Monday, December 15, 2014

Pawn Stars 2

As you might recall, I mentioned a while back I'd taken a job at a pawn shop. I'm still there, and fortunately it's turned into a full-time gig. I also LOVE it. Not only do we get the coolest most interesting things in, but it's never a dull moment. It's the most fun I've ever had at work.

When I first started, I had no idea how pawning worked, and a lot of people come into the shop wondering the same thing. So I thought I might explain. Here's how it works: Let's say your taxes come due and you're short $250 dollars which you don't have and can't borrow. What you do have is some collateral you can bring to the pawn shop which will then loan you money on that item. The pawn shop keeps the item in a safe place and you generally have 31 days to come redeem said item for the amount of the original loan ($250) plus the interest (25% or $62.50). If you don't return to pay, your item goes out on the floor to be sold to cover your debt. This is why you never get full retail value for a pawned item. The pawn shop has to be able to make money on it on the chance you don't come back.

At our shop, people can come back at the end of the month, just pay the interest, and carry over another month. In fact, they can do that for as many months as they need. It isn't smart, because if they do it too much, they'll end up paying us far more than the item was ever worth. But shite happens and people get into jams. I will also say that at our shop we never pull an item out of pawn if the person doesn't come back right off; we always give them more time. A lot of pawn shops don't.

The other side of our business is the outright buying of items from people who have stuff to sell. They might be cleaning out a relative's house or be moving or downsizing or maybe they're a picker. We have a few people who scour yard sales and flea markets for finds and then bring those items to us in the hopes of making a profit. Regardless, we love these people, because this is where the bulk of our items come from. We get furniture, gaming systems, movies, bows (composite and cross), china, art (we just sold a painting on ebay for over 2K!!!), and a ton of jewelry. And we get new stuff every day, not to mention the weird stuff, which can sometimes be worth more than you'd think!

Anyway...that's a little about the pawn shop where I work. Oh, and if you're ever in the market for old wooden lobster buoys, we have a couple hundred. My boss got all the fishermen in the county to bring theirs in and he bought them all!


19 comments:

  1. So happy it's turned into a full-time gig for you. That place must be a plethora of story starters. Very cool... And thanks for the pawn shop info.

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  2. I bet you do see some unusual stuff. I admit, I enjoy watching the show Pawn Stars because of all the old history stuff that comes into the store.

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  3. Awesome you found a job you really like. I'm laid off right now and hoping to find something I really like too.

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  4. Oh, Marcy, your job sounds like a great setting for a story! Imagine the tales all that stuff and the people who pawn it could inspire. :)

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  5. Congrats Marcy! IT does sound like a fun place to work! Imagine all the wonderful story lines that can come out of working there!

    Love your tree, BTW....

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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  6. That would be an interesting job. Sounds like you work at one of the better ones. Like so many jobs... it's often all about the people you work with as much the job itself.

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  7. Yay! I know you liked working there, so I'm glad it's turned into a full time gig!

    I get how stuff comes into the shop, but how does it go out? Do you sell most of your stuff online, to collectors, or do you have a walk-in business?

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  8. I don't think I knew how pawn shops worked. Very interesting and fun. Love the picture of your tree on top.

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  9. I suspect that I would be as intrigued by some of the customers as I was by the items they brought in...

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  10. I want to know about the weird stuff.

    Love,
    Janie

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  11. Glad the job's working out. I bet it's a great source of blog posts as well as book starters.

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  12. Lobster buoys make a great picture. What a fascinating job! Sadly, I always thing of pawn shops in tandem with the memory of time my house was robbed and my few bits of valuable jewelry disappeared. But now you've given me another impression. Intriguing!

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  13. I have a friend who does all her Christmas shopping at pawn shops. Partly because of the prices and partly because she never knows what she might find for that "impossible to buy for" person on her list.

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  14. Thrilled for you that it went to full-time. Thrilled that you love it, too. Love the fun Christmas banner.

    Happy Christmas.

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  15. OMG that's a huge interest! Interest for the pawn shop owners only LOL :)

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  16. I knew about pawning an item to just sell it, but I had no idea pawn shops also provided a loan type of option. Yes, it's always going to be high interest in a business like this.

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  17. That is terrifically interesting, and I only had a sketching of what pawn shops do. We bought used golf clubs there until hubs decided he was good enough to buy new ones, and I've salivated over the jewelry (pearls) many times. I got a UK dart board (never used) at one many years ago as well for a gift to someone. Hope you have a great holiday! Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2015!

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  18. Huh. That's really interesting. I've never used a pawn shop before, so I didn't know about this. Thanks for the cool info!

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