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6 Shows like American Pickers: Modern Treasure Hunts

Adam Pothitos itcherNow that TV shows like ‘American Pickers’ have confirmed that you can sell pretty much anything you own, most people will probably think twice about getting rid of old junk. If you’d like to see even more strange, rusty and apparently valuable items being sold off left and right, then try watching ‘Picker Sisters’, ‘American Diggers’, or any other show on this list. ~ Adam Pothitos

True Hidden Gems

The hosts of ‘American Pickers’ are truly exciting to watch as their enthusiasm about junk is honestly contagious. Exactly how much of the show is scripted is up for debate but no one can deny that the hosts love their jobs.

After all, a look at Mike Wolfe’s shop and his life should be enough to convince even the most hardcore skeptics.


Shows Similar to ‘American Pickers’…

‘Toy Hunter’ (Travel Channel, 2012- )

The world of collectible items is not just populated by antiques. In fact, there’re some toy sets, action figures, and other items based on popular media that go for thousands of dollars. ‘Toy Hunters’ introduces us to that world as the show chronicles the life and work of Jordan Hembrough, a famous toy dealer.

In each episode, Jordan goes to a different US city in order to find a specific item or just ransack places in search of valuables. The people and items that Jordan finds are incredibly interesting and the celebrity appearances result in some incredibly fun episodes.

Though there are plenty of cool items showcased in the series, Jordan has a favorite list of his own.

Similarity Match: 90%
‘Toy Hunter’ is like the geekier cousin of ‘American Pickers’ as Jordan lives for Star Wars memorabilia while Wolfe is probably sustained by the dust of antiques.

‘American Digger’ (Spike, 2012-2013)

Most shows that focus on hidden treasures and valuable junk usually adopt an informative tone with some humor thrown in for good measure. ‘American Digger’, however, is one of the funniest shows of its kind, even amidst all the controversy. The main host, Ric Savage, constantly delivers humorous remarks and jokes which add to the show’s lighthearted nature.

In addition to that, it’s always amusing to watch the reactions of home owners when Savage tells them that he wants to dig in their land. The excavations and the recovered items may be interesting but the crew is by far the most entertaining part of the show.

Similarity Match: 85%
You’d probably not want Ric Savage shouting next to your ear while he’s digging up your yard but ‘American Digger’ makes for a very entertaining show.

‘Picker Sisters’ (Lifetime, 2011)

Tracy Hutson and Tanya McQueen have just opened up a home décor store in Los Angeles and they travel the US looking for pieces to add to their collection. The two hosts search pretty much anywhere they can, from people’s homes to abandoned properties.

‘Picker Sisters’ had a lot of potential but most of it was unfortunately squandered. The show didn’t really know what it was aiming for so the result was kind of messy. Still, there are quite a lot of enjoyable moments and a bunch of cool items that may be worth your time.

Similarity Match: 80%
The ‘Picker Sisters’ may not appeal to everyone but at least their show follows a format that everyone’s familiar with.

‘Auction Hunters’ (Spike, 2010-2015)

Whereas most other shows on this list focus on collecting items from antique shows, flea markets, or private homes, ‘Auction Hunters’ focuses entirely on storage units. The show focuses on the very best finds of hosts, Haff and Jones, which are usually appraised by specific experts.

Both hosts are very entertaining but the items they find are not always particularly interesting. After all, the show is mostly interested in making a profit and not in showcasing fascinating objects. Still, ‘Auction Hunters’ is a very amusing show, even if we’ve seen a lot of similar ones lately.

Similarity Match: 75%
‘Auction Hunters’ confirms the simple truth that storage units are like buried chests; some contain treasure while others just contain dust.

‘Bargain Hunt’ (BBC One, 2000- )

One of the longest-running series of its kind, ‘Bargain Hunt’ differs from TV series like ‘American Pickers’ because it’s actually a competitive show.

Each episode features two teams who are given some money and thrown into an antique fair with the sole objective of finding the most valuable items.

‘Bargain Hunt’ is exciting and often hilarious, though some episodes are better than others. The good thing is that the show has undergone a lot of change so its format hasn’t become stale. Still, the show features some amusing characters, some unique locations, and a competitive spirit that’s sorely missing from similar shows.

Similarity Match: 70%
Watching the polite participants of ‘Bargain Hunt’ run around frantically in search of valuables is very amusing, not to mention that you’ll see more antique fairs than you’ve ever bargained for.


If You Like ‘American Pickers’, You Will Like…

‘Junk Gypsies’ (HGTV, 2011-2015)

Most antique shows are interested in finding, restoring, and selling anything they find for profit but not every item is a priceless collectible. Even so, “junk” items have loads of different purposes. For ‘Junk Gypsies’, every item can be recycled or repurposed, a notion that they’ve tried to instill through their show and their shop.

The ‘Junk Gypsies’ are two sisters who simply use unwanted items to create whatever they want. An old chicken crate can become a one-of-a-kind table, for instance. Aside from fixing up old items into new ones, the girls also scout a variety of locations for unique items to add to their collection.

Unless you’re planning on bringing back alchemy, ‘Junk Girls’ is probably your best shot at watching junk being transformed into treasure.


The Other Meaning of Junk TV

The rise of shows like ‘American Pickers’ was pretty much inevitable after the success of similar endeavors like ‘Pawn Stars’.

Still, we are living in an era where some of the most popular shows on TV are essentially about junk. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but it’s still a very unlikely trend that probably came as a surprise to most people.

In case you’d like to chat about other series similar to ‘American Pickers’, drop a comment down below!

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