Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Five Acres Of Junk": What Do Picky Viewers Think Of The American Pickers: Is It Time To Expand Beyond The Rusty Guy Stuff?

Picky Viewers

The jury is out...American Pickers needs a revamp and soon! I picked the brains of members of Iantiqueonline.com and asked them: "What was your take on last night's show called "5 Acres of Junk" (March 15th, 2010).

You know what I got back for answers? Five acres of COMMENTS on the March 15th, 2010 show! And there indeed was a theme to all their jabber. The bottom line is that our viewers are picky and they have a lot of suggestions to throw out at the producers and writers of American Pickers.

For the sake of keeping this post neat and clean (something the Pickers are not ever going to live up to), I will breakdown the feedback I received into sections: Feel free to jump into the chatter and post your own two cents.

What Picky Iantiqueonline.com Members Had to Say About The American Pickers
Expand Beyond Rusty Guy Stuff

"The audience will tire of hubcaps, oil cans and motorcycles after a point." John

"too much motor head stuff" Mike

"Over all the show gets old quickly" S. B.

"Yes, I watch the American Pickers. Most of the time I enjoy the show, but I grew up with antique cars, motorcycles, and bikes. I am probably one of the few women that understands the "motor" subject, but even for me it sometimes gets a tad boring. I think they really need to start focusing on some subjects that will pull in more women watchers. Even when a seller shows them something that we women are collecting they tend to blow it off and move toward a motorized item. They either need to add a woman to the cast on the road or learn something about collectibles used in home decorating. Good grief they are based out of Iowa and I have yet to see anything about pearl buttons. Come on...look around the neighborhood and check on Ebay to see what is selling out there and where the interests of the rest of the people lie. How about some vintage purses, clothing, antique buttons, or dolls? "Kim

"My husband and I love the show. Both of us are sick though of their fixation with the bikes. I would like to see them go to really well know states for antique collecting. Their betting against each other and their chemistry is a big part of the show." Lynn

"It was interesting to watch once, possibly twice, then, well...it's that same old stuff, the same old strange old men whose things they want to buy, and they always find the same old stuff. " K__

"It would be nice if it was a little less heavy on vehicles and advertising, but that's what guys in rural areas stuffed their barns with." M. S.

Show Is Too Contrived And Staged

"way too contrived and it follows a narrow theme of a grizzly old guy, a farm in never never land and some old rusty American mechanical stuff....also doorknockers get shot at once and a while in that part of the country....would be a nice touch eh? "Mike

"Entertaining, yet very staged; I work in the television industry and for the most part it is too staged", Steve

"American Pickers is way too scripted for me and becoming very redundant and I question 99% of the items they pick also their profit margin, after paying for their gas and travel expenses (if they weren't on TV) is in the negative numbers.", M.S.

Are The Pickers Ripping People Off ?


This is Daryle Lambert of the Daryle Lambert's Antiques and Collectibles Club www.darylelambert.com. I have already written to the Antique Week about the Pickers show but here I go again.
I believe that the biggest winners from the show are those that would let items waste away in their barns, garages or storage units until they saw this show. Then they would think maybe I have something of value and start searching their items that were destined for the trash heap.
I get tired of the Johnnie do goods that think everybody is taking advantage of someone else. The items that the Pickers are discovering had no value until they found them and the sellers should be appreciative of that fact. The people that are crying are probably the very ones that are taking advantage of others.
It is a great show and I believe it has many years to go. Keep up the great work, go Pickers.

Daryle lambert

"Anyway I'm liking it that they are not giving the top dollar on the boob tube so the rest of us pickers can still buy it like they do. And that Phillip Morris sign they said they sold for what 1500 That should have been 3500 and up." H.M.

"We like the show. It's quite clear that they are not taking advantage of anyone - not with the haggling that is going on with most folks. People need to realize that the folks they visit don't have the customer contacts/sources to get full retail price. They are at the beginning of the food chain - not the end." M.M.R.S

(Are The Pickers Ripping People Off?
" enjoy watching but sometimes feel Mike and Frank are a little dis-respectful to the sellers and their prices of what they say they sell the items for are way off the market prices,just my opinion" Scott

"The Pickers trouble me. I think they exploit seniors who may not know the value of their collectibles. I think they are abusive to the woman who runs the shop they supply. Over all I don't like the show. It gives a message to people that it is O.K. to take things that seem abandoned or not of use when it may be valuable to someone. It's ripping off. Well, you asked. And that's what I think. People drive by my parents ancient farm and pilfer antique farm equipment and collectibles, just because they are not in use. These items are an historical part of the life here and should not be taken just because no one has spoken for them. ", L.F.

I Wanna Hear More About The other Side Of The Business: Selling Stuff

"I'd be interested in hearing a little more about the side of their business where they sell what they pick" Margot

"The main characters do not show how they sell the items', S.B.

Love The Show

"love the show though!!!,....but collecting is suppose to be fun and not only about money I am a little offended they did not reply to my emails,but no big deal,....I still think highly off them" Scott

Most of the time I enjoy the show", K.T.,

"My husband and I love the show"

"They are a hoot to watch".

The Pickers Need to Come To Canada

"I want to watch American Pickers and I’d love them to come to Canada to do a little picking.
I may be jumping the gun a little, maybe we could start by having the History Channel air this show in Canada..
Lord knows we (Canada and the States) expose each other to plenty of mindless dribble, why not treat each other to some quality programming such as American Pickers?
Just my opinion but I’m sure one that’s shared by many."

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of Iantiqueonline.com an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.

Photos Courtesy of http://www.antiquearcheology.com/

For More on American Pickers read:





To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link:
C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff

Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.com

Visit my website, CDianneZweig.com

Dianne is a member of:
The American Society of Journalists and Authors
The Authors Guild, Inc.


  1. The show is fun to watch! But since it's on the history channel, I'd love to learn a little more about the "history" of the items that appear to be junk.

  2. Kim has a great idea! Let's get together and do a girl's version of American Pickers. I've always wanted to knock on doors and ask folks if I can look in their barns! Having a camera crew along would be verification. I'm not afraid to crawl through lots of rust and crud. I get just as excited about a box of vintage hankies as I do about a rusty sign. I'm job hunting! What do you say? Want to grab a camera and hit the road?

  3. I am not a big fan of this show I prefer Pawn Stars.

    American Pickers is way too scripted for me and becoming very redundant and I question 99% of the items they pick also their profit margin, after paying for their gas and travel expenses (if they weren't on TV) is in the negative numbers.

    I have seen them pick-up items only to toss them to the side that I know for a fact (25 yrs. in the field) will sell at great prices.

    I use pickers for my online shop and stop at my share of bldgs. and homes with good stuff sitting outside. I have picked my share of goods in my travels and have found that in the past 10 years people know, or think they know, they retail value of their goodies and are very reluctant to part with them. There is very little hidden "rusty gold" or any type of hidden "gold" out there anymore. Once upon a time you could find some true gems but those days are over. Generally a picker is not going to buy something on spec they are going to have buyer's lined up for all the items they pick. As I said, it is way too scripted and it is not on my "must watch" list whereas Pawn Stars is.

    At the very least, if a show such as this is going to be shown on the History Channel educate me like they do on Pawn Stars. Give me resale prices and not just "valued at" prices. Let me know what is selling and what is still sitting on the shelf. Show me something that is not an old sign, oil can, or rusty bicycle.

    Lot's of room for improvement and I wish they would have gone with their original idea of a show with what antique dealer's collect. I am asked all the time what I collect when I have so much to choose from.

    Michelle Staley

  4. I've already lost interest. I had it on last night, but it was background noise while I did other things.

    Has anyone else noticed the brown curtain that's behind them when they're in the van? It disappears in other shots...like when the van is driving away. It's a minor thing, but for some reason I became fixated on it and wondered why it was there. Perhaps the back of the van is really empty. We see them loading the van, but maybe there's more than one van.

  5. I Love This Show! Yes, it's obviously television, and they're playing to the cameras. But it shows the heart of regular American folk and how we become attached to our 'stuff'. Being from Texas and living in Arkansas, and running my own small antiques business, I'm aware that so much of that 'junk' is still available in my area, but mostly priced out of reason. The Pickers are quite reasonable with their purchases and the buyers are paid accordingly and willingly. NOW: I WOULD LOVE TO SEE SOME GLASSWARE! Oh, how I was drooling during several of the "Gringo Al" scenes in the barn with the glassware tables -- all in the background with just hints of jadite and glass. It was enough to make one go mad! Please add some glassware and household items -- (dare I dream for antique sewing machines?). I know, though, when your passion revolves around one area, it's next to impossible to walk past it, hence I imagine those rusty bike parts aren't going to fade into the sunset with this show.

  6. First time we'd ever watched. So,,, it was entertaining. Best thing learned.... grab the next Western Union bicycle rack you see. NEAT!

  7. Now, as much as I would like to see some "girl stuff" picked, I realize that this is a "guy" show mostly. And I also realize that they "shop" for a certain type of clientele. But, yes, they do need to show some variety for the viewers regarding the items picked. Or maybe there isn't that much variety out there?

    Maybe Danielle should star in a girls version of the show - American Pickerettes!

  8. A lot of the comments reveal a lack of knowledge about the business, pickers only buy what they know they can sell. Sure seeing some " Girl Stuff" would be nice, but you have to buy for the market that you deal with the most and what you know.

    Buying stuff you can't research right away, or are not very knowledgeable about is risky. If you guess wrong you have to sit on it, store it and possibly take a loss.

  9. Here here Cash, that is right buy what you know!, or be a gambler,

    also on the road like they are glass can get broken easy, where our rusty stuff can get dented, but we can fix most of that.

    there are guys on the road buying and selling everything under the rainbow, fancy high end dolls, to art glass, to rusty metal stuff, to high end furniture, to silver.