How ‘Pawn Stars’ Success Has Changed the Way Rick Harrison’s Shop Operates

by Michael Freeman

When Rick Harrison and his family got into Pawn Stars, there’s no way they would’ve thought it could be so successful. It’s done so well, in fact, it’s actually changed the way the shop operates as a whole.

KiwiReport recently posted a number of little-known facts about the show. Among them is the show’s popularity made it so Rick no longer frequents garage sales. Formerly, Rick acquired many of the shop’s items through them. It makes sense if you think about it. The people selling often just want to get rid of their stuff and don’t really know their true value. If they did, they’d go to a pawn shop or sell them online for far more money.

However, Rick is easily recognizable now. Pawn Stars fans are wise to Rick’s negotiating and how he often tries to lowball people for a better profit. As is his job. But, he started being turned away from sales. Additionally, Rick himself seems averse to situations like this, so he stopped going.

Though Rick Harrison no longer attends garage sales, it doesn’t seem like the shop is ever hurting for items. The show’s success is a double-edged sword as sellers now flood the shop hoping to hit it big and be on television.

Rick Harrison Details Turning Away Fake Items and People Craving Television Fame

Speaking of television, Pawn Stars has added another new dynamic to the way Rick Harrison discerns whether to do a sale or not. Talking to CBS News in 2015, he detailed turning away fake items and people just wanting to be on TV.

“I’ve got everything from seven human skulls in a duffel bag; the guys bought those from a devil school actually…I just looked at that guy and said, ‘You gotta be nuts.’ I have 200-year-old Japanese porn,” he told the news outlet. “I have maps of the island of California. It just never ends.”

The number of fake and weird items has expanded to the point Harrison has to sift through a hundred before every episode to pick the ones to pursue. “That’s the beautiful thing about my show. … It’s truly different every week,” he said. “We get to pick and choose. Every morning the girl from production comes to me with 100 different items and I go, ‘Fake, fake, fake, fake. … that’s cool.'”

Fake items are just one part of the pawn store spectrum, as Harrison also has TV-hungry people come in. “People come in and they want to be on the show and everything’s great — and then you ask them the price, and they don’t want to sell,” he told CBS. “They just want to be on TV.”

Harrison concludes by saying there’s also only so much he can buy, not to mention he has to find someone to buy what he purchases. It doesn’t matter how cool or weird something is if there isn’t a market for it.