Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Have you ever thought of being a Pawn star? No, I didn’t misspell it sexy minded people. I did mean being a star at Pawning people’s stuff. In these times when most people are not benefiting from stock market highs, or getting that new job or even getting a job after college, maybe starting a business for yourself is not such a bad idea. There even is a reality show that of course is very dramatic on True TV called Hard Core Pawn sigh. Still not misspelled.
The Pawn star of the program is a third generation pawn broker with possibly the worst name any businessman could have. Les Gold, a shortened version of Leslie Gold. The show is about the day-to-day operations of American Jewelry and Loan, a family-owned Pawn shop located at 20450 Greenfield Road, between 1 Mile Road and the John C. Lodge Freeway in Detroit, Michigan. The series premiered on August 16, 2010, delivering two million viewers, setting a record as True TV's most-watched series premiere ever. So, how could holding people’s stuff for a fee be that interesting?
For example, you need cash and your wife left you because you don’t have cash any more. Well. then you walk into the shop with your wedding band and say you need $100 on your wedding band. The show features his son Seth Gold and his daughter Ashley Broad as customer clerks. One of them values the ring as being worth more than $100 and they are willing to take the ring and give you the cash. It is as simple as that.
How do you make money at this? They will charge you 3% per month so now you owe them $3 dollars a month added to a dollar a month storage charge. They will give you 90 days to pay back the $100 bucks in order to get your ring back plus the fees. If I can’t pay back the $100 dollars, then Les Gold all of a sudden has more gold and he will now be the proud owner of my wedding band . Ugh.
Well, it is not all that bad. It is a great way to get a small loan based on the value of stuff you already have. No bank will give you a small loan without all kinds of credit checks and job references. Banks even want the same amount of money as you want a loan for in the bank before they will give you anything. Then why the hell would I need a loan? The other alternative is those internet loan companies that will charge you more than 15% on the money and want to be repaid a week later. So, Pawning might not be such a bad idea after all.
In order to have a successful business of this kind you will have to be knowledgeable of what items are worth. At least with gold the value of it is run by the world market. The Pawn shop owner would take the ring and put it on a scale to determine how many grams it is or the weight of it and based on the karat of the ring a market value will be determined. The main thing is to decide on a price you think you can sell it at if after 90 days they don’t pick it up and now you are the proud owner of someone else’s wedding band.
In the news recently someone paid $3 dollars for a bowl at a garage sale and then somehow it was determined that it was worth $3 Million dollars. That would be the ultimate dream for a pawn shop owner and hope the customer never picks the bowl up and repays the small loan. That would be a rare occurrence but you can hope for instant wealth at the expense of an uninformed customer.
Any business is there to make money but in this type of business, reputation wise it is important to offer a fair value for the product. Les Gold says that 90% of the people come back for their merchandise. Most people don’t have a credit card or even a bank account any more but they have their stuff and they love their stuff and will want to keep their stuff but Hoarders is another wacky reality show too.
The show has been on TV for seven years now. At times things do get rough and people have to be forcibly removed from the premises because you are dealing with desperate people who need cash fast. Tempers could flare up. However, we could use all the help we can to get the cash to survive in these still dark economic times for people.

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