You see them in town and you have been wondering just exactly what is a pawn shop, how do they work, and why are they becoming more commonplace? But you haven’t asked.

Well to answer your question, pawn shops are a lending institution. They loan money on items you already own, instead of your credit profile. You don’t need to be employed or have a great credit score, all you need is an item of value and a willingness to redeem the item when you have cash available. For an example, you have a 50″ television, also you have a bill due and it is $100. You could bring in the television to the pawnshop and receive $100 for it. Your bill is paid, and your item was used as the “credit” for the loan. You would repay $125 to redeem the television within thirty days. This is a cheaper option than payday loans, insufficient fund charges from your bank and most traditional lending institutions will not loan small amounts.

For a more detailed look and history of pawn shops; Let’s look at the history of pawn shops. Pawn shops date back to ancient times and are one of the earliest recorded lending institutions. During the late middle ages, the House of Lombard in Europe had a group of pawn shops. The sign of the House of Lombard was the three golden balls, and this sign was associated for years with the pawn industry.

The pawn industry came to America with the first settlers, and in the early parts of this century, pawn broking was regarded as the main source of consumer credit. With the rise of large consumer credit institutions, such as finance corporations, savings and loan associations, and credit unions, pawn shops were no longer the main source, but still continued to play a vital role in providing consumer credit. What chance do you think you would have in securing a $300.00 loan from a financial institution for a 30 to 60 day period? The cost of the paperwork alone prohibits them from making such loans on a regular basis. The general public’s need to borrow small sums of money that other sources are not willing to provide has resulted in the rising popularity of pawn shops.

A History of Helping

As mankind’s oldest financial institution, pawn shops can be traced back at least 3,000 years to ancient China and can be found in the early Greek and Roman civilizations. Throughout history, pawnbrokers have helped people of all social classes. King Edward III of England is said to have frequented pawn shops in Europe during the 14th century.  Christopher Columbus’ journey to America was financed by Queen Isabella pawning her crown jewels. The Bishop of Myra was a wealthy man who came to the aid of a penniless father of three daughters. Under customs of the times, the daughters could not wed unless a dowry could be presented; if there was no dowry, they would assume a life of slavery or prostitution. The Bishop secretly visited the house of the man and his daughters at midnight and left three bags of gold for the eldest daughter’s dowry. This practice would continue until all three children were married. The Bishop became known as the Patron Saint of Children, and each year children awaited his arrival at the stroke of midnight to bring gifts of gold. Sound familiar? He is now known as Saint Nicholas. Spreading generosity and good, Saint Nicholas is also the Patron Saint of Pawnbrokers. Through the years, some pawnbrokers have hung three gold balls above their doors to welcome the spirit of Saint Nicholas and wish good luck to all of their customers.

Pawn Shops: Home for great bargains

Great value at a great price. Get the most for your dollar. Vast savings on outstanding merchandise. Bargain basement and close-out prices every day. Where can you find these things and much, much more? At your local pawn shop.

If you are interested in saving money and finding great values, the pawn shop is the place for you to go. Today’s pawn shop has it all. Quality merchandise at outstanding prices is what the modern pawn shop is all about.

Previously owned merchandise of excellent quality can be found on the shelves of your local pawn shop. Every time a pawn broker loans on an item, they know it has the potential to one day be part of their inventory. Therefore, they only will deal in good quality merchandise. Also, the pawn shop is an established business. The pawn broker is not here today and gone tomorrow like the flea market, auction sale, garage sale, mail in gold buyer, or the guys selling out of a van on the side of the road. Today’s pawn broker knows his business is only as great as his reputation, and he wants to maintain a great reputation. It’s as simple as that.

The variety of merchandise in a pawn shop is absolutely incredible. Since the vast majority of merchandise is previously owned, the number of makes and models of merchandise can be almost unlimited. You just never know what you may find in today’s pawn shops.

You may be asking, “Isn’t a lot of the merchandise in a pawn shop stolen?” Today’s pawn brokers are heavily regulated and licensed by the state to insure they do not deal in stolen merchandise. All transactions are closely monitored by law enforcement agencies to see that pawn shop merchandise is not stolen. As earlier stated, the pawn shop is an established business enterprise, not here today and gone tomorrow. Rest assured that the merchandise you find in the pawn shop is not stolen.

So what are you waiting for? There is a world of bargains to be found in your neighborhood pawn shops. Check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

Going to a Pawn Shop is Fun!!!

Shopping in pawn shops can be a lot of fun. Where else can you find the value and the variety of inventory on the shelves of a pawn shop? There is no other business quite like the pawn business, and no two shops are run the same. The vast majority of pawn shops are managed by individual owner operators, making each pawn shop a little different from the other.

What can you find in today’s pawn shops?

Variety is what makes visiting a pawn shop such an exciting and enjoyable experience. You never know what you may find next. You would have to visit dozens of different retail stores to find all the different types of merchandise found in one single pawn shop. Fine jewelry, fine watches, diamonds, flat screen TV’s, digital cameras, video cameras, desktop and laptop computers, musical instruments, tools, guns, automobiles, motorcycles, boats, bikes and coins are just a few examples of items to be found in a pawn shop. The list goes on and on. The great thing is that the merchandise found in pawn shops changes on a daily basis. So, whenever you visit your favorite pawn shop, there will always be a new selection of inventory. There is also a wide variety of brands found in pawn shops, making shopping very easy. For example, say you are looking for a watch. Most retail stores will carry either a “higher end” or a “lower end” selection of wristwatches. However, you could go to most pawn shops and purchase a Rolex, Cartier, Tag Heuer, Breitling, Tiffany &Co., Bulgari, Citizens, Seiko, Fossil, Invicta, vintage pocket watch and vintage gold and diamond watches. What retail store could you go to that carries all of these brands? And this is the case for all other merchandise as well. Pawn shops can be your “one shop stop” to meet all of your shopping needs.

Another advantage of pawn shops is the availability of brands or models that were discontinued two or three (or more) years ago. Everyone has heard the old saying, “They don’t make them like they used to.” Sometimes the only place you can find an item “made the way they used to,” is in a pawn shop. Retail stores only carry the “latest and greatest” which is not always the “greatest.” This is why shopping at a pawn shop can be so fun and exciting.

So…make shopping at pawn shops a part of your shopping experience. They are retail businesses, known for providing an outstanding and exceptional selection of new and pre-owned merchandise, excellent customer service and a superb value to their customers.

With the current economy crunch many Americans are experiencing, why shop retail?