Antonio Palazzola from Barter Kings

Antonio Palazzola

Antonio Palazzola of Apple Valley, CA, has been in the bartering business since 1973 when he was 8 years old –- he traded a handful of plastic marbles for two large glass marbles. He still has those marbles today and says they’re worth a few hundred bucks. Not bad for a first time trader!

The son of a junkyard man, Antonio grew up surrounded by second-hand items. This upbringing opened his eyes to the world of trading and has helped him learn the value of certain items. He says he also learned “how to turn one man’s trash into my treasure.”

Antonio runs a trading post along with his good friend, Steve McHugh. While he claims he’s the better trader and never feels guilty about walking away with the better item, he concedes that Steve is the “better talker.”

Antonio has Tourette’s Syndrome and has had four heart attacks, but doesn’t let that get in the way of trading or spending time with his wife, Toni, and their three children. He says, “My kids have moved well past trading candy for baseball cards. Now it’s like calculators for Nike shoes!”

Q&A with Antonio

What’s the best thing you ever got in a trade? What did you trade for it?

My best “up-trade” was three years ago and it was awesome! I traded up to a $30,000 toy hauler. Man, this thing was bad to the bone. It was 31-feet-long weekend warrior that could hold a sand rail and 2 quads or 6 quads. Fully self-contained with a shower and bathtub, it slept 8 people and allowed me to spend more time outdoors with the family shredding up sand dunes or racing through the Redland forest. All it took was a used Chevy Truck worth around $8,000. That’s how I do it. Go big or go home.

Have you ever gotten a bad deal on a trade?

Hell no. You must be looking for the other Antonio. You must be thinking of Steve!

What’s the worst mistake you ever made in a trade?

Bringing Steve along with me. Seriously though, every now and again, I get too excited when I think something is amazing. Sometimes that gets me into a tight spot, which I have to work my way out from.