Hello everyone, get ready for another exciting video. Today, we are uncovering 10 fascinating, untold secrets of American Pickers. This reality show followed the lives of pickers who travel all over the United States in search of the next best antique, in hopes of selling it for big bucks. This is Facts Verse Presents: 10 Fascinating American Pickers Secrets: Untold. Don’t forget to like this video and subscribe to our channel for more. Click that little notification bell icon to make sure you never miss a new video.
American Pickers features friends Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz. The series first aired in 2010, leaving viewers in awe of the duo’s personality, rare finds and enthusiasm.
NUMBER ONE: Poor Negotiations
While Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz seem to “have it all” together on the show, this may not be the case offscreen. According to first-hand reports, sellers with ties to Mike and Frank have reported a cut in their earnings once dealing with the duo. Some of those who negotiated on the show claim to have never received their cut. This is a mark of bad business and all too common when reality TV cameras get involved in day-to-day activities. Often times someone gets the “short end of the stick” in business, and it’s usually the seller. However, not every deal on American Pickers has turned sour. In fact, most are valid.
During season 13, episode 18, Mike and Frank negotiate with a seller in Georgia for glass panels and antique signs. Mike offers a combined total of $2,350 for the pieces. The seller initially hesitates and then counters with $2,500. The seller tells Mike “you can’t go wrong with that.” After hearing his final offer, Mike agrees to the price and the deal is finalized.
Another example is season 13 episode 9, where Mike and Frank visit a seller with a massive stash of old antiques. The shed is covered in dust and cobwebs. According to the seller, the items were placed in the barn in 1985 and never moved. Mike finds a Magnolene Oil sign and offers the seller $350 for it. She counters back at $375 and Mike agrees. During the negotiations, Mike and Frank always check for damage and wear & tear that could depreciate the value.
NUMBER TWO: Pick the Producers
The producers of American Pickers were working as pickers themselves! That’s right, Mike, Frank, and Danielle were not the only stars doing the work. The producers found the locations and sorted through hours of submission tapes from viewers. The producers had the final say as to where the crew would film. The show’s success was a team effort and contradicts the public belief that Mike, Frank and Danielle did all the work.
In fact, according to The Joplin Globe, the producers searched for antique collectors in Kansas and Missouri, as the show was set to film there in spring of 2018. The producers urged any private collectors who have pieces that fit the desired description to contact them. Producers also mentioned sellers could be filmed for upcoming episodes. This is not the authentic approach the show leads viewers to believe. The “random stops along the way” are actually hand-picked by the producers and their team of employees. A major contrast to what viewers see from a one-hour episode.
The producers gave specifics to the public regarding desired items. For example, they asked for “large and unique collections,” mainly “multigenerational items.” The press release also said flee markets, auctions and stores would not qualify, as American Pickers only works with private sellers. A phone number was provided to contact the production team, as well as an email address.
NUMBER THREE: Burlesque
One of the cast members on the show, Danielle, is known for her bold personality. However, viewers may be shocked to find out she’s a burlesque dancer. Danielle has been a burlesque dancer for many years, citing it as an art form. She uses burlesque as a way to express herself and indulge in the beauty of the costumes. In fact, she can be seen “picking” burlesque costumes during their weekly hunts on American Pickers. Viewers agree Danielle Colby adds life and spice to the cast, making the show even more entertaining.
Initially, History channel refused to film Colby. The network made it clear they were only interested in Mike Wolfe and his partner, Frank Fritz. However, Wolfe and Colby have a decade-long friendship. He stood his ground and asked them to reconsider their decision. The network agreed to film Danielle after negotiation. Fans of the show are glad Mike spoke up against the History channel for initially denying her access on the show.
In fact, Danielle Colby has many occupations including activist, filmmaker, and mother. Due to the fame and recognition of American Pickers, Danielle’s marriage unfortunately ended in divorce, but that didn’t stop her. She remains very close to her children and puts them first. She has had an eventful career, starting out as a roller derby player. She even owned her own team. However, this phase did not last long as she moved on to other activities. It was during this time she got involved with burlesque. She has a passion for the art of burlesque, with costumes, gloves and glamorous accessories. Mike Wolfe’s friendship with Danielle actually began 10 years back. Once Wolfe got a contract for American Pickers, he asked her to be a part of the show. Danielle agreed immediately, knowing the show would be a major success. While Danielle is best known for her striking appearance with countless tattoos, she is a strong activist for women empowerment, human rights and disaster relief. She has even served as an executive producer for a documentary entitled “Tempest Storm.”
NUMBER FOUR: Not So Quick
Allegations have been made against the pickers, stating they “planted” some of the items they supposedly found. While it is unclear whether these rumors are true or not, some viewers testify they are. The pickers pride themselves on “discovering” the newest gems. If these allegations were true, it would discredit their entire show and legacy.
NUMBER FIVE: Authors on Deck
The cast are no strangers to good writing. In fact, both Mike Wolfe and Hobo Jack have written a few books. Hobo Jack has become a fixed guest on the show, appearing multiple times. He has served as an author, publisher, and musician during his career. Viewers may be surprised to find out about the multi-talented cast.
NUMBER SIX: Set Prices
Producers actually do the majority of the leg work on the show, setting and confirming prices before filming. While the show focuses on the “bargain” and “haggle,” the producers actually regulate the prices with sellers beforehand. Furthermore, the sellers are given clear instructions on how to negotiate with Mike, Frank, and Danielle to make the transactions appear more realistic. This has sparked backlash, as the show is supposed to be 100% authentic.
NUMBER SEVEN: Frank Fritz Disliked Picking
It was clear and obvious how much Mike Wolfe enjoyed picking items from the show’s scenes and episodes. However, his partner Frank Fritz… not so much. This is apparent to viewers of the show and it has caused some upset regarding the producer’s decision to keep Fritz on the cast.
The relationship between Frank and Mike began when the two were just teenagers. During 8th grade, the duo became friends. Mike originally started filming the show himself and came to a crucial realization: he couldn’t be the only cast member. He realized the show was much more exciting and entertaining with another picker. Mike chose Frank because he was local and fun to travel with. Mike Wolfe said Frank Fritz and himself are “opposite people” with different personalities, but the contrast makes for good television.
NUMBER EIGHT: Not Pickin’ Pennies
Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are no strangers to wealth, they are actually millionaires. Mike Wolfe’s net worth is $7 million, while partner Frank Fritz comes in at $4 million. The stars earn $500,000 per season. The duo have become extremely successful over the years and earn a salary closer to that of a Hollywood star than an average neighborhood picker.
Mike Wolfe owns antique shops where he sells his finds. His store is called Antique Archeology, with two locations. However, Mike views his store different than a regular retail experience. He wants shoppers to feel like they are “on the hunt” for the best deal, similar to how he feels seeking antique gems on the road. He believes his shop is a “vintage experience.” Wolfe wants shoppers to be inspired when leaving his store. He aims to make what is old, new again.
Frank also has a store where he sells the items he has picked. Frank is a collector as well. While his net worth is less than co-star Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz has made a name for himself in the world of antique picking.
NUMBER NINE: Can’t Fool History
While reality shows are notorious for staging some scenes and episodes, the history in American Pickers can not be faked, according to producers. Now, don’t get us wrong, even American Pickers has their fair share of staged and exaggerated scenes for the entertainment of viewers. However, with that being said, the history of antique items is never fabricated.
NUMBER TEN: Ending
Mike Wolfe gave a radio interview about American Pickers two years ago, stating the show was coming to an end. While reports circulated Mike and Frank did not get along in real life, viewers do not know exactly why the show is set to end. Regardless, the show was a major success since 2010, capturing the attention of viewers all over the nation. In fact, the show sparked so much talk around antique picking, many local businesses have decided to follow in their footsteps. More “pickers” are popping up all over the US, thanks to the show.
In fact, when American Pickers first aired, it broke records as the first show approved and purchased without a pilot. The History channel agreed to buy 10 episodes right away, without an official pilot. The producers believed in Wolfe’s vision for the show and trusted him.
Thank you for tuning into this video. We hope you learned a new secret about American Pickers, their crew and production. The show has been a favorite for many, especially collectors. Don’t forget to give this video a ‘thumbs up’ if you enjoyed and subscribe to our channel for more. Let us know down in the comment box below which secret surprised you most and which cast member is your favorite. Thanks again and we’ll see you in the next one!