For What It's Worth: Business Wisdom from a Pawnbroker

For What It's Worth: Business Wisdom from a Pawnbroker

2.7 9
by Les Gold
     
 

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Businesses these days talk a lot about figuring out what the customer wants. Well, here’s your first lesson: the customer doesn’t know what he wants. This book is going to show you how to convince him he wants the thing you’re selling.
 
Les Gold has been in business since age twelve, when he started selling used golf clubs

Overview

Businesses these days talk a lot about figuring out what the customer wants. Well, here’s your first lesson: the customer doesn’t know what he wants. This book is going to show you how to convince him he wants the thing you’re selling.
 
Les Gold has been in business since age twelve, when he started selling used golf clubs from his dad’s basement. Now he owns Detroit’s biggest pawnshop, American Jewelry and Loan, and is the star of the hit reality TV show Hardcore Pawn.
 
As a third-generation pawnbroker, Gold grew up in the business, dealing with cus­tomers who could be unruly and violent as often as they were friendly. He became good at selling just about anything and at buying items for what they were worth. Although he started at his family’s small pawnshop, he has now expanded into a fifty-thousand-square-foot former bowling alley, making a thousand deals a day.
 
On any given day, he could be taking a vin­tage car in to pawn or chasing down a thief who’s just stolen a gold chain from the store. No business school in the world can teach you as much about buying, selling, negotiating, managing employees, dealing with customers, advertising, tracking trends, and predicting the economy’s ups and downs.
 
In this entertaining, honest book, Gold takes you inside some of his weirdest, wacki­est deals and steals. From the monkey his dad once took in to pawn to the deal Gold made for a stripper pole, he has no boundaries for what he considers to be part of his business—and neither should you.
 
You will learn:

  • How to tell an emotional story when you’re selling—and take emotion out of the transaction when you’re buying
  • Why judging your customers before you know them can kill a potential deal
  • How to deal with risk, both mental and physical
  • How to communicate with employees (even if they’re your own kids)
  • Why investing in relationships with your community is time well spent
  • Why your business should never be limited by what others tell you it should be
 
No place in the world prepares you better for the working world than a pawnshop, and Les Gold takes you inside his shop to share what he’s learned from fifty-five years in the most interesting job in the world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Viewers of Gold's truTV show "Hardcore Pawn" may not be prepared for the Les Gold they meet in the pages of his book, where, all puns aside, he appears to have a "heart of gold". The 62-year-old pawnbroker and reality TV-star sounds like someone yanked from the Vaudeville stage when he compares a salesperson to a performer and describes his experiences as a young man learning to "outperform fear". Gold's book is a mixture of pawnshop anecdotes about the weird stuff his clientele has pawned—a Bentley, a monkey, Abraham Lincoln's hair—and his secrets to success. While the pawnshop stories are the most engaging, Gold's stories about personal success are also interesting. An entrepreneur at heart, Gold, as a hungry 12-year-old Hebrew School student, bought pizzas and sold them by the slice to his hungry classmates. When "Hardcore Pawn" started, Gold's personal goal was three million viewers (unheard of on truTV) and he achieved it. His "higher purpose" in pawn broking, he says, is "helping people", and he wants pawnshops to be respected—which may be a less realistic goal. Fans who watch Gold's TV show for its sleaze factor will be disappointed by this book—it's alternately interesting and charming, and even sweet. (June)
From the Publisher
“In For What It's Worth, Les Gold shares business secrets from America's front line of front lines- the pawnshop. It's a fascinating read for anyone trying to succeed in business and life.”
JERRY SPRINGER former mayor of Cincinnati, seven-time Emmy Award-winning newscaster, and host of The Jerry Springer Show

“The best entrepreneurs are street fighters-and Les Gold is the ultimate. He's built an incredible business, fought through every possible battle, and reinvented his industry. In ForWhat It's Worth, Les shares his secrets to becoming wildly successful, all told in a captivating and inspirational manner.”
JOSH LINKNER New York Times bestselling author of Disciplined Dreaming and CEO and managing partner, Detroit Venture Partners

“Since his first appearance on Good Afternoon America in the summer of 2012, Les has quickly become one of my favorite guests, in the mornings and the afternoons. I often call him ‘our own Santa Claus,' for the joy he gives people by showing them the wealth they didn't know they had. Les's years of experience have given him a business acumen that stretches far beyond the pawnshop-and this book is a must read for anyone who wants to create their own success in any business.”
JOSH ELLIOTT news anchor, ABC's Good Morning America

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591846390
Publisher:
Portfolio Hardcover
Publication date:
06/13/2013
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 10.18(h) x 0.88(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“In For What It’s Worth, Les Gold shares business secrets from America’s front line of front lines— the pawnshop. It’s a fascinating read for anyone trying to succeed in business and life.”
—JERRY SPRINGER former mayor of Cincinnati, seven-time Emmy Award–winning newscaster, and host of The Jerry Springer Show
 
“The best entrepreneurs are street fighters—and Les Gold is the ultimate. He’s built an incredible business, fought through every possible battle, and reinvented his industry. In ForWhat It’s Worth, Les shares his secrets to becoming wildly successful, all told in a captivating and inspirational manner.”
—JOSH LINKNER New York Times bestselling author of Disciplined Dreaming and CEO and managing partner, Detroit Venture Partners
 
“Since his first appearance on Good Afternoon America in the summer of 2012, Les has quickly become one of my favorite guests, in the mornings and the afternoons. I often call him ‘our own Santa Claus,’ for the joy he gives people by showing them the wealth they didn’t know they had. Les’s years of experience have given him a business acumen that stretches far beyond the pawnshop—and this book is a must read for anyone who wants to create their own success in any business.”
—JOSH ELLIOTT news anchor, ABC’s Good Morning America

Meet the Author

Les Gold owns the fifty-thousand-square-foot American Jewelry and Loan, which serves more than 250 customers every hour. He also stars in the truTV show Hardcore Pawn, now in its seventh season, with more than 3 million weekly viewers. He lives in Detroit and works alongside his wife, son, and daughter.

Visit pawndetroit.com

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For What It's Worth: Business Wisdom from a Pawnbroker 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be highly entertaining. Gold knows the pawn business inside and out and describes it with great ease. Some of the stories are laugh out loud funny. Overall a very good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a waste of time. Les Gold is the king of con artists. He exploits his customers and his own employees, everyone from Detroit is aware of his methods. He takes all the money he makes from the TV show and keeps it for himself and his family. None of the employees make squat for being on the show. If they get too popular on their own he fires them. This books is a joke and just more of the exploitive garbage you see on TV.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Two thumbs up! A great look beyond the tv show into the nuts and bolts of the pawn broker industry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read a lot of business books and was skeptical about how much Business Wisdom could be gained from a reality television star. But the truth is that this is a well-written book that offers a perspective of how Les Gold became the world's most recognized pawn broker through adherence to some simple business strategies and work ethic. Anyone looking for smut in this book will have to keep looking. It's an endearing book of simple business wisdom centered around one man's absolute dedication to his family and community.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
  I wouldn't waste my money on this book. Why give the Gold's anymore money...they already makes a huge profit off the poor people  that come into his store by low balling them, then sells it for a HUGE profit. He also doesn't pay his employees anything for being  on the show, instead just keeping all the royalties for himself and his family. They also get jealous and fire employees if they become  popular, even after the employee has worked there for 26 years. They let fame go to their head, and forgot what is important, and I will NOT  support them in any way, including boycotting Hardcore Pawn every Tuesday night. I encourage everyone to do the same. They have had 5 minutes of fame, so if we all stop supporting them, they will go away. We can only hope...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is not good. The things you might learn are how to get over on people not to bright and mostly poor. Les Gold get's way to much credit for his success. He owns a pawn shop in the ghetto surrounded by poor people and thanks to their show we know now how dumb people in Detroit can be. If you have common sense you are ready know more then this book could teach you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because I used to watch the show before it became too scripted and before Rick Pyle (the nice manager) left the store. I figured I would give Les a chance to redeem himself. Epic Fail. I was really disappointed in the quality of writing. The book just seemed to be a platform for Les to stroke his own ego. Now, I would really like to see a truthful tell all book about the family written by Rich. Now that would be an interesting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not very well written and very little substance. Wait to buy it at the bargin bin. The Pawn Stars book is much better.