‘American Pickers’: How Mike Wolfe Picks What Items to Sell in Antique Archaeology Stores

by Jonathan Howard
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All across the country, the American Pickers find and collect rare antiques and items. Then they flip those items for profit. Mike Wolfe then has to decide which items are going to sell in his Antique Archaeology stores. He has the flagship store in Iowa with a second store in Nashville.

When deciding what items to show off for sale in the store, it comes down to what the location is. Nashville has become the store where Wolfe sells the most. It makes sense because Nashville is a massive city compared to Le Claire, Iowa. When it comes to deciding what to put in which store, Wolfe has a process.

“The way we film, we have two weeks on two weeks off,” the American Pickers star said to Hoss Magazine. “So every two weeks I bring new stuff to the store, but we have to split our inventory, I guess you’d call it, from here [Nashville] to Iowa.”

So, it comes down to where he thinks he can sell the items the best. While the store in Iowa is the original, Nashville quickly became the busiest storefront. Which means Wolfe sends a lot of things to Tennessee. Not to mention, the Pickers love to pick in the eastern part of the country. It is where all the oldest stuff is.

“And a lot of the stuff, the bigger stuff ends up here. Since this is a major metropolitan area we sell through a lot more of it here. It changes dramatically, constantly.”

‘American Pickers’ Mike Wolfe Still a Motorcycle Guy

Of course, over the years one of the top items that Mike Wolfe has collected is motorcycles. The American Pickers star loves collecting old bikes and has quite a personal stash. When it comes to his stores, he likes to make them how he envisions his own space.

He just wants others to appreciate the items as much as he does. So when he curates the items in his shops, he wants them to look like his own personal hang-out spot.

“You know obviously, I’m a motorcycle guy so we’ve got a lot of motorcycles in the shop. I want it to feel like kind of my man cave but also present the things we collect, find beautiful, in a different light.”

Mike Wolfe is all about making the experience of his stores unique. Visitors expect a certain decor and feel when they go to an Antique Archaeology store. Getting to see items from the American Pickers show in person is a treat for fans. It is more about going to the store than buying anything, really. So, it makes sense that Wolfe dedicates so much time to what is inside.

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