Laurence and Sally Martin took advantage of Tucson’s proximity to Los Angeles when filming an episode of the Travel Channel series “Baggage Battles” last March.
“We drove our truck to the auction and bought stuff on the side,” said Laurence, who runs Studio Antiques in El Segundo, Calif. with Sally when not on the show. “We hit a whole bunch of thrift shops. The prices are lower there than they are in Los Angeles.”
The couple got their start on the small screen as appraisers on the A&E series “Storage Wars, but have appeared as regular bidders on “Baggage Battles” since the show’s inception in 2012.
The reality series, now in its third season, follows several characters as they bid on mystery bags and bins at auctions across North America and in Europe.
The Tucson episode that filmed in March will air on Tuesday and will feature finds that involve Pepsi and the United States Air Force.
The Martins spoke to Caliente last week from El Segundo.
How often are you on the road, filming for the show?
Laurence: “We go two shows a month on average. We travel all over the place. If we go abroad, we like to stay an extra three to four days. I have family in England. If it is close, we go visit.”
Do either of you have Tucson ties?
Sally: “I have a long history with Tucson. I love your city. It has really grown since the 1980s when I was spending time there.
I worked for the Disney Channel. It was a premium service at the time, so I was dealing a lot with Cox Communications.
Shows that have filmed here in the past, including “Man v. Food” have taken days to shoot. With a show like “Baggage Battles,” in an auction setting, is there a lot of stopping and starting?
Sally: “There is no stopping or starting whatsoever. The auctions we go to are real public auctions. We are there with you or anyone else who wants to be there and bid. The auctioneer doesn’t stop for us. It plays out like it plays out. It is a level playing field.”
Do you watch the episodes when they air?
Laurence: “Definitely. We never see the show until it is on. We want to see what happened, how it panned out.
We have no idea what the other guys bought. It is all new to us when we see it.”
What kind of auction did you attend in Tucson?
Sally: “It was the Sierra Auction folks. They had two auctions going on. One was a car auction. The other was for Pods. When people move, they get a pod, drop it in their yard and fill it up. The moving company stores it. In this case, these were pods for people who had never paid the bill or claimed their merchandise.”
Win anything good?
Laurence: “We won a really cool piece. We paid $350 for this pod. We made somewhere around $3,000. It was an advertising item. This appraiser worked for the company. She had a great expertise in this particular field. It turned out real good.”
How about at the thrift stores when you were off-camera?
Laurence: “We went to the Salvation Army. I paid $50 for a frame and sold it for $500 in our shop.”