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This Is What Happens To American Pickers' Finds After The Show

One person's trash is another's treasure. That's the basic premise behind American Pickers, on which longtime friends Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz travel the country looking for the perfect "pick," which could be anything from a rusty old sign to a broken-down car. If it's vintage or antique and has resale value, the American Pickers duo is all over it.

The hit History series has been airing since 2010, during which time Wolfe and Fritz, along with their assistant Danielle Colby, have turned rummaging for junk into a booming business. But just where do they peddle their wares after pulling them out of the proverbial junkyard?

While Wolfe and Fritz sometimes turn around and sell directly to collectors and buyers who have come to them looking for specific pieces, many of the picks wind up elsewhere. This is what happens to American Pickers' finds after the show.

Mike Wolfe owns a store called Antique Archeology

With two locations — one in LeClaire, Iowa, and the other in Nashville, Tennessee — Wolfe's Antique Archeology store is a place where visitors can pick through what the pickers have picked.

Yes, items seen on American Pickers wind up in Wolfe's store, which is a half-shop, half-museum that's packed with vintage and antique finds, unusual collectibles, and unique home décor — all handpicked by Wolfe and his team. Chances are you'll spot something you recognize from the show. But while many things are for sale, some are for display only, like the 1942 Harley Von Dutch motorcycle and Evel Knievel outfit that fans line up to take pictures with.

Of course, there are plenty of things inside Antique Archeology that haven't appeared on American Pickers, but that doesn't mean they don't have their own unique story. "In my experience, the best pieces are sometimes in the places you would least expect them to be found," Wolfe told House Beautiful.

So if you ever make it to Antique Archeology, be sure to take your time looking around. You just might find your own perfect pick à la American Pickers.

Buying items from Frank Fritz is a bit of a mystery

Where Fritz sells his American Pickers finds isn't as straightforward as it is with Wolfe, and it may be hard for the average person to track an item down that they're interested in. One thing is for sure: Fritz has nothing to do with Wolfe's Antique Archeology stores.

A publicist for History once explained to the Star Tribune, "They each run their own business, and they sell the items you see them purchasing on the show separately. Mike is the sole owner of Antique Archaeology. Frank sells his items via his website at www.frankfritzfinds.com." However, that site seems to be shut down as of 2020. 

Now, there is a brick-and-mortar store in Savanna, Illinois called Frank Fritz Finds ... but the American Pickers star has very little to do with it. Apparently, Fritz and the owner of the store are friends and have some sort of agreement about the name and function of the store — just don't hold your breath that you're going to bump into Fritz there or see many items that were directly picked on American Pickers.

Danielle Colby has a side-hustle selling burlesque items

Colby is best known as Wolfe and Fritz's assistant who's often seen running the American Pickers office inside of the flagship Antique Archeology store in LeClaire, Iowa. On recent seasons of the show, though, Colby has also starting picking — and selling.

Her main focus is on vintage costumes and burlesque items, as she herself is a burlesque dancer who goes by the stage name Dannie Diesel. On American Pickers, she's often on the hunt for items worn by dancers and actresses back in the 1800s. It's a very niche market, making any find a true treasure and a huge thrill for Colby. One of her greatest picks has been a banana skirt believed to have belonged to the legendary Josephine Baker.

Some of the items Colby finds wind up on her online boutique called 4 Miles 2 Memphis, which can be found on Etsy. She once even owned a brick-and-mortar shop of the same name, with locations in both LeClaire and Chicago; unfortunately, they're now closed.

Wolfe, Fritz, and Colby keep some stuff for themselves and their own personal collection

As you can imagine, the American Pickers cast not only pick but also collect. Wolfe, Fritz, and Colby surely each have quite a collection of items they've picked on screen and off, but all three have a niche they hone in on.

Wolfe stockpiles bikes of any shape, size, and condition — he even has his own bike store, Trek Bicycle Shop, about 40 minutes south of Nashville, where he calls home. The two-wheeled, pedal-driven recreational vehicles are a lifelong obsession for Wolfe, whose very first pick was when he pulled one out of the trash as a kid in Bettendorf, Iowa. The rest, as they say, is American Pickers history. He's also amassed a small collection of vintage kids' cowboy boots, which are on display in his daughter's room.

Meanwhile, Fritz goes gaga over clocks — wall clocks, grandfather clocks, cuckoo clocks, you name it — and Colby often incorporates her vintage costume and accessory finds into her off-screen burlesque routines and pinup posters.

Despite the obviously personal picks, viewers have yet to see any of the American Pickers cast's home collections on the show.

Wolfe shows off some of his American Pickers finds at his short-term rental property

In addition to starring on American Pickers and running his own retail business, Wolfe also dabbles in real estate. He often buys and renovates historic buildings in small towns to help boost local economies. A building Wolfe bought in Columbia, Tennessee not only houses his bike shop, but also a short-term, Airbnb-type rental property called Two Lanes Guest House. The space is decorated with such picks as vintage signs, musical instruments, and, of course, bicycles.

"For the past 30 years, selling to designers and decorators has been a major part of my business," Wolfe has said of the space (via Antique Archaeology)"This is the first time that I've been able to utilize that experience for other people to enjoy. I'm on the road six months out of the year. I check-in to a lot of hotels and Airbnbs, so I understand what travelers need when they're looking to relax after a long day."

A few American Pickers' finds are on exhibit and in museums

Occasionally, Wolfe and Fritz visit small-town museums on American Pickers, including a makeshift wax museum in Georgia and the National Motorcycle Museum in Iowa, and sometimes, the pickers even show off their wares in such places.

In 2017, Wolfe announced that some of his American Pickers finds were going to be in a traveling history exhibit. Called History on the Move, the exhibit traveled around the state of Iowa in a custom-built, 300-square-foot Winnebago for nearly two years. Wolfe is also supporting the traveling exhibit Iowa History 101: People and Places, which will also travel around the state for two years.

Some American Pickers artifacts, including a teepee owned by the Italian actor known as "Iron Eyes" Cody, are on display at the LeClaire Buffalo Bill Museum. And Wolfe and Fritz have even helped people on American Pickers sell directly to museums — such as on season 14, when Wolfe connected a widow with the National Motorcycle Museum to sell her late husband's motorcycle and memorabilia.