‘American Pickers’: How Mike Wolfe Feels About Sellers Holding on to ‘Rotted’ Items

by Joe Rutland

Mike Wolfe of American Pickers has come across a lot of different sellers through the years. Even those who hold onto “rotted” items.

What does Wolfe think and how does he feel about it?

Outsiders, let’s take a look at his answer in this video from a 2013 book signing in Paramus, N.J.

“Usually what happens is that they start picking with us,” Wolfe said. “They’re starting to see things they haven’t seen in 40, 50 years. ‘Oh my God, I love that, I remember that.’

“Like how much is it?” Wolfe would ask them. “[They would say] ‘I’m not selling that, I just found it.’ And there it’s been laying in the dirt. ‘Oh, I don’t wanna sell that. I don’t want it to rot here.’ But I love that, though, I love that.

“Because it shows a relationship, you know,” the American Pickers founder said. “It gives the item a voice, the person a voice, and it shows that relationship.

“And that’s what’s so cool about it,” Wolfe said. “That’s what is so incredibly amazing about it. Why doesn’t the guy want to sell something rotted into the dirt? It’s part of his family. He has a strong connection to it. If you watch that, you don’t understand it. So, they want to keep watching it and I think that’s a really amazing part of the show.”

American Pickers is still running on The History Channel so you can catch up at home or on the road.

‘American Pickers’ Host Talked One Time About Reaching ‘Holy Land of Picking’

Going to Pennsylvania for picking purposes really impressed Mike Wolfe.

So much so that the American Pickers host calls Pennsylvania “the Holy Land of Picking.”

Wolfe talked about going to the state for the first time at the same book signing.

The American Pickers host did recall driving through the mountains and tunnels and realizing just how much the rural state had to offer.

“This is where everything is, this is it,” Wolfe said he was thinking. “This is like the Wild West of picking. Everything is here. It’s incredible.”

Getting American Pickers on TV took some time. Wolfe spent a long time pitching it.

But he learned a lesson from Sarah Kosak of TLC. Wolfe said that Kosak “had just finished a show with Richard Davis called Flip This House.

“She suggested I take the format of that and put it into what I do,” Wolfe said. “Me, naïve as I was, was thinking why hadn’t the production company presented a format? What were they feeling the whole time? I thought this was a creative process, but it wasn’t. I actually said that to them during the pitching process… that we don’t really have a show here.”