Diamonds, Rolex’s and sports cars… Oh my! While the practice of pawning belongings for quick cash has been known to some people for quite awhile, others are just catching on to this secret. More and more, it is white collar individuals that are coming to Pawnbrokers looking to get some money for their valuables.
Whether it is diamonds worth millions or antiques and art passed down from earlier generations, pawn shops are seeing it all kinds of high-end items. Many times pawning items can give individuals large amounts of cash that can be used to save a financially struggling business pay taxes or rescue a mortgage. In addition, pawn shops are seeing small business owners pawning items to cover their payroll and help out with other business needs.
What are the draws of a pawn shop for quick cash on high-end items? For many customers, it is simply convenient. No wait time on a credit check and other hoops that banks and credit unions often have with loans. Other individuals may have poor credit scores that would make them undesirable for a bank loan so they turn to pawn shops. Finally, there is the privacy. Many pawn shops like Garden City Exchange will take appointments for people to come in with their items, thus taking away any perceived stigma there may have been.
So who are the white-collar individuals that are making use of the pawn shops? Some are business owners. Others are affluent individuals that may have stumbled on a rough patch and are looking for some cash to get through it. And others are celebrities. You heard right, there have been cases of stars calling for appointments to go into pawn shops to pawn or sell engagement or wedding rings from relationships that are no more. Other items found in some of pawn shops? Championship rings, AMA Awards and even an Oscar!
According to The National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA)’s 2015 Trend Survey, which assessed how changes in the U.S. economy have affected the pawn industry since the beginning of 2014, over 80 percent of pawnbrokers reported that collateral loans, also known as pawn loans, remain the most common transaction. Also, the national average pawn loan amount remains at $150.
The results reiterate that pawn shops are no longer the dingy, back alley establishments of past decades. High-end pawn shops, such as Boca Raton Pawn in Boca Raton, FL and Beverly Loan Co. in Beverly Hills, CA. are high-end collateral lenders catering to the tastes and needs of the cash-strapped rich — wealthy people with plenty of assets, but short on liquid cash. Higher-end shops do work similar to other pawn shops in how they loan money on collateral.
Many people from various walks of life take pawn loans, but their reasons are generally the same: They need money, but don’t want to permanently part with the item they are putting up as collateral for the loan due to sentimental value or other reason. Whatever the reason — and pawn shops usually don’t ask — pawn loans have become a mainstream way to get cash, without having to sell a valued item.