Tuesday, January 19, 2010

American Pickers


Monday night I watched the premiere episode of American Pickers on the History channel. It was right up my alley. (Mom--you would love it too!) In fact, several times during the show outbursts could be heard in the room, "I want this job!" "I would love this job!" "I want to be a picker!"

Russ finally had enough of my exclamations and proclaimed as the final statement on the subject, "Okay, then. Go ahead. Start a new business." With a smile on his face. He knew I was really into this show--and truth be told--so was he!

What is an American Picker? These two men have a business traveling to different homes looking through people's "stuff" to find treasures. They get leads of people who have yards or barns filled with junk. Some are probably hoarders. All have fascinating back-stories.

So, the camera crews go along, and document the stories behind the objects of interest, and also show us how the negotiating process works best (and when it doesn't work at all). They show us what they pay, what the estimated value is, and how much they stand to profit on the items.

The personalities are fun, the stories are heartwarming, the information is educational. It's a winner.

Check it out.

And for my back-up career, I think I'm gonna be an American Picker!


Anonymous said...

These people are scumbags that are taking advantage of the elderly. I think if I constantly hounded my elderly neighbor into seller her belongings to me at values far less than they are worth then resold them for profit, that I would be sent to jail. These people have no values.

Kathy Carlton Willis said...

I didn't see them as scumbags at all, but I respect your point of view. These two men take time with these folks, listening to their stories, which really is of more value to the elderly than anything--having someone listen. They don't offer rock bottom prices--they are reasonable considering they are the middle man and need to make a profit, since it is their business. No different than a pawn shop (like the show Pawn Stars) offering a wholesale price to buy something, so they can then sell again at a retail price.

The items they are buying up doesn't make a dent in the amount of stuff these folks own. Many don't even remember having some of these items. There are weeds growing up around them, and rust eating away at the metal. I know my Papa would have LOVED having someone drive up and listen to his stories and offer a price on some of the things he had. And he would have had some fun dickering with them.

But I see your point!

I still love the show because it spotlights Americana. These items all have a place in our memories of good times long gone by.

Anonymous said...

ok its like this , how would you feel if two guys showed up to your mother, fathers, grandfathers home etc, and pounced like scum bags on what they have , then bragged about it and laughed about it , after the show aired it has to make thses older folks feel like fools , and to thier freinds anf amily makes them look like idiots, i love looking for junk and treasures as well, but to exploit this on tv and cast shame on thier prey, they comeoff as fakes, then they make all thier sellers loo like foools to the whole usa, jerk this show off the air

Anonymous said...

There are alternatives to picking. The older folks could die and the young heirs could pay someone big money to haul away all the junk. My guess is that the older folks will have a great time telling their friends about how "these two guys gave me $300 for some of that junk out in the barn".

Pickers are simply another avenue to unload stuff you don't want and get some cash. If you think the pickers pay too little, then pay an auctioneer to come auction it off. Of course then they would not have any stories to tell. Picking is a good thing.