Meet the auction specialists of Baggage Battles

Meet the auction specialists of Baggage Battles

Baggage Wars Jozi Style
Meet the auction specialists in the battle for the most prized auction possession, Billy Leroy, Mark Meyer, Laurence and Sally Martin and Traci Lombardo, go head-to-head in the ultimate bidding war!

Meet “The Dealer” of Baggage Battles
While Billy’s first professional foray was in advertising with a degree from the Art Institute of Boston, he was drawn to the world of auctions at the age of 25 when he bought a $200 painting and sold it for an astonishing $18,000!

Billy Leroy owns the famous eclectic prop and antique store, Billy’s Antiques & Props, located in the Bowery neighborhood of New York City. Known for its large, 10,000-square-foot green tent, this antique landmark recently closed for renovations and will reopen in the fall. Billy has owned the shop, originally called Lot 76, since 2002 after working there for 4 years as a manager.

While Billy’s first professional foray was in advertising with a degree from the Art Institute of Boston, he was drawn to the world of auctions at the age of 25 when he bought a $200 painting and sold it for an astonishing $18,000! From that moment on, he knew that his livelihood should be buying and selling goods.Charismatic, well-known and well-respected in his field, Billy, and his store, are staples of the antique and auction world. In order to keep his extensive collection fresh, Billy attends auctions around the world. He is passionate about the theatrics involved in negotiation and always ready to make a deal. Billy knows how to decipher the best from the rest and the phony from the real in a blink of an eye. He demonstrates his skill, and years of auction experience, as he travels the world looking to snatch up the best unclaimed personal property on Travel Channel’s Baggage Battles. In this half-hour weekly series, Billy, along with other auction specialists, travel the world looking to snatch up unclaimed personal property in an attempt to turn huge profits.

STATS
Number of years in the auction game: 27 years

Number of auction wins: over 100

Biggest auction spend in dollars: $33,000
“In London at Sotheby’s I spent $33,000 on regimental silver. I was overanxious and broke my golden rule “not to buy emotionally” and was taken to the cleaners; I lost $10,000 on that deal.”

Biggest sale in dollars: $225,000
“I sold a William-AdolpheBouguereau, who was a French academic painter. All my biggest scores have been in paintings and sculptures … not everyone can spot a great work of art.”

Biggest profit turned in dollars: $25,000
“I bought a collection of First Napoleonic Empire swords and helmets.
On one helmet alone, a French Cuirassier officer’s used at the Battle of Waterloo, I made $25,000.”

Mark Meyer: Meet “The Hustler” of Baggage Battles
Mark Meyer may be 25 years old and still living at home with his parents and older brother, but his age is no reflection of the auction professional he has become. With skill sets that match, and often trump, his competitors, the West Babylon, NY, native with a bachelor of science in finance from the State University of New York, owns the local store, Nifty Thrifty. Mark is a hard worker with a cunning knack for business and has a proven track record for selling anything.

Mark wears a baseball hat, T-shirt and jeans, but can stand toe-to-toe with any businessman in a $5,000 suit on the auction floor. In order to be taken seriously in an industry that is dominated by an older crowd, Mark lays everything out on the line to earn the respect of his peers. He takes this risky business tactic – along with his innate skill for auctioning — with him, as a lead in Travel Channel’s Baggage Battles, the half-hour weekly series where auction specialists travel the world looking to snatch up unclaimed personal property in an attempt to turn huge profits.

STATS
Mark Meyer may be 25 years old and still living at home with his parents and older brother, but his age is no reflection of the auction professional he has become. With skill sets that match, and often trump, his competitors, the West Babylon, NY, native with a bachelor of science in finance from the State University of New York, owns the local store, Nifty Thrifty. Mark is a hard worker with a cunning knack for business and has a proven track record for selling anything.

Mark wears a baseball hat, T-shirt and jeans, but can stand toe-to-toe with any businessman in a $5,000 suit on the auction floor. In order to be taken seriously in an industry that is dominated by an older crowd, Mark lays everything out on the line to earn the respect of his peers. He takes this risky business tactic – along with his innate skill for auctioning — with him, as a lead in Travel Channel’s Baggage Battles, the half-hour weekly series where auction specialists travel the world looking to snatch up unclaimed personal property in an attempt to turn huge profits

Number of years in the auction game: 5 years.
“I scouted many types of auctions before I decided to get committed. I purchased a work truck, acquired my business license, and got to work once I graduated college.”

Highest value auction haul in dollars: “Military communication kits purchased for $1,900 for 2 pieces, each valued at $25,000.”

Biggest auction spend in dollars: “$13,600 at a local police auction in 2012.”

Biggest profit turned in dollars: “This one is my favorite. I spent $80 on a box of white horses at a local police auction. It contained 8 or 9 pieces of vintage Austrian porcelain from Vienna. Beautiful 10-inch figures of military officers riding these Lipizzaner horses. From $80 to $3,400 final sale!”

Number of auction wins: “I’ve purchased and sold over $3,000 items.”

Laurence and Sally Martin: Meet “The Wildcards” of Baggage Battles
Sally Martin is the co-owner of Studio Antiques, an old-fashioned antique store in El Segundo, CA. She and her husband, Laurence, have owned the business for over 20 years. Sally oversees the customer service and communications for Studio Antiques — both in the shop and with online customers around the world.

Prior to being in the antiques business, Sally worked in the cable television industry for 15 years for such companies as Disney Channel, Media One and Continental Cablevision. While at Continental Cablevision, Sally earned a Cable Television Advertising and Marketing Award for print communications. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California and an undergraduate degree in fine arts from California State University, Long Beach, where she graduated with honors.

Laurence Martin became an avid collector at a very young age, beginning with antique ephemera, postcards, stamps and anything with a postal history. He even had his own museum when he was just a school boy. Together with his wife of 21 years, Sally, Laurence continues to collect and buy to this day. The couple has co-owned Studio Antiques in El Segundo, CA, since 1987. Laurence’s specialty in the antiques business is his keen skill in spotting a unique or rare item that others tend to overlook. He is known in the industry as being slightly eccentric and an “Andy Warhol type.”

Before owning Studio Antiques, Laurence spent 20 years in the aerospace industry as a scientific engineer and designer. He studied at Bournemouth College in Bournemouth, England, and has always been an avid traveler, spending time in countries including China, Australia and Mexico. As a part of making his avocation his vocation, Laurence spent over 10 years importing containers of antiques from across the globe for Studio Antiques.

Laurence and Sally have been featured as regular appraisers on A&E’s Storage Wars and have also appeared in the 1-hour special Storage Wars: Unlocked. With their strong partnership, business sense and years of experience, Laurence and Sally Martin are leads in Travel Channel’s Baggage Battles, joining other auction specialists who travel the world looking to snatch up unclaimed personal property in an attempt to turn huge profits.

STATS
Number of years in the auction game: 56 years
Laurence Martin’s first auction was at age 10. He went to an auction with his Auntie Christine and bought an antique mother-of-pearl case.

Highest value auction haul: “$38,000 to fill a 40-foot container of goods going from England to the US for sale in our shop.”

Biggest spend: “$4,000 on a single item, “Box of Horns,” in Glasgow, Scotland. It was a valiant effort to beat out Billy Leroy on a bid.”

Biggest sale: “The auction at Studio Antiques, 1-day sale of $12,000.”

Biggest profit on a single item: “Chinese jade scepter found in a box for, sold at auction for $13,500.”

Number of auction wins: “Difficult to answer accurately. There have been so many auction wins. Perhaps 15,000 items won.”

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