At its core, “American Pickers” is all about one thing: money. What is an object worth? What would you have to pay for the restoration? How rare is it? Questions like these are on the minds of Mike Wolfe and the rest of the team. After all, they’re trying to sell their purchases, not keep them – as much as they want to. As Wolfe told StageRightSecrets, he wishes he could keep most of his finds and regrets letting some of them go. “I love everything. That’s my problem. But that’s a good thing, because then you can buy more than just one thing. You’re not pigeonholed in what you buy,” he explained.
Wolfe is a businessman after all, so he follows this rule for his business, ancient archeology. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t break that rule from time to time by taking home a find or two. Still, he doesn’t do so without some sort of caveat. If he wants to take a pick into his personal collection, it has to have a function. “If it’s at home, it has to be practical,” Wolfe told People magazine in 2015 (via Antique Archaeology). He uses the example of a Victorian couch that may look beautiful and has an intriguing history behind it, but if it’s not comfortable it’s not worth lugging home.
As long as “American Pickers” is on the air, one has to imagine that Mike Wolfe will regrettably continue to let fascinating artifacts slip through his fingers. At the same time, you can be sure that he will keep a few good ones for himself.