This post, poll and note has been one of the hottest topics on the Collectibles site for 2010 and what I posted below about the pros and cons still holds true. Hardly anyone seems neutral about the show, what do you think?
I don't ever remember as much pro and con discussion about a show dealing with antiques/junk/collectibles/folk art (take your choice) as there has been about American Pickers on the History Channel. The show chronicles two pickers going around the country side, stopping at places that look like they have loads of old junk. After several friends mentioned the show, I searched the channel guide to find repeats of the first episode. It certainly caught my attention when they dug through an old barn and found a carnival ride to buy - can I admit I would love to have that myself?
Then I read more on Kovel's Komments, so I popped over to the American Pickers web site, checking the discussion boards. Wow. The most common complaints, remember only three episodes have aired so far, is how the guys are taking advantage of the elderly. If you've ever bought antiques/junk/collectibles on speculation, you know what a gamble it is or can be. As far as taking advantage, there were a few items I thought they bought for an awfully low price, in fact I immediately went over to Priceminer.com to check what similar items have sold for in the past. (Price was about 25% - 40% of similar looking items)But would the seller have made that much at a yard sale? Absolutely not.
Another thing to remember - it's television! Tapes are edited, edited and edited more. They want drama, they want controversy or at the very least, interesting discussions going on. The show producers have done that with American Pickers. Is it my favorite show about collecting? No. Will I watch it again, you bet!
So what do you think? Have you watched the show? Do you think the pickers are taking advantage of the elderly? Do you think they are being fair with the prices offered and paid?