The World Famous Swap Shop has been an integral part of WRGS Radio in Rogersville, TN, since 1954. The idea is simple: people call and talk about the items they want to sell and trade.
It is up to the audience to go to the seller and negotiate a deal. This is the basis for the reality series Swap Shop. On the show, nine pairs of bargain hunters will trade based on advertisements they hear on radio shows.
In the first episode, Tori, who owns West Main Antiques in Johnson City, and her store manager Larry find out about the sale of all the content the farmer has kept in his barn over the years.
But on the way there, you’ll find a flea market with lots of exciting finds, such as bar stools, that need to be restored.
At first, Larry thought Tori was wasting time by allowing other merchants into the warehouse, but he became intrigued when he came across a religious statue – one of Larry’s specialities. The owners let them in on the ceiling, where they found the statue of our sister from Guadalupe that Larry had been looking for for 3 years.
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Jason and Bob are an exciting team:
Jason owns an auction shop that sells fine furniture and exciting items, while Bob owns The BobMart, which sells anything he can get his hands on. They heard about grain scales for sale, and Jason was sure he could get them for $500, not the $1,500 the salesman wanted. He tells Bob about the negotiation steps, such as the “wink”, and bets $500 to buy what he likes if he can’t get the scales for it.
Dale and Scott owned Kykers Extreme Automotive and heard of the 1968 Mustang; Dale wanted to take it and compensate him for one of their more friendly but limited customers. When they reached the collector who owned it, they discovered a body and some wheels. Without a drive and a seat that looks like a rodent has eaten it. Dale agrees to accept it for $5,000, despite Scott’s objections.
Why do we say we “see too much” when talking about the Swap Shop? Because we know that the find this bargain hunter pair is looking for is anything but spontaneous. He feels so tuned in that there’s almost no need to pretend he’s on a radio show. But that doesn’t mean we don’t like the show.
It all comes down to personality. All of the couples we saw in the first episode have calm chemistry with each other. They gave each other deals and worked together to ensure that the items found could profit. Also interesting are the elements they look at. Although the segments are a bit lighter in terms of description and why they’re so valuable.
But let’s be really honest:
If the radio show doesn’t exist, it can still exist. With all the praise the radio show received in the first few minutes of the first episode. It only existed as a delivery system for this setup situation. We didn’t even see the host or receive any identifying information about the show other than 9:30 a.m. six days a week. It’s impossible to speculate that the “radio show” we listen to is not only not a real show, it also doesn’t sound like the famous swap in the real world.
This is the most frustrating part; the show has been on the air for 67 years. You’d think that just the show’s persistence would make a good topic for a reality series that features regular hosts and callers and then talking to people who make purchases and exchanges. But the radio show that underlies it all has diverged mainly in favour of the pair of buyers presented.
Despite our design issues, the Swap Shop shopper pair are fun and full of personality. We want the radio broadcast itself to be more than just background noise.