I have semi recently caught up on this show, and really enjoy it. Is one of my favorites. Been reading through the thread and will share a few of my own comments. Sure a lot of the stuff is staged, but I don't think the nuts and bolts are really staged. As for the experts, I suspect the experts do the consulting for several reasons. 1) The get their expertise and business acknowledged on tv, which is of great value to them. 2) Rick likely looks out for items for them that they may be interested in and give them the first chance to purchase said items. I doubt there are specific fees paid in most cases. As for someone like the Museum guy, that is what he does, so he probably enjoys seeing these items. I also suspect most of the experts like doing it because it provides them the chance to see stuff they would not otherwise get. I don't think they use experts nearly as often for every day purchases as they do for the show, but I guess those items are special and thus why they end up on the show. Part of the reason why I believe they do get the appraisal in front of the customer is it sends a message to customers of their honesty. You watch the show and see that the guy appraises it for $1500 at an auction, you know Rick is not going to offer $1500. He is going to offer $500 and pay $700. It buys them credibility with the general population and the average customer, and it also likely makes their job negotiating easier. I do enjoy the show. I recorded it when it first came on but never watched it. I think some other channel had a pawn themed show on at the same time. But have caught up most episodes and watching the new ones.. Just a real entertaining show. Having never been in a pawn shop this makes me interested. As for things that go on in this shop in terms of knowledge, and items and such. This is a seemingly unique pawn shop, where the owners have a lot of knowledge that covers a lot of territory. This is likely why this shop has a tv show about it. Because of their knowledge and interesting items. I doubt the producers just randomly picked a pawn shop out of the phone book.