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Old Jun 16, 2012, 03:13 PM   #1
musty345
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Pawn Stars Thoughts?

As someone who lives in the UK and has never been to a Pawn Shop before I had a few questions which you American/Canadian members might be able to answer and an ethical one which is open to everyone.

1) Has anyone ever been to the Pawn Shop shown in the store, and if so what was your experience like? I've seen a few interesting blog posts about this ( (like this) but most of them seem to be very negative saying that it's a pokey little place, and the stars are never actually there, or they sit in the back signing autographs at $25 a pop. Can anyone share their experience?

2) Do you think Rick in particular is fair with his offers? He seems to offer people around 60% of how much he thinks he can sell the item for, and in my opinion this is pretty fair considering how a lot of the items are quite niche antiques and the risk involved. Also, on several occasions, people have come in asking for something like $2000 for their super valuable antique and instead of taking that offer, he gives them more ($15 000 on one occasion). But some people think he rips people off, what are your opinions?

Feel free to leave any other comments or questions about the show here as well
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 04:10 PM   #2
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I am old and wizened, so I automatically suspect a shill was involved with the $15,000 story. Good publicity.

I would start small, and test the waters first.

If you have something you suspect is special, get several quotes.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 04:11 PM   #3
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It beats the hell out of Hardcore Pawn. I can't stand the daughter on that show.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 04:13 PM   #4
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reality tv is all garbage
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 04:17 PM   #5
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Pawn Shops need to make a living, but on extremely high value items that will obviously sell, they shouldn't be so low.

Some of those people should just sell their item online and stir up as much attention about it as they can. It only takes one buyer.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 05:20 PM   #6
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Isn't the entire business model of a pawn shop to rip people off?
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 06:26 AM   #7
musty345
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iJohnHenry View Post
I am old and wizened, so I automatically suspect a shill was involved with the $15,000 story. Good publicity.

I would start small, and test the waters first.

If you have something you suspect is special, get several quotes.
You're right, it was good publicity but it wasn't just a one off. I doubt he did it for publicity, rather he might have been pressured by the cameras to not be seen as ripping people off. He seems like a nice guy, and all the accounts I've read of people going into the shop suggest that he is as well.

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Originally Posted by SPNarwhal View Post
Pawn Shops need to make a living, but on extremely high value items that will obviously sell, they shouldn't be so low.

Some of those people should just sell their item online and stir up as much attention about it as they can. It only takes one buyer.
Some of these people seem quite desperate, I've seen occasions of them selling their heirlooms for $50 which is nothing for something like that.

Perhaps it's difficult to sell valuable antiques without proper paper work, or without being known as a reputable seller. In fairness to them, they get experts to have a look at the items free of charge and authenticate them. He always refers to the experts as 'buddies', do you think he pays them commission and do you think they have a little deal where they always undervalue the item by 20% or something so he can buy the item for less?

In case any of you haven't seen this yet, this is their eBay store http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Gold-and-Silver-Pawn-Shop It's all Pawn Stars merchandise right now, but I've seen them selling a lot of electronics (like iPod Touches) on there and a few $100-$200 antiques.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 07:30 AM   #8
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I don't know much about pawn shops, but I've got a buddy who's an expert....
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 09:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musty345 View Post
As someone who lives in the UK and has never been to a Pawn Shop before I had a few questions which you American/Canadian members might be able to answer and an ethical one which is open to everyone.

1) Has anyone ever been to the Pawn Shop shown in the store, and if so what was your experience like? I've seen a few interesting blog posts about this ( (like this) but most of them seem to be very negative saying that it's a pokey little place, and the stars are never actually there, or they sit in the back signing autographs at $25 a pop. Can anyone share their experience?

2) Do you think Rick in particular is fair with his offers? He seems to offer people around 60% of how much he thinks he can sell the item for, and in my opinion this is pretty fair considering how a lot of the items are quite niche antiques and the risk involved. Also, on several occasions, people have come in asking for something like $2000 for their super valuable antique and instead of taking that offer, he gives them more ($15 000 on one occasion). But some people think he rips people off, what are your opinions?

Feel free to leave any other comments or questions about the show here as well
If you are not familiar, pawn shops allow individuals to get a loan while holding a physical item as collateral. If they want the item back, they pay back the loan with interest. If not, the pawn shop keeps the collateral for resale. And of course, items can be sold and are virtually the only exchanges they film for the show.

I am a huge fan of Pawn Stars, one of the few reality shows I like. My wife and I have been watching it for quite a while. We find the primary interest are the historical items that somehow appear there to be sold. The shenanigans that go on with the crew are amusing, but I'm always wondering if it's real or staged.

I go to Vegas often and although I've never been to the shop (several miles off the Strip), I've been told by coworkers who have been there that unless they are filming, Rick and his family are never there. I also heard a rumor they were from Minnesota.

Fairness is in the eye of the beholder. My defense of Rick is that he is running a business and they negotiate a price that supports their business. I can't blame them for that.

We may have both seen the same episode. On one show a lady brought in a faberge broach. She knew nothing about it and asked for a couple thousand dollars. Out of the blue, Rick told her, "I'll give you $15000, she replied, "How about $17000?", lol (prices are approximate). So much for being fair, but for all I know the broach was worth $30000.

I've also seen examples when Rick's expert says something is worth $3000, but then Rick offers $800. But most times he'll raise his price so it is a negotiation. It's clear at that point, the seller has to decide how much they need the money versus finding another means of selling their item. There are items brought into the Pawn Shop that have no business being there. Sellers who want a collector's price, need to take it to auction, ebay, or some other venue.

After becoming enamored with this show, my wife and I decided to visit a Pawn America shop. Not nearly as nice as Rick's shop. Most of it was devoted to industrial racks of electronics and tools.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 09:39 AM   #10
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Whats the one with the old man and the fat younger son, that one is my favorite.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 09:58 AM   #11
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If he had offered the woman $2k for the broach, not only would no one watch the next episode, no one would ever go into his shop again....
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 10:05 AM   #12
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I get bored watching it, but I like the stuff people bring in. It's interesting.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 10:12 AM   #13
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I get bored watching it, but I like the stuff people bring in. It's interesting.
That's why I believe it's History Channel's No.1 rated show or used to be.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 10:21 AM   #14
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That's why I believe it's History Channel's No.1 rated show or used to be.
history channel has gone way downhill.

The other night I was watching it and Ancient Aliens comes on, which of course is a hilarious show, but they finally went over the top.

It turns out, our founding fathers were aliens.

possibly

maybe
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 10:26 AM   #15
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history channel has gone way downhill.

The other night I was watching it and Ancient Aliens comes on, which of course is a hilarious show, but they finally went over the top.

It turns out, our founding fathers were aliens.

possibly

maybe
I travel a lot and have notice distinctly different programing depending on where I'm at, including Canada. Some places there seems to be religious shows on all day long. They also seem to like alien programming.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 10:30 AM   #16
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Whats the one with the old man and the fat younger son, that one is my favorite.
Sanford & Son?
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 10:49 AM   #17
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The idea of a pawn shop is you get quick cash money via pawn or sale. They don't have to give you a fair price, the value is in getting quick access to cash. You decide if it's worth it.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 01:24 PM   #18
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Pawn shops in general are there to rip people off desperate for money. The one in Pawn Stars is no different, Las Vegas is probably the best place in the world to have a pawn shop, too, which is why that one is so successful. I believe the way Pawn Stars is set up is a person says they have an interesting item ahead of time, they set up a time and place to meet, camera crew comes in, they film the exchange.

Hardcore Pawn doesn't even focus on the pawning aspect of the pawn business, just showcases uneducated, ghetto, culture. I find it as entertaining because of how ridiculous it is. The way this show is filmed is a camera crew is there whenever it is open and they just walk around, and if anything interesting happens, they go to the exchange.

Both shows every episode have some sort of "side story", all the side stories are fake and scripted.

My brother went to the Pawn Shop in Pawn Stars and was not impressed. There was a line and supposedly there is always a huge line there, it was small, crowded, and everything there was overpriced. Plus half the shop is dedicated to the show's memorabilia.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 01:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musty345 View Post
As someone who lives in the UK and has never been to a Pawn Shop before I had a few questions which you American/Canadian members might be able to answer and an ethical one which is open to everyone.

1) Has anyone ever been to the Pawn Shop shown in the store, and if so what was your experience like? I've seen a few interesting blog posts about this ( (like this) but most of them seem to be very negative saying that it's a pokey little place, and the stars are never actually there, or they sit in the back signing autographs at $25 a pop. Can anyone share their experience?
These days yes, it's exactly like that. When we were there about a year ago we stood in line for 45 minutes just to get inside at 10:00 in the morning. Once inside there were several items on display that were featured in the show, and there were some regular pawn shop type items, but by far the biggest display was for show merchandise. None of the staff that was present were ones that were ever shown on the show. I think the day we were there they told us they were at a trade show in Washington state.

It's a huge tourist trap now, which should really be expected given the success of the show. Also, I've heard several times that Rick shopped the idea of a show about the store for many years before Pawn Stars was started and got popular, so I expect this was their goal all along.

The shop is very small, much MUCH smaller than it appears on the show. It is also in a horrible part of town. We took a taxi to and from it, and unless we had our own car that's the only way I'd do it. They have you stand outside under misters to keep cool and let small groups in at a time so the store isn't completely crammed with people. There are red velvet ropes up to corral you through the store in an orderly fashion, too. These ropes can be seen in some of the newer episodes, but in older episodes they took them down during filming days.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 01:42 PM   #20
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Pawn shops in general are there to rip people off desperate for money. The one in Pawn Stars is no different, Las Vegas is probably the best place in the world to have a pawn shop, too, which is why that one is so successful. I believe the way Pawn Stars is set up is a person says they have an interesting item ahead of time, they set up a time and place to meet, camera crew comes in, they film the exchange.
I believe you are right except they are all lined up to come during filming time.

Quote:
Hardcore Pawn doesn't even focus on the pawning aspect of the pawn business, just showcases uneducated, ghetto, culture. I find it as entertaining because of how ridiculous it is. The way this show is filmed is a camera crew is there whenever it is open and they just walk around, and if anything interesting happens, they go to the exchange.

Both shows every episode have some sort of "side story", all the side stories are fake and scripted.

My brother went to the Pawn Shop in Pawn Stars and was not impressed. There was a line and supposedly there is always a huge line there, it was small, crowded, and everything there was overpriced. Plus half the shop is dedicated to the show's memorabilia.
What do you mean "fake side stories" unless you are talking about the humorous interactions between the Rick and say Chumlee? Yes, I could believe those are staged. The only aspect of the show that at times seems blatantly false is that the owners of this shop always expert on every item that is brought in. I understand if they could become familiar with certain items they see on a somewhat regular basis, but it's when unique items come in and they know all about them.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 02:08 PM   #21
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I live in the same town where they film the TV show Cajun Pawn Stars and all have to say that most of the events and offers in that they show are staged.
Everything about that show is fake.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 02:18 PM   #22
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reality tv is all garbage
if upvotes ever signified the truth level of a post..
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 02:25 PM   #23
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I like the spin off show "American Restoration" very cool stuff gets completed restored, and the lead character is much more entertaining than Rick or his family.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 02:54 PM   #24
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Remember when the history channel actually had interesting historical documentaries instead of a bunch of reality crap that has literally nothing to do with history?

TV in general is in a sad, sad place.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 05:54 PM   #25
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reality tv is all garbage
I don't know if ALL reality TV is garbage, but the vast majority of it sure is. I've been amazed by the sudden surge of "redneck reality" shows like "Lizard Lick Towing", "Hillbilly Hand Fishing", "Swamp People" and "Black Gold", along with all the pawn, auction, motorcycle, and towing shows. There are some I find particularly awful, such as "Operation Repo" (just stupidly scripted) and "All Worked Up" (same thing). Basically, if the characters are over-the-top and the show seems even somewhat scripted, I probably will not like it.

But there are several reality shows that I have enjoyed, like "Deadliest Catch". I also enjoy some of the competition shows like "Amazing Race" and "Survivor".
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