AT Inbox: Readers weigh in on ‘American Pickers’ Part 3

Reader is suspicious about online bids

I have a comment on auction houses who auction items online. One house that I know holds auctions with no live floor bidders. The auctioneers have all of the data that goes through the system, in particular, the bids placed on each item. There is nothing to prevent them from obtaining the highest bid because they know what the highest bid is on each lot – they have the data. I have been told that they sit across from one another and bid to the highest bid amount. As I view the auctions live online, the bids go from $30, $35 – going going – $225. Sometimes they reopen a lot and re-adjust the final sales price. It’s a win-win for both auctioneer and consignor, but a big loss (monetarily) for the highest bidder/winner.

Another house I know of has a consignor who gives them items to auction. Again, the auctioneer knows the absentee bid amounts and has the consignor bid one less than the highest bid amount; therefore, again a win-win for both auctioneer and consignor, but a big loss (monetarily) for the highest bidder/winner.

Not a real honest way to do business.


Greg Nicholas
Via e-mail

American Pickers is great TV

I think it’s a great show! I’ve read a lot of the negativity the first week, as I knew there would be, but this comes from a lot of clueless people on how the antiques business works.

I think sometimes these guys even offer too much money for the lower end stuff. Somewhere, in a future episode, I would like to see it mentioned of the great expense involved also – its not the 100 percent profit as people imagine!

Also just because a item like the juke box is worth $5,000 it doesn’t mean that’s what they will sell it for. There’s many steps on the ladder.

Just some thoughts, but a nice show.

Bruce Smith
Via e-mail

Pickers serve a needed role for collectors

Personally, I’m all for pickers doing their job because:

1) I don’t have time to find the items I collect

2) I don’t know exactly where to look for my collectibles and with armies of pickers out there, the items will be discovered

3) I wouldn’t know about my collectibles if it weren’t for pickers, in many cases

4) I’m all for the capitalistic system and am glad they are able to make a profit

In fact, here’s my take on them as a profession:

Scott King
Via e-mail

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