‘Pawn Stars’ Dude Rick Harrison Says Pimps Are The Best Customers

06.09.11 6 years ago

For the longest time I’d been sort of fascinated by the fact that “Pawn Stars” actually exists. I mean, really, a TV show about pawn brokers? Like, I really did think that I’d prefer watching a montage of homeless men wiping their as$es with cereal boxes than watch a show about dudes in pawns shops, but one day I finally caved, after some friends basically forced me to sit and watch an episode with them, and what do you know — I actually found it sort of interesting, shamefully. Come to find out, a reality show about a pawn shop in Vegas and the customers they cater to does present some semi-compelling entertainment.

So when the NPR Fresh Air Tumblr alerted me earlier to the fact that they’d just posted a podcast featuring Rick Harrison, one of the show’s stars, I figured I’d take a listen. I wasn’t disappointed!

Here’s Harrison on why pimps are great customers for pawnbrokers…

“When you get arrested for pandering, they take your cash — because the cash was obtained illegally — but they don’t take away your jewelry. And a pimp knows that if he buys jewelry in a pawn shop, if [he] brings it back to a pawn shop and gets a loan against it, [they’ll] always get half of what you paid for it — as opposed to buying it in a jewelry store, when [they] don’t know what [they’re] going to get. So, when they get arrested, they will always have someone bring their jewelry down to me. I will loan them half of what they paid for it — and that’s their bail money.”

Some other compelling nuggets from the interview include his saying that fight nights in Vegas are always good for business…

“Someone has to lose…I don’t know what it is about fight fans. They always bet more than they can afford to lose.”

Here’s how he can tell if a Rolex is fake…

“There’s a list of things that are right on a Rolex watch that’s not right on a fake. The case has to be right. The dial of the watch has to be right. The crystal, the stem, the movement. If everything checks out, everything’s fine. … Fifteen years ago, someone spent probably three- or four-thousand dollars to make a fake Rolex. And I got burned on that one, so it won’t happen again. Someone bought a 1970s Rolex — a really beat-up one, for $700 or $800. They take the movement out. They got a new Rolex face for it. New Rolex hands. New crystal. Made an 18-karat gold case and band for it. And they were in the watch probably $3- to $4,000. I ended up buying it for $5,000. It’s an entire industry, making fake things.”

Listen to the whole interview here. And, finally, of course…

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