‘Dukes of Haggle’ a glimpse inside N.C.’s barter and auction economy

October 1, 2013

For many Americans, cash is king, but things work differently along the back roads of the American south.

A cash-strapped economy has given rise to a whole new breed of savvy tradesmen who barter for a living. Deep in the heart of Appalachia, these barterers spend their time scouring farms, flea markets, backyards and junkyards for items they can sell at the weekly auction.

A new 12-part series, ‘Dukes of Haggle,’ premiering on Discovery 10 p.m. ET/PT Tuesday, October 1, will take viewers inside the underground barter and auction economy, where one man’s trash is truly another man’s treasure.

‘Dukes’ stars Gene Roberts of Glendale Springs as one of the show’s barter-and-trade mavens. Roberts describes the series as comedic reality show that is “part ‘American Pickers,’ part ‘Duck Dynasty.’”

In the foothills of Hickory, N.C., four rival barter teams leave no stone unturned in order to find the items that will earn them a weekly paycheck. This comical group remains fiercely competitive as their livelihood depends on finding valuable items to flip for big profits at weekly auctions.

From Prohibition-era kegerators to Civil War swords, from classic Chevy pick-ups to Colonel Sanders weathervanes, these barter sharks go head to head with every tradesman in town to talk the sellers into the most profitable deals.

The best swappers in the south only have a few days to fix up their items and flip them at Neal Auction house every Friday night.

Discovery will air two 30-minute episodes each Tuesday night from 10-10:30 p.m. ET/PT, and 10:30-11 p.m. ET/PT beginning tonight.

‘Dukes of Haggle’ is produced for Discovery by MAK Pictures.