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ONLY ON 3: BBB warns Treasure Hunter Roadshow could be pirates for your possessions

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: BBB warns Treasure Hunter Roadshow could be pirates for your possessions
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Many of us probably have antiques or jewelry collecting dust in the attic. Trading them in for money sounds like a smart idea, especially in a rough economy, but be careful. A traveling antique company may be ripping people off.

The Treasure Hunters Roadshow rolled into the Holiday Inn in Wilmington this week to buy people's jewelry and antiques, but the Better Business Bureau says beware. These treasure hunters have been accused of pirating people's prized possessions.

The Treasure Hunters Roadshow told us they are accredited with the Better Business Bureau. But BBB Coastal Carolina President and CEO Kathy Graham says they lied.

"They do have an A- rating. That is correct," Graham said. "However they are not BBB accredited, and by law they are not allowed to use that logo without being accredited."

Graham says the Treasure Hunters Roadshow, which goes by several different business names, has gotten 10 complaints with the BBB in the last three years. Roadshow field manager Gary Easmunt says they are a trustworthy company that's been in business for 14 years.

"We follow every procedure there is, and we want to come back and visit Wilmington again, especially if we have a good show," Easmunt said.

James Batchelor says he's been using a metal detector for 30 years to dig up rare buttons from the Revolutionary War. He says if they try to scam him, he'll know.

"I didn't fall off the hay truck," Batchelor said. "Oh yeah, I would know. I would definitely know."

Graham says those who are not as knowledgeable about antiques should not give in too easily or be afraid to counter-offer an asking price.

"In times like these people are stressed out financially. They're looking at every little thing they can to help raise some money just to pay the electric bill, and sometimes in desperation you make choices that you wouldn't make if you were thinking more clearly," Graham said.

The Better Business Bureau says to do your research ahead of time like at an antique mall or on ebay. That way you know how much something is worth ahead of time and can avoid getting ripped off. The BBB also says the Treasure Hunters Roadshow wrote some bad checks a few years ago.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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I believe the company prays

I believe the company prays on the uninformed. As a knowledgeable collector, I could see their deceptive practices right from their newspaper ad, but the layman likely would be misled.

They advertised in the Warren (Pa.) Times Observer. Their ad was crafted to look like a "news story" with a headline and a byline by a "staff writer." There was a sidebar article labeled "staff report" that purported to interview a satisfied customer. The purported article labeled their buying opportunity as a "coin show," which it was not. And they called themselves the "International Coin Collectors Association," implying that they were a club or hobby assocation--which they were not.

The host hotel, the Hampton Inn, confirmed that it was NOT a coin show. It was just a couple of buyers in rented space.

Though I did not attend, I know that honest buyers will not place deceptive ads. I know, too, that God punishes evil and evil-doers--and their downfall will be more sudden, more severe, and more long-lasting than they can possibly realize. May human justice follow God's pattern and put dishonest people, if they are dishonest, out of business forever.

Wrong

The word is prey not pray! People need to be aware of these type of fly by night organizations. I know that some people are desperate for needed cash, and these types of groups know that. Before you sell anything, go to several different types of dealers (pawn, jewelry) and get their evaluation - then you know what you are dealing with.

It amazes me how our cities allow these piranhas to set up, but I guess that is what comes from free enterprise. They will take advantage of the ignorant and the elderly.

Looks like they are bouncing checks again.... Oh my!

Looks like the THR empire might be crumbling again. I know an employee that mentioned to me that their last few paychecks have bounced. So then... what makes you think they have the money to pay YOU the customer for your gold and silver coins? Steer clear of Treasure Hunters Roadshow, Ohio Valley, The ICCA or any other traveling group that is owned by Jeff Parsons out of Springfield IL. Or, if you really need the money, ask for cash & don't accept a check. I know how they operate & if they want your items bad enough, they will produce cash. If you hear of them coming to your area, check with a local coin dealer first! Know where gold and silver are at by going to kitco.com & check the world market chart. You will most likely not get spot price, but you should get close to it. The phrase that stuck out to me from my friend that works for them was "If they aren't educated, don't educate them" Get educated people! Everyone has the right to make a living.... not a killing!

I can`t understand why after

I can`t understand why after 3 weeks, I am still waiting for a replacement check. Demand cash. Do not take a check from any of their associates. Three weeks of b---s---.

response to comment re. THR

I have been in the business for 30 years. I know how to treat a customer fairly and my clients thank me. NEVER had a customer who complained. This can be done correctly, honestly, educating the customer during the process. Not all companies operating out of hotels are crooks.....I meet wonderful people, have a good time, hurt nobody and help people who need the cash. If I can't use an item or don't know about it, I recommend someone who does! Customers appreciate that!....It's the right way to do business!

coin show ripoffs

First if all, all of the coin shows are a rippoff!...why don't you coin buyers nut up and man up instead taking advantage of people....you are no different than a used car salesman!...if u are a legit coin dealer then join the psg ???...or get lost or get arrested!

Website Gone

Treasure Hunters Roadshow's website is gone. I hope that this is a sign that they are permanently gone! Obviously they couldn't pay to keep the website up OR there could be a class action law suite against them. Honestly, I like the concept of the show, but absolutely not the way they have ripped people off and how they have treated employees.

Treasure Hunters Roadshow

DO NOT SELL YOUR VALUABLES TO THESE PEOPLE - THEY ARE ONLY LOOKING FOR ANYTHING SILVER, GOLD, COPPER.. THEY ARE NOT COIN COLLECTORS BUT REGULAR THIEVES LOOKING FOR WEIGHT IN THE SILVER, GOLD, AND COPPER. THERE ARE ONLY TWO ASSOCIATES A MALE AND A FEMALE THAT WORK HAND IN HAND AND ARE FROM ILLINOIS. YOU WILL SEE THEIR WHITE SUBURBAN HAULING A BLACK UHAUL TOOL BOX WITH ILLINOIS LICENSE PLATES! I REPEAT DO NOT SELL YOUR VALUABLES TO THEM!!

THR, International Coin Collectors, Ohio silver & Gold buyers

As an American I understand a company must make a profit. But not steal, lie and cheat.

I went to sell my coins, I had a gold coin with them, the buyer said these are international coins not worth much, I can give you a buck for a pound in weight.
I asked about the Gold coin, he said, “Its not gold is it”? He looked at it and waited for my reaction, I told him I was sure it was, he hen agreed and offered me $60 for it. I told him it was 1/4 ounce of gold at it was a $5 Gold coin, he told me it was 20% gold.

Eventually I was paid $163.12 for that, 6 silver dollars, 33 mercury dimes, and few wheat cents and some world coins.

My check bounced. I called the company and waited a week to get paid, they did pay me $25 to cover the bounced check fee. However the stress and worry it was not worth it.

My son tells me my $5 gold coin was 90% gold I should have got about $400 for that and at least $20 for each silver dollars.

Because the manager lied to me I feel I have been raped, mugged and taken advantage off.

PLEASE LET PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THIS SCUM COMPANY.

THR conducts fair business

In my experience, THR and affiliated companies have always had the highest standards of customer service. There's no easy way to bring someone down to reality, that their things are not incredibly valuable. Whoever ends up doing that usually becomes the villain. Roadshows and pawn shops do not pay retail! It is not logical to think that they will. People will look up a price in some book or what someone is trying to sell something for and then get upset when they are not offered that at a show. There is one part of the equation that always gets overlooked... TIME! Time is money! Just like space and time, time and money are interlocked. Do you really expect to walk into a place and get paid on the spot, the highest retail price without doing any of the work? These roadshows provide a service. That service is giving you money for something without putting any time into selling it yourself. Sure you can get more if you sell it directly to a collector. But you always have to pay someone to sell an item. Ebay charges a percentage, and you have to take time and energy to list it, ship it, deal with scams, etc. You can take out an ad in the paper or use craigslist, but open yourself up to dangerous scams, along with doing a lot of work and taking a lot of time out of your life. THR checks always clear, and they are a reputable company that provide a service. If you want to eat cheap, you go to the grocery store, buy ingredients, go home and cook a meal. If you don't want to hastle with that, you walk into a restaurant and they feed you. You never yell at the restaurant and say, "hey, I can make this at home for half the price." The vast majority of THR employees that I know are fair and honest and offer a high level of customer service to try to get you the money you are looking for for your items. The accounts you read on this site are a small minority of bad experiences, and mostly based on a false perception people have that think their items are worth a fortune. Most of the time they are not. Don't make villains out of a business that provides a service, and pumps thousands of dollars into every community it visits via advertising and payouts. If you know what your items are worth, I would suggest going to a THR show and tell them what you are looking to get for it. If it makes sense and is a fair deal, they will do it.

Checks don't always clear right away

hmmmmmm you did a show in north conway a couple of months ago and wanda's check didn't clear. after many phone calls by her it finally cleared this week. beware

It's only going to get worse!

Demand cash! Or don't accept the offer. This joke of a company is broke & they are having a hard time even paying their employees.

Wow! Way to go THR employee.

Wow! Way to go THR employee. Still towing the company line. You pay your clients way below what would be considered fair market price. I hope you sleep well at night. Taking advantage of the uninformed and ignorant is no way to run a business. Providing a service? I don't think so.

OHHH I could write a book

As a former THR employee of more than 2 years I saw first hand how these crooks operate. I am not a disgruntled former employee out for revenge. However, I'd like nothing more than to see them shut down because of shady business practices and false advertising. They do prey on the elderly & uneducated clients. They have broken the law. The corporate office consists of a bunch of power hungry pricks who have their 'Army' of teams go from town to town and rip off the locals. I don't blame the teams... they are being told what to do exactly by corporate. There were times when we had the fear of God put in us by the VP's if things went awry that we'd lose our jobs. A lot of the mismanagement was due to corporate greed. If you weren't part of the good ol boys club, they would eventually find a way to get rid of you. As far as the shows went... If a customer came in with coins, the buyers were instructed to try & buy them for face value, or very little over that. If the customer had gold, the buyer would disect what they had & make excuses why they could only pay x amount for a piece. I once witnessed a buyer buy a very heavy gold chain for $50. That chain alone should have netted the seller well over $300 minimum at a pawn shop. I could go on for days at some of the things I witnessed. As far as the tactics they use to purchase items go... they will lie right to your face in order to make a buy. When the manager makes a phone call to see if they can get you a better deal, they are most always faking it. The buyers and managers communicate by instant messaging & the manager knows fully well what to offer the seller before they even get over to the table. They advertise that they want to see antiques etc. but most buyers absolutely hate looking at customers 'yard sale crap'. Most buyers have no expertise in antiques & collectibles & look it up on ebay (the database). Some buyers will tell you they are working directly with collectors to get you the best price. Really? Do you honestly believe there's a collector sitting around waiting for THR's buyers to give them a call. & there have been times that I've witnessed buyers 'researching' an item aka checking email, facebook or catching up on local news. If you change your mind about selling your items (the next day) the response will always be "it was already shipped" or "it's already been sold". Even though it may be sitting right in the coin bins in the buy room. The bottom line is... Don't go to their shows. Deal locally or sell on Ebay. Know what you have. If you have Elderly parents or relatives go with them to the show, or discourage them completely. I am all for businesses making a profit, but this company does so questionably. I have relatives that have asked me when they were coming around again. I told them not to deal with them. Pretty sad when you don't have any faith in your own company. They promise the world to their employees, but eventually screw them over on pay and bonuses. Mark Cooper is a little jerk & I hope nobody ever has to deal with him first hand. I would question if he's even legal to work in the US. & If you are considering working for THR & female, prepare to be sexually harassed & discriminated against. Oh & it's OK to smoke pot if you work for them as I have had 3 managers that took smoke breaks so to speak every day. I have also witnessed coworkers coming in drunk or so hungover that they were an embarrassment to the company, but because the manager liked them, they were never reprimanded. What a great company with the highest level of professionalism! 2 years wasted with them was an eyeopener & honestly, the other former coworkers that posted are dead on!

Corsicana Texas Treasure Hunters Roadshow

My boyfriend carried his coin collection to the local show. I had already gone through what he had and had a good idea of what the value of the few unique coins he has was worth. He really didn't have anything other than the average person would have saved, but he had a few nice items we had seen selling at flea markets.

The long & short of it was that he was offered only $8 for over 40 coins. And the "appraiser" told him that some of his silver coins were only worth face value and that he might as well just "spend" them. He was offered less than .25 for his WWII era Jefferson Nickels that I had already determined were worth at the were valued from $2-40! I found one Indian head penny that was worth $2 by itself! And the 9 Mercury Dimes he had were valued at about .25 each, even in poor condition. So just those items came to a value of over $22!

And the funniest thing was that we took some WWII Japanese paper money to see what it was worth. Can you believe that the "appraiser" actually told us that it was just like foreign coins, they would have to "weigh" the paper money to determine it's value! What the heck! Do you think we are THAT stupid...or is it just that you are that stupid?

Yes you are

Silver coins are only worth silver content unless a key date

melt value of a mercury dime

Just for your info..the silver melt value of a mercury dime, which fluctuates daily of course.. is valued today at $2.4797. In my opinion, offering someone .25 for a mercury dime is outright robbery.. let the seller beware! EVEN with a commission, offering .25 for such a coin is really unfair! I was thinking of going there this weekend as I had a few things of 'interest' to sell, but would not waste my time after reading these posts! A fair commission is fine. But this is 'not' fair.

First of all the

First of all the profesionals associated with Treasure Hunters Roadshow are not appraisers. If you didnt ask you should of. The nickels you speak of were minted from the latter part of 42 to 45. Do you know why they have value??? or did you just feel like winning cause you had a bad day??? They are 35% silver thats why they are worth a quarter. Bills from occupied japan you would be lucky to get any money for; oh and unless you got an 1877 or a 1909s indian head (which are rare dates) THEY ARE WORTH NOTHING!!! So before u have an opinion about a company make sure you are not ignorant to the topic on which u speek of. P.S. YOU were looking at graded coins.... DID you spend 60 dollars a coin to get them graded?? Wait I already know the answer of course you didnt!!!!

amen

Amen John...good to see someone knows what they are talking about. $2-40 for some circulated war nickels...whatever. $.25 is more than fair considering that company will only resell it for maybe $.35.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Roll-

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Roll-of-40-Jefferson-Silver-War-Nickels-2-25-Tro... funny cause this is selling for $56 at posting time,40 nickels means that they are selling for about $1.40 a pop, and even if buyers want to double their money, that still a lot more than the $0.35 your claiming and the face value they were offered...

Wrong!!

You are correct about the amount of silver in a war nickel. But $.25, come on! A fair price would be around $1-$1.50 depending on the price of silver. At the time of this post silver would have been around $30.
Fact is Those people are crooks! I would bet anyone on here defending them are employes or are affiliated in some way.

what did you expect from a road show?

These people plan and organize an event do all the advertising and pay people to be there and you expect them to pay you what they can sell it for? that makes no sense! they are in business to make money..they dont strong arm you to be there! you go them, the offer is bound to be low so they can sell it on and make a profit. if you dont understand that then you shouldnt be in business.
Anyone who stands there for 5 hours (???)and expects to get $$$ you are kidding yourself. these events are for people who dont like pawn shops and either cant or wont do ebay, its just another avenue to raise some cash so all you guys on here stressing over 20% dont bother working for them or going to them its that simple!

No i dont work for them, no i've never been to a show!

Scam Artists

Wow..looks like I'm not the only one who hated the place with every fiber of my being. I'll take it one step further and spare all of you the detailed descriptions others here have made about how they operate. They're all true. Every account made below. 100 percent true. At any rate, once I realized what we were doing to people, I started to turn the tables on THR. If people brought me nice stuff, I simply did my best to find it on Ebay, flip my laptop around and show them what a similar item sold for. I'd then tell them (and I'm dead serious) that my dirtbag company wanted me to offer 20% of that to them. You'd be surprised at how shocked and happy they were that I told them. What do you think they did when they left? Told other people to stay away. Obviously they didn't know everyone, but it spared those they did the chance to be cheated out of their items if they came to a show and didn't sit with me. It was a simple process for me. Come in, sit down, I'll show you what your item is REALLY selling for and this is what THR will offer. Thanks for coming. You know what's funny? Not ONE single person EVER got mad at me. Not one. Some waited for a long time too and I thought for sure that over the month or so I did this that someone would complain. Never happened. The best part was when I told people I'm still getting paid to sit here regardless of whether I bought their stuff or not and most of the time they'd just smile and laugh. I had people I educated on the value of their items take them somewhere else, sell them, and come BACK and give ME money!! I'm serious. It happened at LEAST 10 times and I never got anything less than $20 from them. Why? Because of what I did for them. Other employees who read this might wonder how I was able to get away with it. Simple. My manager couldn't have cared less because he was leaving for another job (sound familiar) and as far as he was concerned we could close the doors and go home at any time. This negative attitude by THR employee's at the shows is far, FAR more common than they realize. I worked for 2 different teams. They were both the same as far as how they felt and what they thought. One of the funniest things I saw while working there was a reporter with a TV cameraman come in to do a morning show. She walked over, introduced herself and attempted to get a feel for what we were going to do. The manager of the show asked her who invited her out. She said basically someone in the corporate office set it up. Word for word he said "Well go interview them then". They obviously knew nothing good was going to come out of it so they left. I looked at him and his exact words to me were "I don't give a s***" Funny because I along with so many other people who used to work there feel/felt the same way.

Roadshow and Coin Collectors all the same co

I have just been ripped off, I went to an International Coin Collectors Association show. You have no idea how much they took from me, I called the police, they came out to the show and the manager run the police off as well. (I later found out he is the Vice President of ICCA, Mark Cooper).
He told the police he has a permit and was doing nothing wrong, when the police said he short changed me by a few thousand dollars, he told them this is America, this is business, and we came to a mutual agreement, if you think I have broken the law arrest me, if not, sorry but I have work to do, have a nice day.
He tried being nice to me, all I wanted was my coins back, he said it was too late they had been shipped the night before. I didn't want to listen to his lame excuses I just wanted my stuff back.

The police left scolded by this guy, he's not even American. He preys on innocent victims like me and elderly people. I sold a large amount of old coins some 100 years old and old bank notes my late father brought back from the war as well as over 50 silver dollars, I found out they sell for $35-$15,000 each, these guys paid me $163.12 for the lot thats just over $3 for the silver dollars most over 100 years old.

I checked these guys out they are all part of the same Treasure Hunters Roadshow company, The police said all I could do was complain to the BBB. They said he paid me for my coins and I should not of accepted the money if I was not happy. What happened to protect and serve, if they let some con man run them off, if I was 30 years younger it would have been a different story.

I will protest outside next time they come to my town. Watch out for Treasure Hunters Roadshow, ICCA and Ohio Gold refinary, they are all the same based out of Springfield.

So, what's the issue? You

So, what's the issue? You should have done your research prior to selling. You can only blame yourself. You're just angry because of your own stupidity. So what if this guy is trying to make a buck on the ignorant. Did he hold a gun to your head? No! Did you vote for Obama?

wow

Fortunately, the police cannot do anything about your dilema. I say fortunately because we live in America and the government does not have the right to tell your business what their profit margins should be. If you go to a restaurant, you drink a soda that costs over $2. The cost of that drink to the restaurant is about 4 cents. Are you going to call the police on the restaurant? The government cannot regulate to protect people who choose to be completely ignorant. In fact, the best way to regulate this and prevent it from happening is to allow FREE MARKETS to exist. Eventually, other roadshows will come around and consumers will have a choice. The roadshows would have to offer a fair market price because if they don't, the customer will go down the street for a better offer. The price will settle at a fair rate. But don't come on here and pretend that you got scammed or ripped off. You brought items into a show, and they paid you what you would accept for them. ITS YOUR FAULT if you don't get a fair price for your items. Most of you on here that say your coins are rare and worth 50-1000's of dollars are wrong. Coins are not like other antiques. Millions of them were made every year, and they are made out of metal! Think about it, there had to be enough currency for the whole population. The ones that are worth a lot are rare dates where only a small amount were minted, and basically uncirculated condition. Otherwise there are billions of worn out old coins laying around in peoples houses. Its supply and demand that determines price! The government can't protect us from being ignorant. You'll have to pay a little bit of attention if you don't want to get taken advantage of. Vote for Ron Paul!

Ignorance is not illegal but knowingly bouncing checks is!

You are misinformed if you think the police can not get involved. Bouncing checks in one City, realizing the error, and making good on it would be one thing. Bouncing checks after you have knowledge there is no money in an account or an account has been closed is a crime! The people out there that have not been reimbursed are victims in the courts eyes and could pursue charges against THR. I agree that someone should research the value of an item before selling it. I also agree the government can't protect us from being ignorant, but they can protect us from ignorant companies! Ignorance is a company that bounces over 7,000 checks nationwide after gaining knowledge that the bank had closed their account!

dumbass

Wait wait wait....so you did research AFTER you sold your coins? what kind of moron are you? I'm willing to bet any amount of money that none of your coins were graded by a good grading company. why would you call the cops after you came to a mutual agreement on a price? you had every right to walk out of the door and not sell your stuff. your not strong-armed! if you went to buy a car, your looking to get that car for as cheap as possible aren't you? yes the company is trying to make as much profit as possible, of coarse is what every company in this country is trying to do. without profit, you dont have a business.

International Coin Collectors Association

I have seen the different companies come through my city, they come under a different name Treasure Hunters Roadshow, they pretend to be the Antiques Roadshow, we have seen them as Ohio Valley Gold & Silver and now the master of all 'Rip offs' INTERNATIONAL COIN COLLECTORS ASSOCIATION. This group with the huge ads and gimmicks came to town and my father-in-law took along his late brothers collection of old coins, there was silver dollars, halves, quarters, all old and with silver in them, and loads of old coins some went back to 1812, even some old half dimes.
They offered just over the coins face value and said nothing was rare, they gave him a check.
I found out about it two days later and went back to get them back.
The lady manager told me she had shipped them out to Springfield, she gave me the number of a Mr Mark Cooper.
He was all yes ma'am no ma'am, he would look into it and get back to me within two days. Good to his word he did, he called me on the Sunday, I was impressed that he was working on a Sunday. That was until he told me it was too late my coins had been sold. What he really did was waste my time and allow his group of scam artist time to finish the so-called road show, pack up and leave town. When I agued with him, he became a different person, no more Mr nice guy. He was blunt and too the point, and said there was nothing he could do.
The creep even had the nerve to thank me or showing an interest in the company. He spoke in some fancy English accent and seemed hurt when I told him his company was a scam. He is a great actor, lier, cheat and should be shut down. After looking into the International Coin Collectors Association further, I see he is Vice President of the company, the president is Jeff Parsons, another high profile scam man who runs these roadshows.
People need to know about Cooper & Parsons. They rip people off, and are good at it. There is no such thing as International Coin Collectors Association, it's just a DBA under the same wing as THR. I estimate my father-in-law was conned out of $325, if everyone who goes to the shows get ripped off like that, that is just shameful.

1 man army in motion

I am an ex employee of Treasure Hunters Roadshow. I lasted five weeks with the company. I wanted to quit after the first week when I realized what a bunch of liars and crooks they were. But because I had gone into debt to pay for the cost to attend the month long training course, I felt forced to work long enough to pay back the loan that I had taken in order to attend the training. This company not only makes its customers their victims, but also it makes their employees victims also.
The company knows that this is a difficult economy, and they thrive and prosper off of other peoples misfortunes. They know that if a person is willing to spend hundreds, or often even thousands of dollars to attend an out of state training to get a job.. that they are really desperate for work. I feel as if they owe me money..because when they offered me the training course it was under the guise of a legitimate company. I am angry that I was suckered by their trickery and lies.
I spent $609.70 on plane ticket to Springfield for training, $1,190 for a run down hotel for a month, and 312.00 dollars for food for the month. and $176.64 on car transportation to the training from hotel every day for a month. That was over $2,000 dollars I went into debt to get a this job, a job that I was told was a good honest straight forward company. The truth of it is the company and its staff are liars, thieves, cons, and lowlifes who make a fortune off innocent people. This is why I have committed to picketing every show I can in the future..Is there anyone else who would like to join me...make a sign.. walk a line.. and save some innocent person from being scammed.