‘American Pickers’: Mike Wolfe Didn’t Think Show Would ‘Resonate’ with Viewers

by Courtney Blackann

Despite the wild success of “American Pickers” and the enormous uprising of junk-hunting since the show’s debut, star Mike Wolfe once thought it wouldn’t “resonate” with viewers. We know, it’s hard to believe!

After pitching the show for five years and saying he absolutely believed in the concept, Wolfe still had his doubts.

“To have ten years under us, is pretty incredible,” Rowe said in an interview with the Vegas Film Critic. “I mean ten years of anything that can really grab a hold of peoples’ attention and hold it for an hour is pretty outstanding. So it’s really not so much about us, as it is about the people we pick.”

The famous junker knows how to pick ’em too. He’s been in the business long before he had a History Channel film crew following him around. The Iowa-native said he’s happy the show has so much success. He’s been a professional junker since an early age when he started to see the value of old treasures.

The “American Pickers” star is still just as passionate as he’s ever been about the hobby – or career, rather.

“I think we’ve done a good job of helping tell their story,” Wolfe added.

The most interesting thing about the show, Vegas Film Critic Jeffrey K. Howard says, is how it really showcases history. The pieces aren’t just appraised and sold. They’re carefully researched and then their story is told. This sets the show apart from other history-style shows.

“American Pickers” Mike Wolfe Snags Rare Sign

For all fans of the show, they know how dedicated Mike Wolfe is to the craft. He will negotiate down to pennies in order to procure a valuable piece of history. But in one recent episode, fans were questioning those negotiating skills after Wolfe spent an exorbitant amount of money on an old sign.

The piece was a 1950s Chevy sign. The old sign was weathered by cigarette smoke. Still, “American Pickers” star opened up negotiations for $1,000. The sign was made of plastic, however, it was a rare material for the 1950s and Wolfe knew that. This is why he ultimately bid up to $1,600 to snag the sign – which he did.

“They’re hard to get because it was dealership only, and they always broke,” Jim said. “If you sneezed on the thing it would break.”

While Wolfe has made a fortune with his good instincts throughout the years the show has aired on History, he says the majority of their sales don’t come from aging signs – but clothing.

“Ninety percent of our sales are clothing, so all of a sudden I’m in the clothing business,” Wolfe told Fast Company. “I’m looking at what we’re making for spring. I’m looking at hard goods, soft goods, how those goods are presented in my store; the function, the flow, the lighting, how it’s focused, where it’s at, how close is it to the cash register. I’m constantly having meetings with my team to know what’s selling and what’s not, and I just learned recently that our number-one-selling shirt doesn’t have our logo on it.”