Beverly Hills Pawn Shop Sees Surge

December 27, 2008 by Administrator 


This year business is up for California pawn shop owners, an indication of how much tougher this season has become for some. According to the LA Times, Collateral Lender (a well-known Beverly Hills pawn shop) has seen a 20% surge in customers over the last three months or about the same period the stock market tanked.

Traditional lenders have seized up, and people of all walks of life are handing over their diamonds, purses and golf clubs to make their next mortgage payment or, in some cases, pay their employees for the holiday season, pawn shop workers say.

“This whole period now is nuts,” said Tal Shmargal, owner of Collateral Lender. “We have people taking loans just to keep their business afloat.”

It’s a trend that’s been reported nationally as the nation’s economy continues its downward spiral. Two of the nation’s leading publicly traded pawn companies — Ezcorp Inc. and First Cash Financial Services Inc. — are among just a handful of stocks that have risen this year, up 31% and 20%, respectively.

“For a lot of people, we’re the only source for money,” said Dave Adelman, president of the National Pawnbrokers Assn. and owner of Jerry’s Pawn Shop in Atlanta. “They can’t go to a bank and get money because they won’t lend. . . . Most definitely pawnshops are more busy. This time of year we’re doing very well.”

Such is the case at Collateral Lender, where a Christmas tree commanded center space on the shop’s floor and Wham’s “Last Christmas” was blaring from the radio speakers. On the corner of Wilshire and Robertson boulevards next to a glossy BMW dealership, Shmargal’s pawn brokerage is also a reminder of how hard times afflict the affluent.

Collateral Lender opened in Beverly Hills in 1990 around the time many pawn shops were shedding their age-old image of being dangerous haunts of last resort by instead focusing on the well-heeled.

Shmargal said many of his visitors appeared rich on paper but were cash poor in this economy. Those seeking loans include actors he cannot name who come and drop off their wares and stockbrokers in desperate need of paying off debts immediately.

“We don’t ask their stories unless they volunteer,” Shmargal, 52, said.


If you are concerned about anything with regards to confidentiality or security when dealing with a pawn shop in California, you needn’t be. To ease any San Diego pawn shop concerns that you might have please read this article: Your Confidentiality & Security.

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


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