A 1956 Lincoln Mark II in flawless condition rolls into the lot. Its owner knows that only a handful of these beauties were produced, and he thinks he can get $70,000 for it.
The dealer offers him $30,000. Should he take the money and run? The tension builds. No, the seller decides. For a collectible car in perfect running condition, he's sure he can get top dollar at auction.
'Real Deal,' a new 10-part / 30-minute series premiering Sunday, November 27 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on HISTORY, zeroes in on the dramatic interaction between buyers and sellers as they haggle over the best price for a piece of history.
Taped at Don Presley Auctions' gallery in Orange, California, Real Deal captures the tension that fuels the art of the deal.
Antique dealers must summon their expansive knowledge of antiques - and human nature - to clinch the deal. But it's the sellers who have the advantage. They can walk away from the table at any time and head straight to the auction block, where big money could be awaiting.
But there's always the risk of going home with far less than the dealer offered - or even empty-handed.
Whether it's a collection of footballs signed by NFL legends or an autograph by Harry Houdini, a WWII German Storm Trooper dagger or a 19th-century spittoon, everything that comes into the auction reveals something about an earlier time and the way people lived in the past.
Las Vegas dealer Glen Parshall (left) considers making a cash offer on
But an article that's rich with history doesn't necessarily make its owner rich.
One seller thinks he can get $580 for a 1904 home electrotherapy machine. The dealer offers $240. 'No deal,' decides the seller, and heads to the auction house, where he gets only $225 for it.
But a gamble can sometimes pay off, as it did for Gary, the owner of the Lincoln who rejected the dealer's $30,000 offer. At the auction house, he gleefully looks on as bids keep rising. Eventually the vintage vehicle fetches $45,000…and Gary goes home a winner.
"With this show, the name tells it all. It's the real deal - the most authentic antiques and auction show on television," said auctioneer Don Presley. "I believe auctions are the best way of determining fair market value, and that's what this show does."
"People come into the auction house with an antique or collectible item and sit down at a poker table across from one of a team of four very smart dealers with a stack of cash to spend. They discuss the item and haggle back and forth on price; then the dealer makes them an offer.
"The seller can accept the offer or consign the item to auction. Viewers get to watch the entire process as it unfolds, all the way through to the bang of the gavel. It's very entertaining," Presley said.
Real Deal's first episode will air on Sunday November 27.