The TV show, Pawn Stars, provides a great example of the importance of valuing expertise. We have to take into consideration that due to the years of experience the store owners got from owning the pawn shop, they mostly are aware of which pieces are valuable or not.

What I really enjoy about this show is their willingness to move out of the “I know everything” especially when they are not familiar with the item. When this happens, they seek an expert to help the store owner and the client evaluate the authenticity and value of the item, whether it was original or fake, intact or have some parts missing, how much it may cost, popularity, etc. Once all the information has been said by the expert, the expert leaves and then the store owner says how much he is willing to pay for the item (if it really is valuable). The client then weighs in the value of the item whether it’s worth it to receive that sum of money, or is it better to walk away without selling anything. More often than not, the store owner and the client will bargain how much they are willing to pay/receive from the item. Once they come into agreement, checks are settled and the transaction is done. The store owner then moves on to a new customer.

What amazes me in this show is that the store owner mostly doesn’t have to decide, because he has all the facts he need to know the value of the item. The store owner makes sure that he benefits from it as well. He makes sure that it is also fair for the seller, and it may be done by having both the client and the owner to listen to the expert explain the details of the item. The transaction causes less confusion by bringing in an expert, and the transaction is as transparent as it can possibly be. If worse comes to worst, it’s usually the client that will be put at risk, not the vendor. The vendor also tries to achieve the best win-win situation for both parties as well.

Comments (2)

  1. Henry

    Reply

    This was pretty interesting to think about. I’ve watched this show before and after you brought up a few examples, I can’t help but see the KSM parallels. In particular the expert sectio you highlight is completely on point. Once the guys have the information on an item brought in they don’t even take a few seconds to figure out what they want to do now that they have access to the information. It’s a good example of how information limits the decisions we have to make.

  2. Ethan

    Reply

    I love this show! I am glad someone posted about this because I had never realized this earlier. I don’t watch much cable anymore, but this show is a great example of expertise in practice. It makes me think of how lucrative of a business it could be because of the fact that no decisions are really being made.

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