Pawn shops are a very unique and interesting place, as the store is usually filled with fascinating items from classic guitars, coin collections and even ancient objects. But what makes these shops so intruding is that you never quite know for sure who or what will be walking through those doors on a daily basis, as every day is always different.
That very reason may just explain why the show has been such an overwhelming success, as during its debut in 2009, the show was ranked as the second highest rated reality TV show to have ever aired.
If you are not familiar with the workings of a pawn shop, it is basically a shop that offers loans to people that may have a very low credit score, or are simply in need of quick cash. However, unlike banks, pawn shops require the person to offer a physical item in return for a certain percentage of its value.
Pawn shops will rarely ever lose out when dealing with this method because if you aren’t able to pay back the money owed – plus interest – the shop will keep your item and sell it at a much higher price than what you initially received for it. Pawn shops don’t just deal with loans, as they also buy your items. However, don’t expect to receive anywhere near its true value.
Much like all reality TV shows, they are never truly as they seem since producers and close sources to the program have confirmed that staging, scripting, and set-ups have all taken place during its current run. With over 14 seasons and 507 episodes, here are some of the juiciest secrets that the cast of Pawn Stars don’t want exposed to the world.
15. Olivia Black Was Fired Due To Some Raunchy Photos
During Olivia Black’s short stint on the show, she was definitely one of the fan favorites, especially among the male audience. So you can just imagine how confused and angry fans were when she mysteriously disappeared from the series without any explanation at all.
As it turns out, the producers of Pawn Stars fired Black from the show after a series of raunchy photos were posted to a popular adult website. Although Black was fired from the show, Rick gave her the opportunity to continue working at the store without being part of the show. Ultimately, Black turned down Rick’s offer and left the store.
14. Chumlee Has Cost The Store Thousands In Damages
One thing that many fans don’t know is that just before the first episode aired, Chumlee cost the store $20,000 in damages when he accidentally broke a bass guitar that had just been pawned for $700. That’s right, the bass was pawned, meaning that the owner intended to return to retrieve the item.
To make matters worse, instead of reporting the issue or attempting to fix his mistake, Chumlee simply put the pieces back into the box and left it there – hoping that nobody would notice. Unsurprisingly, when the owner returned to collect his item, Rick had no other choice but to pay the owner the full value of the item.
13. Item Valuations Are Extremely Inflated
If you have ever watched an episode of Pawn Stars you will – much like myself – be gobsmacked at the sheer valuations that some of the rather odd items are valued at by the expert.
Surprisingly, despite many producers wanting to keep their show’s secrets under wraps, one producer for Pawn Stars revealed that they use up to 10 professionals to appraise the item to help determine its valuation. What makes this so shocking is the simple fact that the producers always choose the one expert that has appraised the item at the highest price because the higher the item value, the more drama that is brought to the show.
Don’t get me wrong though, despite the items often being heavily inflated, there is nothing quite like the suspense of waiting to hear just how much someone’s unique item may be worth. However, if you’re looking for a more realistic buying and selling show, it might be time to brave the boring PBS version, Antiques Roadshow.
12. Everything On The Show Is Staged
You would be forgiven if you thought that you could walk into the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop and instantly be on camera as you attempt to pawn or sell your unique items. However, surprise, surprise… yet another ‘Reality’ TV show has been outed as completely staged, despite the television show portraying otherwise.
While there may very well be the odd case that someone does randomly come in with a unique or ancient item, it definitely isn’t as often as the show portrays. If someone does come in with an interesting item, producers will request that the customer returns to the shop at a later date during one of the filming periods.
11. Chumlee Has Been Arrested & Remains On Probation
On March 9, 2016 Austin Lee Russell, or better known as “Chumlee” on Pawn Stars, was arrested after Las Vegas police officers served a warrant in relation to a sexual assault case. While searching the star’s home, officers found a dozen weapons, ranging from registered handguns to a shotgun and even unregistered assault-style rifles. Along with the weapons, officers found a gallon bag of marijuana, Xanax, and some methamphetamine.
Luckily though, Chumlee avoided jail time as his lawyers were able to negotiate down to just two charges: felony possession of a firearm and felony possession of a controlled substance. Both of these charges will eventually become misdemeanors once he has completed his counselling and three-year probation period.
10. The Popularity Of The Show Has Hindered Business
Who would have thought that having a TV show that is watched by millions of people around the world could hinder your business? Well that is exactly the case that the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is currently facing. Due to the sheer popularity of the show, the store needs to be temporarily closed when shooting an episode.
Store manager, Travis Benton, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that sales can often suffer because of the show as filming takes place two to five times per day, Monday through Friday. The show’s schedule is often very hectic as Brenton isn’t even informed of what the crew has planned for the following day, until the night before – usually around 6 pm.
Not only does the closure hinder business, but so do the fans as Benton has estimated that one out of a hundred people who pass through the shop are actually there to do business. The rest are just simply there as fans of the show.
9. They Have A History Of Making Terrible Deals
At some point, when running a pawn shop you are going to lose money as every deal has the potential to turn bad – whether it’s stolen or damaged goods, or simply not being able to sell the item.
Although the series has made the shop millions in profit – Rick once made over $100,000 in one day – it has also seen hundreds of thousands in losses. That’s not all though, as the store once lost $40,000 after having to return a pair of diamond earrings that were stolen from their owner. Unfortunately though, the team wasn’t able to retrieve the money they gave to the supposed thief.
8. Corey Is No Stranger To The Law
Chumlee isn’t the only cast member that has had a run-in with the law, as Corey is also no stranger to causing trouble.
In March 2011, Corey Harrison was arrested on suspicion of battery with serious bodily injury and resisting arrest. The police were initially flagged down by a security guard at a bar after Harrison had gotten into a verbal dispute with another patron. However, once law enforcement arrived on scene and spoke to both Harrison and the other guy involved, Corey pushed one of the security guards and slightly pushed an officer. Harrison was then arrested and held in custody for several hours until he was sober enough to leave.
Harrison’s lawyers reportedly stated that the police wanted Harrison to apologize for the verbal spat, but Corey refused as he felt he had done nothing wrong and maintains that he did not get physical with anyone.
7. The Cast No Longer Work In The Store
Say it ain’t so, but Pawn Stars is no different from other reality TV shows as the cast members no longer work within their own store on a daily basis. That’s right, so don’t go expecting to get an autograph or snapping a selfie with Rick, The Old Man, Corey, or even Chumlee as their celebrity status and full pockets no longer warrant them to work in store as part of the sales team.
In fact, the cast will usually only appear onsite when filming is set to take place as the store has become quite the tourist hotspot. The cast isn’t even technically allowed to work behind the counter anymore. Thanks to Nevada’s privacy laws, store customers may accidentally be captured in a photo if fans attempt to get selfies with the cast.
6. They Were Sued By Their Ex-Manager
In 2012, things quickly went south when all three Harrisons along with Chumlee were sued by their ex-manager. Their network wasn’t safe either, as they were also being targeted by the talent agency that represented them, Venture IAB.
The lawsuit came to light when ex-manager, Wayne Jefferies, claimed that the cast of Pawn Stars dropped him after an issue surfaced concerning his handling of their response to A&E’s spinoff show, Cajun Pawn Stars. That isn’t all though, as Venture IAB’s lawsuit alleged that History Channel executives worked with another agent to lure the cast away from them.
Jefferies isn’t just suing the cast of Pawn Stars over the incident, but he is also suing A&E, the History Channel and various executives for interfering with his management deals. While no specific details of the suit were revealed, Jefferies was asking for unspecified damages, whereas Venture IAB sued for more than $5 million.
Eventually, the Venture IAB suit was dismissed, however upon asking Harrison for further details regarding the Jefferies suit, he seemed rather dismissive of the legal drama and stated, “The more money you make, the more times people sue you. People are always going to… eventually go to sue you for something.”
5. Corey’s Weight Loss Wasn’t Natural
One of the biggest transformations to be featured on the show thus far is Corey Harrison’s significant amount of weight loss, as the star has since lost over 192 pounds. Despite seeing Harrison often partaking in exercise in the back of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, there is something that the cast have failed to mention about the weight loss.
In an interview with People magazine, Harrison said that after weighing in at more than 400 pounds, he finally decided to take action against his weight. He stated “I literally drove straight from the doctors to the lap-band center and had the surgery almost immediately. Back then, the surgery was too expensive for my bank account, so I had to pay with four credit cards, but it was something I had to do – I was not going to get diabetes.”
While we are happy to see that Corey is now fit, healthy, and looking fantastic, it would have been great to see the star actually lose the weight naturally. This would have been a perfect opportunity to showcase to his fans that do struggle with their weight that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
4. Chumlee & Corey Both Have Personal Assistants
It’s no secret that Chumlee isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, especially when it comes to his immature nature and overall inability to complete his work correctly.
So it will come as a surprise to many that both Chumlee and Corey Harrison both have their very own personal assistants to do their dirty work – literally.
As we all know, Corey has a very strong passion for motorcycles and cars and often competes in a lot of desert racing. Apparently, the potential heir to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop takes his personal assistant with him everywhere that he goes, even to his dune buggy races in the Nevada desert. Due to the nature of many desert races, Corey often has his assistant clean out his trailer’s septic tank on the long trips – disgusting, we know!
3. The Store Was Sued For Melting Down $50,000 Coin Collection
In late November 2013, a Nevada man – David Walters – filed a criminal complaint alleging that his niece had stolen and pawned his coin collection that was worth $50,000 at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. The woman in question, Jennifer Beckman – his niece – allegedly stole the coins over a period of time and sold them to the pawn shop for a total of $12,375.
Under the Nevada law system, pawn stores must hold onto pawned items for a minimum of 30 to 90 days in the event that the original owner wants to buy back their items. Unfortunately for Walters, coins are not subject to this particular law.
The store spokeswoman – Laura Herlovich – issued a very unapologetic response stating, “In a fast-moving shop, particular our shop, because of its fame, you move things quickly. If the grader is not someone we trust, the cases are cracked open and the coins are sent out to be melted down.” Herlovich even went so far as to say that the collection of coins was not worth anywhere close to the amount that Walters claims.
2. Their ‘Friends’ Aren’t Really Friends
If you have ever watch an episode of Pawn Stars, you will have noticed that the cast always has a friend or expert on call and ready to give a valuation. Well, sorry to break it to you, these so called “friends” are actually hired onto the show by the producers. While many of the experts have been working with the show for years and may have very well become friends, the show seemingly portrays these people as long-time friends of the cast.
Even more interesting is the fact that none of these valuation experts are paid for their services. However, you will have noticed that when they introduce themselves they often state where they work – that’s right, the producers are only paying these people with the exposure. As stingy as it may sound, many of the experts have greatly benefited from the show.
1. The Pawn Plaza Is In Financial Trouble
As the Pawn Stars series continues to grow in popularity, Rick decided to take advantage of the situation and expand his horizons. He decided to open his very own shopping centre – Pawn Plaza. Despite being located just south of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, the Pawn Plaza doesn’t seem to be doing very well financially, as within its first year of opening it has seen five of its tenants close their doors.
Former tenant, Paul Weinstein – owner of Rita’s Italian Ice – said that his business, along with others, were forced out due to dwindling customers and overly expensive rent. Weinstein claims that the tenants of the plaza were promised 100,000 to 150,000 customers per month, but stated that he was lucky if 30 or 40 customers visited his shop daily.
With rent payments doubling in December 2016, and customer attendance dwindling, maybe Rick should have just stuck to the Pawn Industry.
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!