Educating your customers is a great way to gain a loyal following in your community and industry. In a society where information flows freely and quickly, many people don’t have a lot of time to research and gather information before making decisions in their best interest. Customers count on their local businesses to provide unbiased opinions and information before making a business deal. This is just as true in the Pawn Shop Industry as it is in any other industry.
We recently had the opportunity to interview three Pawn Shop owners and asked them to provide some of their own insights and thoughts on the Pawn Shop Industry today, here’s what they had to say:
Lawrence Kahlden, President and CEO of La Familia Pawn & Jewelry, founded in 2009, has over 23 stores across Florida and Puerto Rico. When asked what industry trends are exciting him today, Lawrence said, ” I find it exciting that — thanks to shows like Pawn Stars— the industry has become more mainstream and acceptable as retail outlets. We’re seeing clientele walk through our doors that wouldn’t have just a few years ago. It’s definitely a great time to be part of the industry and evolve to accommodate customers with different needs.” When it comes to overcoming the challenges of getting more shopper traffic into the shop and buying items, Lawrence says, ” Our number one priority is to provide the best customer service in the industry. If you can accomplish that, people will spread the word and drive more people to our stores. That has been our number one way of getting new customers in the door.” Haggling on priced merchandise is fair game at Pawn Shops. Lawrence says, “We set fair market prices both on items for sale and the amount we will loan, but our top priority is to provide our customers with the best service available, and that includes working with them on prices to meet their needs.” Lawrence says approximately 95% of his inventory is sold in their shops. “We do use sites like Craigslist and eBay from time-to-time for bigger ticket items and things we feel might not sell quickly in our stores.”
CashCo Pawn, based in San Diego, CA, is run by Managers Yigal and Moris Adato. They’re currently celebrating their 10th anniversary in business this year! When asked what gets them excited about their industry, they said, ” The fact that we now have a worldwide customer base is incredible. People don’t mind buying from pawn shops anymore because they know we are legitimate and offer amazing prices.” Improvements are still needed say Yigal and Moris. “We would like to see websites like Amazon and eBay provide more seller rights. Often times, e-commerce sites are so focused on protecting the buyer that they forget to protect the seller as well.” As for overcoming challenges of attracting more shoppers, Yigal and Moris say, “We continuously encourage pawn shops as a better way to shop. We have a saying at our store, “Why pay retail when you can shop pawn?” People are looking to save money in this economy and what better way than shopping at pawn shops where items and services are legitimate?” When it comes to haggling, “If an item has been in the store for too long, we are open to negotiate. Our goal is to create the cash flow for the pawn business, so negotiating our prices come naturally. If we can get you a great deal, we are open to it.” Yigal and Moris say they sell about 5 to 10% of their inventory online using sites such as Amazon and eBay. “Usually the items we sell online are the higher end items and items that fall more under the specialty category.”
Robbie Whitten is the owner of Money Mizer Pawns & Jewelers, open for 32 years and has 7 stores located throughout the Southeast, including Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Robbie says, “Technology in computer software and Eyeson Video Surveillance” is what excites him about the industry today. Money Mizer offers customer rewards and customer referral rewards to gain more shopper traffic. About 70% of Money Mizer’s inventory is sold in shop and 30% is through online sales through eBay and Gunbroker.com. As for haggling in the shop on items, “We set reasonable prices for items to sell, however, we leave some room for haggling” says Robbie.
Pawn Shops are unique resale shops, and like any shop or marketplace in the second hand industry, you can find some pretty awesome stuff for sale at a reasonable prices. Before heading out to buy that new item, be sure to pop in your local Pawn Shop, chances are they may have what you’re looking for or be able to point you in the right direction of getting a better deal. The Pawn Shop Industry has a bright future with many opportunities and is ready to serve the needs of people in any economic climate.
Remember, building a customer base that trusts your businesses advice and can count on your expertise goes a long way. Educating and rewarding your customers can help your businesses ratings both online and within the community.
Have you checked out your neighborhood Pawn Shop recently? What did you think? Share your comments with us below!