The Sopranos star Joe Pantoliano used to make money by pretending to sell stolen goods because snatched "swag" was always in high demand among school kids.
The actor admits he had a profitable scam going as a youth after discovering his peers were willing to pay big for cheap clothing they thought had been illegally obtained, just because it made them look cool.
He explains, "Where I grew up that was a virtue, to be a good thief and then to re-sell. I had a scam in high school where I went down to Orchard Street (in New York) to do my shopping. I used to go down there, this was like 1969, and I would buy these T-shirts and I paid legit, retail, I paid two bucks each. Then I'd stick them in the trunk of my father's car and after school I sold them for $5 and told the kids they were stolen. The kids wanted to buy stolen goods. The action of buying swag made them feel good, and made the clothes on their back feel more important..."
After finding success in Hollywood, Pantoliano no longer has to scam his way through life - but that doesn't mean he has stopped hunting for bargains, and he admits shopping for sale items has become somewhat of an addiction for him.
He tells, "Just recently I bought a pair of these Lululemon workout pants. You could wear them out to dinner or to a movie. They look like dress pants and they were fairly expensive, and I didn't remember buying them. And I just bought a pair of Jimmy Choo motorcycle boots in black suede that were on sale. My addiction is funny. I never pay full price. I stalk sales. I have to have it, but I get to know the people in the store and I'll ask them to hold it for me until it takes a (price) hit."
And the 60 year old blames his poor upbringing for making him so conscious about how much he pays for things.
He adds, "This stuff is instilled in us. My parents were products of the Depression. There was always a fear about money and it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I no longer have the option to steal so I have to look for the best bargain."