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They use us to make ends meet," said Seth Gold, vice president of American Jewelry and Loan, the pawn shop featured in the show.
Now, his adult children - Seth Gold
and Ashley Gold, continue the tradition and run one of the largest and most highly recognizable pawn shops in the world.
joined the business after his
graduation from the University of Michigan
had originally had ambitions of the medical field, it didn't take him long to realize that the pawn business was indeed his
When it comes to sibling rivalry, Ashley says "I was there way before Seth
An animated series featuring Les, Seth
, and Ashley Gold.
The housing market bubble was about ...
The housing market bubble was about to burst, said Seth Gold, vice president of American Jewelry and Loan and star of the TruTV series "Hardcore Pawn".
Construction companies were getting rid of their tools.
In a way, inventory at the pawn shop was a bit of an economic barometer.
This year's holiday sales at the 50,000-square-foot pawn shop on Greenfield Road say something different, according to Gold
Throughout December, especially in the days leading up to Christmas, Gold
said the shop saw really strong retail business this year.
The shop saw sales go "5 to 10 percent up as far as retail goes," Gold
Loan balances leveled out, too, he
And while pawn shops might not seem like the ideal place to do holiday shopping, for some they might carry a stigma, Gold
said American Jewelry
and Loan has a place in the Detroit community.
father, Les, have hundreds of returning customers, people they see twice a month, once to pawn an item and again to come back and get it.
Some people don't have access to banks, Gold
walked through rows and rows of pawned flat screen televisions (there are about 6,000 in the Detroit store, all told) while explaining how the business works -- how it's not quite as predatory as some think.
"People think around 10 to 20 percent (of people) come back" to pick up their pawned items, Gold
In reality, between 80 and 90 percent of customers come back to get whatever they pawned.
The rest often come by to at least pay the interest on their items until they can pay to get it back.
Michigan has some of the lowest interest rates for pawn shops in the country, Gold
Customers pay 3 percent interest, plus a dollar a month storage fee on pawned items at American Jewelry
And since it's often hard for Gold
to make money on an item someone fails to pay off, he
best to help someone get their belongings back.
If someone fails to pay on a loan, Gold
then has to store the item and pay someone to sell it.
"You have to really want to lose your stuff" for it to end up on the showroom floor if it had been pawned," Gold
For some, the pawn shop acts as a cheap storage facility.
said customers will pawn expensive fur coats for the summer for as low as $1, pay the interest and storage fees for the warm months, and take the coat out once the cold weather hits.
It's cheap, safe, reliable storage, Gold
said, and he
has no problem with the shop offering that to people.
Others store motorcycles in the shop.
"My customers are resourceful," he
And we "service that customer so they can come back."
Though the TV show might seem high-drama, it's all true, Gold
said, and it's really meant to focus on the interactions with customers.
The Gold family has a strong relationship with the city.
They've owned pawn shops in Metro Detroit for generations, including the shop that once sat where the popular Corktown restaurant Gold Cash Gold now stands.
The TV show has propelled the Greenfield location's already strong ties to the Detroit community, Gold
"It nationally exposed people to what pawn shops really do," he
Bags from Louis Vuitton and other fashion labels sell for high prices at the shop, which Gold
never would have guessed.
The shop does between 500 and 700 transactions a day, Gold
The next big indicator of how Detroiters are doing?
When tax returns are issued, Gold
Hardcore Pawnâ€™s Seth Gold Awarded â€œPawnbroker of the Yearâ€� - National Pawnbrokers AssociationNational Pawnbrokers Association
Hardcore Pawn's Seth Gold Awarded "Pawnbroker of the Year"
The National Pawnbrokers Association
, the leading trade association representing the pawn industry, announced today the nomination and unanimous selection of Seth Gold
, star of the Tru TV's hit series Hardcore Pawn, as NPA's "Pawnbroker of the Year" for 2013.
Seth's nomination stems from his
tireless commitment to supporting the pawn industry, community outreach, bolstering the association's charitable giving campaigns and fostering strong relationships with his
community and local leaders.
"Seth Gold and the team at American Jewelry & Loan have forged new paths for the pawn industry with the media on a national level as well as within his own local community," said Kevin Prochaska, president of the National Pawnbrokers Association.
The award was presented to Seth Gold
on July 17, 2013 at Pawn Expo
, the only national convention and trade show for the pawn industry hosted at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
"To be recognized among my peers is truly an unbelievable experience.
What's going on in our lives right now is a wild ride.
I wouldn't be able to be here today if it weren't for the support of my family.
I anticipate a long future of working alongside them as well as my fellow pawnbrokers to further our industry as a whole" Seth
said upon accepting the award.