pawn shops

iPawn

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The pawn shop has gone digital; and it’s paying off for customers.

Ben DeKalo is founder of iPawn. The Texas based website is a modern version of the traditional pawn shop and allows people to either sell valuables outright or use them as collateral for a loan. I recently asked DeKalo about his business which is in its first year of operation. He says his idea came after learning about the high interest rates charged by pawn shops. So he launched the site with interest rates as low as one percent and targeted the middle class and entrepreneurs.

Customers upload a photo of their valuable, answer a few questions and submit the request. The company then appraises the item and responds with both a loan amount, terms and a buy price. The customer then decides which option to take.  read more »

An Alcoholic Loan

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Need a little collateral; look to your liquid assets.

In order to help those in need of a loan some U.S. pawnbrokers are now accepting fine wine to secure re-payment. And business is good. Pawnbrokers say despite their last resort reputation more people are coming to them because they can get a same day loan; instead of waiting weeks or months with a bank.

One pawn shop above a bank in Beverly Hills says its clients include hedge fund managers, bankers, doctors and Oscar winning actors. It says these people; although wealthy sometimes need a boost of fast cash for their latest business venture. An online pawn broker in New York says it regularly accepts wine as collateral from the upper class yet rarely sells it.  read more »