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To comment on classicalsteve from Oakland, CA's post. The most
important point was, as with ANY business situation. : Do your homework
on current market values! I don't think in the case of Pawn stars that
these guys necessarily make an offer based on what YOU think you should
get for it, but rather, what they think or know they can get for the
item. No different than any other wholesale to retail business.
Although there are similarities to antique roadshow, these guys are offering INSTANT CASH in most cases. When they are unsure of an items value, they bring in experts in their field, and they do it while the customer is there. It is funny when the expert says an item is worth 3000 retail and then the customer expects 3000. As Rick says over and over, I can't stay in business paying retail.
As to Steve's comments on collectibles; I don't think they are making 10x what an item is worth. Anyone that stupid to sell so cheaply deserves to get hammered in my opinion. If you are a collector, then you should be doing your own homework on channels to sell through, and there are plenty of them. If you feel your best option is to sell to a pawn broker, then what would you be expecting? Steve, I'd like to know in your opinion, what exactly the value of "culture" is, as you state in your post. They are pawn brokers. That's what the show is about. Your post suggests that the SELLERS of the items are not interested in the money, which is clearly not the case. Every single person is most interested in what they can get for their item. And I also don't agree with your assessment of "the poor seller at their mercy due to lack of knowledge." Knowledge is something that can be acquired, and sellers should obviously have acquired some concerning their items value before entering the arena of buying and selling. Also how could they tell the buyer what they intend to resell the item for when they really never KNOW what they're going to get. Market forces are constantly at work. Personally I think you paint a picture here that these guys are crooks, when in reality, this is business as usual. Buy low, sell high. You are clearly not a businessman. The interaction between the characters is highly entertaining, and somewhat informative as well.
I have just recently gotten into Pawn Stars and I find it to be a great
mix of entertainment and history lessons. The main draw for me is the
simple give and take that goes on between the Pawn Store operators and
the people who bring items in looking to make quick money. Clearly the
biggest draw for this show is Rick, the pawn store owner. Although his
dad (the old man) and his son (big hoss) are big parts of the show, it
is Rick who makes this show interesting and worthwhile. I don't think
that Hollywood could have scripted someone who could make a pawn store
owner a truly likable and complex individual. Rick manages to show
interest and respect to every person who brings in something for sale
while managing to explain his position in understandable terms. The
bottom line is that a pawn shop is a place for people in need of quick
cash to sell just about anything, just at bargain basement prices. If
someone wants to get maximum money for their goods they would have to
do market research, team up with a reputable auction house, or go on
ebay and roll the dice that someone may make a high enough bid.
Otherwise, you can go for the easy money of a pawn shop (albeit much
A couple of final notes about the characters on the show, as I stated earlier Rick is far and away the star of the show and he is really what makes it watchable. His father doesn't contribute a whole lot other than some standard old man talk. His son (Big Hoss) is pretty much a waste of space and contributes nothing to the show unless you like to watch a very (very) large person walking around in Ed Hardy jeans acting like some kind of tough guy. He is a very simple person, clearly having missed many of the complexities of human nature possessed by his father. Finally, Chumlee is one of the most enjoyable characters ever to grace television, the large man-child with a good heart and a simple mind. All in all I would definitely recommend watching this show to anyone.
I was interested at first, but as I learned that the show is fake and
uses actors and items that are from museums, I was set back. Also REAL
customers have widely reported that the main characters are usually not
there and show up only when the show's been shot.
For me, I am interested to see old items and learn their history, but this show is an anticlimax fest where almost non of the items are real or valuable or even rare. And using items from museums and private collections, it's just pathetic.
I don't like their attitudes and the show is overall sort of vaguely interesting, but its fakeness makes it difficult to watch.
Too many produced BITS/SKITS...we've seen Chum driving in his valuable
sports cars in REAL life and know he makes a lot of money. Yet they
send him to financial help guys etc....equals TIME FILLER Too many of
the people "customers" coming into the store are now repeat/regulars.
It was bad enough when they tried to pass off the American Restoration
guy as just a customer. But then that shows customers became Pawn Stars
customers. Casting is lacking in Vegas.
It all tells me the show has run it's course and has nothing left in the tanks. Most things they don't even buy anymore...if they ever bought the items anyways.
I still watch the show, well record it on the DVR...But 60% of the show is now fast forwarded through.
If you want to watch this show...JUST watch the first few years of it NOT the current or new ones.
No, these men are not trying to "rip off" anybody. Having a pro come in and give a value is not a "rip off". They have to (I would think) pay the people that come in to evaluate an item. No one is forcing these sellers to go through with any deal. The Pawn Stars are there to make a profit/living. They are not going to pay $100 for an item valued at $100. Get it? Next time you watch the show, pay attention. They state over and over that they can't make a profit by paying what the item is valued at. They have to store it, clean it, move it, tag it etc. all involving labor. Labor is not free. I am a mechanic and I don't give MY labor away. You Pawn Star haters, get a life. 8/11: Update: The show is staged, also. Not quite real. Of course it is better than that Hard Core Pawn junk. THAT show is 100% fake. Every customer is a screaming, raving maniac? Not likely. I tried watching that one a few times, but, the staged bickering between family members got old quick. Pawn Stars is a pleasure to watch. Hard Core is an insult to my inellagance...intellerjents...intel...SMARTS!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I enjoy this show. Although I think some of the situations are fairly
obviously set up it provides good entertainment. Added to this it
provides the viewer with an education of what certain things are worth
and also how to spot a fake.
A lot of the stuff which comes in covers American History and it is always interesting to see the artifacts which have been dug out of people's lofts.
The interaction between the three generations of Harrisons along with the rather stupid Chumlee is always good for a laugh. Usually Chumlee messes something up each week ......
I like reality shows about interesting people going about their daily routine especially when it too is interesting. This show revolves around a pawn shop in Las Vegas and there are apparently a lot of strange things that happen there so there are going to be some interesting things for people to want to sell. So we get to see during each episode some interesting stuff people bring in, some rare stuff, and some just plain strange things. You also get to see people haggle over price, people getting mad when they are told their stuff is not worth all that much money, and people get really happy as they find their stuff is worth a fortune. The show centers around a dad, his father and the son. It also has a guy called Chumlee who I just can not believe he is as stupid as he appears to be. All the guys are interesting, it is fun to watch when one of them buys something not worth anything and then the others pounce. The show is humorous to go along with seeing all the interesting things people bring in. Things that people have sold on the show include very rare coins, hot air balloons, numerous cars and a whole bunch of other stuff. Things they have not bought include a car that was obvious crap that the guy who was trying to sell it got ticked off when Rick (the dad) backed off after a person with mechanical experience looked at it. All in all a fun show to watch.
Hubby and I were looking for something on one night (lets face it, 500
channels and mostly nothing of worth on to watch) so we switched to
this show out of boredom.
Honestly, its fascinating.
I LOVE this show.
The interaction between the owners and the workers is great to watch. Last night gave me a total laugh when the father said his son was too busy to ride the balloon and Chum was too stupid (and btw, he is. I swear the guys nearly mentally retarded, just not quite which only makes him stupid).
And the items that these guys pick up are just incredible. I'd LOVE to visit this store just once. They must have a treasure trove of museum quality items.
If I'm ever in Vegas, I'm heading to this shop.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I started watching this series from the git go. It was really good until this year (2013). I found the items that the people brought in to pawn or sell very interesting. I learned some very entertaining and even educational stuff at times. The give and take between the "stars" of the show was funny at times but I think it is now taking over the episodes. There is so much interaction with the big boys, both figuratively and literally, that the true purpose of the show is now secondary to the wise cracks, bitching about Chumlee, and watching the Old Man sleep. I used to have the DVR set to record the show but now I just don't watch it anymore.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some members of my family like this show so much, I've been subjected
to watching MARATHONS of it on cable -- amazingly, the cable channel it
is on shows a dozen episodes in a row. Seriously! as if there is
nothing else they could possibly show.
I'm not positive, but I think the granddaddy of these shows was "Orange County Chopper" -- maybe there is something older in this format. That's the first I have watched. A hard-to- believe business, run by a handsome but surly older guy and his doofus sons. They make or sell an unbelievable product, and make a ton of money at it, and joke around about their clients or some imaginary "deadlines".
They took that, and heaping spoonfuls of "Antiques Roadshow" to create "Pawn Stars". First off, there is one terrible problem -- this is not a Pawn Shop (despite the name). Or if it is, or ever WAS a Pawn Shop, that day is over (since the show) OR they hide the actual pawn business somewhere in the back.
Because they virtually never get a customer in to pawn something or get something out of pawn. What these guys are, is ANTIQUES DEALERS. They have a huge store, filled with antiques and collectibles -- some quite rare and expensive -- I have seen them buy 18th century antiques for thousands of dollars. That is NOT what Pawn Shops do.
Furthermore, they keep about half the collectibles for themselves -- a kind of private museum. I can see in a carnival atmosphere like Las Vegas, that such a collection would draw people to look and buy -- but that is not even remotely what normal pawn shops do!
Undoubtedly the success of the show has made the owners millionaires many times over -- probably the source of their wealth and ability to buy fine antiques, NOT the pawn business - - and they are clearly reveling in their stardom, attention and showing off on camera.....redoing the formula from "Orange County Choppers" and others....the staged fights and arguments, the clownish son and fall guy (Chumlee -- who on earth would really employ this loser?).
Worst of all, it is 100% obvious that every transaction is "staged" and that the shows producers are not filming real pawn transactions, but bringing in people with very unusual and rare antiques and then staging an equally fake negotiation over the items. Sometimes, the owners are shown taking one of their "buys" and spending many thousands of dollars on a high end restoration, using what is apparently a team of the finest restoration artists in the country....in Las Vegas? Why would these guys be working in what is a relatively small town (population-wise) based on gambling? Is there some huge subset of Las Vegans who restore old cars or barbershop chairs?
Again: restoration? cool, but nothing whatsoever to do with PAWN SHOPS.
It's purely fake and staged and 100% formulaic. As one poster here says correctly, Americans are obsessed with the "value" of collectibles and the idea that one lucky buy or find will make you "rich". Or that the value just goes up and up (provably untrue: many collectibles have lost value over the past decade).
Even worse, it often looks like "Rick" (owner) and his sons are pretty much taking advantage of uninformed and naive sellers, who would do better on ebay than with these sharks.
Just a thoroughly unpleasant "reality" show that has about as much "reality" as circus.
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