When someone is looking for inexpensive jewelry or electronics, or they need to sell some of their own items to get some quick money, they might consider visiting their neighborhood pawn shop. However, there are many myths that make people apprehensive about using their local pawn broker to sell, buy, or get a fast, secure loan. Once you realize these myths are just that – myths – your local pawnbroker can become one of your greatest resources!

Let’s debunk some of the most common myths about pawn shops.

Myth No. 1 – Pawn shops knowingly buy and sell stolen items

The last thing a pawn broker wants to do is get into trouble with the law for buying or selling stolen goods. In fact, pawn shops usually work closely with local police departments to stop crime and catch thieves. Pawn shops report every transaction they make to local law enforcement to ensure the goods they have received are not stolen property.

At Gene’s Pawn Shop in Charleston, SC we hold items purchased directly from customers for up to 21 days to allow the police time to properly review them. For all transactions, sellers must also provide their name, address, contact information and a valid photo ID.

Myth No. 2 – Pawn brokers try to keep items

A common misconception is pawn shops make their profit on selling items, when in fact, it’s really all about the lending process. It’s in your pawn shop’s best interest for you to successfully pay off your loan – in fact, that’s how they make money. The more money pawn brokers lend out, the more profit they get, so they are much more interested in seeing you become a valued customer who will return in the future to pawn items again. Pawn shops do not try to keep your stuff. They would much rather have the money paid back with interest.

Myth No. 3 – Most customers lose the items they’ve pledged

Wrong. In fact, about 80% to 85% of customers come back to claim their pawned items. Pawn loans are written for 30 days, which allows plenty of time for you to redeem your item, or you can renew your loan for as long as you want. Generally our client pay the principal portion of the loan at redemption.

If you haven’t returned the full loan, our policy is to call and text you once with an online app to make a payment before we attempt to sell your pledged item. Gene’s Pawn will always work with you and your circumstances, so you don’t have to worry about losing your items.

Myth No. 4 – Pawn shops charge outrageous interest rates

One of the biggest myths about pawn shops is their interest rates are ridiculously high. Regardless of the industry, every lender will charge interest based on the amount of the loan, the level of risk they are assuming, and the length of the agreement. When you get a loan from a pawn shop, it’s usually for a smaller amount of money, and the loan lasts for a shorter period. For pawn shops in South Carolina, the more you borrow, the lower the interest rate.

Your valuable item is our only collateral, and we are responsible for its care while you pay back the loan. When you compare a pawn broker’s fees to those, say, of a payday lender, or the amount you may be charged for an overdrawn account at a bank, you will likely find the rates are quite reasonable.

We work hard to provide you with an honest, reasonable loan for the item you have pledged, without any hidden costs or big penalties.

Myth No. 5 – The pawn industry is unregulated

A lot of people believe pawn shops can do whatever they want. Not true. Pawn brokers actually operate in a heavily regulated industry. Most pawn brokers are required to be licensed at a state or local level, and their financial transactions are monitored in a similar manner as the banking industry.

Myth No. 6 – Pawn shop products are outdated

Maybe you don’t consider buying from a pawn broker because you assume we only buy used items that no one wants. In fact, the opposite is true. Local pawn shops are a great option for buying used electronics, watches, diamond jewelry, gold, and other high-end pieces that cost a fraction of the price versus new. At Gene’s, we are a certified Glock dealer, so we also sell new and used firearms. You will be amazed at the kinds of things you can buy and the amount of money you can save!

Myth No. 7 – Pawn shops are dark and scary places

Gene’s Jewelry & Pawn began more than 29 years ago as a small-town pawn store on Rivers Ave. Over time, we’ve replaced our original building and expanded to two more locations to serve you. Our locations are clean, bright, and well-organized, with friendly, well-trained staff ready to serve you in a comfortable, welcoming environment.

Myth No. 8 – Pawn shops try to cheat people

The market value of secondhand items goes up and down, depending on the item and the current market. A reputable pawn shop will always explain how they came up with their offer. Gold and diamond jewelry is generally valued based on the scrap value of the gold and a percentage of the wholesale value of any diamonds. Because the price of gold fluctuates with the market, the amount you may be offered on a purchase or a loan may change quickly. Ultimately, the amount offered on a loan is designed with fairness for both parties in mind, so you can maintain ownership of your items, while we’re able to recover any accrued interest and commissions in case you don’t come back.

Myth No. 9 – Pawning items is too complicated

Many people don’t understand how simple it is to pawn items. All you need is a state issued ID or driver’s license and the item you’d like to pawn. Our friendly, knowledgeable, and highly trained employees are here to take care of the rest and make the process easy and stress-free for you.

Myth No. 10 – Pawn shops are a last resort

A lot of people mistakenly think that the only people using pawn shops are the ones who have no other options. The reality is pawn shops see all kinds of customers – bargain hunters, do-it-yourselfers, parents, small business owners, and more. For shoppers, pawn shops are a great place to buy a pre-owned item at a heavily discounted price.

Most clients visit pawn brokers for loans because it’s extremely convenient. There is no lengthy application process. You don’t have to explain why you need to borrow money, like you would if you were borrowing from family or a bank. There isn’t even a credit check! It’s a straightforward, helpful way to get a quick cash advance, and plenty of people take advantage of this benefit for countless reasons.

At Gene’s Jewelry & Pawn, we’re dedicated to providing you with the best service possible, whether you’re buying, selling, or looking for a loan. Don’t believe the myths about pawnshops — we are an honest, friendly small business dedicated to treating customers like family. Visit us today!