Are Reality Shows Giving Away Too Many Selling Secrets?

Storage Wars. Auction Hunters. Pawn Stars. If you’re like most eBay sellers you have either heard of these shows or perhaps they are your guilty pleasure for when you’re finished with a long day of listing and shipping. Well, now there is a new show called “Thrift Hunters” due to debut this January and this one has some eBay sellers worried. (Debut January 18 2014)


The show features online sellers, Jason T. Smith and Bryan Goodman in what the network Spike is calling a “fast-paced modern day treasure hunt.” The premise is that the shopping partners scavenge through thrift shops and yard sales to find items they can buy and turn a profit on.

What has one seller worried, however, is that this new reality show may give away what many eBay sellers consider “trade secrets.” Some sellers also worry that this show will cause an influx of new sellers who will start out by grabbing up the “good stuff” when these buying secrets are revealed.

While you need look only as far as the reality television show “Storage Wars” to know there is some merit to these concerns (since people started flocking to storage unit auctions in droves), I, for one, certainly don’t think it is worth giving too much attention to or that we should lose any sleep over it. After all, the guys have been doing YouTube videos about selling online for quite some time now and more importantly — trust me when I say that there are so many niches out there, it really isn’t possible for any one seller to know something about everything.

Still, I agree there has been some impact from these types of shows and it is something we need to think at least a little about. For instance, the Salvation Army and Goodwill have certainly gotten wiser about the value of the items that come into their stores. As an example, once upon a time if you found a real Coach purse you could usually buy it for just a few bucks. Now, thrift stores have them under lock and key and ask for the full value price or maybe even a little more.

That is why I mention once again that I think it is important for each seller to have his or her own niche. Find that one thing you know about that has some real value and become an expert on it. Maybe it’s cookie cutters and cake pans. Maybe it is certain labels of clothing that not as many people have heard about. Trust me, the treasure is still going to be out there, but with this new show on the horizon, you may just have to dig a little bit deeper to find it!

This guest post was contributed by Kat Simpson. Kat is a trusted eCommerce author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years; is an eBay Education Specialist and Gold Level PowerSeller, as well as a successful Amazon merchant. Currently Kat is the hosts the popular weekly eCommerce Podcast That Kat Radio and an active Facebook Group ThatKat.

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