Surprising Pawn Shop Considerations

For many, a pawn shop offers a potential cash outlet in a time of need, or just to raise some extra cash on the side. If you’ve never considered using a pawn shop, here are some considerations and even some new offerings that have changed in recent years from what your old perceptions may have been.

    • Many wealthy Brits are now using pawn shops. We often think of the wealthy as having an infinite stash of cash around for whenever they need it, but often times, all this “wealth” is tied up in assets that aren’t liquid. By not being liquid, that means that while they may have a lot of physical items worth a lot of money like land and investments, they can’t easily get their hands on cash they need for daily living or financial obligations they have. Here’s an example of a businessman who pawned his Aston Martin for cash for instance. It worked out for him and he viewed it as a great way to raise cash quickly when needed.


    • Perception – According to the National Pawnbrokers Association of the UK (NPA), the wealthy now account for half the new business they bring in. So, the stigma or perception that used to be tied to using a pawnshop is certainly changing. More and more people are using pawn shops and they’re increasingly being viewed as a viable outlet for short-term cash.


    • Typical Terms – Usually a pawnbroker offers the client about half the value of the item for six months as a loan. You then have to pay interest on that loan and get the item back if repaid in time. According to the NPA again, about 85 percent of the items are reclaimed after loans are repaid.


  • Famous Pawn Stories – One of the most popular stories of pawn shop success is when Diane von Furstenberg pawned her diamond ring to start her dress business and she now runs a multi-million dollar fashion business as a result. Aside from cars, jewelry and heirlooms, people pawn anything of value, such that there are actual television shows dedicated to the industry.



Darwin is an engineer and MBA who takes an "evolutionary" approach to finance, writing about adapting to evolving financial management, tax, investing, and savings opportunities. Making more money and saving more money is an adaptive process - join the evolution! He blogs at Darwin's Money and ETF Base.
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