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The Real Reason Pawn Stars Can't Sell Your Items Right Away

People watch Pawn Stars for any number of reasons. For one thing, it's always fun to see what's being pawned, as many of the items patrons bring in have rich — if occasionally creepy — history behind them. For another, there's the drama between the members of the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop crew; it's not all real (this is reality TV, after all), but it can be mighty entertaining. And of course, there's the thrill of negotiation.

Ping-ponging prices back and forth may seem simple enough, but there's an art to it. Seller and buyer both need to have the confidence that they're in the right, yet be humble enough to consider the other's offer. And while the seller most likely has a price in mind beforehand, the buyer is haggling on the fly from the start. That's not to mention the Gold & Silver crew's ability to recognize what's worth buying in the first place (or understanding when an expert is needed). All that is where the "thrill" in "the thrill of negotiation" comes from.

Now, let's say a deal goes well and the shop buys an item off its owner. With the difficult hurdle of negotiation overcome, you'd think the crew could make a profit on the item right away ... but you'd be wrong.

It's against the law to flip pawned items too quickly

Unless they're buying, people generally go to pawn shops for one purpose: to make money off things they no longer need. Regardless of their reasons for needing that money, they can make a pretty penny if they play their cards right. That's not the end of the process, however: There are laws in place to ensure transaction legitimacy (which involve the police), as well as laws to protect the patrons and their items. In Nevada specifically, where Pawn Stars is filmed, pawn shops are required to hold on to the items for a set period of time — precisely 90 days — before putting them up for sale (via NRS).

Within those 90 days, sellers have the chance to buy their items back if they so please. Gold & Silver would have no choice but to oblige were that the case, but the shop can charge an interest rate of 13 percent per month. It's a win-win: Sellers can change their minds, and pawnbrokers get something back for it. How often this actually happens is anyone's guess (unless you just so happen to be a part of the Nevada legal system), but it's not a situation fans of Pawn Stars are ever likely to see on camera. Ever notice how whenever Rick, Corey, or Chumlee says something to the effect of "Let's fill out the paperwork," the camera cuts away? Yeah. It's interesting stuff — it just doesn't really play on TV.