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What: Grand opening celebration for Vail Valley Pawn and Gun Shop
When: Friday and Saturday, Feb. 5 and 6
Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: 106 Oakridge Court in Gypsum
Details: There will be lots of giveaways — including shirts, hats and even a 5 gram bar of gold (valued at $300) — as owner Rob Faddick invites the public to check out his new operation.
GYPSUM — Most of the time, when someone opens a business that happens to also be the topic of a reality television show, the owners are quick to note that life doesn’t really imitate art.
But according to Rob Faddick, of Vail Valley Pawn and Gun Shop, the popular History Channel show “Pawn Stars” is a pretty accurate portrayal of his business.
“You really don’t know what is coming through the door,” said Faddick. “A guy has already come in to ask about Confederate notes and another guy brought in really specialty-type spurs, real cowboy spurs.”
In the short time he has been in business, Faddick has also been approached with authentic-looking, albeit fake Broncos Super Bowl rings, various firearms, specialty coins and power tools. Crystal goblets, sports memorabilia and recreation gear line the shelves and walls of his new shop, located at 106 Oakridge Court, north of the Gypsum post office.
Faddick said he has kicked around the idea of opening a pawn shop for years. For more than a decade, he was part owner of a local construction company, and three years ago he sold his shares and started seriously mulling a pawn operation. Faddick said he has always enjoyed pawn shop shopping and bartering for goods and noted there isn’t another pawn operation in the valley.
The concept of a pawn shop is basic — customers receive cash loans in exchange for collateral, typically 70 percent of the value of an item. The shop keeps the item and charges interest and the customer has 40 days to redeem his or her item and pay off the loan amount and interest. If the customer doesn’t come back, the item becomes the property of the shop and is for sale.
“Pawn brokering has been in operation for over 3,000 years,” said Faddick. “It provides a quick way to get cash.”
Faddick said about 70 percent of the people who bring something to a pawn shop just want to sell the item outright. Because he plans to resell what customers bring in, Faddick can’t offer to pay full retail because that is a sure way for his business to fail. However, finding the right price both for buying and selling is where the art of pawn brokering comes into play.
“A successful pawn broker knows a little bit about lots of things, but more importantly, he knows who to call when he doesn’t know what something is worth,” said Faddick. “There are times people bring in things that I have never seen.”
A VITAL NETWORK
Faddick said he has a network of sources that is a vital part of his business. After all, if customers already knew what their stuff was really worth, and if they had the means to market it and sell it, there would be no need for a pawn shop. But the truth is, the average person doesn’t have access to Faddick’s expertise or merchandising.
As part of his operation, Faddick is a federally-licensed firearms dealer.
“I like firearms and I like shooting sports,” he said. “This is a responsible way to provide firearms sales to the public.”
On the topic of responsibility, Faddick noted that the pawn shop industry is closely regulated to prevent the illegal sale of stolen goods. He must provide a weekly report to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office regarding his sales and surveillance cameras capture all the action in the shop.
“You would be crazy to try to sell a stolen item here,” said Faddick.
But for anyone who is interested in an honest exchange, Faddick is ready to deal.
“I will take anything if it has value,” he said. “If someone comes in to get a loan on an airplane, I would figure out something to do.”
Vail Valley Pawn and Gun Shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call the business at 970-524-7296 and visit http://www.vailvalleypawn.com to learn more.
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