Proof That Bartering Can Get You Anything You Want (Free Publicity Edition)

Photo: A&E

We’re always intrigued when consumers manage to haggle their way to killer deals, which might explain our utter fascination with A&E’s new reality show “Barter Kings”.The show stars Antonio Palazzola and Steve McHugh, the owners of Express Trade, a modern day trading post in California. On a weekly basis, they barter their way to a cool $3,000-$5,000 each, one trade at a time.

Their strategy is simple: start with something of relatively little value and keep making trades until they’ve got something worth a whole lot more.

Steve and Antonio want to attract new customers for their business but can't afford the $8,000 price tag on ad space at a local baseball field.

But there's hope. The team's general manager, Eric, is in the market for some valuable baseball memorabilia. He tells the duo that he'd consider a trade if they find something worth his while.

The next step is picking the right item to begin their trading process. Steve and Antonio settle on a short-distance CB radio valued at $150.

Their first stop is at a motorcycle shop, where the owner is willing to trade a $600 drill for their radio––quadruple its actual value. Things are looking good.

The men don't back down. Treading carefully around the Bear, they start negotiations, eventually convincing him that the trade benefitted both parties. Before the pair has a chance to change their minds, they get out of there with the drill in hand.

The next place they head to is the farm. Pictured below, Shannon and Liz bought two alpacas for their wool but had decided not to keep the animals. They're willing to see what Steve and Antonio have to offer.

Antonio and Steve convince the women to trade their alpacas, valued at $1,000 together. This is a risky trade because alpacas could be a hard item to offload.

They also have no way to care for or transport the animals. The men borrowed the original owner's trailer for a lift.

As they feared, it wasn't easy finding someone who actually wanted to trade for alpacas. But luck brought them to their next trading partner, Teena, who runs a petting zoo.

Their long wait to unload the alpacas was worth it. They made off with some vintage aviation memorabilia worth $1,500 from Teena.

Nearing the finish line, they tried to trade their aviation collection for a signed Cal Ripken Jr. helmet. Too bad the sports shop owner wasn't particularly blown away by their offer.

Time to really flex their negotiating muscle. Steve and Antonio managed convinced him to take the deal by suggesting he could unload their memorabilia on another collector faster than he'd find a buyer interested in the helmet.

Now all they had to do was convince the baseball manager to trade the ad space for the rare helmet. When he hesitated, Steve and Antonio decide to appeal to his emotions to seal the deal––they let him physically try on the helmet, which made it harder for him to say no in the end.

It was a done deal. They walked off with the $8,000 advertising package.

You don't have to spend a dime on these either...

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