Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Pawn Customer



A friend asked what the average customer is like and I can tell you no two customers are the same. It’s often comical the extremes of socioeconomic spectrums that can be observed in the store simultaneously. We have lawyers coming in for  their son’s new interest in musical instruments, we have daughters coming in to buy Rolex watches for their fathers, we have students buying calculators, contractors buying mass amounts of tools, the dyi husband in need of a drill, the businessman in need of a laptop, people buying Dvds, cds, game systems of all sorts. On any given day, we can have a professional violinist sitting in the store testing out different bows, truck drivers in need of a gps system, college students in need of a t.v., a husband in search of an anniversary diamond, kids in need of a replacement ipod, sound system, and/or new camera equipment. There are certainly no expectations set by a pawnshop employee as to who will walk in the door.

The average national Pawn Shop Customer is supposedly:
• Age: 36
• Household Income: $29,000
• 80% are employed
• 82% have high school diploma or GED
• 33% are homeowners
• All ethnicities

Pawn shops can act as a local hero for the walk-in customer:

“For over 250 years Pawn stores have been a solution for this exact type of short-term loan. If your credit is tight and bank account drained, a Pawn store will allow you to use something you own as collateral for a loan to get you to the end of the week.
Do you know that in America, more people have health insurance than access to a checking account? Do you know that an $80 Pawn loan for 30 days is less expensive than a bounced check, Utility reconnect fee, credit card late fee or payday loan?
A study released by the FDIC in February 2009 reported as many as 28 million un-banked and 44 million under-banked Americans. Other studies show that 32 percent of pawn customers borrow only twice per year to help cover unexpected expenses.
The Consumer Federation of America found that more than 50 percent of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. When it comes to financial alternatives, pawn customers do not have many safe, convenient, regulated choices.
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