5 Things You Should Know About Pawn Shops

If you’ve never been to a pawn shop you probably have questions. Here are 5 of the most frequently asked question along with answers:

1) Pawn shops Want You to Get Your Stuff Back

As an industry, over 80% of customers who pawn their valuables for a loan get their items back. At Empire Loan, over 90% of customers who visit one of our 8 stores for a loan, redeem their loan and get their merchandise back. Pawn shops like Empire Loan make money on the interest they charge, so if you get your items back, Empire Loan makes money. This also means that if you get your items back, you could potentially be a return customer. The vast majority of Empire Loan’s customers are repeat customers. As we often say; “We don’t want to own your merchandise.”

2) Pawn Shops Test and Authenticate the Items they take in

Pawn shops have become experts at authenticating the items that customer come in with for a loan. Whether it’s testing gold & diamond jewelry or authenticating a Designer Handbag, a reputable pawn shop like Empire Loan will ensure that the item you have is real. Our staff is trained to test items like jewelry using industry best practices but also employs third party partners and technology to authenticate high end watches, collectables and other items before accepting them or selling them. This means you can learn more about what you have by simply having a conversation with one of our expert staff.

3) Pawn Shops are heavily regulated by the city and state they operate in

The rules and regulations for pawn shops are set and enforced by local government and law enforcement. In Massachusetts local police departments regulate pawn shops while in Rhode Island it’s the Attorney Generals office. Interest rates are set by the state and enforced by local authorities as well and are some of the lowest in the country. Even the length of the loan is set by the government. In Massachusetts the loans are for 4 months while in Rhode Island it’s 3 months. Any reputable pawnbroker should be willing to explain all of these terms to you upfront, so you can feel secure in conducting a transaction. If not, head into one of Empire Loan’s 8 convenient shops and see the difference.

4) Pawn Shops Do Not want to take in stolen Merchandise

(and thieves do not want to go there). All pawn shops and secondhand dealers are required to report every transaction to local law enforcement and to hold the items for a specific period of time before doing anything with them. This gives authorities time to investigate if the items were the result of a crime. In 0ver 99.9% of transactions, the items are NOT crime related. In fact, criminals who even think about bringing stolen items to a pawn shop should know that their name, ID, photos and descriptions will be reported to police on a regular basis, making it easy for them to be tracked down.

5) Pawn Shops are a great alternative to other short-term lenders like Payday loans

(which are illegal in Massachusetts). Payday loans tie into a borrower’s bank account and credit report, potentially damaging a customer’s credit rating and can charge exorbitant fees, creating a never-ending cycle of debt. Payday loans are often referred to as predatory because of the way they take advantage of borrowers. With a pawn loan, there’s no tapping into your bank account or reporting to credit rating agencies. If you are unable to pay back the loan, your forfeit the merchandise and there are no consequences. The item becomes the property of the pawn shop, but you are free and clear.

Is a pawn shop right for you? Decide for yourself. But at least now you have the answers to the most common questions. For more information contact us today!

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