‘American Pickers’: Here’s the Cheapest Thing Mike & Frank Picked on the Show

by Courtney Blackann

The “American Pickers” stars know how to negotiate a deal. It’s the very nature of their job. Whether it’s an interesting pair of shoes or an old war artifact, the junk connoisseurs can be counted on to find the most interesting pieces of history. During their 22 seasons, they’ve made some large purchases and gambled on cars and other trinkets. But that’s what makes the show so fun and interesting. Equally as exciting as examining their most expensive purchases are finding what item they spent the least on.

So what is the cheapest item Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz ever picked? Their interesting – and affordable – find came during an un-aired Season 12 episode. It was a bonus clip on the History Channel show after the fact. However, the find was still pretty interesting.

During a visit to a man named Marty’s home, the duo of pickers got a good look at the guy’s race car collection. Though they were pretty cool to examine, the guys didn’t make a deal on one of Marty’s race cars. However, they didn’t walk away empty-handed.

After peeking around the man’s collected ‘junk,’ Fritz found an interesting-looking fishing rod and reel. He asked Marty what he wanted for it, to which he replied $5 would do. It was a simple, yet, sufficiently successful trip. The fishing equipment holds the title for the cheapest thing the guys ever picked (at least that was aired).

Additionally, Mike Wolfe also found a pole and bracket combo just sitting on the side of one of Marty’s buildings. The picker offered the man $225 for it and the deal was made. All in all, it was a successful and fun junking session.

“American Pickers” Early Beginnings

If you know Mike Wolfe, then you know even without a popular TV show, he’d still be finding a way to turn junk into a profitable business. He’s been doing it for so long, it’s second nature at this point. However, when his show idea started forming and television executives got involved, Wolfe took a backseat and let them negotiate the show details. It’s something he’s since said he’s glad he did. Not knowing the industry was the main reason, he said.

“JWM [Productions] never filmed me, never asked me any questions. They had some guy pitching my show who didn’t even understand it. But you have to realize when to hold them and when to fold them. If I had been in the room back then and in on the pitching process, I probably would have said all the wrong things and would have been maybe a little bit too emotional about it,” Wolfe said during a Scriptmag interview in 2013.

For his sake, and everyone else who’s a fan of “American Pickers,” we’re glad he knew when to let others negotiate on his behalf.