at your local pawn shop. In a special report, we introduce you to these
real life pawn stars on the hunt for bargains. You know them by their
stubborn refusal to believe price tags mean anything.
"I usually try and ask half of what they are," says pawn shopper Mark Jozefowic.
Bargaining is practically a requirement for pawn shoppers.
"Give them an opportunity to go up and then meet somewhere in the middle," says Jozefowicz.
These days Jozefowicz is seeing more of them, thanks to the popularity of the television show PAWN STARS.
"Everybody loves a bargain," says Jozefowicz. "Everybody loves a
bargain. It's that one thing that you've been looking for that's kind of
odd, you never thought you'd find."
The lure of pawn shop treasure is a major theme of the show.
"If we had enough time we could film that same show," says Music City Pawn's Damon Holland.
Holland says those treasures are here, but they don't arrive as frequently as television makes it seem.
"You can find just about anything," says Holland. "Sometimes it's hit and miss. You might not find the exact item you're looking for but if you're patient that item will show up."
We did find some interesting stuff visiting local pawn shops, like a
coin that was part of a ship wreck in the 1600s, a World War II army hat
and a bank check from W.C. Fields. Some things are easy to price, like
DVD's for example, but what do you do when somebody brings something
like a large and heavy diving helmet into your store? That's when the
internet comes in handy, especially sites like Ebay. Even with the
internet, veteran shoppers say there are amazing finds out there,
especially in military towns.
"When I find a great deal in a pawn shop, it's like hitting a home run," says pawn shopper Daren Thomas.
A vintage children's video camera was Thomas' ultimate find.
"A lot of people didn't realize they're valuable before Ebay and I bought it for $35 and sold it for almost $300," says Thomas.
Even Mark has his own story of pawn shop glory.
"I walked in and I found an old 50s silvertone amp and I had one when I
was a kid," says Jozefowicz. "It was exactly the same and that was the
coolest thing I bought and I got it for $60."
He's now passing on the hobby to his son, bargaining down $5 for a good
deal someone else had to part with. Obviously pawn shops aren't just for
buying and selling things. You can pawn items there to get money.
Tennessee law requires stores have to hold pawned items for 60 days. We
asked you what great pawn shop deals you have found, and many of you are
letting us know on Facebook.
"I got a real good deal plenty of times," says Martina Haaf. "My last
steal was a Toshiba laptop that I bargained down from $250-$170.
"Found a Daisy .22 rifle in a Clarksville pawn shop about 15 years ago,"
writes Kevin Standley. "It isn't worth a whole lot, but it causes a lot
"I'm not giving away my secrets!" says Michael Finks.
Thursday, May 12 2011, 01:39 AM CDT
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