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Mike Wolfe Once Failed To Sell An Item, Autographed It, And Then Sold It To An American Pickers Fan

From a viewer's perspective, there's a lot to love about "American Pickers." From the comfort of your couch, you get to travel much of the United States, dig through piles upon piles of antiques, and learn about the items of yesteryear that were once commonplace but have since fallen into obscurity. It's like going on a road trip and antiquing without ever leaving home. On the other hand, for the folks on the show and behind the "American Pickers" store, Antique Archaeology, it's more than just an educational shopping spree through rural America.

For the hosts of "American Pickers," their exploits are business-oriented at the end of the day. They can't just go about buying whatever they want without rhyme or reason, they have to pick items that they're able to make a profit off of. This fuels future trips and allows them to collect material for future episodes. Considering that Antique Archaeology is alive and well and that "American Pickers" has been on TV for over a decade, it's safe to say that most of their rusty, worn-out investments have paid off. Then again, there are some outliers here and there.

According to tenured "American Pickers" host Mike Wolfe, he struggled to sell off this item for some time. That is, until he autographed it and sold it to a "Pickers" fan.

Wolfe's autograph got a saddle off his hands and money in his pocket

Back in 2011, "American Pickers" staple Mike Wolfe sat down for an interview with Southeastern Antiquing and Collecting Magazine, where he shared a tale of quite a stubborn item. As he recalled, he struggled to move the first saddle he ever purchased, which was appraised at $5,000 initially. Eventually, he managed to sell it, but only after he adorned it with his signature at the request of the buyer. "I put it on eBay, and it did not sell. I sold it in my shop for $150 and that was because the buyer wanted me to sign it," Wolfe told the publication of the unexpected end of the saddle saga.

Evidently, Wolfe and his team at Antique Archaeology took note of his rising popularity and the popularity of "American Pickers" at large. First and foremost, if you head to the Antique Archaeology website, you can find a section dedicated entirely to autographed items. At the time of this writing the area is empty, but it's more than worth keeping an eye out for restocks if you or someone you know is a big fan of the show and want to purchase something signed. Alternatively, there are all kinds of non-autographed Antique Archaeology items for sale ranging from shirts to mugs, in addition to a host of antiques.

The true value of an object is what it means to someone, and therefore what they're willing to pay to get ahold of it. Mike Wolfe's first saddle purchase might not have caught the attention of many folks, but once he put his signature on it, one "American Pickers" fan simply couldn't pass it up.