If you watch even one episode of “American Pickers,” you can clearly see Mike Wolfe’s passion for antiques. Finding an ancient piece of Americana and hearing all about it from its owner is more exciting to him than that. Occasionally, he can teach the seller a bit about what they own because he knows quite a bit about it himself.
He oversees Antique Archaeology, and whatever he buys, he intends to resell to make a profit. But at the end of the day, Wolfe’s a businessman. As such, he cannot just go around throwing around big bucks willy-nilly. He needs to be prudent and know the history of the items he encounters as well as how much they typically retail for.
He generally keeps within budget, but occasionally he may spend too much. That was the case in one episode, even though it wasn’t entirely his fault. It all came down to an arm wrestling match Wolfe lost.
The pinball machine was too expensive for Mike Wolfe
On “Mike’s Breakdown,” Mike Wolfe tries to get hold of a vintage pinball machine. It’s not unusual for him to use intricate tactics in order to get a better deal. While the machine looks good and has cool decals, he’s just too far apart on what he wants to pay compared to what the seller wants. In order to secure the machine for $250, he offers an arm wrestling match, but if he loses, he must pay $275.
He agrees, and the two go at it on an old car’s hood. The seller is a big guy, so his victory shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. As a result, Wolfe has to pay $275 for the pinball machine. It’s likely that a $25 difference won’t break the bank at the end of the day, and Wolfe clearly wanted it from day one.
In the end, Wolfe got the pinball machine he probably still turned a profit on, and at the very least the experience convinced him not to skip arm day anymore.