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Friday, September 20 2019
What's the Difference Between Pawn Shops and Thrift Stores?

Consumers can leverage their possessions for cash at several types of stores. You’ve got consignment stores, thrift stores, and pawn shops.

But it can be hard to tell these options apart; what are the differences? What makes any one of these better than the others?

Read on to see how each type of store operates.

Consignment Stores

Before we compare thrift stores and pawn shops, we should also clarify what a consignment store is.

Consignment stores act as a sort of outsourced storefront for your items.

First, you bring in all the goods you’d like to consign. The store thoroughly inspects your items then creates a price list for all your items so you can decide if it's worth it. The store will then take your items and list them for sale. When your items sell, the store takes a small cut and pays you the rest as a check or sometimes in store credit. Occasionally, some stores will pay you a set amount up front instead.

Most of the time, your items are only listed for a specified period of time. If they don’t sell, the consignment shop will return them to you. Some will donate the items to charity.

To boil it down, you’re essentially paying a small fee to list your items for sale in a public place. It’s like a real-world eBay. 

Consignment stores exist for almost everything nowadays. As long as your items are in decent condition, you could make a good chunk of change selling it to a consignment store.

Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are often used interchangeable with consignment stores, but they are different in several ways.

First of all, items are donated rather than sold. You can’t earn much money donating to thrift stores, but qualified donations can save you money in the form of charitable donation tax write-offs.

Because items are donated, thrift stores don’t inspect items as rigorously. This is a good thing for both buyers and sellers. Sellers can offload more stuff they couldn’t at a consignment store or thrift shop and potentially save more on their taxes. Since thrift store get these items for free and don’t inspect them, they list them at rock-bottom prices, which is great for buyers.

Despite the low prices, buyers can find some hidden gems in thrift stores if they spend some time looking.

Pawn Shops

Pawnshops like Cash Express are different than consignment and thrift stores. They provide two methods of getting cash for your items:
Pawning items
Selling items

Pawning items the most common method. Rather than selling your items, you use them as collateral for a loan. The pawn shop will inspect your item to determine their value, then use this number to decide on a loan amount. They’ll also give you the length of the loan and calculate the total interest. All you have to do to get your items back is to pay the full balance of the loan plus interest within the time period set by the shop.

If you fail to do so, the worst that happens is the pawnshop takes possession of your items and resells them to other customers. No dings to your credit, no loan applications, no collections agencies, none of that.

Alternatively, you may be able to outright sell your item to a pawn shop. You may not make as much money as you could get through a pawn loan, though, because pawn loans are more profitable and flexible to pawn shops than buying and reselling. Think about it: you pay interest on pawn loans on top of the principal amount, earning the pawnshop money without sacrificing their loan amount. Fail to do so and they at least cover their bases by keeping the item and reselling it.

Need a pawn loan in the Philadelphia area? Just want to sell your items? Bring ‘em on into Cash Express! We’ll make sure to get money in your hand the same day you come in.

Posted by: AT 03:51 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, September 14 2019
Pawning Through The Ages: A History Of Pawn Shops

Since the dawn of time, people from every culture and country have occasionally found themselves a bit short on money. Fortunately, someone came up with a solution not too long after people first started needing fast cash - people could “pawn” their possessions as collateral for a quick and easy cash loan. Pawnbrokers hold onto the individual’s items, and in exchange, the borrower has a contractually-specified time period to pay the loan back plus interest. If they are unable to pay it back, the pawnbroker can take possession of the item and sell it to someone else.

Today, over 20 million people in the US visit one of the US’s 12,000+ pawn shops each year.

The Beginning of Pawn Shops

Rewinding 3,000 years, the first pawn shops emerged in Ancient China. They provided peasants a method of accessing short-term credit. At first, pawnbrokers didn’t operate as a shop; they ran their own independent operation. However, pawning soon came to be done mostly through pawn shops.

Moving over to Europe, pawnbroking exploded in popularity in ancient Greece and Rome. Many merchants pawned items in order to fund their new businesses.

As Europe entered the Medieval Age, the Catholic Church began to restrict pawn shops from charging interest for religious reasons. But the restriction wouldn’t last forever, as many began seeing the benefits of pawning in financing new business pursuits as well as helping the poor. It became so widespread that Queen Isabella of Spain allegedly funded Christopher Columbus’s expeditions by pawning her jewelry!

Leading up to and during the Industrial Age, clothing was the most valuable item for most of the working class. The working class almost always needed extra cash to pay the bills each week, so it became routine to pawn your clothes on Monday and retrieve them when you get paid on Friday, just in time to pay off the pawn loan.

We also see more regulation as we approach the modern age. Pawn shop borrowers tended to be poorer, which was correlated with more crime. That includes stealing items and pawning them. England combatted this with the Pawnbrokers Act of 1872, one of the first widespread pawn industry regulations in the modern era. This Act did a few major things:
Protect pawnbrokers from unknowingly accepting stolen goods
Set how much interest pawnbrokers can charge
Established several other guidelines for the industry

Pawn Shops Today

In just the last century, pawn shops have spread all over the United States. In the earlier part of the 20th century, during the Great Depression, banks were failing left and right. This left people in desperate need of cash with little option but to pawn their items, making the best of a terrible situation. Nowadays, you can find a pawn shop in basically any city or town. They serve not only as a banking alternative to those without a ban account, but also as a place for almost anyone to buy and sell rare and interesting items.

Still, they haven’t lost their connection to history. Antiques, jewelry, and other old but well-preserved items are highly sought after by most pawn shops. Some people try to make up stories about how valuable their items are, but pawn shops have become adept at sniffing out fakers.

If you have some rare or valuable item and you’re in need of some quick cash, why not bring it on down to Cash Express?

Posted by: AT 03:03 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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731 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19106 -  (215) 922-1560