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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 04/25/12
SOLD! Above, Ray Krakowski, a Dryden resident and professional auctioneer, will be seen in tonight's episode of "Sold!" on the History Channel. Krakowski, who also collects vintage toys and other items, said he cosigned for one of his old slot car sets to be sold in an auction filmed for the show.
(Observer photo by Chris Gray)
Dryden auctioneer to be
featured on History Channel
by CHRIS GRAYA Dryden resident's love of collecting and auctioning has landed him a spot on one of the History Channel's newest TV shows.
Observer Staff Writer
Ray Krakowski, a professional auctioneer and collector of mid-century items, will be featured on the April 25 episode of "Sold!" on the History Channel, airing at 9 p.m.
Krakowski has worked in the automotive industry for 30 years, but decided his "plan B" would involve his love of auctioning.
He has been a professional auctioneer and ringman for three years, starting his own company, "Auctioneers at Large." Auctioneers organize auctions and do the fast calling for bids, while ringmen help facilitate and assist auctioneers.
"I'm to the point now where I'm freelance ringwork, I've done a few auctions," he said. "I'm hoping down the road as this keeps developing to back off on the regular job and do this full time."
He said he became interested in the profession due to his love of collecting. He said ever since he began collecting stamps at age 10, he has been passionate about accumulating items, mainly old toys.
"It's kind of an extension of that whole thing," he said. "You still get to buy and sell, but you don't have to buy everything . . . you're kind of getting paid to go junking."
Krakowski said he first heard of the upcoming History Channel show through his membership with the National Auctioneers Association.
He responded to an e-mail from the producers of the show seeking a "picker" for a recurring role.
"I thought `what do I got to lose?'" he said.
The 10-episode show revolves around Bryant Auctions in Osage Beach, Missouri. After a number of calls and video conferences with the producers, Krakowski traveled down in his motor home in July to try out for the show.
He said he spoke with the show's producers as well as the auction house owner, Rick Bryant. He said they wanted someone more local for the recurring role, but were still interested in having him on the show.
"(Bryant) was a nice guy, we got along real well, and I think that's one of the reasons I was able to get back out there," he said.
It's hard not to see why producers were sold on featuring him. Krakowski's living room displays all sorts of collectibles from over the years: A large, orange sign hangs on the wall, old board games are perched on shelves, a World War I helmet sits nearby and toy cars sit in a cabinet.
"It's just neat, old vintage stuff," he said. "I've always been one to go hit the flea markets and garage sales and auctions. I'm always `junking' and always looking through stuff, it's always intrigued me to do that kind of stuff."
Producers asked if Krakowski wanted to sell a piece from his collection at an auction, and after showing them a few items they decided on a 1962 slot car set.
Without giving too much away, he said the slot car set sold for more than he expected to get for it, but said the experience far outweighed the earnings.
"I thought `you know what, I don't care how much it goes for. . .if I get this opportunity to go down there,'" he said. "For them to call me back and include me felt really, really good."
He admits he hasn't seen what they will be showing, so he'll be as surprised as everyone else when watching.
"It's going to be weird seeing myself on TV," he said with a laugh.