‘American Pickers’: How Mike Wolfe Responds When Potential Sellers Tell Him They Don’t Have Worthy Picks

by Courtney Blackann

Mike Wolfe of “American Pickers” is interested in telling stories. That could come in the form of an unusual item with a rich history. It could come from a prized item with sentimental value – or it could simply come from the person he’s buying from. Because to the “American Pickers” star, the negotiation isn’t the most important thing. It’s the characters behind the antiques. And that makes the show special.

During a book signing from 2013, Wolfe addressed this very thing. Though he makes a living restoring and selling old items, it’s the process and the people who make doing what he loves specials. The “American Pickers” personality shared that during his travels to find antiques, some estate owners feels a bit nervous.

This is because they’re unsure of if they’ll possess any goods Wolfe and the team will want. However, the professional picker quickly shoots this down and likes to boost potential customers’ esteem.

“Here’s the deal. You know, I’m just gonna tell your story. And if we find something, that’s great. But just think of it that way and it helps me do that – because it’s a character, it’s the history – and the stuff, to us, is last”

Wolfe goes on to describe how fans of “American Pickers” often come up to him, citing that they loved “this person” or “that person,” but they couldn’t necessarily recall what was purchased from those people. This is okay with Wolfe, who says that’s the point of the show.

“They’re paying attention to the person and they’re paying attention to the story and not necessarily just the item,” Wolfe says.

Additionally, Wolfe says that “American Pickers” is very “character-driven.” That’s always been the goal, he says – and so far, he feels like he’s been successful in telling those stories.

“American Pickers” Star Says We’re All Pickers

While Mike Wolfe has had a fascination with up-cycled junk and antiques all his life, he says there’s a little bit of that in all of us. He encourages fans of the show to explore their inner-picker and spend time finding creativity despite all our other obligations.

“I think were all born as pickers because we all have that sense of curiosity and adventure, wanting to discover, but as we get older, we tend to lose some of that. Because we have obligations, you know we have mortgages, and we have children and car payments, and we have all these things going on in our lives,” Wolfe told the audience during the same book signing.

Further, Wolfe is encouraging even children to embrace this passion of picking with a book he published called “Kid Pickers.”

“‘Kid Pickers’ book is going to change everything,” he explained. There’s nothing like it out there. It teaches children when they find things, they can learn about their family’s history and history in general. It’s teaching them to repurpose and recycle. These kids are even decorating their rooms in vintage.”