Libby Kane writing for the Business Insider did an article on how rich people use pawnshops. Her first statement is “The term ‘pawn shop’ tends to summon mental images of a seedy strip mall storefront dealing in Grandma’s jewelry and signed baseball cards”
Sigh. Kane’s article is basically a promotions piece for Borro but still, that statement may have rung true 10 years ago but our industry has matured. Not only in the way pawnshops present themselves, but in the clientele that frequents them as well. Sure, the popularity of shows like “Pawn Stars” and others like it have helped improve the image of a pawnshop. But in the last eight to ten years we’ve seen the industry transform from “seedy” (I hate that word) shops to shops with beautiful store fronts and knowledgeable and helpful employees with a focus on customer service.
Perhaps the stigma of “seedy” stays with the public’s image of a pawnshop because they don’t know that the really nice, high end jewelry shop that just opened around the corner is a pawnshop. With signs like “Fine Jewelry and Loans” instead of “Pawn & Gun” on the door, people are just not putting the pieces together.
Our industry will continue to grow and improve. But the fact that Kane opens with this statement shows we still have a long road to travel when it comes to public perception.