Tonight’s episode of “Down East Dickering” was titled “Mantiques Roadshow,” as good guys from Maine bargain and barter with little or no money to acquire items from Uncle Henry’s Weekly Swap or Sell it Guide. They buy, sell, swap and trade for the items they want in the most unusual way. Come and meet Tony, Codfish & Duke the dog; one team of dickerers. Then there is Clint, Bruce and Nate, who usually get involved with vehicles. Father and son team of Yummy and Mitch will always get the job done, no matter what it is. Tim and Greg are twins and with their “adopted” brother Jason are inseparable. They all work other jobs, but dickering is their forte. Then there is Speedy and Tinman, who can construct just about anything. They have a ball trying to trade up for whatever they want, and will do just about anything to make a profit.
As the episode begins, Tony, Codfish and Duke are going to check out some property they purchased a while back. They planned to build a hunting camp, but haven’t been there in quite a while. Now it is not looking too good. They picked up the property for $9,000 about ten years ago. Tony believes if they fix it up now, with property values rising; they can double or triple their money. Before they can do this; they have work to do. They must put in a driveway, clear the land, rent an excavator, find a cement contractor to seal the cracks and build a retaining wall to strengthen the property. The cost of the work is about $15,000, but they want to do it all for about $6,000. The first thing they do is open the “bible,” aka Uncle Henry’s.
Speedy and Tinman are doing the same thing, and come across an ad from Tinman’s friend Charlie, who wants old advertising signs, house parts, doorknobs, faucets and clawfoot bathtubs for his antique shop. They checked out Charlie’s items, and saw that most of his antiques appealed to guys so they called them Mantiques. So the guys went to see Bentley, who has quite a collection of Mantiques to try and make a deal with him. After much dickering, they got two lamps, a wall light, two old columns and two signs for $300.
A few weeks back, an ad offered to trade a 1958 Chevrolet truck that was not running for a crawler in good condition to push back snow banks. Clint, Bruce and Nate went to see the Chevy milk truck and brought a tractor with a plow. The husband and wife wanted to make an even swap, and after a bit of dickering, Clint wanted it so badly, that he made the swap against Bruce’s better judgment. When they brought to truck back, Bruce was giving Clint a hard time for trading something perfectly good for something he knew nothing about. Nate just stood by and listened. Clint felt that Bruce was jealous because Bruce really wanted the truck for himself. Then Clint challenged Bruce to find himself a truck as cool as his.
Meanwhile, Tony and Codfish were working on the property while Duke was watching. They acquired a small excavator from a local machinery dealer and found a concrete person in Uncle Henry’s. The concrete guy agreed to swap his labor for an air hockey table for his man cave. Now they guys have to find a vintage commercial quality air hockey table.
Speedy and Tinman are still looking for signs, when Tinman spots an ad in Uncle Henry’s for 1960’s signs for the best offer. The guy wanted more for the signs than the guys wanted to pay for, but the guys managed a deal for a bunch for $250. Speedy and Tinman brought the signs to their friend and cleared $1,075 for all their work.
Clint and Nate got the truck running and were happy as two little boys on Christmas morning. Meanwhile, Bruce was working on finding a truck that will rock his world. His friend sent him to meet a guy named Wayne who had a 1982 bread truck he wanted $800 for. Because Bruce was a friend of Charlie, he got the truck for $375.
Tony and Codfish checked the book again to see if someone had an air hockey table, because the cement work was coming along very well. Tony does not want to disappoint a guy who can fit him for cement shoes. They saw quite a few, but only one in the vicinity. So off they went to check it out. The price was only $500, and Tony knew it was a gift at that price. They were moving to a new location, and selling this was one less thing he had to move. The price saved the guys $1,800 versus the labor charge.
Bruce found an engine in Uncle Henry’s that was perfect for the bread truck. Bruce dickered with the guy who had it and got it for $100 and one of the guy’s chickens. When loading it on the flatbed truck, it fell when the chain snapped, but luckily these old engines can take a beating. After installing the engine, the truck was for sale. Bruce got $1,350 making a profit of $875.
After all the work on the property, Tony and Codfish had an appraiser come to look at the place. They told him to list it for no less than $125,000. By spending $5,500 on the property, they increased the value by $90,000. First things first; delivering the hockey table to the elated new owner on this episode of “Down East Dickering.”