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.