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American Pickers – One person’s junk is another’s treasure

If you’ve ever watched the show, you’ll understand how addictive it is. Seeing the amazing treasure that lies around in people’s homes, barns and garages is fascinating. It is a treasure trove of goodies.The pickers make it a profession. What others see as useless junk, they see as potential. Anything they think they can restore and sell for a profit, they’ll buy it. They meet fascinating people on their travels and learn the incredible histories of each individual item they buy. There are many industries that already make use of old items such as Used Plant Machinery firms that sell the machines to those looking for a cheaper option than buying new. Clothing is another industry that has already jumped on the used and retro look.

The show has been hailed as telling the people’s history of America, one small piece at a time and it’s true that the backstories are what viewers find so engaging. The two pickers in the show, Mike and Frank, are invited to explore in people’s sheds, barns, outbuildings, garages and homes. They often stumble across impressive collections of antiques. They might visit professional collectors, those who have inherited large collections and even those accused of being hoarders.

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One of the pickers has been engaged in this business since the age of four! Items of particular interest include old motorcycles, Volkswagens, antique Hondas, bicycles and toys. Some of the items they have purchased include old commercial signage, a rare Piaggio scooter and movie posters.

Fancy going on your very own treasure hunt? Why not consider a visit to a Reclamation Yard or Car Boot Sale.

The first episode of the show was aired in January 2010 and received a whopping 3.1 million viewers. This made it the highest rated show on the History Channel since the debut of Ice Road Truckers in 2007. It’s not just a show for the discerning viewer of a certain age either! An episode from September 2010 attracted 5.3 million viewers in the 25-54 age group.

It seems we can’t enough of the thrill of the chase when it comes to discovering rare and valuable items in what appears to be, at first glance, other people’s trash! In 2010, American Pickers retained the title of highest rated new non-fiction series.

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The success of the U.S TV show has led other countries to follow suit with their own version of the adult treasure hunt. Canadian Pickers – Cash Cowboys debuted in 2011 and Aussie Pickers started airing in 2013.

Picker Sisters appeared on TV in 2011 and followed the quests of two female pickers and designers and another rival channel offered Picked Off as a similar spin on the History Channel’s version of the show.


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