Back in Season 3 of the iconic History Channel show, Fritz struck a hard bargain with a seller named Joe. While he really wanted a 1970s motorcycle, Joe’s asking price was way too high for Fritz, and he couldn’t be talked down. But then, the “American Pickers” host saw another great find that he thought he could sway Joe on more.
It was a “moto scoot” scooter made in the era between the two World Wars. It came from a manufacturer in Chicago about 75 years ago, according to Joe.
“The moto scoot is a very rare scooter,” Fritz said on the show. “They were made by a very small company in Chicago during the Depression. And not many of them were made.”
Wolfe added, “This thing had an awesome look to it. Ninety-nine point nine percent of it was there. We had to try and buy it.”
But Joe’s first asking price? $1500. That was too high for the “American Pickers” hosts. Fritz countered with $850, but Joe said that wouldn’t work for him.
“Joe’s at 1500, Frankie’s at 850, and it was funny seeing Frank go up against a guy who has so much knowledge and had been doing this for so long,” Wolfe commented. “Any line that Frankie threw at him, Joe had heard it before.”
Wolfe added, “This is the best part of the pick: The Dance.”
Finally, Fritz offered $1000 for the scooter, and Joe took him up on it. The “American Pickers” host thought he could sell it for $1700, so he got a $700 profit from it.
Check out the hard negotiation in the YouTube clip below.
‘American Pickers’ Star Mike Wolfe Reveals How Cameraman Helped Show Succeed
“American Pickers” host Mike Wolfe has made no secret of the fact that the show was hard to pitch, initially. But one cameraman really turned things around for Wolfe and Fritz when he added one crucial element to the episodes they tried taping.
“When he calls me and says the picking footage sucks, I give in and send him the old tapes and they send me back a reel,” Wolfe said in an interview with Script. “And it looks like everything else I had done for the last four and a half years except it has a one-minute interview of me and Frank that he dropped in the footage.”
The cameraman knew that the one-minute interview with Fritz and Wolfe would be key, and he ended up being right.
“I’m like, this is the same shit I’ve been pitching, and he says, ‘It’s different because it shows you and Frank. You’ve been showing everything else. You’re showing the journey, the item. You never show you guys hardly at all. This shows your personalities.’ They showed it to History and at first pop, they wanted ten episodes.”