HomeEntertainment‘Pawn Stars’: Does Rick Harrison Get More Customers Who Want to Sell or Pawn?

‘Pawn Stars’: Does Rick Harrison Get More Customers Who Want to Sell or Pawn?

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)

On The History Channel’s Pawn Stars it appears that most people go to Rick Harrison to sell their valuable heirlooms and treasures instead of pawning them. But Harrison says that’s not really the case.

Back in 2010, Rick Harrison was only a year into his still-running hit reality series Pawn Stars. And he sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about the show. During their chat, EW pointed out that most people featured on camera usually sell their goods instead of pawning them. And that’s strange considering Rick Harrison owns a pawn shop.

When someone pawns an item, they intend to come back and repurchase it. In other words, they’ll temporarily hawk their valuable belongings to get fast cash when they’re in a bind. The shop will agree to wait a certain amount of time (usually 30 days) before selling the item. And during that time, the person can come back to the store and buy back their belongings with interest.

Pawnshops will also buy items the old-fashioned way. But pawning is still a major portion of their business. And when you watch Pawn Stars, almost everyone is selling something to Harrison—not pawning it. But Harrison told EW that the show is deceiving when it comes to Harrison’s buying methods. Most people actually pawn their goods at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop. They just don’t want to do it on camera.

“Actually, most people pawn stuff, but most of the time, those people really don’t want to be on television,” Harrison told EW. “Another thing is, it’s regular customers that come in every four or five months — they’re late on rent, and it’s not really that interesting to see a construction worker pawning a saw or the one girl who’s got the same set of hoop earrings every time. It doesn’t make great television. It’s the weird stuff that makes great television.”

Rick Harrison Pitched ‘Pawn Stars’ for Years Before Landing a Deal

Rick Harrison’s Pawn Stars is a lasting, binge-worthy History Channel classic. Just about anyone can find a reason to enjoy watching Chumlee and the gang buy, sell, and track down unique treasures of the world. But in a 2010 interview, Harrison admitted it took a long time to get his show off the ground.

Harrison pitched his reality series idea for years before someone finally noticed that it was a great idea. And when he finally got a deal, the production company came to him “out of the blue.” Or in this case, out of left field.

“I was pitching the show for four years, and nothing ever came of it,” Harrison shared. “Out of the blue, Leftfield Pictures calls me up and says, ‘Hey, we’re thinking about trying to do a reality show in a pawn shop.’ I said, ‘Oh really? I’ve been trying to get this thing going for four years!’ It was really refreshing.”