Christmas, we hope to see a lot of people and put a lot of money back into the local economy.”

During the show’s opening day Tuesday, Feese and his team of four from Athens saw about 60 customers. The potential sellers brought gold, jewelry, silver coins dated before 1965, military swords and a 1957 Gibson guitar. The guitar sold for $17,000.

Feese said his company is looking for old collectibles to purchase. Those include various types of coins, paper money printed before 1934, gold coins, investment gold, scrap gold, jewelry, platinum, silver, war items, guns, trains, toys, advertisements and other older items.

“If it’s older items like those, then there’s a good chance they’ll get an offer and leave with some money,” Feese said.

Since Feese joined the company, he has traveled to cities throughout the Midwest. Among the communities he has visited are Sikeston, Mo., Owensboro, Ky., Indianapolis, Madison, Wis., and Rockford, Ill. His team is off until January, when its next road show begins in Mason, Mo.

“There’s nothing more fun than to go to a new town and meet new people,” Feese said. “I always enjoying hearing their stories.”

Some of his favorite stories include an elderly gentlemen at an Indiana show who sold a jewelry box for $4,200 so he could pay bills from his wife’s funeral and a single mom at a Michigan show who used money from gold coins she sold to pay for her child’s braces.

“Those are the kind of stories that I get to hear from folks who sell their items,” Feese said. “At every show it seems like we hear an inspiring story.”

The Treasure Hunters Roadshow continues through Saturday. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.