Yesterday Peter interviewed Sally and Laurence Martin, two stars of Baggage Battles, the show that he co-executive produced with Michael Yudin. Baggage Battles premieres tonight at 10 pm ET/PT Travel Channel, so we sent Christina Issa to get a sneak peek on the show, its cast and the airport auctions you probably didn’t even know exist.
If you’ve ever wondered what might have happened to your lost airport luggage and all your belongings in it, here’s a hint: someone probably bought it and sold it for even more than what you paid. Travel Channel’s new reality series, Baggage Battles, takes you into the world of four auction specialists earning a living off bidding, buying and reselling lost luggage. The competitors – including Mark Meyer, Billy Leroy, and married couple Sally and Laurence Martin – travel to different airport auctions across the country and take viewers behind the curtain to see what actually goes down at an auction.
Across the states, luggage auctions have varied in size and type. Every auction is unique. In London, the cast visited one particular auction house that collected abandoned or seized items. In one box they had purchased, the Martins found ephemera and postcards, various items that make you nostalgic for the past including a telegram sent from Buckingham palace in the 1930’s. Eventually they were able to find out who owned the items.
The show’s characters, each contribute different skills to the show. I had the fortune of speaking with the Martins, who were first featured on A & E’s Storage Wars, about their business Studio Antiques, in El Segundo, California and what it is like to be battling for, well, someone else’s baggage.
You could consider the Martin’s the sentimental pair on the show. Since unclaimed property has to go up for auction or gets dumped, the way they see it, they are basically doing a public service. Sally noted:
“We’re big fans of antiques–how sad would it be if some had something precious and it got thrown out. We can extend the life of [those keepsakes].”
According to Laurence, Baggage Battles can be seen as, “an extension of [their] existing business.” Both have been in the antique business for more than 25 years. It all started because the couple enjoyed hunting through their local antique shop and buying so much stuff that they were even putting things on layaway. This was the same shop that they would eventually purchase and turn into their now booming business.
When asked about the dynamic between themselves and the other contestants, the couple was as humble and genuine as the antiques they sell. Laurence commented: “We all get along. We have our differences, sometimes we want to go for the same thing and it can be fun! But we are exactly who you see on TV. I try to put some comedy into it, but I’m an oddball, and strange.”
When they’re not on TV, the couple is traveling around the world to some of the most unknown auctions and scoring the most unique items. They’ve been to police auctions, freight auctions, and local city auctions. They ship from direct importers in France, China and Austria 40-foot containers of content back to the states.
Check out Peter’s Behind the Scenes Look at the show and watch this sneak peek!
For more information on lost luggage advice, check out:
- Travel Detective Files: Passenger Rights with Lost Luggage
- Travel Tip: Your Rights with Lost Luggage
- Travel Detective Blog on Lost Luggage Empty Bladders and How to Avoid Being Breakfast for a Bear
- Avoiding Lost Luggage Woes
By Christina Issa for Peter Greenberg.com