HomeEntertainment‘Pawn Stars’ Boss Rick Harrison Spoke Out on Bad Reputation of Pawnbrokers

‘Pawn Stars’ Boss Rick Harrison Spoke Out on Bad Reputation of Pawnbrokers

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

When the stars of the hit History Channel series Pawn Stars wheel and deal, they take their role very seriously. The goal of the Pawn Stars pawnbroker is to always find the best deal. A deal that works for both the Pawn Stars customer who is selling the item and the store that is buying the valuable product.

The head honcho of the Pawn Stars franchise, Rick Harrison, says that it pays off to be fair when making deals.

If someone is selling something of value, Harrison and his team are dedicated to making sure the customer receives a fair value in return for the item.

While providing fair exchanges is important to the Pawn Stars players, Harrison does note that sometimes people in the pawnbroking business don’t always get a fair shake.

In fact, the History Channel star notes, sometimes people like himself are even vilified in pop culture.

“I don’t know why it is, but if you have one pawnbroker in the news buying something stolen, it just automatically reiterates to every pawnbroker,” Harrison says of his profession.

“But if you see a doctor in the news doing something bad, it’s just the one bad doctor!” the business owner exclaims.

Harrison Says the ‘Pawn Stars’ Business Has Been ‘Villified’ Overtime

The Pawn Stars boss adds that pawnshops have been around for centuries. Often serving as a perfectly viable form of consumer credit.

“Pawn shops have been around for thousands of years,” says Harrison. “They were the number one form of consumer credit up until the 1950s.”

But, says the pawnshop owner, the reputation of his business was overshadowed by some bad press over time.

“We were vilified by Hollywood,” Harrison says. “We were easy people to vilify.”

Certainly, much of the bad reputation surrounding pawnshop owners like Harrison can be attributed to this bias. However, notes the businessman, sometimes they do have to be the villains in someone’s story.

“It’s just one of those things,” Harrison says. The Pawn Stars boss adds that sometimes he does find himself in a position to turn someone down with some not-so-great news.

Especially when he has to tell the owner of an item that what they thought was so valuable, isn’t nearly as valuable as they thought.

Sometimes the Truth Can Hurt

“When someone brings Grandma’s diamond ring into my pawn shop, and I tell her that it’s a very, very bad diamond,” Harrison explains as an example.

“For this girl, her whole life she’s been told that Grandma’s diamond is perfect,” explains the Pawn Stars boss. “She doesn’t want to believe that Grandpa was cheap.”

Of course, this scenario doesn’t happen much in the series. The show is mostly full of unique items people are selling for cash. But, it does happen.

And, Rick Harrison notes, he realizes this type of brutal honesty can be tough to hear. Sometimes, it even underscores the unfair reputation people in his business tend to carry with them.

“That can give a bad reputation to a guy like me,” Rick Harrison admits. “It’s not justified, but it happens.”