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.