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Pawn Star: Economy is getting better

Tuesday, 13 Aug 2013 | 5:25 PM ET
Growing popularity of pawn shops
Small business is now becoming big business. Rick Harrison, "Pawn Stars", shares where he sees the consumer, economy, and gold going.

The U.S. economy is showing signs of improvement, but uncertainty keeps consumers wary of making some purchases, said Rick Harrison, whose Las Vegas pawnshop is the setting of the hit reality television show "Pawn Stars."

"Most people I talk to are unsure, just due to the fact, with Obamacare, all the regulations and tapering and everything like that, nobody knows what's going to happen and so people are still holding back a little bit," Harrison said on CNBC's "Closing Bell."

A real misnomer, though, is that pawn shop business "drops off" as the economy improves, Harrison said.

Pawn shops see an influx of merchandise, but a lack of buyers in a bad economy, he explained. In a good economy, on the other hand, there is a shortage of merchandise and influx of buyers, he said.

"It's the whole supply issue," Harrison said. "When times are better and I can sell it better, I'd be willing to pay more. There's a market for it."

Harrison is co-owner of the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, as featured on the History series "Pawn Stars."

—By CNBC's Drew Sandholm. Follow him on Twitter @DrewSandholm

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