Originally Posted by dap325
I've always wondered this. They're in the business to make money. I understand the need for their "experts" in a lot of the situations, but I'm sure there has been a time or two when they knew something was worth a lot of money and neglected to share that with the seller who was happy to walk away with a $100 in their pocket.
If people weren't greedy for the cash NOW then they would never go to a Pawn to sell their goods. That just isn't smart in the long run if you want to maximize the value of the item, so they're doing it because they don't think they have a choice, or they don't know any better. But any one of those clowns that come in with something potentially valuable - if they just took a few months to do some real research (contact a few appraisers themselves) and sell at auction rather than at pawn they'd probably make a lot more, but they'd have to wait, and it probably wouldn't be straight-up cash. Unfortunately this also draws flies to their business so they have to worry a LOT about stolen goods.
I saw the episode with the old gambler's kit, and I gotta say I'm amazed. The guy who took a look at it is a period expert of western history that mainly knows weapons I think. The actual gambling chips, cards, etc. could have come from ebay as far as he knows. There were some personalized elements in there that help authenticate it, but those chips are all over ebay and were made for decades. I don't think those were part of the original kit.
In all I'm amazed that a pawn shop would take on so many collectibles, but again, they're a much larger outfit, and probably have made a name for themselves that way. Any pawn shop will need to rely on their buy/sell business to make additional money for them. They can't just do it on pawning alone, but you'd expect the usual tools, weapons and jewelry to be a core part of their business - not 18th century clocks and documents signed by Ben Franklin.
The one thing the show doesn't cover is the sell part of their business, which I would LOVE to see.