The definition of an antique, according to the US government, is something that's 100+ years old. I try and watch AR so I can educate my eye about what's valuable and what is just dreck. Beanie Babies, no matter how valuable, are not antiques, they're collectibles (and you're not going to retire on your Beanie Baby futures).
One of the things I've always loved to do, and clearly I inherited this trait from my father, is to "poke around". Sometimes this is in dusty old stores that don't fall into the antiques store category, sometimes this happens in neighbourhoods that are off the beaten path and aren't on the trend-meter. Some of my best buys, including a large collection of gold bangle bracelets (since stolen) came from junk stores. I've also found old pieces of silver, beautiful quilts and my best find ever, a Cartier tank watch (also stolen).
It's all about knowing to look for the maker and the marks. It's knowing that sometimes the things that are a little tarnished and worn are more valuable than the new and shiny. I am not sure when the Baltimore Roadshow episode is airing, but will try and let you know.
As I type this, Connor-dog is lying on his back, with his hind feet resting on the wall, but if I get the camera out, he will run!