‘License to Pawn’

Our friend Rick Harrison, the star of “Pawn Stars,” has a book out, called “License to Pawn.” Can the Rick Harrison bobblehead doll be far behind?

If you follow the link you’ll come to an 8-minute interview with Rick plugging his book. But he also is given a chance to debunk some of the myths and legends about pawn shops and pawn brokers.

One is that pawn shops prey on desperate gamblers in Las Vegas who have tapped out. Harrison says 90% of his customers redeem their pawns in good times, and even now, when times are far from good in Vegas, 80% do.

That matches Kamaaina Loan’s experience, and also tracks surveys of pawn shops across the country.

Most people use pawn shops like people with bank accounts use banks — to move money in and out according to their need for cash from day to day. But because up to 25% of Americans do not have a bank account, “alternative lenders” like pawn shops are how they do it.

Do you find it hard to believe that one American in 4 does not have a bank account? Survey after survey finds this to be a fact, and it has not varied a whole lot over at least the past 40 years.

Another point Harrison makes is that he has 22,000 items in his warehouse, all one-of-a-kind. It makes for inventory-taking nightmares. But for customers, the lesson is, if you see a bargain at a pawn shop, grab it.