Last Saturday, a new show premiered on Spike that is definitely worth watching for anyone who loves the thrill of the hunt. Thrift Hunters follows around Bryan Goodman and Jason T. Smith, two guys who know how to find a bargain and turn it around to make a profit.
I have been a member of the “Thrifting with the Boys” Facebook group for a while, and learned a ton of great tips on what to look for and how to price things that I might find at thrift stores and yard sales — items outside of my normal collecting pursuits. I never would have bought old ink cartridges if it wasn’t for this FB group! The Facebook group became so popular that somehow it blossomed into a TV show.
Jason and Bryan are hard core thrifters, and will buy anything if they can make a buck. The refreshing thing about this show is that they are finding items that you might actually come across in your own hunting. They’re not finding rare antiquities, they’re finding bird feeders and clocks that might have been the clearance aisles of a department store not too long ago. A big area of focus for them is clothing, especially vintage clothes, Hawaiian shirts, and branded t-shirts. They also do well with mugs and Tiki items.
To be honest, I wasn’t too excited about this show, thinking that it would be a clone of Auction Hunters, which it immediately follows in the Spike lineup — but I was totally wrong! Thrift Hunters has more of an American Pickers feel to it, but is much faster paced. The show burns through dozens of items in no time as the hosts bounce from yard sale to thrift store to antique mall. The pace of the show is very fast and each episode is only a half hour, and the time really flies by fast.
It might be hard to believe, but both of the hosts seem to be genuine good guys — they’re laid back and funny, and I would definitely have a beer with them — something I wouldn’t say for too many reality TV stars. They don’t scream over every “What’s in the box?!” and they don’t look down their noses at the items they are sifting through — which is mostly other people’s discards. They approach thrifting with a business sense, and if there’s no profit to be made, they move on to the next item.
I enjoyed seeing Bryan and Jason’s process of photographing the items, how they decide to sell the items (auction vs. fixed price), and how they pack the items to ship them — I even learned a few tricks. hopefully, this will be a feature that is carried over to future episodes.
I’m not sure if this show fits in with the teenage-fueled testosterone level of Spike, but I hope it succeeds because the hosts were made for this kind of show. Thrift Hunters airs Saturday nights at 9:30pm on Spike, and you can also watch full episodes on Spike’s website. Check it out and let me know what you think.