How Much Money Do the Stars of ‘American Pickers’ Make?

One of the most popular reality shows on television that is not based on dating, surviving, or the Kardashians is the beloved American PickersThe show premiered on January 18, 2010, and two seasons a year have been released for a current total of 21 seasons and over 300 episodes on the A&E family of channels. Part of the show’s massive popularity is due to the show’s extremely likable hosts, Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and Danielle Colby. The three have starred on American Pickers while still operating their profitable antique businesses. This heavy workload has caused many fans to wonder: how much do the stars of American Pickers get paid? 

(L-R) Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe from American Pickers holding up an autographed shirt and smiling
(L-R) Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe of American Pickers | Brian Killian/Getty Images

What is ‘American Pickers?’ 

The reality show follows the adventures of picking experts Wolfe and Fritz, who travel across America looking high and low for buried treasures. Most of the items end up in Wolfe’s shop Antique Archeology. The show has achieved massive successes and popularity, even despite its shameless Subway plug. The pickers’ main locations of interest include barns, sheds, garages, and any other place that is full of possibly valuable treasure buried amongst piles of less-valuable junk. Much in the style of Pawn Starsthe pickers purchase items and then flip them for a profit. Valuable items that the pickers have found in their travels include vintage cars, classic advertisements, film posters, oil canisters, and other pieces of classic Americana. One of the most unique items that the pickers have picked is a Piaggio Ape, which is a rare three-wheeled vehicle that the pickers may have the only model of the vehicle in all of America. 

Who are the stars of ‘American Pickers?’

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Wolfe, Fritz, and Colby have been a part of the show since its first episode. Even before the show began, Wolfe and Fritz traveled the country together in search of antique treasures. Wolfe says that he has enjoyed picking since he was four years old, and is known for his love of motorcycles both new and old. Also, an impressive businessman, Wolfe owns two Antique Archeology locations, one in LeClaire, Iowa, and a recently opened location in Nashville, Tennessee. Colby works in the office of the Iowa location by day, and by night is a popular burlesque dancer.

The star of American Pickers that many fans wonder about is Fritz, who has dealt with Crohn’s disease throughout his time on the show. Like Wolfe’s love for motorcycles, Fritz is known for his interest in any and all peanut related items. While Fritz and Wolfe are partners in their popular show, they have separate locations in which they sell their treasures. Fritz’s shop is named Frank Fritz Finds, which is located in Chicago, Illinois. Items seen on the show can be purchased at the stars shops, and they are open to the possible purchase of worthy pieces. 

How much do the stars of ‘American Pickers’ make? 

The show’s widespread popularity and success have also led to financial success for the show’s cast. Even before the show, Wolfe, Fritz, and Colby ran their thriving picking businesses which have only become more profitable during the show’s 20 season-long run. The notoriety and free advertising of the reality show have only helped Fitz and Wolfe’s respective shops. Part of the reason reality shows are so popular with production studios is the low operation cost. This is the same for American Pickers, which production costs are limited to a small camera crew and a salary for the cast members.

According to Looper, the salary of the cast members is more than one may think. Wolfe is paid an impressive $500,000 per season of the show, while his partner Fritz makes $300,000 per season. Colby, who is not as featured as Wolfe and Fitz, is paid $15,000 per episode. This salary is added to the already lucrative business that the stars of the show operate, which equals an impressive total wealth.