April 13, 2024
Economy

‘Hardcore Pawn’ star Les Gold says economy leading to clientele pawning items


As the US economy continues to falter under President Biden’s tenure, pawnshops nationwide are seeing an uptick in customers seeking to pawn rather than redeem their items, former “Hardcore Pawn” star and Detroit pawnbroker Les Gold told Fox News.

Gold, who starred in the hit TruTV series between 2010 and 2015 along with his adult children and fellow pawnbrokers Ashley and Seth at American Jewelry and Loan, said pawnbrokers are “street-level economists” who are able to foretell economic conditions improving or worsening before the media does.

“I see it each and every day,” he said, noting the two customer lines a pawnshop typically has — a “redeem” and a “pawn” line. 

“Right now, the pawn line is probably twice as long as the redemption line for people picking up merchandise,” he told “The Ingraham Angle.”

Gold said the past six months have reflected a marked increase in customers coming into his 8 Mile store who are desperately in need of cash to fund basic necessities.

“They need to put food on their table, gas in their tank and a roof over their head, so we see a lot more customers coming in now for loans,” he said.

When host Laura Ingraham remarked how such a dynamic shows Americans living month-to-month, Gold said customers’ economic straits appear worse than that.


Les Gold appeared on "The Ingraham Angle" and said pawnshops are seeing an uptick in customers seeking money to help them get through the week.
Les Gold appeared on “The Ingraham Angle” and said pawnshops are seeing an uptick in customers seeking money to help them get through the week. Fox News/YouTube

“You’re saying month to month,” he said. “Our customers, our clientele, are pawning items to make it through the week. They’re not worried about the next month.”

“They’re — you know — a paycheck may come in and may not come, but they come in each and every day to pawn their items because they’re in need of money, like I said, just for the necessities.”

Gold said that paradigm is not unique to American Jewelry and Loan, but that pawnbrokers nationwide report similar conditions while suggesting some people might seek out pawnshops as a means of accessing cash on credit versus banks, as the latter typically requires a credit check and so forth.

“The good thing is pawnshops — pawning items, they’re non-recourse loans, so it’s not going to hurt their credit scores or their ability to get credit,” he said.

While many customers might seek to pawn standard items like electronics, furniture or jewelry, Gold also remarked on some of the stranger items people have come in to pawn.

One such item was a van owned by the late pathologist and right-to-die proponent Dr. Jack Kevorkian, whom Gold noted was a Michigan native.

Gold recounted making a wager with the man who pawned it, where he would either pay $20,000 or $40,000 for the macabre vehicle.


Gold said that paradigm is not unique to American Jewelry and Loan, but that pawnbrokers nationwide report similar conditions while suggesting some people might seek out pawnshops as a means of accessing cash on credit versus banks.
Gold said that paradigm is not unique to American Jewelry and Loan, but that pawnbrokers nationwide report similar conditions while suggesting some people might seek out pawnshops as a means of accessing cash on credit versus banks. Fox News/YouTube

Gold ended up purchasing the van for $20,000.

“So, it was still really not worth the money, but just the idea of having something so iconic — I had to make the deal.” 



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