No one expected the TV show American Pickers to be as popular as it is, but people love it. The show focuses on Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe as they travel around the country looking for amazing finds in some pretty unusual locales. We've seen some pretty bizarre hoarders, collectors, and hobbyists over the years that have some incredible treasures. And we probably would never have known these places existed if it wasn’t for the show. The show has a huge following now and they are dying to know what the collectors will find next. It’s a fun way to be part of the treasure hunt without leaving the comfort of their own home. It’s fun to see what the pickers are going to come across next.
There is a lot going on behind the scenes to make this show what it is. It's experienced a lot of success over the years because of all the "real-life" drama that happens on the show. There is plenty going on and we can bet you are dying to know all about it. Check out these 25 things that really happened on American Pickers.
19 They Paid $90,000 For Motorcycles
One of the coolest parts of watching the show is the fact that you never know what the pickers are going to find. In one episode that aired in April 2017, they actually came across some pretty expensive treasures. They went to Zane Leek, Oregon and met the owner of the property whose late husband was a vehicle collector. There, Mike and Frank found some very old motorcycles that cost them $90,000. “Wolfe and Fritz come upon some very rare four-cylinder motorcycles, dating back to the 1930s.”
18 Danielle Colby Didn’t Pay Her Taxes
One thing everyone has to do is pay Uncle Sam. Danielle Colby has her hand in a few different enterprises aside from her role in American Pickers. Aside from being a burlesque dancer, she also, at one time, owned a boutique called 4 Miles 2 Memphis. Maybe she got so busy she just forgot to pay her taxes. In 2013, she was contacted by the IRS for unpaid taxes in the amount of $6,000.
17 They Found the Original Jell-O Machine
One of the best parts of the show is the cool things the pickers find and sometimes, it's something we never thought existed. Jell-O is a huge name and it’s been around for many generations. Many of us can remember growing up eating Jell-O, especially when we weren’t feeling well. Danielle found the wagon in a Louisiana barn and the pickers bought it for $6,500. It was later sold to the Jell-O Museum.
16 Hobo Jack Isn’t Really A Hobo
We've come to know Hobo Jack over the years and we often see Mike and Frank on his property looking for some cool finds. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to Hobo Jack and many people aren’t aware that he’s an accomplished artist. You may not realize that he is a musician as well as a published author. You can hear and purchase some of his music on his website.
15 They Haggle too much and make people feel uncomfortable
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2000"] Via NME.com[/caption]
Apparently, most of the price negotiations is done when the cameras are off. Obviously, the pickers want the best deal they can get so that they can make as much profit as possible, but sometimes, it gets out of hand. Many forums have discovered the true stories that go on behind the scenes. Some collectors have stated that the price is negotiated beforehand only to have the pickers start haggling again when the cameras start rolling. It puts the collectors on the spot and at times, the pickers will try to convince them that they have junk so that they can get a better deal.
14 Danielle Looks for Stage Costumes
Danielle Colby turned out to be a pretty good picker herself. Her main role in the TV show is to find the pickers some good locations. But she also looks out for some things for herself. She told the interviewers at Monsters & Critics that she loved buying “vintage stage costumes.” It all has to do with her alter-ego as a burlesque dancer. Currently, she has "an extensive collection from all around the world, as early as the 1800s," which includes "a very rare costume from Lillie Langtry of the 1890s, an original early Mata Hari stage costume from 1910 to 1920, and a banana skirt believed to have belonged to Josephine Baker."
13 They Went to Court
One antique collector, Jerry Bruce of Greer, saw a polarimeter on an episode of American Pickers and wanted it for his collection. He contacted the pickers and an arrangement was made for him to pay $300 plus shipping for the item. The problem was that after he paid, the item was never shipped to him. He took the owners to court and eventually won a settlement of over $1,000. "It's the principle of the fact that they go around the country promoting themselves as honest people and a deal is a deal and a handshake's a handshake," he told The Greenville News.
12 They purchased odd things from Jack White
Some things just shouldn’t be taxidermized and an elephant head is one of them. In one episode, the Pickers did business with Jack White from the band The White Stripes. If you are a fan, then you know the band has an album titled Elephant. White owned a huge taxidermy elephant head and wanted to sell it to the pickers. This just seems wrong for so many reasons. Not only did they pay him $6,000 for the head, but they spent another $6,00 on other antiques he had as well.
11 Some Items Are Planted
Say it isn’t so! There's been some criticism against the show over the years as some people claim that it’s fake. The show isn’t confirming whether this is the case, but critics are screaming that items are being planted for the Pickers to find. There have been posts suggesting that items are planted to boost the show’s ratings. We almost get why they do it. Could you image how many boring episodes you would watch if the Pickers couldn’t find anything cool?
10 They Bought Original Yoda Prototype
There are some things the Pickers find we wish we could own ourselves because they are just too cool. Whether you're a Star Wars fan or not, everyone know Yoda. The Pickers received a call from a woman who had original movie memorabilia that she wanted to sell. So they went on over and found an original Yoda prototype that was made by Mario Chiodo and paid $6,250 for it.
9 Danielle and Mike Met At A Garage Sale
We sometimes wonder how these people all came together. Frank, Danielle, and Mike all have one thing in common, they like vintage items. Danielle was someone who liked to visit garage sales to look for treasures. Mike and Danielle actually met for the first time at a garage sale some 15 years ago.
“I was looking at a lamp and picked it up and put it down to see how much money I had,” Colby told American Profile. “Mike scooped it up behind me. He said, ‘The time to buy it is when you see it.’”
We wonder who ended up getting the lamp.
8 Mike Has A Lot Of Experience
The first sale Mike made was when he found a bike as a child and sold it for $5. He has a knack for finding treasures and making money off of them. It’s not something you can just start doing, it takes time to craft your skills. After he sold the bike, he started looking at derelict houses and alleyways to see what other treasures he could find. He even used to harass farmers until they allowed him to look through their barns for cool items.
7 The Mole Man
The Mole Man became an instant sensation on the show and he developed quite the fanbase. In the first episode, we saw Mole Man as the Pickers went through his tunnels looking for some treasures. Some people exploited the fame of the Mole Man and at one point, someone posted for “a huge yard sale” and stated that there would be an appearance of the Mole Man. Of course, people swarmed to the event, but there was no sign of the man. People left feeling like they had been taken advantage of.
6 The Hot Rod Truck
This was one of the hottest finds on American Pickers and they had to pay $12,500 for this cool-looking truck. Not everyone could drive a truck like this one and it was something that Mike discovered early on. When Mike and Frank saw the bright orange Dodge A100 Hot Rod truck, they realized that the roof was very low, which meant that only Frank could test drive it. It was pretty obvious that they were going to purchase the treasure.
5 The Rumors
One thing that happened on the show was that rumors started floating around about Mike and Frank. It’s bound to happen considering it seemed like they spent 24/7 together on the road. It didn’t seem to matter that Mike regularly talked about his girlfriend at the time. Danielle Colby said in an interview that she doesn't understand why people assume there's something more going on between Frank and Mike and she's never gotten that feeling.
4 Mike Wants to be An Author
Since American Pickers started gaining fame, Mike has turned new opportunities into further ventures. People have wondered if “picking” is just a fad and will eventually disappear at some point. But Mike is determined to make sure that it doesn’t happen. Mike decided to write some books one called Kid Pickers: How to Turn Junk into Treasure. We’re sure that he is bound to write more. He has a social media outlet and website that also helps children with their picking passion.
3 The Driving Scenes Are Staged
American Pickers make it seem like Mike and Frank get into a vehicle and travel across the country to the place Danielle finds for them. We've seen the guys in their vans having conversations, but apparently, those scenes aren’t real. It’s not really surprising to hear that some of the “reality” in the show isn’t reality at all. The conversations might not be totally scripted, but it definitely is staged. We wonder if they actually fly from one location to another.
2 The Airstream Trailer
If you like traveling and camping, then you've probably always wanted to have a trailer that you can take with you from place to place. An airstream trailer like this one would be a dream come true for anyone who loves vintage items. The Pickers couldn’t help but snatch it up for $8,000. They also had to put an additional $3,000 in repairs for it. But at the end of the day, they were able to sell the gorgeous trailer so it all worked out.
1 Dolly Parton and Danielle Colby Became Friends
Now you have to admit that it’s pretty cool to meet a legend like Dolly Parton. American Pickers started gaining fame around 2014, so much so that Dolly Parton knew who they were. She actually reached out to the pickers to purchase some items she wanted for her new attraction, FireChaser Express. They were more than happy to oblige the singing legend and collected everything she needed. It was Danielle who drove the items to Dolly personally.