‘American Pickers’: How Negotiations Are Different in Real-Life Than on the Show

by Clayton Edwards
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One of the best parts of American Pickers is watching the negotiations. That’s where the real tension comes in. We all have to wonder if they’ll reach that all-important handshake deal. Furthermore, each episode ends with a scorecard of sorts that lets the audience know just how much the pickers stand to make from their haul. It turns out that those negotiations are not what they appear. In fact, there’s reportedly a good amount of underhanded TV magic involved in all that haggling. Knowing this is going to make watching Mike haggle for big-ticket items feel a little different.

Living 101 reported that some people who have sold things on the show say that negotiations take place off-camera. Most of the time, the American Pickers team comes to an agreement on the price of an item before they start filming. That’s not really surprising, though. It makes the show run more smoothly. At the same time, it lets everyone know where they stand before the cameras start rolling.

However, some of the negotiations are real. More than one seller has claimed that they came to an agreement before the American Pickers cameras started rolling. Then, the guys would start trying to haggle below the agreed-upon price. This could be why some sellers seem to get annoyed when Mike or whoever is with him tries to offer a price lower than their stated bottom line.

‘American Pickers’ Leaves Some Sellers Feeling Cheated

In the past, some sellers say they felt conned by American Pickers. This is due to the fact that Mike and Frank try to tell them how little their items are really worth. Conversely, they will tell them about the high cost of restoration. This is all so they can have a little more “meat on the bone,” when they go to resell the items. After all, Mike owns two antique shops that he stocks with his hauls. So, he is all about profit at the end of the day. Those sellers are among the people that say Mike and Frank’s friendliness is largely an act for the cameras.

However, those sellers might be happy to know that the American Pickers stars aren’t the only ones who can be a little underhanded. One time, Frank Fritz got conned into buying a Pier 1 Imports lamp on the show. He thought it was an authentic antique oil lamp. So, he bought it. However, when he got it back to the shop to check it out, he found the retail store’s stamp inside the lamp. Fritz took the whole thing in stride, though. He admitted that he was just “desperate to buy something,” when he jumped at the chance to buy the lamp.

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