TEGA CAY — What started as a fun weekend hobby for Megan Eager and Rob Hoover has turned into a spot on History Channel’s “Picked Off” TV show and a chance at $10,000.
At 10 p.m. Wednesday, the couple will appear on the premiere episode of “Picked Off.” In the show, weekend “pickers” go head-to-head in a series of elimination challenges to find items they think have a high resell value. The four teams, including Eager and Hoover’s team, begin with $100 each to spend on one item. With time ticking away, the teams dig through barns looking for the perfect pick.
The team who brings in the lowest valued item gets “Picked Off” while the remaining teams compete in more challenges, ending with one $10,000 grand prize winning team.
Eager and Hoover, Tega Cay residents, work for a beverage company and often travel together. When they’re traveling, they like to take back roads or the the long way to their destination, keeping their eyes peeled for barns full of antiques or flea markets.
Some of their favorite items to pick are vintage gasoline station signs, vintage oil cans, cars and car parts. They have a special love of Volkswagen buses and have bought and sold several, including one from 1960 that they are trying to restore.
Their biggest “pick” so far has been a VW bus they bought it for $3,000 and, without doing any repairs or work on the car, sold for $20,000.
Some of the things the couple pick end up in their home, like Hoover’s collection of vintage oil cans. Others are sold on eBay, Craigslist, or other online communities.
“Everything is always for sale,” Eager said.
The money they make from picking goes right back into their hobby, they said. They more they make, the more they can pick.
The two are fans of “American Pickers,” the History Channel show that made picking a well known hobby. When they read the History Channel was starting another show for pickers, the pair put in an application, went through an interview process, and then spent several months wondering if they’d be selected.
They got a call “out of the blue on a Saturday,” Hoover said and were asked to get on a plane Monday morning. They flew to the Gulf Coast, where the episode was filmed, and spent six days filming the program, from sunup to sundown, he added.
Part of the challenge when picking is not only finding something worth buying, but also negotiating with the seller. Negotiating also plays into the challenges on “Picked Off.”
“We just figured we’d be ourselves,” Hoover said. “That usually works out for us every day. We’re a fun couple and Megan can strike up a conversation with anyone, so that helps.”
Hoover and Eager are hosting a viewing party Wednesday night for their family and have told no one how they fare on the show.
“Not my mother, not her mother. We’ve told no one,” Hoover said.
The $10,000 prize, if they win, will go “right back into picking,” he said.
Win, lose or draw, life as usual will continue for the couple on Thursday morning when they’ll head out on another business trip.
Their plan for this trip is the same as it always is.
“We’ll take the long route and do some more picking,” Hoover said.