Chumlee’s Most Expensive Deals On Pawn Stars
As one of the primary members of Rick Harrison’s staff, Austin “Chumlee” Russell has been an integral part of “Pawn Stars” since its first season. The lifelong friend of Rick Harrison’s son, Corey (a.k.a. Big Hoss), Chum is a notorious goof-off. But don’t let his laid-back approach to work fool you. There’s a reason Rick has kept him around for more than a decade, and it’s not just because of his popularity among fans.
When he needs to be, Chum is a top-notch negotiator who has done a lot of good work over the years. He may not be as well versed in history or business as his boss, but he can seal a deal as good as anyone else. That is, when he’s not buying items purely for his own amusement (like the time he overpaid for a $1,200 Elon Musk flamethrower), an all-too-frequent occurrence when the item in question relates to his interests. Even so, Chumlee’s most expensive and lucrative deals on “Pawn Stars” tend to be for items within his area of expertise.
Chumlee uses his license to bill on a James Bond-mobile replica
In the world of pawn shops, few things are as lucrative as vintage cars, vintage films, and vintage toys. All of these things have massive communities of collectors willing to pay top dollar for rare specimens. Of course, when you combine all three, that value doesn’t miraculously go down. This is something Special Agent Chumlee learned firsthand in Season 8 when a customer brought in a toy replica of the iconic Aston Martin DB5 used by James Bond in the 1964 movie, “Goldfinger.”
Chumlee is neither shaken nor stirred by the little vehicle. In fact, this is right in his lane. The DB5 comes with all of the high-tech attachments shown in the movie, from ejection seats to lasers, and is in near-perfect working condition. Chum’s toy expert appraises the item at “no less than $2,400,” but when it comes to making a good deal, double-oh-Chum isn’t taking a (Dr.) no for an answer. As the man with the golden tongue, Chumlee manages to negotiate the price down to $1,450. All in a day’s work for Rick’s most talented operative.
Chumlee's new Mercedes is up to par
Speaking of rare and expensive automobiles, the employees at Rick’s shop are no stranger to cars. People frequently come in offering to sell or pawn their unique rides. However, one specific episode shows Rick making an odd decision, one that seems uncharacteristic for the business-savvy salesman. He sends Chumlee alone to go negotiate and retrieve a rare Mercedes that a customer has offered to sell.
To Chum’s surprise, when he arrives he discovers that the Mercedes in question is a golf cart. Of course, it looks like a 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL, but one that’s been shrunk down to golf cart size. Suddenly, it makes sense why Rick would send Chumlee of all people to pick this up, it’s basically a toy, and Chum doesn’t hesitate to have his fun driving donuts in the mini-mobile.
However, Chumlee did come there with a job to do. He commences negotiations with the seller for the luxury vehicle, whittling the price down from $3,500 to $2,600. Considering that a full-size 560 SL can go for upwards of $25,000, it’s fair to say that Chumlee struck a good deal on this one (even if it is a bit smaller than normal).
Chumlee blows thousands on an SNL prop
The longstanding sketch comedy series “Saturday Night Live” has no shortage of recognizable props. Four decades of creating some of America’s favorite skits has resulted in generations of in-jokes, and there are people willing to pay big money to have a piece of the punchline. So, in Season 16, when a customer shows Chumlee his authentic box of Super Colon Blow cereal — a prop from the 1989 “Colon Blow” skit — Chumlee is very interested.
An avid “SNL” fan himself, Chumlee reminisces with the seller about the classic Phil Hartman sketch before cutting the crap on the high-fiber fraternization. At first, the seller is looking to get $8,000 for the box, which comes with a certificate of authenticity. However, Chumlee is not looking to go that high and sets his price at a low-balled $3,000. The seller tries his best to eke out $7,000, but it simply won’t work. In the end, the two settle on a price tag of $3,500 before Chumlee excitedly rushes off to tell Rick about his new purchase. Despite frequently taking the wind out of Chumlee’s sails, Rick also loves “SNL” and gets a kick out of seeing this little piece of comedy history.
Chumlee gets a Spacelander bike in an out-of-this-world deal
The last time Chumlee took a trip away from the shop, he came home with a miniature Mercedes-Benz. This time, well, let’s just say that his off-location purchases haven’t gotten any less absurd. While out running errands for the shop in this Season 8 episode, Chumlee comes across a man cleaning off his rare 1960 Spacelander bicycle. As the name implies, the bike bears a unique futuristic aesthetic reminiscent of a spaceship.
Having owned it since he was 10 years old, the seller is somewhat hesitant to part with his bike. However, like many sellers on “Pawn Stars,” he does need some money and Spacelanders can go for quite a bit. It’s such a rare, unique bike that the Smithsonian displays one in one of its museums. Though he initially asks for $20,000, Chumlee negotiates it all the way down to $8,700.
Unlike many of the other dubious deals done on a whim by Chumlee, Rick is very pleased to hear that he got a Spacelander for that price. According to him, Spacelanders can go for $12,000-$20,000, and this one is in great condition. In fact, he’s so satisfied with Chumlee’s work that Rick gives him his first-ever $1,000 bonus.
Chumlee busts out some silver to secure this bronze work of art
When it comes to high art, most “Pawn Stars” fans would probably point to Rick or his Old Man as the best candidate to make a deal. However, Chumlee manages to handle himself just fine in one Season 16 episode, when a customer brings in a modern bronze bust cast from a sculpture made by Michaelangelo himself. The bust, which is a replica of Michaelangelo’s “Pietà,” is one of only 500 that the Vatican commissioned from the company, New Renaissance. According to the seller, the piece is worth as much as $80,000.
To get a fair price on the work, Chumlee calls up an art expert to properly value the item. Unfortunately for the seller, the bust is worth far less on the secondary market, and it’s worth only about $35,000. Thankfully, he still wants to sell the item. The only problem is that Chumlee isn’t willing to pay more than $23,000. For a bit, it almost seems like this is one deal Chumlee can’t close.
That is, until the seller comes up with the idea of trading silver for the item. Depending on how the markets go, the $24,000 worth of silver that the seller spotted in the shop could lower in value and actually make the shop more money. Luckily for them, this turns out to be the case, and Chumlee ends up making an extra $3,000 in the long run.