Pawn shops in Singapore tend to be dark, dusty affairs that exude an air of dreariness. In the US though, you get pawn shops so fascinating that entire TV series are created for them.
After eight successful seasons, HISTORY’s Pawn Stars is back for yet another rip-roaring season. The now-famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas is jointly run by three generations of men from the Harrison family – grandfather Richard, son Rick, grandson Corey – and their friend Chumlee. As with any family business, tensions can run especially high but the camaraderie and candour between the guys and their customers make the show highly addictive. Plus, there’s the thrill of not knowing what customers might bring in next.
Rick and Corey Harrison were currently in Singapore to promote season nine of Pawn Stars, so we knew we had to get their secrets on negotiation.
What’s your number one tip when it comes to negotiating?
Rick: Knowing when to walk away. Before buying or selling a product, you should already have done your research and have a price in mind. That way, you’ll know when a deal is just not right for you, and you can walk away.
In your experience, are men or women better at haggling?
Rick: Definitely women. After all, my wife got me to marry her! [laughs]
Tell us about the weird stuff you’ve been offered.
Corey: The weirdest has got to be a bag of skulls. The guy who tried to pawn it told us he got them from a dental school auction. But we also get things like parrots, dogs and snakes. We don’t take live animals though, but there are a couple of pawn shops out in the West [in America] that do.
How has life changed after Pawn Stars?
Corey: The good part is, we now have a bit more money so we live in nicer houses and drive nicer cars.
Rick: Yeah, and in Las Vegas [where we live], we can walk into any restaurant we fancy and get a table even though the place is booked out. Oh, and of course, getting a free trip to Asia! [laughs]
Corey: Of course, it can be troublesome at times. I recently broke my leg and had to be in a wheelchair. This guy came into the shop and kept insisting on taking a picture with me. That was more than a little bit annoying.
What do you think is the reason behind the success of Pawn Stars?
Rick: There’s a bit of everything for everyone – the thrill of the negotiation, the family interaction and of course, there are interesting history lessons as well.
Rick, we know you’re a huge history buff. Are there any historical artifacts that you hope to see come through your doors?
Rick: Well, I’ll love to see the Holy Grail but obviously that’s not going to happen! That said, I’m constantly fascinated by the things that come through our doors – we’ve gotten everything from maps from the 1600’s to 500-year-old books.
Pawn Stars is available every Monday evening at 10pm on StarHub TV Channel 401 and HD Ch 455.
About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.
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