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Reality Check: Behind the scenes of 'Auction Kings'

12:17 PM, Feb 14, 2013   |    comments
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SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- You never know what you'll find when you walk into Gallery 63 in Sandy Springs.

"I like quirky, odd ball, weird, collectible stuff, so consequently I get barber chairs and old washing machines," said owner Paul Brown, who guarantees that he'll find a buyer for everything in the showroom.

Antiques and auctions are in his blood.

"To determine price, we bring it to auction and high bidder gets the lot," Brown said.

His grandmother was in the business, and his father opened Red Baron's Antiques.

But Paul's the one who became the "Auction King" when reality TV came calling three years ago.

"They got 26 episodes right out of the gate, then season two and season three" Brown said. "We just shot season four."

Paul's the main character on the Discovery Channel's "Auction Kings," but his staff is key to the show's success.

Office manager Cindy Shook has worked for Paul for more than 20 years.

"Do you get recognized?" asked 11Alive's Jennifer Leslie.

"All the time. In the grocery store. Mostly at Walmart. That's where most of my fan base is," Shook said with a laugh.

Jon Hammond got the job as general manager by answering an ad on craigslist.

"Oh, I love it," Hammond said. "This has changed my life."

Brown's son Elijah works at the store and studies at Georgia State University.

"I used to carry him here, and now he can carry me," Brown said.

"What do you think of the show, Elijah?" Leslie asked.

"I think it's great for business, and it really expands our client base," he said. "It's a good thing."

Brown said some of the scenes in the show are scheduled but never scripted.

On a day-to-day basis, he is hands on, organizing two big auctions every month.

"I sell on consignment for estates. Perhaps its divorce or bankruptcy or any number of reasons why people don't want their stuff anymore," Brown said.

He said the show's been good for business and even better for his state of mind.

"When you do something your whole life, sometimes it gets a little stale," Brown said. "So along comes a TV show and Discovery Channel. God bless 'em. They're so cool to work with, and they've re-energized me."

The fourth season of "Auction Kings" begins on Thursday, February 21 with a one-hour premiere on Discovery Channel.

WXIA

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