Wednesday, January 20, 2010

WATCH "AMERICAN PICKERS" ON THE HISTORY CHANNEL

American Pickers
We haven't seen it, but we hear the new History Channel show, "American Pickers," is good television, especially for collectors. The two hosts, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, make their living searching for antiques and collectibles to resell to dealers. They are followed by a camera crew while they hunt, buy, and sell and throw in history and humor. Watch them find the place we all dream about--the barn chock full of stuff that hasnt been touched for years. We know from the days of our TV shows that it takes hard work, long hours, and dedication to survive a series. Watch this one if you can. The show will only go 10 episodes if there isnt enough interest. It debuted on Monday, Jan. 18.

96 comments:

Martito said...

WTH.. 2 guys preying on the elderly, befriending the lonely ones only to take advantage of them... (and their lack of knowledge). They're only your friend if you've got stuff they want.

WE WON"T WATCH AGAIN

If you take something to the "pawn stars" or sell it at auction on "cash in the attic" fine, all's good, all's fair... but searching out the weak or unknowing is PREDATORY.

Get it off the air.

Anonymous said...

Watched the debut show - really enjoyed it!! Check it out.

Anonymous said...

Watched the first show...Great fun!! Looks like something I'd really enjoy!!! It's a good mix of humor and hunting...I hope the keep it going!!!

Anonymous said...

It was good - they meet a lot of strange people on the road, mostly elderly. I didn't see any "treasures" (in my estimation)that they had unearthed during the first episode, but a lot of rusted junk, signs, machine parts and one interesting old saddle. This first episode followed "Pawn Stars" (which is brilliant) so we will see if this show goes beyond it's first 10 episodes. (I don't think it will, but give it a go)

merrill said...

We watched American pickers show and it was refreshing and good information. Merrill

Anonymous said...

The show is entertaining and interesting and the hosts seem nice enough, but I couldn't help but get a little upset when they stopped at an old farmstead and took advantage of an 88 year-old farmer who was a WWII vet. They had fun with the guy and it was clear that he enjoyed having them there, but it was disturbing when they lifted an old saddle from him for only $75. They got it appraised and were told it could bring up to $5k if it was oiled and cleaned up. I'm all for getting a good deal on something, but in my book, that's bad karma. The show "Pawn Stars" is a lot more palatable because people bring their items to the shop, and they're often told what a piece is worth, even though they're being offered about 30 to 50 percent of its value.

Anonymous said...

That show left a very bad taste - taking advantage of an elderly man as though it was an ethical thing to do doesn't set a good moral example. I hope it goes off the air!

Mary Arnold said...

I would definitely watch it again, but did find it disturbing, as others have mentioned, when the WWII Vet got so little for his treasures. I know he thought he was getting a great deal but can't help but think the pickers took advantage of his lack of price awareness when they made the cold call to his farm and asked him to price things on the spot. Agree that it is a different story when people take items to the pawn shop on the other series and even when people are actively trying to sell their items via garage sale, for example. It was more fun watching them wheel and deal with some of the more reluctant sellers.

Anonymous said...

It was interesting to watch. Yes they did get some good deals at rock bottom prices from the old folks. That's the name of the game, if they didn't get it someone else would have. Plus when we die our unknowedgeable relatives will sell our treasures for pizza and beer money anyway. It's all just stuff!!

Anonymous said...

Hello I am a big collector . These two guys are douchebags praying on a ww2 vet. I wish they would come to Brooklyn i would show them something

Janet said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the show. The sellers seemed to enjoy the visits from Frank and Mike. So much so that they would not sell them too much, so they would return for another visit. I had many laughs, as I know many older fells much like the sellers they met. I say keep it on!

tj said...

I have to agree with most of these posters. They were taking advantages of elderly Iowans who probably lived a good honest hard-working life.

I don't collect saddles or samurai swords but I know enough to realize he was going to rip him off.

I think that “picker” and most antique dealers know full well the value of saddles and samurai swords.

I have an idea for a better show: how about you get pickers to go out to these poor country people's houses, pull stuff out for them, sell it and give the money back to them?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the majority of the people posting so dar. I think this show will cause more "pickers" to go out and exploit, More and more people who live in rural areas, similar to those in the show, may actually find themselves begieged or victims of theives. I have been a "picker" but in farmstands purchased for development and with the new owner's permission. This takes it too far.

tj said...

Wow, if you think we are annoyed, check out the posts at the History Channel's board:
http://boards.history.com/topic/History-Now/American-Pickers/520082649

Anonymous said...

Only fair that they would have went back to the WW II Vet, and said they found it worth more, and give him a little more to maybe go on a trip or something. s he looked to me, he cpould have used the extra bucks,
Would have been more fair in my eyes. Otherwise enjoyed the show,

Garth the Wimp said...

I have not seen it but from the previews, I assumed the show was salted with a few good things and some junk. Since few reality shows are real, I assume this is just another fake one. I have watched Pawn Stars, but again, I sort of think it is faked out with people being contacted to bring in this great stuff.

J. Myers said...

Really well done reality series. Terrific chemistry between the hosts. A wonderful look at the ups and downs of uncovering unusual items throughout the heart of the Midwest. They are good at sharing their enthusiasm with the ones they buy from, as well as the viewers. A must see!

Anonymous said...

Ditto... It would be a great show if.... they returned with the Item (not in all cases)and actually gave the uninformed owners the real value. Then tape their reaction and their exspressions and make a reasonable offer. It was real disheatning to watch what they did to the "Vet" Smoke88

deblo said...

Wonder if these guys wouldnt have come along if the stuff would have just sat there and rotted away to nothing. It seemed to me that they didnt realize what the stuff was worth and they just took their chances too. I know for myself I had a little consignment shop and I always enjoyed when people camme in and really loved something and they paid me my price and even if it was worth more if it didnt mean anything to me well than good for them.

emmapeel123 said...

It's a shame about the WWII vet. There really needs to be a follow up on this. A rest of the story... if you will. I'd like to see the saddle sold at a good auction (filmed for viewers) and then have the hosts of the show go back to the old guy with a cut of the profits in celebration of the sale.

Anonymous said...

I was looking forward to the first episode of "American Pickers;" however, as the first show progressed, I felt uneasy watching them take advantage of people, who didn't know the value of their items. I am somewhat of a picker in my small town; that is, picking up off the curbside and finding treasures at yard/estate sales. I very rarely ask a seller to take less than the marked price on an item that I am going to resell. I look forward to the day that I will resell an item for a big profit, then returning to the original seller and giving that person a share of that profit. In conclusion, "American Pickers" needs to change their format in order for all viewers to enjoy the show.

Anonymous said...

Really guys we are talking about the real world. When someone on Antique Roadshow says they bought a painting at Salvation Army or a yard sale for $5 and it is worth $20,000 do you get mad because they don't give them part of the money. I thought it was a good show. Yea if they had known the saddle was worth that much they should have offered more. But that is the name of the game. You win some you lose some.

Linda said...

I saw a preview to this show and thought it would be like treasure seeking and I love going through old barns and basements and 'finding'. As to the posts about getting ripped off... When I was a kid we moved into Grandpap's and in the attic were antiques, i.e. a cone record player and more, and my parents threw these things in the trash!!! So why leave them to your kids when they don't care?

Anonymous said...

Great Show. By the comments some of the view aren't antique collectors or dealers.

Anonymous said...

Watched the show on the History Channel..loved it..if you like antiques, you know its all about the thrill of the hunt...

Anonymous said...

It's bad enough there have always been inconsiderate yahoos that knock on your door hours before your garage/yard/estate sale starts, now there's a show that encourgages cold calling on the elderly. The one old fellow that they apparently had visited before seemed to be a bit savy about selling his stuff, but the lonely looking WW Vet just reminded me of an elderly landlady I had years ago. She was scammed out of a basement full of the most amazing accumulation of collectibles, by a workman who offered to "clear the fire hazard of all that dusty old junk away free!"

If it was some smart mouth yuppie with a BMW in the driveway maybe, but to see the lonely, backwater elderly preyed upon--NO THANKS.

By the way, I've been around horses all my life---possibly $5000 for the old unmarked saddle that was shown on the show--now that WAS a laugh.

Karen said...

I thought the show was great but I'm a 'picker myself. I do however tell my friends or people I'm buying off of if they are selling too cheap.... I don't make as much profit, but there is enough to go around. I think its great that Mike and Frank wait for the owners to give them a price that they want for the items or pay the 'outlandish'' price the sellers feel they need or want for their item. Many people got their collections originally for alot less than they are getting from Mike and Frank.....I loved the program..... I'm learning... and hope it keeps going......remember....many of the Samurai swords were taken off the dead or bought as souveniers and since they were cut down, are not worth very much. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I agree I thought it was predatory and did not like the show. In a business law class I remember a case and where the 'picker' was successfully sued and had to repay the victim. I especially did not like the fact they were preying on the elderly. My brother's asked me to look over an elderly neighbor's stuff before the sell and I found a gold necklace, a signed crystal vase that turned out to be very expensive and I repriced all her items. A day before the sale she had a dealer early and my brother said he went to every item I repriced and bought several w/o quibbling price. If I see something in a gsale and the seller looks like they could use the cash, I educate.

Anonymous said...

It jump starts the economy

Anonymous said...

These two were entertaining. I don't think they knew the value of the saddle, that's why they took I to a saddle shop. They seemed to be fair enough with the stuff they knew more about and they must have a lot of expenses for travel hauling & cleanup plus it looks very time consuming. Also they have to cover the expenses of all the mistaken purchases they make (not shown). If they have developed the knowledge and contacts to profit from the odd stuff buy they deserve a good return. PS : A lot of those farmers aren't the easy marks some people think they are.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see the show but my sister told me about it and we were both disgusted with this form of entertainment based on preying on the elderly for profit. I had a garage sale several years ago and one fellow came looking for duck and goose decoys. No doubt he relishes finding an elderly widow selling her deceased husband's old guns, decoys, fishing and hunting items without knowing the value, which he can then pick up for a pittance. Sounds like these 2 guys are related to him. Some of the posts say "what the heck? it would just rot or get thrown away anyway." You're assuming the man didn't have a family or that these items wouldn't be sold at auction (for a more fair price). Also, going to a garage or yard sale and buying it at a low price and then reselling it for a profit is a little different than going cold to someone's home and asking them to come up with a selling price on the spot, especially when the person isn't knowledgeable about the value of an item. Hopefully, these two guys will be the recipient of-"What goes around, comes around."

Anonymous said...

Being a senior citizen w/ disabilities, having been "scammed" by pickers I will not watch this again. Now the history channel and Kovels advocate "lessons" on how to be an ugly scheming American? I enjoyed "Trash to Treasure" or "Cash in the Attic", but this is just disgusting... and they think they are smart/clever... they are poor examples of American males.

Nifty Nostalgia said...

What a disgrace to the History Channel. This is precisely why as a dealer in high end vintage jewelry, I do my own picking. I sleep very well at night! My buying is primarily done at auctions & estate sales run by professional liquidators and private buyouts. When dealing one on one with an individual in their home or mine, I always treat the buyers as if I were dealing with my 88 year old Mom as I would not have wanted her to be cheated. I have plenty of referrals and by paying a fair price I still manage to make a nice profit on resale. There is absolutely no reason to cheat the elderly . . other than sheer greed!

Anonymous said...

I was really excited to think a "picker's show" would air. Then when it did it left me very said. The saddle they offered 75. that was worth upwards of 5000. will make the elderly gentleman cry if he sees the show.

I will not watch it again. The "befriend" the elderly and take advantage. Very distasteful, hope they remove immediately.

Anonymous said...

I watched "Pickers". Enjoyed it. Why should anyone be upset over inexpensive purchases. Relatives just sell it or give away when elder relatives pass on. It is hard to find these things, especially after Antiques Roadshow gives "puffed up values" and people won't let their vintage items be sold to individuals who love them. I watch Pawn Stars, but can't believe this is really a up and up shop. How can Chum be featured when he is so "out of it". I live close enough to Vegas to check it out and see how truthful this show is..

Anonymous said...

I can see why, that some are saying the hosts of the show are predatory. But is this not the way this type of business has always been conducted? I doubt it very much if they know the True Values of some of the items they are buying from people. They are just guessing, it seems to me. Value is what it is at that moment, what it is to the person that wants the collectible. The saddle is worth maybe up to $5,000 to a certain type of collector. Does not mean that it will fetch that price.

Anonymous said...

This show certainly sounds interesting but it is not being aired on the Canadian History Channel otherwise I would definitely check it out.
Rose in Ontario

Anonymous said...

If they old folks thought their stuff was valuable, it would not be outside in a old barn rotting for decades. Value is only what it means to the person. If they got a few bucks for something, it's more than it was rotting in the old barn. At least it's something.

Anonymous said...

We watched the show, same reaction. I wonder what the people had to say about it when they watched it.

With the commenter on buying from the Goodwill..that is when someone gives it up without compensation and someone else places a value on it, I've seen stuff overpriced and underpriced.

I've seen vintage and antique cars in recycling centers worth more than what the scrap value is but you can't go and buy the item in order to get it, so it gets crushed. The only way to get them is at the owners house and make a better offer than scrap value. Same deal, they either sell or hold onto it. What good is a collector car sitting in a field when someone wants to invest time and money to rebuild it? It is a shame.

Anonymous said...

I agree with: I would definitely watch it again, but did find it disturbing, as others have mentioned, when the WWII Vet got so little for his treasures. I know he thought he was getting a great deal but can't help but think the pickers took advantage of his lack of price awareness when they made the cold call to his farm and asked him to price things on the spot. Agree that it is a different story when people take items to the pawn shop on the other series and even when people are actively trying to sell their items via garage sale, for example. It was more fun watching them wheel and deal with some of the more reluctant sellers.

So, SELLER BEWARE! Tell all your elderly relatives, neighbors and friends NOT to sell their old items, but instead contact an appraiser.....

Terry Kovel said...

Wow, the picker story caused a stir. I just read all the comments. I agree that it seems unfair to offer so little to the veteran but there are expenses, mistakes, and exaggerations. The pickers are entertaining, honest in their conversations with each other and the audience, and the show helps explain the way antiques are bought and sold in the bottom rungs of the market. I agree that the saddle probably won't sell for much if it is not treated and restored to better condition.We did over 90 network TV shows. It took hours of travel and taping to get a 1/2 hour show so perhaps the editing is why you think the pickers are mean. Most pickers I know give low but fair prices. I hope future shows will include some more decorative pieces even old bottles and certainly some furniture. Let's wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Terry,
Do you know how to READ? Think about what these posts are saying....

Let's see...if the guys stop at a house with 30-40 yr old internet savy, former yuppies & see if it makes a show...it doesn't.
Guess I'm not on your email list anymore ....

Dan said...

Anyone with a decent set of values can see that Devo was right all along.
The decline of man continues.

Anonymous said...

http://boards.history.com/topic/American-Pickers/I-Am-The/520089844&start=0

Have you read the comments from people on the History Channel boards?
I've never been so disgusted in my life. One of the posts is from the son of one of the elderly people the "pickers' ripped off. The show is severely edited, you don't see a quarter of what really goes on. These people bully their way into elderly homes and property.

Anonymous said...

Lighten up folks! These guys are doing what each of us would do...haggle to get a good buy and make a profit. A $300.00 saddle rotting in a barn is worth exactly $0.00...a $300 bicycle rusting in a field is worth exactly $0.00 too! The people supposedly "taken advantage of" make money they would not have otherwise. I think this show is entertaining and I've learned a few things. Makes me want to be a "picker" too!

Anonymous said...

I watched the show twice. In both episodes the guys have purchased items they knew little about and were willing to take a chance.....

People are complaining that they are taking advantage of a veteran, but they did not know what they were buying or what it was really worth. In order to have taken advantage of someone, you would need to know what the item is worth beforehand.

As an example, the saddle, by the pickers own admission, was the first one he ever bought.... He took a chance and got lucky.... there are a lot of worthless saddles out there!!

I am sure the show tells us about their successful purchases and does not tell us about the bad ones... the bad ones would not make good TV.

It also does not tell us how much it cost to drive a van for 6 hours (a round trip to one of their leads) and then buy nothing....

It would be a fun way to make a living, but don't ever think it is all fun... it is hard, and at times, tedious work....

I have done it......

Dena said...

I loved both "Pickers" and "Pawn", and hope they will be on a long, long time. - I don't believe they are "preying" on the elderly". The elderly bought all their stuff, and know exactly what they paid for it. It has to be set up in advance or someone would surly ask what the camera is doing in his face . . . I think they all love being on TV. - Great shows, KEEP THEM ON!!!!

barbara said...

Oh, Come on everybody--these old people are hoarders! The Pickers are doing their families a favor!! We just had to liquidate my Dad's estate, which besides a houseful of STUFF had a huge barn size garage full of STUFF, which included every part of everything he ever owned.
I find the show VERY entertaining. I just wish I could see the 'junk' they buy actually restored and the ACTUAL price it was sold for.
As far as the saddle and WWII vet, the picker had NO idea what the saddle was worth when he bought it, as he admitted he didn't know anything about saddles. The Vet would have let it set there collecting dust and mice until he died--now someone else can use and enjoy it. KEEP THE SHOW ALIVE!

Anonymous said...

I missed the 1st, caught the second episode. As much as I enjoyed getting a peak into the old sheds full of treasures, (and wished it were me), I was abhorred particularly at how they took the little old lady with the hubcaps to the cleaners. And I don't believe for a second that they only bought a handful of items and then cheerfully moved on. My guess is that they cleaned her out off camera, for a pittance, and just didn't televise the carnage.
I live in a little innocent, historic town full of retirees, and am constantly disgusted at the most aggressive dozen or so 'DEALERS' in the area, who knock on doors, show up unannounced and early for Yard or 'Estate' Sales etc, then lie and weasel their ways into the back rooms while patronizing the old folks and talking them out of what they know are thousands worth of treasures, and paying them a couple hundred bucks!
I'd like this show OFF THE AIR, or at least completely changed so that the owners of the goods are informed of the values and paid fairly. Left as it is, it won't take more than a few episodes to spawn gangs of real life "Pickers" across the country. Old folks, BEWARE the vermin 'Dealer'.

Anonymous said...

Some of what people say is correct as well as wrong. We are not seeing the so called COLD CALLS !! These have already been done and the prices agreed upon for the next visit. Have people lost their minds ? There is no such thing as REALITY SHOWS. Not with a camera and crew in your face on a deserted island etc. The only reality show would be with a hidden camera in a bathroom or where ever and then aired without permission and wait for a law suit !! Entertaining but misleading...

MsKaren said...

Folks, I made my living as a picker for years, and still pick yard sales and flea markets every chance I get. It's a lot of work and very expensive to run the roads and find stuff that in most cases would sit where it is and rot if it wasn't sought out. I always considered it saving pieces. I can't tell you how often I went to a house sale and was told "This is for sale - all this over here is going to the dump," and all the good stuff was in the dump pile. My rule was to ask the seller for a price, pay it if it was reasonable, or haggle a bit if I thought it was too high for me to make a profit. Worked fine until about the time Antiques Roadshow hit the airwaves, people started raising prices to the levels they saw on tv, or offering a small discount "so you can make a profit." Nobody seems to remember overhead for the picker, especially if you have a shop with rent, utilities, insurance, advertising, etc. Then there's the cost of a vehicle and associated insurance and maintenance. Hardly anybody gets rich in the junk business, but it's never dull.

Anonymous said...

I have watched 5 shows. The hosts appear to be gambling on rusted items and have little idea of value on many items. The tall skinny guy offers too much for many items. The price they pay and the retail prices are inaccurate. In example, they picked an aluminum cannister set for $25 and stated the retail was $75. Where the hell are they going to get $75 for the set. Certainly not on eBay! They are not going to get $75 from an antique dealer! In some episodes, they have preyed on the elderly. There is inconsitency in the prices offered. Not impressed with the hosts. Pawn Stars is much more entertaining and fair when they bring in experts or restore items. Again, Pawn Stars has great entertaining value ... got to love Chumley!

julie said...

I LOVE this show, both for its education on the items and the telling of the stories of the individuals that have them. I think that it is ridiculous that people are claiming that they are taking advantage of the people. They ask THEM what they want for the item, so they are getting what they perceive the item to be valued immediately. Once they purchase the item they are out the cash and must hold the item until they are able to sell it. They might get what it is worth or they might not. They might sell the item right away, or their money might be tied up for awhile. I have sold items for less than what I knew they were worth, just to get them off my hands. Was I being taken advantage off? The laws of supply and demand and time value of money are the basis of our economy, so I am confused as to the reasoning for the outrage.

The sellers are also getting something out of their visits -- conversation and a chance to pass on of some of their experiences to another. Would you rather wait till the beneficiaries receive the items and sell them off as junk??

Mike DeLonge said...

good god!!! some of these comments r harsh & judgemental...i love the show...and the cast...and i thought they were really fair with their transactions...i wish they'd come dig thru my mountains of junk and make me offers like that...people need to realise these guys r runnin a business to make money...judge not....hope the show keeps up the awsome work!!!!

Anonymous said...

If you didn't like "American Pickers", email ALL of your friends, and tell them NOT TO WATCH IT! Watching it equals ratings, and if they get the ratings the show will go on and on. They are getting the ratings now because everyone is curious about all of the backlash. Don't like, don't watch, and tell everybody you know not to watch. Also, email the history channel direct, and tell them how you feel. thc.viewerrelations.com

Obviously if there wasn't a problem with the show, nobody would care!

Oldtoolmonger said...

Can't say I didn't enjoy the show, but there is some "hinky" business going on here. I would like to know the behind the scenes dealing with the people. No one buys a samurai sword for that amount, and walks away without jumping up and down with excitement at the deal. Truth be known, I'd bet the prices are VERY different than shown on the show. I would also lay money down that they do come back and clean them out completely as part of a larger "deal" on everything.

I pick some items myself, but have never preyed on folks like these guys 'portray' on TV. If I ask a price at, say a flea market, and know I can make decent money and profit from it, I buy the item. The dealer set the price, not me. If they wanted more, they can do the research on the items they buy and sell. I'm not going to do it for them, and then cut into my profit just to be "a good person".

And another thing, did anyone see the guy "Bear" (carnival stuff) that they bought NOTHING from? Were they "preying" on him?

Oh, and the waving hand cigarette guy thingy-did they prey on that fellow? Nope.

Two sides to every story, people.

Maybe the Kovel's folks could broker a deal for them to hand out copies of their price guides before they make their deals. Then if they get "taken" it's their own sorry luck.

brenco1 said...

I found the show fascinating. The men did not take advantage of anyone. They always ask the owners what they want for the item and then haggle. Doesn't everyone do that at yard sales, flea markets, etc. Isn't that the fun of the hunt!!!! They were respectful to each person I saw them deal with. Very interesting show. I have a friend who uses a picker for vintage clothes.

Anonymous said...

I havent watched the show but will do so now. Its obvious some of the harsh comments here are from people who are not antique dealers. I've been one for over a dozen years and let me reassure you that many times I've bought items at estate sales and didnt know how much it was worth until I went home and did my research. Or put it on ebay. For example, the old fountain pen I paid $1 for years ago, posted on ebay thinking I'd be happy to get $20 for it but it sold for $350.

I'm willing to bet the guyz on this show had absolutely no idea that saddle was worth $5k. They were probably thinking it was worth a couple hundred bucks.

So lighten up people!

Erick said...

Seems like most of the "haters" of the show are ignorant of how things really are. Many make wild accusations (lies) about the profit made. I've made my living doing this for 23 years. I buy from repeat customers all the time. Most sellers get numerous offers before they sell if they're trying to get the most money.
How would the world go around if no one made a profit? I think I could write a novel on this. Food, clothing, jewelry, etc... have huge profit margins. Much more than junk or collectables. Banks, credit card companies make "obscene" profits.
I'll bet the "pickers" would take a few hundred for the saddle as is-give them a call.

Anonymous said...

I could probably be accused of being a part-time picker to some extent. I have bought and sold many items over a number of years. First thing I would say to everyone is that the saddle purchase was a little low - but I probably wouldn't have given much over $200 for it - IT WASN'T worth thousands of dollars - even cleaned up - with no maker's mark being identified it carries little value - only certain, well-known yet rare saddles command higher dollars and only to a limited market and moreso as a collectable not as a user. The "up to $5000" comment was done for shock and ratings value... it would never sell for that much or even close to that - in my opinion. I agree with some comments that said they actually paid too much for some things - the little old lady with the hubcaps wasn't ripped off at all - they paid her actually well for some things- those metal containers brought market value or more, and the memory crock at $50 was fair.... If the pickers were buying old t-shirts for a dollar and re-selling them for $1.25 would that keep anyone watching the show week after week....I think not. She enjoyed herself and in the end - if the buyer is happy and the seller is happy who are we or anyone to criticize? If the veteran was happy with his sale, leave him alone - as I stated- he didn't get scammed out of a $5000 saddle - it was a low dollar, worn, aged, in need of lots of work- piece. I have travelled to places in the USA where that saddle may have brought $500 to someone with money who just wanted it for decoration, but in other parts of the country it would never sell for half that - location means a lot in terms of value. The guy with the Carnival rides was slowly becoming the owner of a pile of rust... selling it to them did save it from eventually being scrapped as junk metal.... In buying things I have always been polite, accepted no as an answer and been accused by many friends of paying too much for items, but I never wanted to be thought of someone who is trying to rip someone off. I can't count the times I paid well for some items only to sell it at a loss in order to move it.... win some, lose some is very true... One friend told me this and it's very true to a big extent. He said" You invested A LOT of time and money educating yourself as to what is valuable and what isn't, you made an investment in doing so and there is no shame in making some profit off that investment.... he also said... "In your job, it is not your responsibility to educate people about what all of their items are worth..." In theory , he was right , in practice I want to sleep at night and I have a conscience so I try to be fair with people and still come out okay. It is expensive to drive, eat, insurance, advertise, pay rent on a shop, etc. so you can't pay $5 for a $5 item you have to be able to make something... I can't tell you how many times I have gone to a place and made offers on 100 items only to have the owner write each price down and then tell me they have decided not to sell anything - so they think they got a free appraisal out of the deal - that happens more than you would think but it's all part of the business. I am in no way advocating for the blatant rip-off artist who knowingly offers $10 for a $10000 item and yes, I don't think you get a TV Show about picking without knowing how much money many items are worth or what they'll bring - 20 years of picking and selling should make you quite familiar with many things. But I think many are letting their assumptions like " I bet they got in the house too and took off with a lot more" run away with them.

Anonymous said...

I've watched 2 episodes now and found the show interesting. I can understand many of the comments about predatory actions by the show's hosts, but that is a reality in the antiques business. We're a capitalist society in which the object is to make a profit. As a participant in flea markets and yard sales, both as a buyer and a seller, I have had experiences of great deals and rip-offs over the years and that's just the way it goes. I am more concerned about the show's potential longevity if each episode simply concentrates on the very limited interests of the two pickers. After watching two episodes, I became bored with their concentration on "old, metal, rusty stuff." Apparently they have no interest in other collectibles such as glassware, books, watches, fountain pens, etc. I think they will need to broaden their picking interests if the show is to continue a successful run. I can only watch the purchase of some many motorcycles, bicycles, car parts before I turn the channel.

Ben said...

After watching two episodes, I am a bit concerned about the shows ability to hold an audience long-term. The Pickers interests seem to be very narrow, concentrating on "old, rusty metal stuff" and I think many people are going to become bored after watching the guys find and buy motorcycles, bicycles, and car parts. What about glassware, vintage watches or fountain pens, books, vintage clothing, etc. As for their ripping off unknowledgeable old people, that's just a part of the antiques trade. It's all about making a profit and these guys must have a large overhead to cover (staff assistant salary, travel expense, restoration costs, selling expenses, etc.), so their buying expenses must be held to a minimum in order to maximize their profit margins, just as any business does. It's a bit like sausage making, really ugly behind the scenes (taking advantage of old people), but the end results (good profits) and very attractive. But, in my opinion, the show is going to have to broaden it's picking scope if it is going to be successful - maybe by having a different group of pickers with different interests in each episode.

Anonymous said...

Most of you people are way off, but it is understandable as you have never lived the life of a picker. Much time is spent with little results in this business, and finding a few good items that you get for a song is the only way to keep ahead. I saw what they were giving for the signs and if they double their money when they sell them they will be lucky. A few good hits only makes up for hours of getting skunked.

Anonymous said...

Who decided these guys were 'searching out' the "weak and unknowing"???
A few posts hit it right - the pickers made the offer, the owner of the item accepted it - done deal. The buyer could have easily been the one on the short end of the stick - and often is. The pickers have the knowledge and the connections to sell these items for more than they paid - good chance the stuff would have rotted where it sat had they not bought it.
There is no dishonesty if a buyer makes an offer and that offer is accepted and then the buyer finds out - after time spent researching and contacting the right person - that the piece is more valuable than first thought. It's called luck, knowledge and a good eye.

Anonymous said...

AMERICAN PICKERS is a great new show! Why should they not get a bargin; the rest of us Love to find a great bargin. It's all about The Hunt..Those folks need the money and have a great many many other keepsakes and Treasures.

Anonymous said...

GREAT SHOW....WISH THERE WERE MORE SHOWS DEALING WITH ANTIQUES. THE PEOPLE THEY BUY FROM ARE REALLY GLAD TO GET RID OF SOME OF IT WHILE THEY CAN ENJOY DOING IT.........INSTEAD OF RELATIVES HAVING AN ESTATE SALE AFTER THEY DIE.

Anonymous said...

People these days are GREEDY and selfish. That's what's wrong with this economy.
Here's the facts from my experience as a buyer and a seller. Consumers are dollar minded. Wanting to pay $1 for the things they want. Never putting themselves in the sellers shoes. Like flea markets. Picture yourself having to unload and load all that stuff day after day while people offer $1 for something that's not sold in stores anywhere. Degrading their fellow americans by not placing a value on the sellers time, labor, money etc. It's not cheap to resell anything.
As a consumer I pay for what I want no matter what the cost. Because my joy is priceless. I never never never haggle.
As for the old people, they are smart enough to run a home. They've obviously been buying for many years. What's wrong with old people giving young people a chance to succeed? If it meant something to the old man it would'nt be outside rusting. You don't kill what you love.
Why don't people just keep those things they really love and give the rest up to someone else who may get a few years of pleasure from it. Share with others. Don't hoard, don't be selfish, don't be greedy!
Let's all work together to try and make others happy. Stuff is just stuff. It can't love you back.
Those old people should be able to say "I made someone really happy." and get a wonderful priceless feeling from that.
It's slso no different than giving charity. You helped someone today.

Naval Corpsman said...

These are the same people that pound on doors of those holding garage sales at 5 in the morning - waking sellers up and trying to beat everyone else to a "find". Cold calling for the almighty buck. I'm a Navy vet, and the whole "saddle" episode left me cold. These two guys never served, because if they did, they would have shown respect; instead they're rubbing their hands together on their score and plotting out their next unassuming farmer or housewife.

abby said...

At last, a show about “us”! I've watched both episodes so far & have read your blog posts to date. Interesting show I’ll keep watching and worthwhile comments herein. I’ve been a F/T antiques dealer for 16 years. My gripe with the show is its too narrow focus on these pickers and their picks. I know, it’s called American Pickers but a look at the bigger picture would be helpful. I know it’s not a show on the antiques trade in general. I’d like to see the pickers selling something out of their shop, or wherever or however they sell things (I know, they flipped a motorcycle attachment out of the back of their truck in 1 episode). I’d like to see the work & expertise involved in the restoration of the rusty & crusty medical lamp (2nd episode) before it ends up shiny & rewired in an antiques shop in Chicago or at a Modernism show. We viewers could hear from the dealer who had the lamp restored, what she/he paid for this & what it cost (assuming the dealer didn’t do it), and what it was re-priced & why. Maybe (notwithstanding the usually silly prices these items end up with) we could see the item sell and hear from its new owners. From farm to table, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Please remember that these guys have bills to pay too. I'm sure the lady back at the shop taking the phone calls and setting up appointments with people doesn't work for free. They have gas and vehicle costs, the building they work out of including utilities and who knows what other costs. They show you the price they paid and the price they received but they don't subract the costs!

Also a comment about the saddle bought for $75 that was worth $5,000. He didn't know the value of the saddle when he purchased it, he had to go to a professional after the fact to get it appraised. Had he known the value and paid her $75 he would have been morally wrong. Would he have been wrong had it only been worth $100? It is impossible for anyone to know what every item would be worth. The great finds are part of the thrill of the hunt as you see on every episode of Antiques Roadshow. And back to the costs issue: Was he charged for the appraisal? Most appraisers don't work for free....

GET A LIFE PEOPLE said...

You guys really need to stop crying about preying on the elderly. GROW UP.

First off they don't know what the value off a lot of the items are worthy anyway until they get it appraised. They are taking a chance, and just because it is appraised for that much doesn't mean that is how much they are getting out of it. You guys make it sound like they are waiting around the corner and then jumping on these elderly people and holding them at gunpoint.

Second off these things have been sitting in these barns for decades. Probably longer than most of us have been alive. Nobody really wants them or they wouldn't be rotting away in these barns. If anything these guys are preserving our history.

Third off after these elderly people die these items will mostly likely end up in an estate auction in which the item will sell for much less and the poor preyed upon elderly person won't be able to enjoy any of the money from it anyway, because guess what there DEAD.

The show is great and if you really think they are preying on the elderly and you don't like it then CHANGE THE CHANNEL.

Nobody is making you watch it.

Mike and Frank keep going!!!

Anonymous said...

It seems that people don't have a understanding of business, this is what these guys do for a living.
They have expenses so of course they have to make money they have a building a van and at least one employee besides the 2 of them, they all have to make a living and pay the bills of running a business.
According to some of you people the grocery store must be immoral, people need to eat to live but these evil owners and employees are making money on this life or death commodity.

Anonymous said...

What some people don't seem to realize is that no picker can know the exact value of every item he buys. Mike is basically buying stuff he thinks has "potential". In the case of the vet with the saddle, Mike had never purchased one before, didn't know what it was or how much exactly it would be worth. He took a gamble. Anyone who knows anything about the business knows that sometimes these buys are good, maybe better than we expected, and sometimes the "saddles" spend 4 years in our warehouse and are sold at a loss.

This was a great show and I look forward to the next episode!

Anonymous said...

I just happened to discover the show last week. So many of these comments state that the pickers ask the seller to name their price. Well, that's not what they did with this poor little older lady. I was very conflicted watching it: the thrill of discovering hidden treasure, but the shame of making an offer that was terribly low. I ended up feeling so uncomfortable that I won't watch it again. If this is the way "pickers" operate, I want nothing to do with any of them.

Simply Stephy said...

Accoring to posts on the history.com American Pickers discussion forum, an attorney has been hired and lawsuits are being filed against the American Pickers. Whoever wrote the earlier comment stating that pickers should have a copy of Kovels in their pockets when hunting for antiques may have been right on! In fact, disclosing published values of antiques to potential sellers might eventually become a legally regulated requirement.

Anonymous said...

Been trying to give the show a chance but after a few episodes I have to say it's fairly boring. I would like to see the process they use in cleaning up items, the ropes they go through in selling, etc. Unlike Antiques Roadshow and Pawn Stars, Pickers doesn't provide much in the way of historical info or details about the items they're buying. And I have to agree with other Kovel bloggers...they do take advantage of some of the people they purchase from.
Unless the show changes the format, I predict it will sink quick.

Anonymous said...

Am I missing something? One of the posters said they have watched 5 shows! As far as I know there have only been two shown so far - maybe this person can see the future!!

Grapefruitti said...

Love American Pickers - best new show on TV!!!! So much better than letting the kids rent a dumpster and throw it all away. That happens here in Florida all the time - some don't even want to bother with an Estate Sale - it's all junk to them.

Anonymous said...

"disclosing published values of antiques to potential sellers might eventually become a legally regulated requirement." as stated in a recent comment.
Doesn't this amount to a free appraisal?
As a picker you would have to find interesting items, go back to your house, do research, print out published values, return to the item only to find out that it is no longer for sale, or it's been given away or you have been forgotten about entirely and it was thrown out.
OK maybe a sale will be made and everyone will be happy, but you can bet that there will still be a feeling of being taken, because the published value is usually an inflated value from what I have seen, because the high values published are what keeps folks buying price guides and reading up on antique values. The excitement is greater for the published high prices of antiques and not so much for the more reasonable prices usually realized for antiques in the day to day markets of your antique malls and outdoor markets.

Lovesoldstuff said...

Other points to consider about American Pickers is that some of these people probably would never receive any money for their items. They may just stay in the sheds or barns until, someday, they are thrown away. The guys on the show do give them money for their stuff, rather than just have it collect dust. Also, I am sure all of us know people who just throw out good items in the trash all of the time.

Lovesoldstuff said...

I have read alot of negative comments about the monies paid by the pickers. The guys on the show are not collectors, they are trying to earn a living, and, in doing so, have the expense of traveling, gas, utlities, finding buyers, etc. To make some profit would be expected, otherwise, why would they even buy the items to begin with. Also, the owners of the items do have the option of doing the work in trying to find buyers themselves to sell their items to, if they feel they could get more money for them. But, most of them, probably have no interest in doing that, and, at least by the pickers buying their items they are making some money.

Anonymous said...

I personally love the show! I am a senior citizen. I think it will be helpful to hoarders & seniors to see there is someplace their less than perfect items can be sold instead of being thrown away or becoming a burden to their kids or whoever settles their estate! Anyone watching the show is getting an education as to what their old junk could be worth! My husband & I used to get our entertainment by going to estate auctions & spending less than $20 we could fill our truck with stuff we later sold at yard sales. Since there was no Google then or ways to research the prices, I know now that I let several items go for $1.00-$25.00 that I should have made hundreds on! I wish I knew of them when I downsized from a large home with lots of stuff to a retirement home! I love this type of reality show! I hate the Bachelor & Big Brother & all of that type of programming!

Any body who doesn't like it, don't watch it! It's your TV in your home & you can change the channel instead of griping & complaining!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how to get in touch with "Lori the junk lady" from episode 5 of American Pickers? Please let me know! Thanks you!
Laura

Anonymous said...

well well what has drop in the well but something that we all know may have never been found unless someone would have gone down to the bottom and dug it out otherwise would have just been forgotten about ,if anything this show is letting people know to go threw there stuff befor just calling someone to come and clean out this shed for and paying them to do it and then they find all the goods and sell them for good profits ,knowledge is worth much if you have it ,but if you know not then you think not of these things ,don't get me wrong i would not take advatage of the elderly
there is a little story behind what why i say this,there was a little old lady come to me and wanted to sell me this old bowl and i was known to buy and sell things and she wanted $50 and i had some books and i look to see if it was in it and i did find it and told her that i could not give her $50 and she said is it not worth that much and i said yes mam but i would like to just help her sell it if she would give me 1/3 of what i could get for it and she said ok, long story short it took me about three weeks and this was befor internet
and i got her $1,500 which got i $500 and she got $1000 and she was a very happy and so was i,what i am
trying to say to watch this is to let all see go to your mother's and dad's stuff and find some one who has a little knowledge about these things or this is what will happen in the real world ,it does everyday ,but me myself i try to do right so i can lay my head down at night sleep well,but this show does let us see what happens,i know this guy he gets paid to haul off things from estate sales and he makes more money than most do working full time, sell just what most thinks junk,so the more we know the less we will just let someone have to just clean out those attics,garages,and old barns.do unto other as you would have them do unto you l.a.w.

Cindy B said...

People chosen for these episodes are hardly lonely or being preyed upon. In fact, in many cases sales have sored from the exposure the show gives them. Frank amd Mike are genuine and very kind to those they visit and do business with. I know this because one of the show's featured guests, my cousin. BTW, ASmerican Pickers and pawn stars were voted #1 abd #2 Top History
Channel shows. They will double their episodes this year to 26..and promise to be great! first episode is airing June 7th.

Anonymous said...

Bunch of morons... You talk about preying on the elderly and what not, but who else has this old stuff? Older folks have older, more valuable stuff... It's a business and an entertaining show.... Stop pretending to care and stop watching the show if it is so bad...

Anonymous said...

American Pickers? What a scam. I think picking went out with grifting and sump jumping back in the 1930's, didn't it? What gets me about these guys especially this character Mike Wolf is how they act like they have the same feelings about a certian item as the owner, getting into the sentimental feelings people have about certain items and show the same kind of sentementality to try and pry an item away from them, and no sooner then he has the item and is driving off the property he is on his cell phone trying to flip it for a profit----WHAT A CROCK !!! They should be called "American Peckers", cause they are a couple of dicks. And if they showed up on my front porch, Id turn the water hose on um until they left.

Anonymous said...

Read the interviews with Mike - there are always friends or family around. They focus on the owners because they are the interesting people. In fact, its insulting to seniors to say they are too stupid to know what they have - after all they bought the stuff, and probably for less than the pickers will pay them for it. Besides, what 25 year old has a barn full of antiques to dig through?

Anonymous said...

We stopped watching the show after they scammed the WWII vet out of his rare motorcycle, samurai sword and saddle. If they pulled that kind of crap here in California my husband (who is a lawyer) said they would be nailed for elder abuse. That subscription is now deleted from the TIVO.

Anonymous said...

WOW, some of these posts are absurd. First off, the saddle... these guys are not experts on everything. if they were they wouldnt need an appraiser. He took a chance on the saddle. if it was appraised at 25 bucks would you be saying the veteran took advantage of him? The funniest part is the appraiser was almost as dumb as some of the people leaving posts... it sold for $175. Furthermore, there are several posts online from people who have sold things to Mike just to have him show up a month later with a wad of cash because he UNDER PAID them for an item and turned what he fealt was TOO MUCH PROFIT. Do you think when they make a mistake and over pay they go back to the seller to get some money back. In their line of work anything less than doubling what they paid would lead them to going out of business. Much like pawn stars they have to tie their money up on these items and have a store and employees that create overhead. Add in travel expense and doubling their money probabl doesnt leave them rich men. consider the mistakes im sure they make and the days im sure they buy nothing or very little and im sure they need to find some great scores to keep afloat. If they were consistantly making thousands of dollars on $75 finds everyone would be tryin to pick for a living. One last point, I don't think they target the ederly. They are searching for old stuff to buy. Common sense should tell you when trying to buy old items you are most likely to deal with old people.

Anonymous said...

Most of the posts in defense of the "Pickers" seem to only try and justify their own past acts of greed. Just because the seller owns a farm doesn't mean they are mentally competent.

Anonymous said...

The segment showing the profit of $500+ on a used grave marker says all you need to know about these guys' ethics.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a very enjoyable show. I don't think Frank or Mike are taking advantage of "poor old people". They give them fair value when you take into consideration gas, repairs,etc. expenses. Yes, I'm sure they luck out with great deals and other times they get stung. Remember, all you youngsters writing these comments,old doesn't mean stupid. The sellers get paid for stuff they don't need at a time where some extra cash will help them. After they're gone their family will take most to the dump or give it away. I see Mike and Frank doing good for the still LIVING!

Bill Rappold said...

I hear these complaints on how the Pickers take advantage of people by not paying enough for the items? Well, if the Pickers lost money on something, and I'm sure they sometimes do, how do you think the prior owners would react if they were ask to pay a little more? Business is Business and the things they are buying in most all cases were laying there rusting away.

marylou said...

Love American Pickers. It is my favorite show. Everyone I tell about it has already seen it and loves it. My only complaint is I seem to watch the same shows over and over. Please keep up the good work.

William said...

ON a recent show, they actually went to a woman's house because they heard her husband had died. Mike expressed his condolences and then set about scamming the lady. It was nothing short of ambulance chasing. Why don't they tell people what their stuff is worth? I understand they are a business, but they have discovered that pointing a camera at a lonely old person allows them to take advantage. They are exploitive and predatory. It is disturbing. I hope someone sues them after finding out their parents got swindled. If I saw them near my Mother's house.....I'd show them my gun collection first.