The current health crisis has affected businesses and people around the world and all 8 Empire Loan stores are doing the best they can to cope with the situation and continue to help our customers. Here are a few of the things we are doing at our local pawn shops across New England:
All Empire Loan stores have stopped displaying and selling jewelry to reduce contact interactions between our employees and customers for everybody’s health and safety. We have also stopped the sale of hardgoods in our stores for the same reason. Many items that may have been for sale in-store are now available online through our eBay store (http://www.ebaystores.com/empireloan).
Employees are wiping down and disinfecting our retail and pawn counters on a regular basis and instituting safety procedures for the items we take in. Employees are regularly wiping down the equipment, counters and other frequently touched surfaces to maintain a sanitary work/customer space.
Empire Loan is one of the few (if not only) pawnshop that allows customers to renew their loans online. This means customers can simply log onto our website (https://empireloan.com/) and click the link to “Pay Your Loan”. Once there, you can create an account that will allow you to pay to renew your loan or see when it’s due without having to come into the store. As a result of the current health crisis, Empire Loan is waiving the $2.00 convenience fee for this service. While other pawn shops and businesses may try to take advantage of their customers in times of trouble, Empire Loan works hard to make it easy for our customers.
Many people are feeling insecure and pressured to keep up with their bills. Empire Loan wants to make it easier to do that and will be waiving late fees on any loans our customers have. It’s just one more way that Empire Loan is trying to make it easy for our customers without piling on.
Although things keep changing by the minute, Empire Loan is striving to make it easy for our customers to come in when they have to. We currently are open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM for our customer’s convenience and hope to add Saturdays back into that as soon as possible. We are available toll-free at (800) 375-PAWN and can be reached by email at Info@EmpireLoan.com during our business hours.
Since 1985, Empire Loan has worked to earn your trust and in these difficult times, we will try to work even harder. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to call us. Together, we can get through this.
For questions, please call us today @ 1-800-375-PAWN
Pawn shops have changed over the years and so have many of the potential items you can bring in for a quick cash loan. Here, in no particular order, are 5 of the most common items pawn shops will take in for cash loans!
The winner and still champion is gold & diamond jewelry. Pawn shops have been offering cash loans for gold & diamond jewelry for literally centuries and this is still the #1 way to get a cash loan. The price of gold is still sky high and so gold is one of the more common items pawn shops offer loans on. Remember the loan amounts are not based on what you may have paid for it or what it appraised for.
Pawn shops generally make offers based on the scrap value of the metal and a small percentage of the wholesale value of the diamonds, so remember this before you go in. An average 14K gold wedding band, no diamonds or anything special could potentially get you a loan of $60 to $100 based on the weight. Loans on gold and platinum are common however, silver jewelry has little scrap value. Gold is currently trading over $1,500 an ounce while silver trades for around $17 an ounce. See Live Gold & Silver Prices Now!
Pawn shops have always taken in a variety of tools for cash loans. Tools must be in good working order and the better the condition, the more valuable the tools are and therefore the more money you may be able to borrow. It wouldn’t hurt for you to check the tools carefully before bringing them into a pawn shop. Clean it up and get some of the dust and dirt off of them. Make sure it is charged and ready for testing and that there is no damage that may affect the tool’s operation. Just as importantly, certain brands hold better value: DeWalt, Milwaukee, SnapOn, Bosch, MAC, Bostitch and Makita are just a few of the more valuable tool brands. Others like Black & Decker, Stanley and Ryobi may be able to get the job done, but they do not have much in the way of secondhand value.
Pawn shops have taken in a range of musical instruments throughout the years. Guitars, saxophones, trumpets, violins and even accordions have been used as collateral to get a loan at a pawn shop. The amount you can borrow will be based on the brand, model and condition of the instrument you bring in and there may be other requirements.
A reputable pawn shop will look to find the average secondhand selling price of the instrument on websites like eBay and offer you a percentage of that amount for a loan, usually between 20% – 30%. Condition will definitely be a factor and you may very well have to have a case of some sort to store it in. Empire Loan also requires you to play it to prove it works and aid in verifying ownership. Just remember, it’s not based on what you paid for it but what it is actually selling for secondhand.
Electronics can get you a surge of cash: Electronics are some of the biggest monetary investments we make, but they always drop in value very quickly. Laptops, flatscreen TV’s, tablets and digital cameras are just some of the items pawn shops will take in for collateral. The problem is that many of these items become obsolete in less than a year or two. A laptop computer you may have bought $2,000 to $3,000 today may be worth as little as 1/10th of that within a matter of months. A pawn shop will only offer you a percentage of that amount for a loan.
While certain brands hold their value longer; Apple, HP, Dell are some examples, it does not mean it holds its value as the technology changes. With any of these items, make sure you have all the accessories that come with it: cables, cords, remote controls etc., and that you have cleaned it up before you bring it in. This may help you get a little more money than you would otherwise.
This is a newer category that pawn shops have been taking in as collateral for pawn loans in recent years. Designer handbags from companies like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel and other high-end manufacturers can sometimes sell for thousands of dollars each brand new and often retain a decent amount of their value on the secondhand market. This means you could potentially get a loan for hundreds if not thousands of dollars on selected designer handbags.
That said, other designer bags may sell for a fraction of that. Brands like Michael Kors, Coach, Dooney and Bourke may have popular and stylish handbags and wallets but they do not have the same value as the other high end manufacturers. It’s helpful if you have things like the outer dustbag or box that it came in, as well as the original tags or certificates that originally came with it. These items not only help with identification and authentication, they sometimes even increase the value of the bags.
These are examples are just a few of the types of items pawn shops accept as collateral for a loan. If you think you have something else that may be of value, call our main line at 1-800-375-PAWN or contact your local Empire Loan store, we’d be happy to help!
If you prefer to submit your questions online, “Ask Mike” via our convenient contact form!
For more information on additional items that we accept, please click here!
The idea that stolen items end up in pawn shops simply isn’t true anymore. Extensive reporting requirements for every item that comes in is a huge deterrent for thieves. At Empire Loan, everything we receive is meticulously described, photographed and transmitted to a police database. Learn more.
Broken jewelry – everybody has some, but nobody wants to just throw it away. What can you do with your broken or damaged gold, diamond and silver jewelry? Empire Loan has 3 options you can do with those broken items that have just been sitting in the bottom of your dresser drawer.
There is one other option: just let that broken jewelry sit in the bottom of your drawer collecting dust. But why do that when the other options are so much better!
Pawn shops have gotten a bad rap in the past. Negatively portrayed in the movies, pawn shops are associated with seedy-looking characters and dark and dirty storefronts.
Well, the times have changed! Pawn shops are prominently featured in TV shows as great spots for bargains and the perfect place to get short-term loans that aren’t available from banks or traditional lenders. Modern day pawn shops are clean, well-lit businesses that serve consumers from all walks of life.
Time to correct some of these misconceptions:
Pawn Shops are regulated by local, state and federal laws pertaining to loans, purchases and privacy issues. People often think when their property is stolen they simply go to a pawn shop and see if their merchandise is on display there, but it’s really not that simple. Here’s a description of the process and what you should do if your merchandise is stolen.
First, understand that Pawnbrokers and other second hand dealers are generally required to report all transactions they make to local police or authorities. In addition to pawn shops, jewelers and consignment shops that buy gold and silver jewelry and other items are all required to maintain records of transactions and report them to local authorities on a regular basis. This often includes providing pictures and descriptions of all the items they take in, along with a copy of the ID and photos of the person who brought the item in. The pawn shop must then hold the item for a specific period of time, usually a minimum of 30 days, to allow the police time to investigate if the merchandise was part of a crime.
Fairly recently New England law enforcement agencies have centralized this information through NESPIN, New England State Police Information Network, where all six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) share the information of what has been brought into pawn shops and second hand dealers across the region, allowing local law enforcement the opportunity to search database to see if items brought in were the result of a crime. This database is not available to the public but is accessible to local law enforcement.
As a victim of crime, here’s what you should do:
Empire Loan wants to help you recover your merchandise. Hopefully the above information will help you figure out how to do just that. If you have any questions or need any further information, feel free to contact any of Empire Loan’s 8 locations, check our website (www.EmpireLoan.com) or call us at 800-375-PAWN
On Monday October 3rd, 2016, a new law took effect from the Federal Government titled the Military Lending Act that affects Pawnbrokers and other lenders nationwide. Though the law was crafted primarily to control abuses by predatory lenders such as payday lenders and title loan companies. The law requires lenders to offer those on active military duty, their spouses and dependents a capped interest rate of 36% annually.
The purpose of the law was to rein in some of the exorbitant interest rates and fees being charged by these predatory lenders. In certain instances, these lenders charge monthly interest rates of 2O% or more along with other fees and penalties. In addition, many of these types of loans tie into a consumer’s bank account and report to credit rating agencies, resulting in deeper credit problems and spiraling debt for recipients.
Now when a customer comes into any of Empire Loan’s 8 locations they will be asked if they are “active duty military or a spouse or dependent of one”. If they are, Empire Loan will be in full compliance and waive any appraisal fees. Regarding the 3% monthly interest, Most Empire Loan stores were already in compliance due to rates set by the local communities we operate in.
If you are active military or the dependent or spouse of one, Empire Loan wants to thank you for your service and make sure you are getting all the benefits that you are due.
You can read more here: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/1783/what-are-my-rights-under-military-lending-act.html
October is a special month with the changing of the seasons and a choice of two birthstones that come in a wide range of colors; opal and tourmaline.
Tourmaline has become very popular in jewelry due to the wide range of colors it can be found in. There is something for every style and taste. Tourmaline is best known for featuring multiple colors in each gemstone, featuring two, three or more colors in a single gemstone and is known for having the widest range of colors of any gem. The more distinct these color differentiations, the more desirable to stone is. Tourmaline colors ranges from black, blue or dark brown through green, red, pink and yellow. One type of tourmaline is referred to as Watermelon Tourmaline for its green and red color variation in a single stone.
Tourmaline is found all over the world including Afghanistan, Brazil, East Africa in even in the US.
The other October birthstone is the opal, from the Greek Opallos, meaning “to see a change (of color)”. Opals also show a wide range of colors from a milky white to black with flashes of yellow, red, green and blue. The 3D reflection within opals is one of the stones finest and most notable features.
The GIA describes opal as: Fireworks, Jellyfish, Galaxies, Lightning with a shifting kaleidoscope of colors unlike any other gem. The most often used term is Play-of Color, which speaks to the floating reflections of light and color or fire in the stones. The five main type of opals are:
Need a Pawn Shop in Massachusetts or Rhode Island? Empire Has You Covered
Over 30 years ago, Empire Loan opened their first store in Boston’s South End. Since then we’ve grown to 8 locations giving customers easy access from just about anywhere. All Empire Locations offer easy parking, access to public transportation and Empire Loan’s history as the most reputable pawn shop in New England.
Empire Loan locations are easy to reach to the south with two locations in Providence, Rhode Island and another one in New Bedford, Massachusetts. These locations have been a part of the community since opening on Broad Street in Providence in 1989 and then in New Bedford in 1994. We’ve even opened another location on North Main St. in Providence in 2006 that included a guitar store that offers a wide range of products and services exclusively for musicians of every talent level.
Customers west of Boston in Worcester have been taking advantage of Empire Loan’s services since 2000 when we opened our store there. Since then the Worcester store has been so successful that we had to move to a larger space at 700 Southbridge Street in the College Square Plaza. With plenty of free parking, residents from surrounding towns like Auburn, Charlton, Millbury, Northborough, Shrewsbury and Southbridge to name just a few, have made Empire Loan their one stop money shop.
In 2011, Empire Loan filled in the south shore area by opening our 6th store on route 138 in Stoughton. This meant residents from Brockton, Canton, Randolph and Milton didn’t have to fight traffic to get into the city of Boston or travel down to the south coast. This also meant that customers were able to get the fast cash loans they needed without having to go very far.
Empire Loan turned our attention to the north and opened our Lowell store in 2012 at 43 Merrimack Street in downtown Lowell to serve the Merrimack Valley area and southern New Hampshire. Up until then, residents of Pelham, Windham and Nashua, New Hampshire could only visit New Hampshire pawn shops that charged 20% monthly interest for 30 day loans. Empire changed all that by offering the lowest interest rates and the best terms of any pawn shop in Lowell and the Merrimack Valley area.
To help better serve the north shore area of Boston, Empire Loan opened our newest store at 431 Lynnway in Lynn Massachusetts. This gave residents of Revere, Everett, Chelsea, Saugus, Peabody, Salem, Swampscott and Marblehead a convenient place to go when they needed a short term cash loan.
Where will Empire Loan open a new location next? Tough to say, but for now, Empire Loan is the one pawns shop that has New England covered.
The birthstone for March is the Aquamarine, a pale blue stone that takes its name from the Latin for “Aqua” meaning water and “Marina” for the sea, literally translating to seawater. The color of the Aquamarine is reminiscent of the coral seas of the Caribbean or Mediterranean and was thought to protect sailors and guarantee a safe voyage. Mined mostly in Brazil, Aquamarine’s greenish blue color and hardness mean that it is an ideal for jewelry making as it can stand up to the heat it takes to create jewelry. The largest Aquamarine ever mined was discovered in 1910 in Brazil and weighed in at 110kg and was 19 inches long and 17 inches in diameter. These beautiful and sophisticated birthstones make formal evening wear extravagant as it reflects the light with its sparkle.