When I was a kid, my Mom and I passed a pawn store in my hometown. I asked her what a pawn store did. She told me. I could tell she didn’t think that the concept of a pawn store was fair – giving up a beloved item for a fraction of its worth and then having to pay back that money, with interest. So I looked down on pawn stores for many years, too.
When I heard about Pawn Stars, the show on the History Channel, and its seedy-looking cast, I was kind of disgusted. “Why are they glorifying pawnbrokers?!” I thought.
Then I watched the show.
And I really enjoyed it.
1. People who pawn their belongings aren’t on the air.
Owner Rick Harrison told Entertainment Weekly last year that, “most people pawn stuff, but most of the time, those people really don’t want to be on television.”
2. It’s a great primer in salesmanship.
Rick Harrison gets a maniacal glee in his eyes every time he’s on the air. He never lets a seller know how badly he wants to buy an item except during the on-camera confessional. It’s excellent to see how he haggles, because he knows he has the upper hand, and he is always willing to walk away.
3. Most prospective sellers get the “greedy” edit.
Whether they’re actually avaricious or not, you end up rooting for the pawn shop owners, because sellers come off as ignorant in their on-camera confessionals. Like the guy who bought a Rembrandt etching for $10 and was annoyed that he was only going to get $1200 and not $5000.
4. The show gives good history lessons.
Rick, his father (Richard Benjamin Harrison aka “The Old Man”), and his son Corey always bring in authenticators when they are not sure about a certain product’s pedigree. It fits well with the History Channel brand.
5. It entertains.
Corey’s friend, the blank-faced Chumlee, is obviously not as dumb as he acts, but he’s an entertaining actor, because he plays the part so well. It’s funny watching him argue and react with the other Pawn Stars, especially The Old Man.
If you are interested in an entertaining lesson on salesmanship and history, watch an episode and let me know what ya think!