Pawn Stars on the History Channel is a great show. It's very entertaining and it's fascinating to watch consumers try and sell their items to the pawn shop.
The most interesting thing about this show is what the customer perceives their item to be worth. Many customers have no idea what the true value of their item is worth. Some rely on the pawn shop to tell them the value of their item. Others have an unrealistic expectation of the value of their item.
Importantly, these all affect how the negotiation process begins and ends.
The formula for this show is all the same.
"What do you have here?"
"I have something that's old and rare and is worth a lot of money."
"Where did you get it?"
"I found it in the attic under a trunk."
"What do you know about it?"
Either they know a lot, or very llittle.
The Pawn shop characters then fill in the details of what they know about the item.
"How much do you want for it?"
Either they have no idea what it's worth or they give a dollar figure.
Practically all of the people who come into the shop to try and sell their items, when asked how much money they want for their item, give their bottom line number of how much they will take in order to sell that item.
What do you think is the first reaction when Rick Harrison, the shop owner, says to them when the customer tells him how much they really want?
The customer is always shocked to learn that the pawn shop will not give them the amount that they wanted. (What a shocker!)
As a result, they're forced to negotiate at a far lower price than they ever expected or intended.
Imagine if New York personal injury cases, medical malpractice cases and wrongful death cases were negotiated the same way that consumers negotiate when trying to sell items to the pawn shop. It would have devastating results.
You never tell the insurance company or their attorney what you really want. Why?
Because their initial response is always "No." If you've given them your real bottom line number, where can you go from there? Only down and that's the wrong place to be.