Gone are the days of heading to that dingy pawnshop on the bad side of town to hock your grandmother’s china for a quick buck! These days you can sell your valuables online or in new, classier pawnshop digs.
SmartMoney reports on the new class of pawn merchants, who are catering to more middle-class clients. Some of the nations 13,000 pawnshops are taking measures like placing ads in local magazines, relocating to shopping centers, or decorating their stores with wainscoting and leather chairs. “There’s no bars anywhere!”
And for those who really don’t want to be face-to-face with the person who is buying their treasures, sites like Pawngo.com offer clients an online estimate, and have the loan wired to a bank account within 24 hours. Such a fancy service is costly, with annual percentage rates on those loans from 48 to 84%.
I’m really going to miss those scenes in movies when the kid walks by the guitar in the window and then backtracks to gaze longingly before emptying out his piggy bank to head in and purchase it and then end up being someone really famous. Progress ruins everything!
Pawnshops Go Upscale and Online [SmartMoney]