TruTV’s “Hardcore Pawn” stars, Seth Gold and sister Ashley Broad, are professionals at uncovering the hidden value in items most people consider junk. Seth and Ashley are children of Les Gold, a third-generation pawnbroker and owner of American Jewelry & Loan in Detroit.
Gold and Broad have both been involved with the family business for years and help audience members see if they have any valuable items.
Gold and Broad gave us a few expert tips on how to walk out of a pawn shop a winner and how to tell if you have any hidden treasures in your home.
When You’re at the Pawn Shop:
Leave Your Emotion at the Door
Gold says if you buy things with emotion because you think it has intrinsic value, it doesn’t. Emotional ties are never good when it comes to buying or selling your goods.
Go into a Pawnshop with Your Price Limit
Going to a pawn shop is a way to save money. Pawn shops get things for less because they’re buying them from individuals and prices are typically 70 percent cheaper than retail. Gold says items priced $1,000 at the mall would usually be around $250 to $300 in a pawn shop, so always be prepared with research of comparative retail prices.
Don’t be Afraid to Walk Away
When you’re trying to purchase something and can’t seem to close the deal, walk away. Gold recommends exiting immediately because there’s always another deal waiting in the wings.
The best advice when negotiating? Don’t be afraid. Gold explains that most people are afraid to make a deal. Your question should always be ‘how inexpensively can I purchase this?’ Be confident. Know your product. Know the value. Just because something is marked $500 doesn’t mean it is worth $500. Gold says even at department stores, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. You never know if a sale is starting the next day.
When You’re in Your Home Look For:
Always look for brand names. Gold recommends Baccarat and Limoge as good glass companies. He also says glass is made everywhere, but the best glass tends to come from France and Italy.
Look closely at your jewelry. Gold says if you see HGE (heavy gold electroplate), GP (gold plated) or RGP (rolled gold plated) on the piece, they’re worthless. However, if you see 750 (750/1000 gold, which is equal to 18K gold), PT (platinum) or 18K, then you have valuable items.
Always check to see if it’s sterling silver or silver plated. Gold says plated silver is trash, but sterling silver is the find of a lifetime. He says companies such as Cartier and Tiffany & Co. produce very valuable silver.