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License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold & Silver Hardcover – June 7, 2011
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About the Author
Rick Harrison lives in Las Vegas, NV where he is the owner-operator of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.
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This is an excellent, entertaining, insightful, fun and inspirational book for any fan of the show, of pawn shops in general or the American dream. (go figure, a NON fiction where hard work, dedication, knowledge, hustle pays off) Stop reading this and go read the book.
The book gives background on Rick, Old Man, Big Hoss, and Chumlee that gives more insight into the "characters". Worth the read if you enjoy the show.
Related to that, Rick Harrison thinks about money in a way I always have, and I learned a lot about thinking outside the box to make money. He talks about capitalizing on fads, and other unconventional ways to generate cash. I felt from a very young age that just working a job for a paycheck seemed incredibly limited. Why not make money using every avenue available to you? That's what the Harrisons do. Anything can be part of their business as long as it's profitable. And it's helped them excel at making the most of their fame. By the way, the show was Ricks idea and he worked for years to get it made. Knowing their success isn't because of the whim of a tv producer is a testament to the acumen Rick Harrison possesses.
Corey, Chumlee and the Old Man each get a chapter as well and they're all more insightful people than you might give them credit for as they are definitely playing up their personalities on tv.
It's a very enjoyable book and it's full of cool stories and bits of information you didn't know you wanted to know. A highlight is a story about learning nickels could be scrapped for more than 5 cents, and going on a mad scramble to obtain nickles. Spoiler alert, it turns out you aren't allowed to do that. But hearing about the process of having an unusual idea like this makes you realize there is money to be made everywhere you look if you can think about the situation the right way. I love this book.
Someone previously mentioned feeling sorry for the Old Man for not being able to work the counter anymore. The reason none of the four Pawn Stars can work the counter any longer is because by law, a pawn is private transaction. Nowadays, with the shop packed all day with tourists with cameras and video recorders trying to get photos of the four guys, the privacy of any transaction they're involved in is compromised.
It's been a year since I visited the shop on a jaunt to Las Vegas. Just to give you an idea of the impact the TV show has had on this small business, a good part of the shop is now dedicated to souvenir sales - T-shirts, shot glasses, bobble heads, refrigerator magnets, etc. (they move all that stuff out when filming in that part of the store). Before the show started, they had 12 employees. Now they have 47. I dropped by mid-morning and the parking lot was about full (but I did get a space). I was able to walk right in, though the store was packed full of people and it's not very big. I drove by later in the day and there was a line of people down the sidewalk waiting to get in. In the book, Rick relates that they now have security outside that lets in 60 people at a time and they've also installed misters outside to cool down the people waiting in line. When I was there, the Old Man was sitting at his desk behind the counter and they had that area roped off with a sign that said something to the effect that you weren't supposed to enter that area unless you were doing business with the shop. I kind of felt sorry for him, as he was kind of like an animal in a zoo, with everyone staring at him. A couple of people waved at him to get his attention and asked if they could get photos with him. He eventually came out on the floor to do photos. He didn't look like he was having fun (but even on the TV show, he never looks like he's having fun - even when he is! LOL). Now that they've built new offices in the back, my guess is that you would be lucky to see any of the four stars if you were to drop by these days. I'm sure they stay in the back as much as possible as it would be next to impossible to get any work done out front with the hoards of fans constantly bugging them.
Rick's put together a really entertaining companion for the TV show. As previously stated, if you like the TV show, then the book is highly recommended.