Picking up bargains can be fun
ONE man's rusty tractor seat is another man's treasure in the new Foxtel series Aussie Pickers.
The local version of the hit US series American Pickers sees Sydney-based treasure hunters Lucas Callaghan and Adam McDonald scouring the countryside for the best collectables, antiques and hidden gems.
From bottles to signs and cameras to cricket bats, they will buy anything they think they can clean up, repurpose and sell.
But their picking adventures are as much about the people they meet and the stories behind the objects they collect as it is about turning a profit.
"Everyone who collects, they've got a certain mentality and basically it's 'if I don't collect it and save it, then it's going to go into landfill and it's gone forever'," McDonald told the Guide.
"I hate the fact today that everything is disposable.
"I showed my 15-year-old nephew a vinyl record and he had no idea what it was. It was horrible. I almost threw it at him."
A former bricklayer and hip-hop DJ turned auctioneer, McDonald doesn't fit the Antiques Roadshow mould.
He wears runners and a baseball cap and has a pretty impressive array of tattoos.
Tagging along with the film crew during a visit to a collector's shed in Geelong, I watch as the pickers rummage through dusty shelves, stacks of oil cans and a yard full of what the general public would consider junk.
McDonald is the yin to Callaghan's yang. The two men are clearly looking for different things and will shout out if they find something they think the other will like.
"I'll buy anything I think I can sell," McDonald said.
"I throw it straight to auction, whereas Lucas will sit there in his shop and polish it up. He'll get a bit better price for it but I work on the weight of numbers."
Standing more than six feet tall, Callaghan cuts an imposing figure but has a gentle soul.
He specialises in restoring and repurposing, particularly lights, but he won't pass up a tea set if he thinks it's worth something.
"You do miss some times. The trick is keeping as knowledgeable as possible," he said.
"Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it."
Equal parts bargain hunting, road tripping and storytelling, Aussie Pickers will inspire you to hit up the garage sales this weekend.