Treasure hunters come to Walden Inn

Thursday, December 11, 2008
Joe Neff of Treasure Hunters Roadshow consults with customers regarding a collection of coins and jewelry.

Treasure hunters have come to Greencastle and will be at the Walden Inn Conference Center until Saturday.

Treasure Hunters Roadshow has set up shop in town, and had a good first day on Tuesday.

As of 3 p.m., roadshow representative Tom Fuller reported about 40 people had stopped in since 9 a.m.

"It's real good for a first day," Fuller said.

The show is looking for antiques, collectibles and gold and silver. Gold, Fuller said, is the big-ticket item right now. He said the price of gold is currently high, making this a good time to bring in gold jewelry or coins or anything featuring the precious metal.

"It's the gold rush. Christmas is here and if you need some extra money, this is the place to be," he said.

But gold certainly isn't the only thing the road show is looking to buy from people. Walking into the room, one sees, vitage toys, old war memorabilia, musical instruments and just about anything collectors would pay good money to get their hands on.

The process is simple. A potential customer comes in and sees one of the "treasure hunters" set up at tables around the room. The representative consults with the individual on the item and offers a price the road show is willing to pay.

Fuller emphasized that they are not appraisers, they simply offer what he called a "fair price" for the items.

Each of the representatives on hand is knowledgeable about most collectibles they might see. When they aren't sure, they can consult with one another or even call collectors of particular items.

Fuller said most people walk away from the transactions satisfied.

"We have about a 95-percent closing ratio," he said. "We offer a fair price and they can say 'yes' or say 'no.'"

Fuller told of a couple of success stories he had already seen on Tuesday. He said one woman brought in a jewelry box she believe to be filled with costume jewelry. However, Fuller said, it was real gold, and she walked away with nearly $2,500.

He said another gentleman brought in a Gibson ES-335 guitar. It had never been played and even still featured the hang tags from the store. He was paid $10,000 for the vintage piece of equipment.

While 40 had been a good crowd for the early part of the first day, Fuller said he expects crowds to grow as the week goes on.

"We're expecting to see about 1,500 people," he said. "At my last show, we saw almost 1,200."

The Treasure Hunters Roadshow will be at the Walden Inn 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from today through Friday as well as 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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