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My Review of Hardcore Pawn

18 Jul

July 18, 2011

You ever see Hardcore Pawn? If you haven’t, and consider yourself lucky, then imagine the shop from Pawn Stars dropped in the middle of the worst part of Detroit and specializing in buying Xboxes from crackheads and you’ve got the idea.

The usual customer is unemployed and is pawning her kid’s DVD player for $10. And I when I say “unemployed” I do not mean “without a job,” I mean “unemployable.” Lots of missing teeth, fat but with belly shirts, drunk, stoned, cannot put two intelligent words together, you get the idea. It is Detroit.

It is a very classy show.

One man calling himself Grizzly Bear stood around and growled at the staff. He had a tatoo of a bear taking a dump and wiping his ass with a rabbit across his chest.

The shop is run by the Gold family. Seriously, a family named Gold running a pawn shop. That should be enough to tell you what’s coming up. There are three members of the family working in the shop.

Les Gold

If guys running pawn shops didn’t already have a bad name he would give it to them. He wears a v-neck sweater and a jeweler’s loupe around his neck on a thick gold chain. His whole gimmick is that “we are here to help people.” Bullshit.

I understand that this is a business and he is here to make money. Gotcha. But he isn’t fair. For example, a guy came in with a pedal car he paid $25 bucks for and was asking for a few thousand. That was ridiculous. But so was Les’ offer: $50. They went back and forth and countered and counter-countered and the guy went down to $100 and Les hardlined him at $85. That was the eventual selling price. So what was so unfair? Les took the thing to the back and told the camera that “with a little cleaning” he could get $4,000 for it. FOUR THOUSAND. And he nickel-and-dimed the guy down from $100 to $85. Good business? I guess, but don’t tell me you are there to help people. This guy is a sleaze. He will buy someone’s ring so the customer can make his rent and in the same breath try to sell him something else. Time after time he argues someone down to the cheapest possible price, only to brag about how much he could make on the item, typically a profit of well over 500%.

His father used to run a smaller shop in an even worse part of Detroit. BTW- most shots they show of the city are empty of people. That is a total FAIL city. If you are reading this in Detroit I can only assume you are on your way out. Best of luck.

So in one show he took his family to see the old shop where he worked with his father. Les talked about all the good times he had, all the warm memories the place held. But all the warm memories were about the time a gunman broke into the store and killed someone. He took them to the abandoned building and pointed out, with great care, “this is where I hid from the gunman,” “This is where the body lay,” “that is where the bullet hit the cop.” And those were his warm and fuzzy memories.


Seth Gold 

Can you see the arrogance?

Seth is a prick with a stick up his ass. He is an uptight jerk.

His biggest problem is that he thinks he knows everything and he thinks he is always right. He thinks he is better than his father and much better than his sister. Years back, his sister Ashley managed the pawn shop but she left to have kids. When she came back, Seth had moved up and he resents her. He is always fighting with her, yelling at her, and running to his daddy to complain about her. As far as dealing with customers he is as cheap as his father but quicker to antagonize them. He gets easily annoyed, tries to be snarky to the customers, they get angry, and he smirks as security takes them outside.

A guy came into the shop to sell his paint guns. They really didn’t want them but told the guy they had to try them out so the gang went out into the parking lot with the guy’s guns and had a paintball fight, using all the guy’s paint pellets and wasting about an hour of his time. When it was over, Seth offered the guy $5. That isn’t a typo, five dollars. Not only did the guy turn it down, he complained, and very rightly so, that all the ammo they used was worth a lot more than that. He left with a net loss.


Ashley Gold Broad
“Broad” is her married name, not commentary.

Her brother hates her. Her employees are afraid of her. For some reason I like her. I even went out of my way to use an attractive picture of her. She speaks her mind and she is outspoken but upfront and you always know where you stand with her. That said, she is as cheap as the rest of the family and toes the whole “we are here to help you” line. She is in a pretty bad position. It is hard enough dealing with the low-class entities that go to her shop, but she also has to put up with her family’s nonsense. She knows what she is doing, those guys should shut up.

Their customers don’t always have their heads screwed on right. They are always yelling for no reason, cutting lines and starting fights. Have I mentioned that this is in the worst part of Detroit? But the family does themselves no favors by constantly losing things. It seems like in every other episode someone’s items are misplaced or lost, and the Gold’s try to turn their error around on the customers. Somehow it their fault that their property is missing from the stockroom.

The show really just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. They rip off people who have nowhere else to turn. I am trying not to compare this to Pawn Stars but at least the offers are fair on that show. And on Pawn Stars you rarely see transactions for $5 dentures.

I guess the best way to sum it up is to say that on TruTV, a network that shows Operation Repo and Parking Wars, this one has sunk to the bottom of the barrel.

If you’d like more pawn show badness, click here for my review of Pawn Queens.

For even worse shenanigans, check out my review of American Pickers.

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