Historically, pawn shops have suffered from a bad reputation: the place of last resort for the downtrodden who have nowhere else to turn in order to get cash. Today, however, there's a new breed of pawnshop - one that's a reputable provider of financial services.
The focus of these new pawn shops is twofold: to provide fast cash loans and retail bargains. With engaging storefronts and friendly service personnel, a pawn shop is less like a last resort and more like a legitimate option for obtaining a short-term loan at a reasonable rate.
Property-Secured Loans with a Twist
For those in need of cash, there are a myriad of options. Like a traditional pawn shop, customers can bring in items of value - like jewelry, musical instruments, consumer electronics, DVDs, tools, and video games - as collateral, and receive a cash loan. The items pawned are securely stored until the loan is repaid. The difference is that the value of the item pawned is determined by state-of-the-art technology, rather than by assessment by an individual.
Direct Purchase Options
This new breed of pawn shops offers other options for quick cash, such as the direct purchase option. In this case, customers who no longer want or need an item can sell it directly to the pawnshop. The customer service representative offers the customer both a "loan price" and a "buy price" for the item. For those who don't have an outlet for selling unwanted items or who want to ensure they get a fair price, a pawnshop can be a welcome option. A pawn shop dealer often acts as a gold buyer - even for broken gold - when a customer has jewelry that he or she no longer wants. In fact, a dealer may even become a mobile gold buyer and jewelry cleaner, offering potential customers free jewelry cleanings as well as an assessment of the value of the pieces they are thinking of selling.
Payday Loan Services
As part of the financial services it provides, a pawnshop may also offer payday loan services. These unsecured loans are typically short-term, 15-day unsecured loans, which offer customers an easy way to pay unexpected bills or to avoid late fees on their household payments. By providing the pawn shop with proof of employment, proof of residence, and proof of an active bank account, customers can receive immediate cash to tide them over until their next paychecks arrive.
Bargain Hunter's Paradise
For bargain hunters, some pawn shops now operate retail stores that offer incredible deals on merchandise acquired through direct purchase, through collateral on unpaid loans, and as a result of their services as a mobile gold buyer. These bright stores with friendly sales personnel give shoppers an outstanding shopping experience.
The Role of the Internet
Thanks to the Internet, both those seeking the financial services of a pawnshop and those hunting for shopping bargains have easy access. Some pawn shops offer online services, using a secure mailbox drop for goods received and online payment methods like PayPal. These pawnshops often supplement their retail store offerings with online auctions using venues such as eBay.
Today, pawn shops have moved into the 21st century, and are using technology and resources to ensure a positive experience for both those needing fast cash and those looking for quality merchandise.