Really enjoying all the speculation, especially the assertion that Danielle’s “real” job is as a burlesque dancer ( she owns a dress shop, dances for a hobby) and that helicopters are used for aerial shots (drones are much cheaper).
I participated in the filming of an episode; here is how it went...
An add was put out on radio and newspaper that the Pickers would be coming through, requesting folks with cool collections / antiques to call a production assistant. You are contacted, the collection discussed, pictures of what you have to offer are forwarded, and if they are interested, a pre production team visits. Specific items are chosen and backstory recorded to give the pickets a heads up.
A schedule is developed and early in the morning, a pre-production team arrives, pics locations and camera angles, gets you mic’d up, and walks through the chain of events for the day. The pickers arrived from their host hotel in separate vehicles, a production assistant drove the van. Everybody walks through the opening dialogue, they get in the van and drive down the road, and the production begins. They do go through collection and find things spontaneously, have off-the-cuff commentary, sometimes work a conversation two or three times to try to elicit a greater response from the non-talent. The bartering is real, but so is their interest in some of the more specific items already targeted. Money did change hands, some of the items were sold in their store, others turned up on eBay. They do need to turn a profit, TV royalties are not the gold depository many people think, but they are certainly doing better than their non-TV days.
It was a neat experience for the family, in the end, it is entertainment and some facets of it are unapologetically geared towards that, but more times than not, folks are genuine.
I’d be interested to hear Mike pacek’s experience, since his was more recent.