10 Facts About Pawn Stores

If you are a fan of Pawn Stars, you’ve probably wondered that’s really how the show works. The truth is that you probably won’t walk into your local pawn store and find a celebrity checking out the merchandise, but a lot of what goes on in the show really does go on in the stores. People in need of quick cash, who don’t want to take out a loan, bring valuable merchandise as collateral for a loan. Here are some amazing facts about pawn stores that might surprise you.

1. Most loans made at pawn shops are paid off in full and the merchandise is returned.

It’s true. According to the meticulous records kept by pawn store managers, 80% of all loans are paid off. In fact, facts about pawn stores indicate that most of them do business with clientele that repeatedly bring the same item back in for multiple loans. If you want to make sure you have access to quick cash, invest in one expensive item and keep it around for emergencies.

2. The song “Pop Goes the Weasel” is thought to be about pawning a coat.

The song has many different verses and one of the oldest versions talks about going up and down the City Road, in and out the Eagle. The Eagle was a famous historic British pub. It’s thought that weasel is slang in Cockney for a coat. So, after spending all his money in the pub, he ‘popped,’ or lost, his coat at a pawn shop.

3. Pawn stores have a symbol.

The next time you drive by or go to a pawn store, look to see if there is are three golden balls suspended from a bar. That’s the international symbol for pawn brokers. It’s steeped in legend but seems to be linked with a tale of a member of the Medici clan killing a giant with three large bags full of rocks. Early pawn store merchants thought it spoke of prosperity and adopted the symbol as their own.

4. St Nicholas is the patron saint of pawn store brokers.

Some say that St. Nick was the inspiration behind the symbol we talked about above. Legend has it that he hurled three bags of gold through a window one night so that three daughters of a prostitute would have the money for a dowry. He’s one of the most generous characters around and most people are surprised by facts about pawn stores like this.

5. You aren’t likely to find stolen merchandise at a pawn store.

Pawn store owners are required to keep meticulous records of their transactions by the police and federal authorities. They must write down a complete description of the item and any serial numbers on it. This list of transactions is regularly viewed by the authorities. It is not in the best interest of a pawn store dealer to accept merchandise that has been stolen due to fact that they would lose their investment if they did.

6. Rolex watches show up at pawn stores regularly.

Rolex watches hold their value and are a great item to use to get cash quickly. To get the best deal, be sure to bring the original box in with the watch as well as any paperwork about the purchase, because there are many counterfeit Rolex watches in the marketplace. You’ll get the best deal if the watch has no scratches, runs well, and is polished to look its best.

7. The repayment interest rates are not as high as you might think.

Lots of people think that pawn brokers charge high interest rates. That is not quite true. Because most of their business comes from repeat customers, they cannot afford to overcharge their customers. If you do go to a pawn shop and are offered an exorbitant rate of interest on your loan, say no and go to a different one.

8. Queen Isabella of Spain did pawn the crown jewels, but she didn’t do it to finance Christopher Columbus’ trip.

In fact, she had already pawned her jewels before Columbus ever showed up, hoping to sail to the east. King Ferdinand of Spain had given her a ruby and pearl necklace for their wedding which she pawned to fund the Spanish Inquisition. Not only that, but the merchants of Barcelena and Valencia also took her crown. She did give Columbus a few of her remaining jewels to fund his trip.

9. Going to a pawn shop can actually help to keep someone solvent.

Many pawn store customers choose to use pawn shops for quick cash instead of running up credit card debt. There are no legal repercussions if the loan is not repaid and most of them are able to retrieve their items. Getting a loan is simple and does not require a credit check as long as you have an item that has some value. Pawn store owners will keep the item for a set period of time, usually a few months, while you make payments on the loan.

10. Jewelry is the most commonly pawned item.

Rings, bracelets, and necklaces are commonly found in pawn shops. Sometimes they are taken in after a divorce. Occasionally, they are left at a pawn shop because the person is not able to retrieve them. This fact makes pawn stores a great place to shop for discounted jewelry.