In 1985, Empire Loan opened their first Boston pawn shop on Washington St. in the South End. In those days the Orange Line rumbled by overhead and the neighborhood looked very different than it does now. When Michael Goldstein opened his doors he wanted to create a different kind of pawn shop, one with polite and professional people who would explain things to customers in an honest and open way. Now 30 years later, Empire Loan has 8 locations, including 2 pawn shops in Providence, and has helped countless customers make ends meet with fast cash loans.
Back then, the music you listened to on the ride over included this Top Ten:
Some things have changed but the one constant is that the staff at Empire Loan will treat you honestly and fairly, lending you more money and selling to you for less. Stop in today and see how much things have changed at our Boston pawn shop.
In 1985, Michael Goldstein, a 3rd generation pawnbroker from the New York area and recent graduate of Emerson College, decided it was time to go into the family business and open up a pawn shop in Boston. After 30 years, Empire Loan is now the leading pawn shop in New England with 8 locations in Boston, Providence, New Bedford, Worcester, Stoughton, Lowell and Lynn.
How did it get there? “After college I worked at some of the pawn shops that had been around Boston and it was very similar to my father and grandfather’s pawn shops in NY. They weren’t very nice and didn’t treat customer particularly well either. They didn’t cheat anybody but it just was not a pleasant experience for anybody” Michael said. “I decided I wanted to open a pawn shop that was different: treat customers honestly, fairly and with respect, try to have nice looking, comfortable, safe and well lit stores, everything these other pawn shops were not”.
With help and support of his family, Michael opened the first Empire Loan on Washington St. in Boston’s South End. As word spread about this “different” kind of pawn shop, Empire Loan grew, ultimately expanding to Providence in 1989, New Bedford in 1994 and Worcester in 2000. As each store opened, word spread that there was a pawn shop that was nice and looking to help people. That positive image helped as Empire opened their second location in Providence before adding stores in Stoughton, Lowell and Lynn.
Empire Loan is more than just pawn shop in Boston that is growing and trying to change the image of pawn shops. Empire Loan has always strived to support the communities where they operate, providing donations to organizations like the Boys & Girls Club, Girls Inc., Health Centers, Arts & Entertainment organizations, even the Zoo. In 2011, Goldstein created the Empire Loan Charitable Foundation which supports a wide range of programs in the communities where Empire Loan operates.
“As Empire Loan moves forward, our goal is to treat our customers with dignity and respect” Goldstein says. “Our staff tries to educate and inform customers about all of their options when they come into our stores to do business. We hope to continue that tradition and look to keep growing as a company and as part of the community”
The gold buying/selling rush continues! The price of gold may have come down over the past few years, but selling your unwanted gold jewelry is still a great way to get fast cash. Here at Empire Loan we specialize in Cash for Gold transactions in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
How can you make sure you get the most for your gold? Here are a five quick tips:
When getting cash for gold in Boston, instead of buyer beware, it should be Seller beware.
The price of gold has come down from the historic highs of the past few years but there are still a number of ways to convert your old gold into cold hard cash. Cash for gold is a great way to get rid of unwanted goods and increase the money in your pocket.
For 30 years, Empire Loan in Massachusetts and Rhode Island has been showing customers how to get fast cash for their gold. Empire has made it easy. Simply stop into any of Empire’s eight locations with any kind of gold you have and in a matter of minutes, walk out with cash. Here are two fast and easy options:
Sell it: If you have old broken jewelry, loose earrings or jewelry from an Ex-boyfriend you’d rather forget, Empire Loan will pay you cash to take it off your hands. It doesn’t matter if it’s crushed or broken beyond all recognition. The staff at every location is trained to test and weigh it to determine how much they can pay you based on the current market price of gold. “We had one woman come in and sell a ziplock bag filled with jewelry from an old boyfriend. In a matter of minutes she walked out with over $1,000.00 in cash” said Michael Goldstein, Founder and President of Empire Loan. “It doesn’t matter what condition it’s in. Gold is gold and Empire will convert it into cash.”
Loan it: Since Empire Loan opened in 1985, their primary business has been lending people cash based on the value of their gold. A simple wedding band can be turned into a $75.00 loan based on the karat and weight of the gold. “The best part of that” says Goldstein “is that 90% of our pawn loan customers get their merchandise back”. It works the same as selling your gold except you get a little less money, but more importantly, you get to take it back when you pay the loan back. Pawn loans have been around for centuries and are a great way to turn your gold into cash without having to sell it.
You can still get cash for your gold: 10K, 14K, 18K or even 24K. Broken, damaged, loose earrings, out of style jewelry can all mean cash in your pocket.
Back to school time in New England is celebrated and feared by millions of people. Kids are excited for a new start and the next adventure, while parents are thrilled to get the kids out of the house. Some kids are afraid of what is coming up, while parents can be terrified of the cost associated with the season. Here are four ways a pawn shop can help:
Kindergarten and grade school now comes with a shopping list that goes beyond just new sneakers. In Massachusetts and Rhode Island, school systems are asking students to bring in their own crayons, glue sticks, notebooks and even paper towels and boxes of tissues to start the year. All of this comes on top of the new back to school clothes, backpacks and winter clothing that the new school year requires. At any of Empire Loans 8 New England locations, a pawn loan for a gold chain, laptop computer or flat screen TV can help get parents the cash they need to handle these expected, but necessary expenses.
As kids grow through high school, these expenses don’t go away, they just keep rising. Teens still need new clothes and school supplies but communities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island now ask that students pay “Activity Fees” for clubs, sports and other extracurricular activities. In many cities and towns like Lynn, New Bedford, Stoughton and other areas these fees have grown from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. Parents can now find the money they need with a pawn loan from their local pawn shop to help cover the expense.
College tuition is on the rise and the cost of textbooks can be hundreds of dollars each, making it almost impossible to make ends meet. Colleges in Lowell, Worcester and Boston have seen their students heading out for a pawn loan to get everything a student needs to make college achievable. A pawn loan for some of these necessities of college life can be the difference between a college degree and just dreaming of one.
While you’re getting your loan at Empire Loan in Providence or New Bedford to pay for all of these back to school expenses, take a minute to shop for items the kids may need. Laptops and tablets can be real bargains and help with homework and assignments and where better to find deals on musical instruments like trumpets, saxophones and clarinets for budding musicians in the school band. Empire Loans pawn shops are a great place to get real bargains, helping cut the cost of back to school season.
You get an A+ for choosing a pawn shop to help with back to school!
This August marks the 25th anniversary of the worldwide web as we know it. Online shopping, college classes and degrees, recipes, email, movies & music, just about anything you can imagine can be found on the web. Cars are wifi hotspots, medical records are accessible, and how-to videos have changed the world as we know it. In the pawn industry, there have been technological advances that have helped customers and pawnbrokers alike. Empire Loan, a chain of pawn shops in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, has been leading the way.
Empire Loan has created an app called Cash Cam, that allows consumers to take a photo of an item and submit it to Empire Loan to find out what it might be worth. “In the almost 2 years since we launched Cash Cam we have received hundreds of submissions from people all over the country, although it’s mostly designed for customers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island” Said Michael Goldstein, President of Empire Loan. “The concept was that people who are cleaning out their attic or find something at a yard sale can snap a picture and send it in to see how much they might be able to get for it. People have submitted artwork, antiques, instruments, electronics, just about anything you can think of. It’s been a big success”
Another technological benefit Empire Loan offers their customer is an online loan center that allows customers to pay their loans from anywhere by logging onto www.EmpireLoan.com. “The Loan Center was created to allow customers to renew their loans or even redeem them without having to come into the store” says Goldstein. “Our customers can’t always get in to the store to pay on their loans because of work, travel or just not having the time. The best feeling is when they call in a panic about not being able to get into the store. We tell them to just log onto the website and they can pay through the web. You can almost hear the relief in their voice. People have paid while they were on vacation, at work, anywhere they happen to be really”.
Pawnbroking may be a centuries old industry, but pawnbrokers like Empire Loan have taken it beyond just New England, and into Cyberspace!
For 30 years, Empire Loan has been offering pawn loans for a fraction of what many of our competitors charge. Even though Massachusetts and Rhode Island pawn loans are regulated, there is a difference. Most importantly, that difference can save you money. Here’s how:
Massachusetts and Rhode Island are home to the largest concentration of Portuguese people in America. It may be the common history of fishing and whaling that created this phenomena but one thing is for sure, the South Coast area of Massachusetts and Providence Rhode Island is also home to one of the greatest Portuguese festivals in America, the Day of Portugal. Empire Loan’s New Bedford Pawn Shop location is fortunate to be located in the middle of this tremendous festival that attracts as many as 100,000 people every year!
In 2015, Empire Loan worked with the Day of Portugal Festival committee to create a new centerpiece that provided something for the whole family and the community to enjoy. Utilizing the space in front of and surrounding the store, Empire Loan created a family friendly picnic area, free Portuguese themed face painting for the kids, an artisan and travel and tourism area that promoted Portuguese culture and vacations.
Empire Loan provided 15 picnic tables in a partly tented area that allowed attendees to take a seat with food from some of the many vendors allowing them to just sit, relax and enjoy the festivities. Whether it was Portuguese specialties or fun festival foods, the well-lit area was a welcome break from the crowds. In the same area, Empire Loan brought in face painters who created a menu of Portuguese themed artwork that included the Portuguese flag, soccer balls, Princess crowns and other pieces that were done free of charge for all the kids in attendance. This entirely free, family friendly offering was very well received and appreciated.
Empire Loan also provided a huge exhibit space to a group of Portuguese artisans that allowed them to display Portuguese arts and crafts as well as information on travel and commerce in Portugal. Attendees were able to meet the artisans and representatives who were on hand to promote Portuguese culture and talk about all aspects of life in the Azores.
To top it all off WJFD 97.3FM was broadcasting live from the Empire Loan store and keeping the crowds happy and entertained throughout the weekend. WJFD has been New England’s 50,000 watt voice of the Portuguese community for over 60 years and has been the centerpiece of the Day of Portugal Festival since its inception.
The Day of Portugal Festival 2015 was spectacular and Empire Loan looks to make 2016 even better!
There are guitars and then there are GUITARS! New England Pawn shops like Empire Loan are known for being a great place to pick up anything from an entry level student model guitar to a high end classic guitar with incredible collector value. You never know what may turn up at a Massachusetts or Rhode Island pawn shop.
1. World’s most expensive guitar: Fender created a one of a kind, diamond encrusted guitar worth over a million dollars. This custom made guitar is so special, if you get to hold it, they don’t want you to play it. Then again, if you can afford to own something like this, you can probably afford to have someone play it for you.2. In 1996, Eric Clapton ordered a gold plated guitar that was valued at nearly a half million dollars. One can only imagine what it would cost or weigh if it was solid gold!
3. The late Bob Marley had a custom made Washburn 22 series Hawk that had an estimated value of $1 to $2 million dollars and is classified as a national asset by the Jamaican government and was one of only seven guitars owned by the legend himself.
4. The 1968 Fender Stratocaster allegedly played by Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock was bought by Microsoft’s Paul Allen for $2 million dollars in 1998. This is not one he is likely to set on fire.
5, In 2005, a special autographed guitar was created by Fender to help raise money to support the victims of the tsunami. It was autographed by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend, Mark Knopfler and many others. The guitar sold at an auction in Qatar for $2.7 million dollars!
While you may not find some of the world’s most expensive guitars at Empire Loan’s 8 locations, you can also try Empire Guitars, their exclusive guitar shop for everybody from the Novice to the legends.
This weekend is Father’s day and you’re running out of time, and you don’t want to spend a ton of money to get dad a gift. What should you do? Stop into MA & RI Pawn Shops like Empire Loan and get him something he will enjoy.
Here are 3 things gift ideas for dad that you may find:
Father’s day is this Sunday! Take a quick trip to one of Empire Loan’s 8 locations in Boston, Providence, New Bedford, Worcester, Stoughton, Lowell and Lynn will save the day. Do it for dad!