Review: Buy It! Fix It! Sell It! tries to get you all excited about ‘reupholstering shit’

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Buy It! Fix It! Sell It! title card (screenshot via hgtv.ca)

C-

Buy It! Fix It! Sell It! is an odd show, and that’s even ignoring the fact that it has not one but three exclamation marks in its name. Actually, I can’t even figure out why the series is on HGTV in the first place as it follows a wacky cast of characters bidding for stuff, altering what they bought and selling it at a steep markup. The show seemingly has nothing to do with homes (the “H” in HGTV) and it sure as heck has nothing to do with gardens (the “G” in HGTV), well at least that was the case with the episode I reviewed. It doesn’t quite fit what I’d expect from HGTV and its addition to the schedule is especially puzzling as most of the items in their final form appear to be sold for commercial use opposed to being sold for use at home.

Sorry putting an exclamation mark at the end of the word "Sold" for buying a $10 quilt doesn't make it any more exciting.

Sorry, but putting an exclamation mark at the end of the word “Sold” for buying a $10 quilt doesn’t make it any more exciting. (screenshot via hgtv.ca)

Sadly, however, even putting all that aside, Buy It! Fix It! Sell It! isn’t as exciting as the exclamation marks might have you believe. A good chunk of the start of the show is watching people bid for what is essentially garbage. They’re old, odd knick-knacks that virtually no one has any use for, and most of the items wind up fetching less than $100 at the auction. In the rare instance there is an item going over the $100 mark, you bet your ass it will be played up as much as possible. Sometimes the show will even try to stretch the tension across a commercial break as if it’s enough to keep you hooked.

"Some grandma worked her tits off to make this thing." (screenshot via hgtv.ca)

“Some grandma worked her tits off to make this thing.” (screenshot via hgtv.ca)

It might be enough to make you roll your eyes and grab the remote instead, but if you do stick around it’s likely because of the personalities of the people on the show — the folks doing the fixing. Tiffany, with her bright orange-red Nicki Minaj-like hair, is probably the most memorable. She says such ridiculous things that I bet she’s the reason why HGTV feels compelled to air a viewer discretion bumper for coarse language, something I never thought I’d come across on HGTV, but here we are. (The bumper doesn’t appear when you’re watching Buy It! Fix It! Sell It! online, however.) My personal favourite Tiffany lines are “Some grandma worked her tits off to make this thing” and “I’m all about reupholstering shit.” Some of the things she says are such gems that I think HGTV needs to put some of them on bumper stickers and t-shirts ASAP.

"What can we do to put you into this chair today?" (screenshot via hgtv.ca)

“I think we could put you into that chair today.” (screenshot via hgtv.ca)

You also have Mike and Joe, The Neon Bros., as you can guess by that moniker they like to put neon tubes in or on things. There’s also Willy, “The Junkman,” who had the genius idea of taking a steering wheel out of a truck and integrating it into the back of a chair he fell in love with at the auction.

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This poor Hudson’s Bay blanket got ripped to shreds (screenshot via hgtv.ca)

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At least what the Hudson’s Bay blanket turned into didn’t look all that bad (screenshot via hgtv.ca)

While most of the items are virtually trash, or have little value when they’re at auction, sometimes there are a few treasures to be found and you might wonder why they would want to destroy them to make something else. I was kinda crestfallen when Tiffany was so determined to tear apart a pair of rare Hudson’s Bay blankets, however, don’t underestimate her, she knows what she’s doing. The end product turned out looking pretty great compared to some of the other creations, and while she spent $125 on the blankets at the auction she made $1150 with the final product. With money like that to be made, screw the blankets and shred away.

Regardless of all that the appeal of Buy It! Fix It! Sell It! isn’t all that clear. Perhaps the main draw for the show is to see what crazy things the folks on the program create and how much they get for it at the end. If that’s so, then the auction process near the start of the show is nearly unnecessary, which adds insult to injury because it’s quite dull. Perhaps it would be best if the program briefs us on how much the items went for at the auction instead, so the series could spend more time on other things that may be more interesting like showing us how the final products were pieced together.
A quilted side table sold for $400. Wish I was joking. (screenshot via hgtv.ca)

Tiffany’s quilted side table (screenshot via hgtv.ca)

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The quilted side table sold for $400. I wish I was joking. (screenshot via hgtv.ca)

Not that I’m saying that I’d like to craft something similar myself. The things created on the show are often ridiculous and not all that practical, like the puffy quilted side table or the wagon hockey shrine that’s mounted onto a wall.
The prices they try to and actually sometimes sell the items at are often just as or even more absurd than the things they create. The buyer and seller awkwardly try to land at a price they both can agree on, however, when there’s a big discrepancy between the price the seller wants to sell an item at and the buyer wants to buy it at, don’t be surprised if it’s suddenly time for another commercial break.

Buy It! Fix It! Sell It! isn’t really a show I’d tune into every time it’s on (and HGTV airs it a lot by the way). I suspect many people would feel the same way. The program may be interesting if you stumble across it and can tolerate the auction segment, but I can’t see a real reason to tune in when a new episode airs. Buy It! Fix It! Sell It! glosses over the process of making the final items and when they’re completed they’re often not that impressive leaving you feeling a bit underwhelmed at the end, but the crazy profit they make on each item may make you sit up straight in your seat. Still that’s just not enough to keep me (and I bet others) from tuning in regularly.

Episode Reviewed: Blanket Battle
Buy It! Fix It! Sell It! airs on HGTV
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