Borro.com, the first online pawnbroker in Britain, has a stash of Ferraris and Jaguars in addition to high-end art and glamorous jewels in its possession. The credit crunch has caused the pawnbroking industry to come back on the scene in full force. Those who never thought they would enter the doors of a pawnshop are paying a visit to exchange their precious items for cash.
By the 1970s, there were only 50 pawnshops in the UK, due to their extremely high interest rates. Currently, the UK has 1,300 pawnbrokers, some of which allow people to exchange their items for cash in secrecy. Buyers, on the other hand, are proud to show off their finds, obtained at rock-bottom prices. They are pleased to discover high-quality items and participate in a traditional form of recycling.
More pawnshops are popping up every day, including those that diversify their offerings. In addition to pawn services, these buy gold, cash checks, perform money transfers, and offer payday loans and foreign exchange services. As the banks tighten their lending restrictions, people flock to these stores to sell their gold and other precious items.
Shop owners claim the pawnbroking industry has less stigma attached to it than in previous years. People with short-term financial issues do not hesitate to turn to this resource to get cash for items like unwanted jewelry. Others use the precious metal as security for a short-term loan designed to provide temporary assistance.
Though the reason a person comes into a pawnshop may be dire, such as to pay the rent, the services offered by the store provide much-needed assistance. Some people hope to someday repurchase the items they have pawned. Buyers may beat them to the punch due to the low prices these shops offer compared to purchasing the same item brand new elsewhere.