Pawn Shops! Economic Barometer?

Hello Everyone! Earlier this week I had the pleasure of going on a “pawn shop” trip in San Diego’s North Park area.  It just so happens I had a birthday earlier this week too– so I was in search of an opal ring– my birth stone.

How do pawn shops work?  A pawn shop gives customers a place to sell their personal items for cash. The  pawn broker looks the item over and determines how much money he can obtain for it.  He then makes a lower offer to the customer. The pawn broker makes money when he  sells the item at a higher price.  (I have a feeling the pawn broker made some money off me…)

Read more:  How Do Pawn Shops Work? | eHow.com

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Pictured above is the opal ring I found at CashCo Jewelry & Loan for $90.  Lucky for me the jewelry was 30% off the day I was there.  This was my first serious trip to a pawn shop. I was surprised at the fantastic quality goods I found.  Since I’m still in search of diamond earrings– looks like I’ll be cruising by the pawn shops when I’m ready to buy those.

Which brings me to my next question– pawn shops as economic barometers?  Why is the pawn industry generating so much buzz as a “barometer of  the economy”? Reports show the three publicly traded pawn  companies reported significantly increased earnings during the last two  fiscal quarters. An increase in gold value and the “Cash for  Gold” craze have both shown record numbers of people trading in old jewelry  and coins for cash. Perhaps the perception could be based on speculation  that in hard times, people pawn. However, there is a larger, more  compelling story about the pawn industry.

The National Pawnbrokers Association reports there are over 30 million pawn store customers per year and they appreciate this unique form of credit and tend to borrow only what they need, as evidenced by the relatively low national average loan amount of $80. NPA President and pawn shop owner Dave Crume says, “Pawn customers repay their loans and redeem their collateral at a correspondingly high average national redemption rate of 80 percent. These parameters appear to be holding constant, despite the current economy.”

  • CashCo Jewelry & Loan #1
  • 4502 University Avenue #103
  • San Diego, CA  92105
  • Web: www.cashcopawn.com

I’m not sure what to make of all this, but I’m really glad I stopped by CashCo last Monday and found my lovely opal ring. I’m pretty sure it was “pre-owned” and that is fine.  (Now if I could just find some “pre-owned” diamond earrings….)

Under-consumption is more in-style than ever, right??!  (why buy new?)

Cheers!

 

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About Jody Thompson

I'm going to blog about my many shopping escapades. Whether it is a used book store, a thrift shop or a consignment shop-- I'm here to tell all about my experiences. When I find great stuff-- I'll let you know. I'm sending good karma to all the thrifty shoppers out there!
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