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Getting Rid of Pawn Shop Stereotypes

April 26, 2009 by Administrator 

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Throughout San Diego county and in cities around the country, many people have negative perceptions of pawn shops. In Illinois, The Daily Northwestern reports that Windy City Jewelry & Loan Ltd. is tired of the stereotypes and is working its hardest to defy them. In their article the newspaper talks with the store’s manager Bruno Wilson. Unlike the image people often have in their heads, Wilson’s shop is clean and neat, and no one can enter without first being buzzed in by an attendant.

Wilson, who has been in the pawning business for 22 years, is sure that pawn shops have a place in the community. “I feel we serve a real big niche in the community,” Wilson said. “We provide non-recourse collateral loans to people throughout the community because they’re not making enough to keep up.”

The most important part of the service, Wilson said, was that the loans were in fact “non-recourse collateral,” which is based on property rather than credit.

At a pawn shop, a person comes in with a piece of property, generally jewelry or electronics. The pawn shop will assign a value to it and loan that money to the customer. The customer then has a month to repay the loan, at which time the item will be returned to them. If a customer chooses not to pick up an item, the person is not penalized and his or her credit is not harmed; the items are simply put up for sale in the shop’s front room. This lack of credit penalty, Wilson said, is appealing to community residents, particularly in this economy.

“People’s credit has been ruined by payday loans and title loans,” he said. “Because of our stereotype, people come to us last but wish they had come to us first.”

Wilson also said the stereotypes of the pawn industry are largely perpetuated by Hollywood and the news media, stereotypes that aren’t always fair. Pawn shops are often confused with buy-and-resell shops, which aren’t regulated and can often serve as a way for criminals to get fast cash for stolen goods, Wilson said.

San Diego Pawn Shops, Gold Buyers, Gold Refineries, & More

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