‘Barter Kings’ chase the best deals | Inquirer Entertainment

‘Barter Kings’ chase the best deals

By: - Writing Editor
/ 11:15 PM February 17, 2013

“RENO vs Relocate”

Best friends Steve McHugh and Antonio Palazzola are cohosts of the Bio show “Barter Kings,” where they demonstrate their skills at trading unneeded or forgotten items for other objects they desire.

In an exclusive phone interview, the titular barterers expounded on the philosophy of swapping, and why there’s an ongoing resurgence.


“I love the thrill because I don’t believe there’s a loser when you barter,” McHugh said. “Most people barter because they have a need and don’t want to spend cash on that need. So they find something they don’t need and they are willing to trade it regardless of what they paid for it…And to me, making people happy while we do our business is rewarding.”

Palazzola added: “People have been trading things for hundreds of years. We and the person we’re trading with get what we want.”


Palazzola has been trading for about 25 years. Eventually, he and McHugh—his friend of 17 years—started doing it as a business. The Californian business partners are currently running a trading post.

“It worked really well for us so we decided this is what we wanted to do for a living,” Palazzola said.

Price subjective

On measuring an object’s worth, McHugh stated that the original store price ultimately doesn’t matter. “At the end of the day, an item’s worth [is] what it’s worth to somebody that needs or wants it. So it’s subjective, which is to the advantage of somebody looking at trade for a living.”

The seasoned trading partners recounted a few recent deals as some of their most challenging yet.

“The biggest challenge was getting my son a muscle car for his birthday,” Palazzola said. “I traded a [valuable] geo rock for it. So it was one of the hardest trades I have ever done!”

McHugh likewise had to sacrifice things that he’d rather reveal on the show: “For me, it was the first trade I ever did on camera, which was for a speed boat. And two of the items I traded for it along the way, I wanted to keep so bad!”


“BARTER Kings”

McHugh hopes to acquire a 40-foot formula boat through trading one day, while Palazzola has a yacht and a helicopter on his wish list. The duo agreed that they’ve been encountering many skilled traders, but since they’ve been doing this for a living, their skills are honed on a daily basis.

Large movement

As for the wider resurgence of the practice, McHugh said that it’s already happening. “There’s absolutely a large movement. I wouldn’t call it a revolution, but I would say that it’s moving in that direction. The number of people who express interest in what they see us do on TV is incredible. People are coming out of the woodwork; wives are thanking us for showing their husbands how to get things out of the garage that they don’t need and want, and it’s becoming a family thing!”

“Barter Kings” premieres tomorrow, 10 p.m., on Bio.

‘The Following’

In “The Following,” ex-FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) faces the threat of a serial killer (James Purefoy) he caught years ago. The show airs Saturdays, 9 p.m., on Jack City.

‘The Neighbors’

Several aliens disguise themselves as humans and populate a gated community in the new sitcom “The Neighbors,” starring Jami Gertz and Lenny Venito. The show airs Thursdays, 8 p.m., on Fox.

Toonami teen superheroes

Catch the adventures of alien-powered Ben Tennyson on “Ben 10: Alien Force” and mechanical protector Rex Salazar on “Generator Rex,” airing weekdays, 5 p.m., on the new cartoon channel Toonami.

Discovery ‘Gold’

New episodes of “Gold Rush” and “Bering Sea Gold” air Mondays, 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., respectively, on Discovery.

‘Treme’ season three

As New Orleans tries to rebuild itself after their 2005 Hurricane “Katrina” disaster, greater emphasis is placed on trying to rid itself of the rampant crime and corruption, while retaining the deep cultural roots that New Orleans stands for.

The new season of “Treme” premiered on Tuesday  at 10 p.m. on HBO Signature.

‘Reno vs Relocate’


“Do I renovate or relocate?” For homeowners looking for a fresh start, it’s one of two choices: Keeping the property and safeguard the memories that come with it, or parting with the lot and starting a new life.

While style-savvy designer Robin Lewis persuades homeowners to stay, expert realtor Vanessa Roman tries to convince them to move. Both present options that perfectly match the homeowners’ wish lists and budget. The all-new series, “Reno vs Relocate,” airing every Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Bio, shows how homeowners deal with this life-changing question.

‘Just a Father’

Carlo (Luca Argentero) is a 30-year-old dermatologist whose life has always been perfect.

One day, Carlo’s idyllic life is suddenly turned upside down when his young wife dies while giving birth to their baby daughter, Sofia. His emotional vacuum is filled by the arrival of Camille, who  helps him understand what it really means to be a father.

“Just a Father” airs on Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. on CinemaWorld.

MMK Classics

“MMK Classics” will retell the story of Fatima Soriano, a blind girl who became popular over Philippine radio airwaves because of her angelic voice. Joining Moreen Guese, who portrays Fatima, is one of the most popular stars of the ’80s, Snooky Serna.

Fatima’s story will be relived on “MMK Classics” via TFC’s cable and satellite platforms on Feb. 23 (Sydney, Tokyo, Riyadh and Milan time). TFC can also be viewed via TFC’s video-on-demand and official online service—TFC.tv.

Discover ‘true’ love

Join The 700 Club Asia as it celebrates a higher kind of love this month. Catch exciting and endearing stories of how hopelessness, poverty and sin were overcome by the power of genuine love in its many forms, in a week-long TV special, “Higit sa Lahat…Pag-ibig!”. The show will air starting today until Feb. 22 at 11 p.m. on GMA News TV and via webcast at www.cbnasia.org/higitsalahatpagibig.

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TAGS: Barter Kings, Discovery, Entertainment, Oliver M. Pulumbarit, Television, The Following
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