Comments: 392 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

Huntard-198 karma

Do you have battletoads?

pawnbroker007 karma

Yes. DM me for the store address - $9.99

lie4karma57 karma

Honestly, do you always try to get the best deal for yourself or do you try to be fair?

For example, there was an episode of Pawn Stars where a woman brought in a very valuable piece of jewelry. She had no idea what it was and only wanted a little bit. Rick told her he couldnt give her that much because it would be wrong and gave her exponentially more than she requested. I remember thinking to myself that had the cameras not been rolling he would have given her the lower amount.

Has anything like that ever happened with you?

pawnbroker0079 karma

Yes - and honestly the cameras and your shops appearance and going to drastically affect your decision. I have gone both ways - one time I bought $1,200 worth of gold for $130, I could have offered him $500 but I didn't. Another time , a women who reminded my of my mom came in with about $800 worth of gold, she only wanted $100, I gave her $380.

alwfarr43 karma

What is one item you wished you had never sold?

pawnbroker0069 karma

We once sold a car to this foreign lady, she came back EVERY day for 2 weeks complaining about a new issue she found with the car. Finally after about 15 repairs, we refunded her money. I wish I never would have sold her that car!

aislandlies28 karma

I always wanted to work at a pawn shop. What's the employee discount like and could I get the link for the eBay store?

pawnbroker0049 karma

There is no set employee discount - how much you pay for an item will depend how much we have in a item. Let's say we have a $100 item, but only $15 in it. The shops owner could say - let me make $10. Every item is different, so employees are constantly scoping for things worth buying. However, if you purchase merchandise from us for a great price , then try to flip it on eBay Craigslist, we will fire you.

ADIDAS24720 karma

Can you legally do that?

Once they purchased something it is theirs to do with as they please and I don't think you can set restrictions on any purchase. It's called a "Sale Doctrine" or something.

I believe the Supreme Court has ruled on this when students tried to sell their text books on their own and the publishers claimed that they purchased the books agreeing they wouldn't re-sell them on their own.

It was found unconstitutional and they sided with the purchaser/re-seller.

These details aren't exact, but just thought you should know since you are opened to a wrongful termination lawsuit which will end up costing you a lot more than some sill thing being sold on eBay

pawnbroker0011 karma

The answer is - yes.

TrevorKillsMichael5 karma

What if the person got bored of the item and decided to sell it on eBay 5 months later?

pawnbroker002 karma

That's a little different. When you buy something deliberately to flips - that's the problem.

bulliver26 karma

How do you identify or otherwise deal with stolen items that people bring in to your shop? Does it happen often?

pawnbroker0039 karma

Great question - we run all of our pawns through a website called Leadsonline. That website will cross reference serial numbers with the local police station. About 1.5-2% of merchandise will get put on police hold, a detective will come in and assess what happened and who to release the merchandise to.

Bob_Sconce19 karma

Is that the only way? Let's say that I came into your shop, said "That's the chop-saw that somebody stole from my garage last week" and then pointed to the hidden location where my name was sharpie'd on.

Asking because people often don't have serial numbers of stuff that's stolen.

redfeather121 karma

This deserves an answer.

I made a knife (one of my hobbies is blacksmithing) engraved and etched my name and brand (raised on a horse ranch, I have a registered brand) which is also branded on my arm, (if I am going to brand my horses and cows, I might as well have gone through it myself, in a way I did and have it on my arm) My brand goes on everything I make for myself. I have a logo I stamp on stuff I sell. Anyway one of my brother's friends stole this particular knife it was a triquain. (3 inch wide blade at the base moving to a point at its 16 inch length) Anyway, I call every pawn shop in the area, describe the knife, one says yeah we got it, a guy came in and sold it to us. I called the police, showed up and they sold it after my call. I seriously walked in with the cop working the burglary and the manager was like, how do we know it was yours, I showed him pictures of me making it AND my arm with the brand and said, this is how you know. They got in trouble for selling it, I seriously think they just took it out of the shop, this place was well known for buying suspicious stuff. This was also 20 years ago.

pawnbroker003 karma

That's messed up, we never pull that kind of stuff. If that happened in my shop - the police report may not hold up, but you could present the evidence to me, and when the item is for sale I would sell it back to you for what we have in it.

Fergle9322 karma

Yeah columbus!! What is the oldest item you have pawned? How often do you catch people with "fakes" and how do they react?

pawnbroker0061 karma

Everyday people will bring in fake gold - we just turn it away and most of them don't question it. My favorite is when a girl comes in with her " man " and tries to pawn something fake he gave her. Her reaction is priceless...

st0len4414 karma

So Hardcore Pawn does show a fraction of reality..

pawnbroker0032 karma


LukeEnglish21 karma

What's the most ridiculous item that you've seen someone has tried to sell?

ninja edit: Ohio represent!

pawnbroker0035 karma

A human spine and foot! We pawned them for $100 and sold them on eBay for $400 when they came for sale ;]

Cunthead20 karma

I didn't think eBay allowed for the sale of human body parts. I remember seeing the other week some dickhead trying to auction off his wisdom teeth or something and they shut it down.

pawnbroker0024 karma

There are always loopholes to the system my friend :]

NEWER_USER118 karma

Are your front line staff any different than most retail workers? Are they required to know a significant amount about a variety of items, or is that left mostly up to management?

It sounds like an incredibly interesting job with a huge variety in daily interactions, I'm jealous. Want to let me commute from Illinois? My degree isn't doing me any good anyway.

pawnbroker0020 karma

Yes - front line staff! Knowledge is power. We have 15 people working front line - but only 5 of us are allowed to touch money, we also handle higher loans ( $1,000 + ) and must constantly monitor loans written. With the amount of different items coming in, the managers are constantly authenticating gold, double checking values, and finding jewelry tickets in the safes.

NEWER_USER19 karma

Awesome! What do you feel is the most important quality for your staff to possess? Knowledge of various items, loan processes, precious material markets, etc.?

pawnbroker0015 karma

Patience and common sense. Anyone can learn the pawn business , but if you don't have patience with customers, you won't get very far. You have to be able to handle stress well, my store constantly has a line out the door. You can't rush a loan and make a mistake that cost the shop money because you got frustrated and rushed something.

jim7198916 karma

Do you feel the behavior of the Management at American Jewelry and Loan is appropriate? I understand people get out of hand but given the chance I would not go into that business because of how they portrait themselves on the show.

pawnbroker0028 karma

I do not agree with how they treat people on the show. They TRY to provoke people. In some ways it can detour business from our shop - which we don't appreciate. We try to treat customers with respect, and always try to defuse a situation before it gets out of hand.

Nathan_Flomm4 karma

Do you believe that the show is actually representative of how they treat people or do you think that the producers artificially created tension to create a better show? I believe the latter.

pawnbroker007 karma

Me too , I know a couple guys who work down the road. One day a guy walks in and asked them if they wanted to make a little extra money and be on TV. I couldn't imagine them ACTUALLY treating customers that bad, but after all the money the show brings in I wouldn't be surprised.

8crazyjakes15 karma

Do you try and avoid shelling out big money for one-of-a-kind items because you know it will sit unsold for an extended period of time? How do you decide which big ticket items you will persue?

pawnbroker0024 karma

Not really - if the item is worth it and we know we can sell it, we will invest in it. We make our money off interest - so if someone pawns their $30,000 Cadillac for $15,000. We will make over $500 a month on JUST the interest. Most of the time they will pick their items up, if not we could always flip it quick for $22-25k

Nathan_Flomm15 karma

What's the effective interest rate that your customers pay when they want to come back to pick up their collateral?

pawnbroker0024 karma

We charged $4 storage and 5% monthly , if a customer borrows $100 on an item and the customers redeems the merchandise before 30 days, he will pay us back $109 to get his merchandise back.

bcarlzson18 karma

that is actually a very reasonable amount when you think about your main competition, payday advance/check cashing centers.

Do you charge the storage as a 1 time fee or $4 per item per month?

pawnbroker0015 karma

Per item per month

Nathan_Flomm7 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA and responding. Do most of your customers pay you back within 30 days? What if I needed a loan for 6 months? What's the longest term loan you would offer? How much would that cost me? What's the average customer get charged?

Did the proposed federal legislation to curb interest rates affect you?

pawnbroker007 karma

Our loans are for 60 days with a 30 day grace period. If you need more time , you can simple make an interest payment and extend your loan for another $30. You can keep your item in the pawn shop forever as long as you make payments!


Sorry to hijack this question, but as you said, as long as a borrower keeps paying to extend their loan, pay the interest and their fees; a pawned item can remain in your store forever.

What item sticks out in your head, that has been in the back room the longest?

pawnbroker002 karma

Too many to count - some people don't understand that eventual they have paid 1000% more than their item is worth. We have loans for the 90's.

abagofchips052515 karma

Is there anything that someone brought in you thought was so cool/valuable, you kept it for yourself?

pawnbroker0025 karma

I bought this SICK party/strobe light -turns my apartment into a nightclub! I buy everything here, the employee discount is UNREAL. If you look at my apartment about 90% of it came from the pawn shop.

unmined15 karma

Thanks for the AMA. In terms of drama ... people flipping out, being ejected, is there even a shred of realism on Hardcore Pawn?

How often do you have to consult with "experts?"

What tools do you use to evaluate value on items?

What is the ratio of items pawned v/ items you buy?

pawnbroker0032 karma

Great questions -

We NEVER call in experts. Waste of time. Most of the time on a loan we only make a small interest fee, so it's not worth it to call in someone who specializes in that field. Occasionally we will phone a buddy , just to ask some basic questions about authentication.

Drama - About once a week we will get some completely irrational customer who will make a HUGE scene, typically when someone loses their merchandise to the pawn shop. We rarely have to escort someone out of the shop.

We mostly use eBay sold listing to find an items value - we also sell on eBay so if an item comes for sale we have a good idea what to expect from the listing.

We pawn about 70% of merchandise and purchase about 30%!

unmined5 karma

Thanks for the answers. Can you link your ebay store? I'd like to see the merch.

pawnbroker008 karma

I will DM you the link right now :]

ilikelegoandcrackers3 karma

Thank you for answering questions here. How close is your sale pricing compared to ebay completed listings values?

pawnbroker008 karma

Pretty close - let's say a laptop is $150 at Walmart, and on eBay it sells for $100. I don't have an issue selling the laptop for $85 because after eBay fees, pay pal and shipping , we'd clear a little less.

admiralkit6 karma

$150 laptops from Wal-Mart, ugh. Brings back terrible memories of my first real job - I got to do tech support for those piles of junk.

pawnbroker003 karma

That was an example - I really hope they don't sell laptops for $150!

mikeblack26514 karma

Has there ever been an item that you refused to buy or pawn?

pawnbroker0027 karma

Yes - one lady came in with a PlayStation 3. On the top it had " Please do not PAWN - stolen. " scratched in with a razor blade. She tried to sharpie over it, but I still made out the words. I couldn't in good conscious take it.

mikeblack26510 karma

Do you have to contact the police in cases like that, or do you just not take it and send them away?

pawnbroker0011 karma

I just sent her away, no need to make a scene. She most likely just took it to another pawn shop down the road. There's 50+ in Columbus.

Badm13 karma


pawnbroker0028 karma

The worst mistake I've made was about a month ago, I thought I struck gold. I bought $1,500 worth of Lifeproof iPhone 5 cases. They ALL turned out to be cheap knock offs. Huge bust.

Eldrazi10 karma

Im actually really interested to know how that conversation went down with the one selling you the cases. Did he have a good story? $1500 in lifeproof cases walking into a pawn shop just seems silly to me.

pawnbroker0013 karma

I actually found him on Craigslist. I asked him to bring in a couple , then when I saw what they sell for on eBay I asked how many he had and purchased them all... My heart dropped when I found out they were fake.

Taurik11 karma

How often do people attempt to pawn items that were clearly stolen?

pawnbroker0011 karma

I'd say about once a week, someone will come in with something CLEARLY stolen.

Maggioman10 karma

ITT: do you have battletoads?

Seriously people, this guy donates a few hours of his time to answer questions and that is the question you ask?

Question, what is usually the best way to negotiate a price if you are buying or selling?

pawnbroker007 karma

Good questions my friend - do your research. Use eBay sold listing to figure out an items value, then base your negotiating off that - wave some cash in our face. Money talks - most employees will give you a good deal on something just to make a sale.

samsuh10 karma

are there any types of items someone would get a good value at, buying from a pawn shop, as opposed to somewhere else?

pawnbroker007 karma

Well a pawn shop has a constant changing inventory - you can pretty much find anything you'd ever need here, at a discount price too!

liamt257 karma

How much will you give me for a this chalice that once contained the blood of Jesus Christ?

pawnbroker0011 karma

I'd have to call in and have my expert appraise it.

diddletheskittle7 karma

As a consumer, what tips do you have for negotiating a better deal for both buying and selling items in a pawn shop setting?

pawnbroker0026 karma

The secret to buying cheap my friend is in the code. Most pawn shops train employees to talk and understand different codes - letters that mean numbers. FKK = 400. Typically on the price stickers there will be what looks like gibberish, example: FKKLSODJ - the FKK means 400 , that means the sop has $400 in the item. The rest of the letters ( LSODJ ) are there to disguise the code. If you crack this code you will have the upper hand for sure. If you find a $100 radio that the pawn shop only paid $15 for , you are MUCH more likely to get a killer deal then if the pawn shop had $50 in it. Most pawn shop employees will make sale prices up depending on how much the shop has in the item. You could always sell something to a pawn shop - wait for it to hit the floor then cross reference the gibberish with how much they paid you.

longnome5 karma

Does it make you laugh and shake your head when ignorant people say you're ripping people off and call you scum or thieves? I think these people need to work at a pawn shop for a good week during the aftermath of the tax refund frenzy and realize how shitty most of the customers can be. I've worked at a pawn shop for a couple years and I hate people more and more every day! But I absolutely love my job

pawnbroker006 karma

Hahaha some of these comments got me laughing - someone will ask for a honest answer and when I give it him I'm the bad guy. People don't understand what it's like negotiating with dope boys all day.

Napalm_Nips5 karma

is the prowler for sale?

pawnbroker004 karma

Not yet ;]

mihaig5 karma

Hey thanks for doing this AMA!

First question is, do you have an FFL? If you do, what's generally the price point you purchase firearms at? (ie. what % of msrp do you buy and sell at) What is one thing you look for when buying firearms! For someone who might be interested in purchasing used firearms from a pawnshop what do you recommend we look for?

pawnbroker0015 karma

YES! I could tell you our FFL number backwards. Whenever someone gets a gun out of pawn they have to file a background check , we used to call in the FFLs but now it's all on a website. We always price check our guns on gunbroker sold listings, ( kind of like eBay sold listings for guns )

When buying a gun from a pawn shop - be careful. We normally price them around what they sell for retail. Do your research and make us a good offer, we'll probably accept.

beginagainandagain3 karma

how much for the dodge viper?

pawnbroker007 karma

NFS :]

sexybaboonbutt3 karma

How much of the money comes from sales compared to pawns? Ask because I was at a pawnshop the other day waiting on something for about an hour and sold nothing the whole time I ways there but had about 15 people coming in paying off and pawning stuff, and numerous calls regarding their status.

pawnbroker007 karma

We make a large portion of our money on interest , sales not so much!

Trivisual3 karma

Has anything ever broken in storage? Im thinking like pawning a highend PC to jimmy down the street, whats insurance like for something that I give you working, come back in three weeks and its borked?

pawnbroker006 karma

Yes! All the time - we are a large shop and it's bound to happen. We try our best to replace it with exactly what we broke though!

TimelordNitori3 karma

My friend has a signed copy of Mein Kamf (I probably spelled that wrong) by Hitler. She took it to American Jewelry and Loan and they refused to take it. Would you? if not, how much do you think it'd go for?

pawnbroker0014 karma

Probably not -we'd have a hard time assessing the value and authenticating it. Tell her to go to Vegas and they'll call in the experts!

The1373 karma

How do your prices in-store compare to other used retail establishments?

Say I'm interested in a fairly new laptop that you have in stock, one that goes on ebay for say $350. Is your asking price $350? How much room for negotiation is there?

I'm sure you probably bought it for $150..

pawnbroker009 karma

We will undercut pretty much anyone.

The1373 karma

So a good negotiator should be able to get just about anything for cheap? Any negotiation tactics that work extremely well in a pawn shop?

pawnbroker0024 karma

Remember when Walter White said "Name one thing in this world that is not negotiable. " He was right.

danir-photography3 karma

From conversations with a local pawn shop owner he claimed that the investment required just to open his doors was in excess of $500,000, and he was only open for about 18 months. Are pawn shops... in a good location with desperate customers... a sound investment?

pawnbroker002 karma

$500,000 is a high estimate. I think you could do it with around $250,000.

ShoveMyKarmaUpYour2 karma

Are there any situations where an employee really, really wants an item a customer comes in with but the pawn shop won't buy? How do you handle those situations? I've always wondered that!

pawnbroker003 karma

Yes - typically the employee can pre arrange something before he purchases it, so if the shop wasn't going to take it , I could say , let me make $5-10 when the item comes for sale.

jkrabath2 karma

Do you have the laptop that was stolen from my place?

pawnbroker003 karma

DM me the serial # and I will tell you.

iiDrushii2 karma

On an episode of Hardcore Pawn a man came in and pawned his prosthetic leg. The only reason the owner let him pawn it was because he felt bad for the guy.

Have you ever run into a situation like that where you just accept the item because a person, or their story, tugs at your heartstrings?

pawnbroker003 karma

Several times - we have good repeat customers. We have taken TUBE Tv's before to help customers out. It just depends on who they are and their situation.

Uanaka2 karma

Hi there!

Hopefully you can see this and reply to me, but I was just wondering about the job itself? Hopefully I don't go into sensitive subjects, but how do you like working in a pawn shop? It seems like a really interesting job to get to see different things and objects, and maybe when I go off to college I can get a pawn shop job cause it just seems very fun!

Also, could you message me the link to your eBay?

pawnbroker003 karma

The pawnshop is a fun job - no doubt! It's hard to find another job like it. If you like to hustle and negotiate it's the place to be! Every deal is a little different , it can be stressful but rewarding. It also depends on the location, my store is location in a run down part of town.

afikomen11 karma

Are you like exceptionally good at tennis and ping pong? i think i know who you are....

pawnbroker002 karma

Ping pong :]

throwawayinaway1 karma

What percentage of your deals cost you money? Inventory that fails to sell, or results in a negative ROI.


pawnbroker002 karma

I'd say under 5%

breakingaces1010 karma

My dad is a pawn broker as well!! He has several stores in Oregon and Arizona and used to have them in Las Vegas. EZ Pawn bought his Las Vegas stores a couple years back. Now many ofhis stores are under the name ASAP Pawn. His name is Craig McCall. Any chance you know him?

pawnbroker007 karma

I do not know him - but we actually own and rent a building to a EZ pawn location ;]

KristopherRocancourt-20 karma


pawnbroker0012 karma

Not at all - I couldn't care less about their numbers. I want people to understand how the business REALLY works. A bigger business at that. The reality TV shows have ruined our appearance.

KristopherRocancourt-1 karma

who would win in a fist fight? your crew or the pawn stars guys?

pawnbroker002 karma

My crew, we play dirty