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Addicted To Pawn
June 24, 2011 8:38 AM   Subscribe

When athletes are in financial trouble, they often go to high end pawn shops to get money.
posted by reenum (27 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
great article with a depth of stuff to say about the nature of debt, celebrity, molded bits of metal that carry crazy amounts of meaning for some people. I mean, who wants somebody else's championship ring? That's the question that was quickly ringing through my head, and then you get something like this:

A Giants player recently sold his 2007 Super Bowl ring to a local jeweler, who in turn sold it to a local judge. When the judge called Robins to discern the ring's worth, he was floored by the bargain he'd got, prompting him to sell it to another middleman, who funneled it to an auction house [...] Robins isn't a pawnbroker. He just buys from them, then resells the merchandise on his website. Clients: Other middlemen and obsessive fans. Recently, a 10-year-old boy drew national attention for spending $8,500 of his college fund on William Perry's Super Bowl XX ring so he could return it to The Fridge.
posted by philip-random at 8:55 AM on June 24, 2011


To get pwned?
posted by punkfloyd at 8:55 AM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is an example of the trickle-down economics promised to us by Saint Ronnie; stupid, desperate people with more money than sense will make it rain on the rest of us.
posted by Renoroc at 9:01 AM on June 24, 2011


A ten-year-old had 8500 to spend on things of his choosing?
posted by entropone at 9:04 AM on June 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Williams' mistake wasn't that he off-loaded an iconic object; it's that he did it at the most public pawnshop in America. If he'd gone to the Beverly Loan Company in Beverly Hills, for example, he'd have met Jordan Tabach-Bank standing beside artwork by Picasso and assuring well-heeled customers that he "deals in discretion."

This is interesting. I had no idea that such high-end pawn shops existed — a weird upmarket toehold for the usurers, a business that preys on the poor finding marks in ex-poor rich people who aren't hooked in to the culture of money or desperate rich people whose need for quick money or privacy drives them into the arms of the legalized loan-sharks.
posted by RogerB at 9:07 AM on June 24, 2011


Beverly Loan's not exactly hidden and it's a pawn shop, not a loan shark. There's a difference--you put up your collateral, they hand over money in exchange. Then, you can get your watch/ring/silverware back when you get the money and wish to do so. I know screenwriters and actors who've handed over engagement rings or a Rolex a couple of times during their careers.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:39 AM on June 24, 2011


A ten-year-old had 8500 to spend on things of his choosing?

First World Problems, yo.
posted by mysterpigg at 9:40 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


A ten-year-old had 8500 to spend on things of his choosing?

He had a college fund. So I think we can blame the parents squarely here.
posted by smackfu at 9:48 AM on June 24, 2011


He had a college fund. So I think we can blame the parents squarely here.

Well I looked it up and it seems his mother has MS or something and the fridge has Guillain-Barre syndrome. Which means he made a $8,500 dollar investment in the essay portion of the Harvard admission form, as he writes the story of how his collecting hobby, as he learned the people behind the material wealth, helped him form a bond and help those less fortunate than himself.
posted by pwnguin at 9:56 AM on June 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


hit TV show Pawn Stars
what
posted by Flunkie at 10:06 AM on June 24, 2011


I used to laugh my ass off every time I drove by The Collateral Lender (that's really their website, despite it looking like a squatter's placeholder page) on Wilshire, not too far from Beverly Loan. The good folks of Beverly Hills can't be going into a pawn shop, after all.
posted by librarylis at 10:07 AM on June 24, 2011


hit TV show Pawn Stars

what


Yep. It's actually pretty interesting, they get all sorts of unexpected things in there. On one recent show, for example, someone came in with a pair of titanium launch keys for a Russian rocket. I am not sure why it is on The History Channel, though; while there is some history behind some of the items it is pretty tenuous.
posted by TedW at 10:14 AM on June 24, 2011


Pawn Stars is actually an amazing show. The workers are amusing, and The Old Man is my favorite person on television. I like Rick's Restorations (which is a spinoff of it) better though, since that sort of thing is more up my alley.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:19 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


he lends 50 percent of an item's market value and charges 4 percent interest per month. (The industry term is "option charge," and Florida allows the nation's highest, at 25 percent.)
Holy cow, 25% a month? That's 1355% per year.

On a secured loan.
posted by Flunkie at 10:21 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am not sure why it is on The History Channel, though; while there is some history behind some of the items it is pretty tenuous.

"History is made every day." <---Their reasoning, not mine.
posted by drezdn at 10:25 AM on June 24, 2011


Pawn Stars is the biggest show on cable right now. 7 million viewers. It was just renewed for another four seasons.

And it isn't a bad fit for History Channel, to be honest. It's basically Antiques Roadshow, but with historical items.
posted by smackfu at 10:28 AM on June 24, 2011


I visited the Pawn Stars shop in Vegas a few months ago. Worst. Pawn shop. Ever.
posted by punkfloyd at 10:29 AM on June 24, 2011


Holy cow, 25% a month? That's 1355% per year.

On a secured loan.


I guess the plus side is that these aren't debts. You don't get a collections agency called on you if you miss the payments, like you would with a credit card.
posted by smackfu at 10:29 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the Pawn Stars show. I find it really amusing that they make the family act out little "bits" each show, and I just imagine the producer working with them to try and develop their "characters".
The show pacing is good, with one expert called in to evaluate and ellucidate each episode.
The only sad part is how many people are just pawning stuff to blow on the Vegas strip, but c'est la vie.

Another great show is Canadian Pickers, where they rife through vast rural farmsteads of stuff.
posted by Theta States at 10:36 AM on June 24, 2011


Pretty heavy hinting there that Allen Iverson was pawning things recently. This is a dude whose career earnings are somewhere in the realm of 150 million, not counting endorsements. Madness I tell you!
posted by ejoey at 11:24 AM on June 24, 2011


Another great show is Canadian Pickers, where they rife through vast rural farmsteads of stuff.

We have American Pickers. Those guys seem a little unsavory, like they've killed a hobo during their travels at some point.

I would like to see this Canadian Pickers, though.
posted by reenum at 11:32 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pretty heavy hinting there that Allen Iverson was pawning things recently. This is a dude whose career earnings are somewhere in the realm of 150 million, not counting endorsements. Madness I tell you!

It's not surprising. Many athletes don't know how to manage money and live paycheck to paycheck. That's how the owners have been able to break the last few players' strikes in the major sports.
posted by reenum at 11:34 AM on June 24, 2011


I have a love/hate for Pawn Stars. Even worst, Hard Core Pawn which really is just a drama show featuring down and out individuals throwing temper tantrums in the store. I sometimes cannot believe how adults can act, plus it really doesn't make Detroit shine.
posted by handbanana at 11:35 AM on June 24, 2011


I would like to see this Canadian Pickers, though.

The guys are good-ol'-boy Albertans and quite likeable. It's more interesting to see some of the delightfully curmudgeony old collectors out on large farms that they visit.
posted by Theta States at 12:15 PM on June 24, 2011


Which means he made a $8,500 dollar investment in the essay portion of the Harvard admission form, as he writes the story of how his collecting hobby, as he learned the people behind the material wealth, helped him form a bond and help those less fortunate than himself.

Yeah, Harvard don't give a shit about that.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:06 PM on June 24, 2011


"In the category of Alternative Rock, who has the most Grammy statuettes? The pawn shop across the street from Anthony Kiedis's drug dealer." -- Neil Hamburger
posted by delfin at 2:35 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


"We pay full sentimental value."
posted by rifflesby at 12:36 AM on June 25, 2011


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