‘American Pickers’: Mike Wolfe Doesn’t Want You to Be Intimidated by the Word ‘Antiques’

by Michael Freeman
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To say American Pickers star Mike Wolfe is an expert when it comes to picking is an understatement. Years ago at a speaking event regarding children and picking, he said not to let the word “antique” intimidate them.

Back in 2013, Mike Wolfe wrote a book entitled Kid Pickers: How to Turn Junk Into Treasure. While promoting it at bookstores around the country, he often held Q&A sessions with parents and kids alike about the book. One big piece of advice he gave at a Barnes & Noble was don’t let the word “antique” intimidate you. Not only can it cause confusion, but it may overwhelm you since you don’t know what it’s worth, whether it’s a good buy or sell, etc.

“Another thing that helps children understand is don’t feel intimidated, you know?” Wolfe told the crowd at Barnes & Noble. “People throw that word ‘antique’ around. And they’re like ‘oh my gosh, I don’t know what this is worth. This could be something good or maybe not. I don’t know if I should buy it.'”

This is a real fear Wolfe sees far too often and he suggests you don’t sweat things like the price. The bottom line is if you like something and if you think it’s worth the price, then it is. “I always tell people, don’t worry about that kinda stuff. Don’t worry if it’s an antique, just buy something if you like it. If it’s in your means to buy it, then buy it if you like. If it’s important to you, then it’s gonna be important to you, you know? That’s what I want kids to understand.”

Television Executives Told Mike Wolfe Not to Use the Word ‘Antique’ When Pitching the Show

It appears Mike Wolfe’s thoughts about the word “antique” apply to more than children interested in picking. According to him at the same speaking event, television executives heavily discouraged him from using “antique” when pitching the show to networks.

Before becoming the show we all know and love today, American Pickers was a dream Wolfe spent chasing for years. Pitching the idea to numerous networks, he was repeatedly turned away. “I was pitching the show for so long,” he said. “I was pitching the show under the name Antique Archeology, the name of my business. A couple of television executives said to me early on in the process — they’re like, lose the word antique. Because if you have it on your reel, no one is even going to watch your reel.”

Wolfe listened, but it didn’t end up being very helpful, as other networks found other excuses to reject the idea. Nevertheless, his tenacity paid off eventually and the History Channel bought the idea.

Outsider.com