‘American Pickers’: Have Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz Ever Come Across Any ‘Bad Picks’?

by John Jamison

Nowadays, “American Pickers” has a reputation that precedes Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz. But when the pickers first got started through their early years on the show, they weren’t exactly familiar faces. The lack of familiarity led to several encounters where it was nearly impossible to make a deal.

In fact, situations like these were far more common for the guys when they didn’t have the resources to do a ton of research beforehand. Without much knowledge of the people or environments they were headed into, the potential for “bad” picks was pretty high.

Both Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz have shared some horror stories of their time on the road. Fortunately, “American Pickers” itself hasn’t captured any situations like the one Wolfe described being held at gunpoint. But the show has seen its fair share of stinkers.

“American Pickers” fans discussed the subject on Reddit recently. Someone observed that most of the situations seem to work out well for everyone involved. And while that is likely the case, Wolfe has mentioned that the show films way more material than ever makes the episodes. So when encounters like the one in a Season 11 episode titled “Kiss and Tell” occur, one has to wonder how many others go down the same way and never make it onto TV.

During the episode, Mike and Wolfe are blown away by a ton of memorabilia from the legendary hard rock band KISS. Unfortunately, it quickly becomes clear that the owner has no interest in selling anything for a reasonable price.

It’s certainly better than staring down the barrel of a gun. But it just goes to show that, yes, “American Pickers” will occasionally capture a bad picking experience. As the show gained popularity, however, these situations became fewer and farther between.

‘American Pickers’ Star Mike Wolfe Still Loves the Hustle Despite Fame and Fortune

So now that “American Pickers” is a certified hit for the History Channel, a lot has been taken off Mike Wolfe’s plate. Where once he would have been physically driving roughly 70,000 miles a year in hopes of stumbling upon awesome picks, he now has an entire support team that does much of the groundwork for him.

Wolfe’s position now sees most of the bad picks weeded out before he ever gets involved in the process.

That’s not to take anything away from Wolfe. In fact, he still loves traveling for the sake of “American Pickers.” Why? Because his passion has always been in the hearing and telling of stories. There is no better way to do that than with the platform his show provides.

He’s simply no longer a cold-calling salesman, peering in through the windows of a dusty old garage. Now collectors call him.