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History of Pawn Shops

You see them in the various parts of town and you have been wondering just exactly what is a pawn shop, how do they work, and why are they becoming more common place? But you haven’t asked.

Well to answer your question, lets look at the history of pawn shops. Pawn shops date back to ancient times and are one of the earliest recorded lending institutions. During the late middle ages the House of Lombard in Europe had a group of pawn shops. The sign of the House of Lombard was the three golden balls, and this sign was associated for years with the pawn industry.

The pawn industry came to America with the first settlers, and in the early parts of this century, pawnbroking was regarded as the main source of consumer credit. With the rise of large consumer credit institutions, such as finance corporations, savings and loan associations, and credit unions, the pawn shop is no longer the main source of consumer credit. But the pawn shop still plays a vital role in providing consumer credit.

The general public needs to borrow small sums of money that other sources are not willing to provide, and this resulted in the rise of popularity of pawn shops. What chance do you think you would have in securing a $300.00 or smaller loan from a financial institution for a 30 to 90 day period? The cost of the paper work alone prohibits them from making such loans on a regular basis.

A History of Helping

As mankind’s oldest financial institution, pawn loans can be traced back at
least 3,000 years to ancient China and can be found in the early Greek and Roman civilizations. We are not trying to invent a new way of helping people to get credit; we are merely improving it. Although you have probably heard stories about pawnbrokers before, you just have not recognized it. Throughout history, pawnbrokers have helped people — all people. Pawnbroking is not a new practice nor does it target or appeal to just one social class. King Edward III of England is said to have frequented pawn stores in Europe during the 14th century. Christopher Columbus’ journey to the Americas was financed by Queen Isabella pawning the crown jewels. The Bishop of Myra was a wealthy man who came to the aid of a penniless father of three daughters. Under customs of the times, the daughters could not wed unless a dowry could be presented; if there was no dowry, they would assume a life of slavery or prostitution. The Bishop secretly visited the house of the man and his daughters at midnight and left three bags of gold for the eldest daughter’s dowry. This practice would continue until all three children were married. The Bishop became known as the Patron Saint of Children, and each year children awaited his arrival at the stroke of midnight to bring gifts of gold. Sound familiar? He is now known as Saint Nicholas. Spreading generosity and good, Saint Nicholas is also the Patron Saint of Pawnbrokers. Through the years, some pawnbrokers have hung three gold balls above their doors to welcome the spirit of Saint Nicholas and wish good luck to all of their customers.

Pawn Shops-Home for great bargains

Good value at a good price. Get the most for your dollar. Vast savings on outstanding merchandise. A good deal. Bargain basement and close-out prices everyday. Where can you find these things and much, much more? At your pawn shop.

If you are interested in saving money, and finding great values, the pawn shop is the place for you to go. Today’s pawn shop has it all. Quality merchandise at outstanding prices is what the modern pawn shop is all about.

Previously owned merchandise of excellent quality can be found on the shelves of your pawn shop. Every time a pawn broker loans on an item, he knows that someday it could be on his shelf for sale. Therefore, he only will deal in good quality merchandise. Also, the pawn shop is an established business. The pawn broker is not here today and gone tomorrow like the flea market, auction sale, garage sale, or the guys selling out of a van on the side of the road. Today’s pawn broker knows his business is only as good as his reputation, and he wants to maintain a good reputation. It’s as simple as that.

The variety in the pawn shop is amazing. Since the merchandise is previously owned, the number of makes and models of merchandise can almost be limitless. You just never know what you may find in today’s pawn shop.

You may be asking, “Isn’t alot of the merchandise in a pawn shop stolen?” Today’s pawn brokers are regulated and licensed by the state to insure they do not deal in stolen merchandise. All transactions are closely monitored by law enforcement agencies to see that pawn shop merchandise is not stolen. As earlier stated the pawn shop is an established business enterprise, not here today and gone tomorrow. Rest assured that the merchandise you find in the pawn shop is not stolen.

So what are you waiting for? There is a world of of bargains to be found in your neighborhood pawn shop. Check it out. You’ll be glad you did.
Pawn Shopping is fun

Shopping in your pawn shop is fun. No where else can you find the value, and the variety offered on the shelves of your pawn shop. There is no other business like the pawn business, and no two shops are run just alike. the vast majority of pawn shops are managed by individual owner operators, making each one a little different from the other.
What can you find in today’s pawn shop?

Variety makes visiting a pawn shop an exciting and enjoyable experience. You never know what you will find. You would have to visit dozens of different retail stores to find all the different types of merchandise found in a single pawn shop. Jewelry, silver, clocks, stereos, sporting goods, cameras, musical instruments, tools, guns, TV’s, computers, bikes, coins, appliances are just a few of the things to be found in the pawn shop.

The list goes on and on. The good thing is that the merchandise in the pawn shop is always changing. So, whenever you visit your favorite shop, there will always be something new for you to see.

The variety of brands of merchandise in the pawn shop is also very large. For example, you are looking for a VCR. Most stores will carry three or four brand name VCR’s, but the pawn shop may have a dozen or more brands. This makes comparison shopping a breeze. You don’t have to drive to several different electronics stores to find just what brand and model fits your particular needs. You can comparison shop with all the different things a pawn shop sells.

Another advantage a pawn shop offers is different model years of merchandise, often at a vast savings. Some items that aren’t the latest and the greatest model can be found in a pawn shop at a really good price. Everyone has heard the old saying, “They don’t make them like they used to.” Sometimes the only place you can find an item “made the way they used to”, is in a pawn shop.

So…make pawn shopping a part of your shopping experience.

Information Compliments of Burrell Printing Co. Inc. Copyright 1998