Joe Aurelio isn’t just good with his pizza making skills, he is also good at collecting a bunch of stuff!
The 50-year-old collector has been sticking to the same hobby for years, collecting sports materials to the point that he’s willing to sell some of them already.
“Collecting got instilled in me as a kid and I never stopped collecting, really. I don’t get rid of anything,” he said.
And because his Orland Park home is getting cramped up, his wife suggests he start selling some.
Taking his chances with the TV show “Pawn Stars,” Aurelio brought with him two priced possessions – two small metal molds that created plastic figurines of famous baseball players in 1963, Joe DiMaggio and John McGraw.
The pizza owner didn’t just get a chance in trading his prized possessions, he also got a chance to appear on air for the show.
Together Rick Harrison and his father, bartered with Aurelio for the 50-year-old molds.
“These are big, burly guys. You are on their turf. They’re excellent negotiators. It’s pretty intimidating. You’re not talking for fun,” Aurelio said. “It’s a real negotiation. You see them on TV, but you really don’t know them, and there they are, in your face. I may have gotten a better price if we were talking about cheese,” he joked.
The cost of the collectible was around $400 twenty years ago and lucky for him, he got a very good deal in the show with $1,300 in his pocket.
“It turned out the price I guessed was $100 from the expert. I guessed $2,200; he said they were worth $2,300,” Aurelio said. “I sold them for $1,300. They usually try to get it for half-price, and I knew that going in.”
The two minute appearance wasn’t the usual pizza feature, in fact, according to Aurelio it’s more work than it seems and negotiations weren’t allowed to have retakes.
“The negotiation is 100 percent real,” he said. “They could tell you to get lost. I could tell them to get lost. It’s all real.”
With the profits he held in his hands, it’s no wonder that Aurelio hopes to return for more negotiations and with all of the collections he has at home, there won’t be any problem where he’d get them. “I’ve been collecting for years. I have boxes and boxes of things to choose from,” he said.