April 19, 2024

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Hardcore Pawn star and Detroit pawnbroker Les Gold told Fox News that customers seem to be getting increasingly desperate.

Gold starred in the TruTV series between 2010 and 2015 along with his adult children and fellow pawnbrokers Ashley and Seth at American Jewelry and Loan. He said pawnbrokers are “street-level economists” who are indicators of which way the economy is going.

“I see it each and every day,” he said in a Fox News Ingraham Angle interview.

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

Gold said the trend has been noticed in the past six months and have reflect 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 mentioned how they are living month-to-month, Gold corrected her.

“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 pawnbrokers nationwide report similar conditions,

“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.

Gold has seen some strange things pawned at his shop.

One such item was a van owned by the late pathologist and right-to-die proponent Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Gold wagered with the man who pawned it, where he would either pay $20,000 or $40,000.

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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