Aug 27, 2013

    We don't buy from bad people

    History Channel's Pawn Stars sees father-and-son duo Rick and Corey Harrison running the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, alongside the grumpy "Old Man", Richard (Rick's father), 72.

    Rick, 48, and Corey, 30, were in town yesterday to promote the show, and spoke to My Paper about their experiences and gave tips for would-be treasure traders.

    What are the best and worst things about working in a family business?

    Corey: Well, the most annoying thing is that you've got to wait until someone dies to move up (laughs).

    Rick: It's nice to work with my father and son. Most people who have a job get to see their parents once or twice a month, if they're lucky. I get to see my dad and kids every day.

    You guys see collectors of all kinds come through the shop. What do you collect?

    Corey: I have Harley-Davidsons from the 1940s all the way up to the early 2000s.

    Rick: I have a little bit of everything. I've got a 1968 Mustang, a 1968 Triumph and a 1969 Plymouth.

    I have maps from the 1600s and books from the 1500s. Just anything that catches my eye.

    What is the most unusual thing that someone has tried to sell you?

    Corey: A guy came into the shop with a bunch of human skulls in a duffle bag. He got them from a dental school in an auction. I said "no" to that.

    I knew that once I filled out the (paperwork) with "eight human skulls, duffle bag", police were going to come down to check him out, so I thought I'd just skip the whole ordeal.

    Is there anything that you wouldn't buy?

    Corey: Anything related to the Nazis or from World War II.

    Rick: Basically anything that is from bad people, we don't buy.

    What has been in your shop the longest?

    Rick: The Old Man, my father (laughs).

    Corey: We've got a sphinx head that has been there for probably 20 years.

    Rick: It's a head of a pharaoh and it's really big... It's also one of those things that I want to sell, but yet I don't want to, because it has sat there for so long that it's part of the store now.

    What is the most expensive item in the shop that's for sale?

    Corey: (Former United States president) John F. Kennedy's cigar box that sat on his desk.

    It's priced at US$125,000 (S$160,000). It's priced that high because there is nothing like it in the world.

    I've had people look at it a couple of times. But it's one of those things that I'm not looking to sell right now.

    What's a tip for someone who wants to sell something to a pawn shop?

    Corey: Do your research first. Know what the item is worth, know what it's selling for. Don't let me decide.

    If you come into my store to buy something, I have a price tag on it. So, if you come into my store to sell me something, you should have a price tag too.

    Any tips or tricks on haggling?

    Rick: The No. 1 thing is to always be willing to walk away. If you're not willing to walk away, you've lost. If the deal is not right, then leave.

    All of us amateurs are curious to know - how would you differentiate an authentic Rolex from a fake?

    Corey: You start with the crystal of the Rolex - the bezel - then the crown and, at the end of the day, you have to open up the watch and look at its back (to assess) its movement.

    You have to match the numbers on the case to the numbers inside. Everything has to be right. If one thing is not right, then it's not real.


    Pawn Stars airs on History Channel (StarHub Ch 401) on Mondays at 10pm.